It’s truly amazing what heights of creativity, what depths of emotion, what breadth of possibilities can be explored in a music video when a pop group isn’t fronted by some perky Pop Idol poppet.
Check any music video chart you care to mention you’ll see the usual suspects’ names crop topping up with more monotony than a ‘Spurious Rap Intro’ [see Video Watch Issue 17 for more… my regards to the Dogg]. It’s boring, quite frankly — a handful of interchangeable gyrating muppets singing interchangeably disposable song-ettes. The so-called ‘directors’ of these video clips play a pivotal part in perpetrating this artistically impoverished snowjob. It seems all you need is lots of cameras, an ‘oops, all my clothes just fell off’ lip syncing sex kitten and a bunch of pay-by-the-hour Hot Gossip dance troupers. But I go back to my original proposition: what happens when the singer or band are as ugly as sin? What manner of lateral-minded, blue-sky thinking needs to kick in to maintain the interest of our Gen Y goldfish generation when there isn’t some 18-year-old Brazilian waxjob to broadcast? It’s a delicious prospect. No… not the Brazilian waxjob… I’m referring to the delights of the occasional outbreak of a novel idea.
The Chemical Brothers have been together for quite some time. Not as long as you might think as they’re — shock — not biologically related. In fact, I think I’m safe in saying they’re not related in any sense of the word — biologically, chemically, or otherwise. But along with The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers played their part in putting ‘electronica’ on the map — or at least on the radio. Their block-rocking beats were good… so good that record execs didn’t seem to notice that they — dowdy, daggy, hang-dog and drab. Some 10 or 15 years later, not much has changed, whenever you see a promo shot of The Chemical Brothers it screams nothing other than — “we simply could not give a flying stuff”.
But just because you’ve been belted over the head with the ugly stick doesn’t mean you can’t have a hit. It simply means you don’t appear on camera. Just think for a minute of any notable Fatboy Slim video clip — brilliant!
And so we finally come to . Beyond the realms of Usher’s abs, Rihanna’s legs and the Pussycat Dolls puppies you have a brave new world of storytelling and creativity. There’s no point in trying to somehow slyly sabotage … its plot speaks for itself:
Young middle eastern boy dashes out of a backyard Afghan dentist after refusing to have a tooth pulled.
He and his brother compose themselves. But then a Chemical Brothers music cassette falls from the sky.
They pop it into a battered old ghetto blaster whereupon the ensuing ruckus sends their limbs into involuntary spasms.
In fact, the music engenders similar conniptions in all who hear it— traffic cops, goat herders, spice merchants etc.
Somehow this inspires the brother to use the highly provocative piece of UK electronica to ride into town and rob a bank!
The proceeds of the crime are then used to pay for a new gold tooth!!
Now that’s what I call a music video plot… — CH.