Aug 24 2010

Five Videos Pitchfork Missed Monday

For the most part, when browsing Pitchfork’s recently-posted Top 50 Music Videos of the 90’s, four names dominate: Chris Cunningham, Hype Williams, Michel Gondry, and Spike Jonze.  And all four of these men completely deserve their recognition – they all, in their own way, directed only the finest of what is considered to be the best decade for music videos.  MTV was still influential and watchable, and the medium of video promotion was still powerful in the music biz.

This burgeoning new phenomenon had transformed into a well-produced, highly-financed, ultra-creative artistic landscape that the 80’s products couldn’t touch.  By the time of the 2000’s, however, the luster was lost – the best videos were buried in the over-saturation of the Web, and the “music” cable channels ceased music programming.  Still, we have the 90’s – the golden age of the music video, and Pitchfork, more or less, covered the highlights.

There are many personal favorites of mine that didn’t make the cut – perhaps one day I will compile my own list of top videos from the 90’s.  While video lists usually lean towards either ranking in terms of influence or innovative spectacle, Pitchfork teeter-tottered between the two, leaning toward the latter.  With this in mind, it’s a decent list – like most lists, it has some glaring omissions, which are recognized after the jump.

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May 3 2010

120 Minutes Ruled

This weekend I visited my family in my hometown of Gruver, Texas, a small town with a Dairy Queen, a gas station, my high school alma mater, and many cows.  So needless to say, I was bored out of my mind.  Luckily my parents have satellite television.  I stumbled onto VH1 Classic, always a treat while at home, and caught some old school videos, concerts, interviews, and one pretty awesome special on Steely Dan’s Aja album.

But the best thing on VH1 Classic, by far, is their two-hour 3AM homage to the old MTV staple 120 Minutes.  In the block, they play old alt videos from (mostly) the 80’s, though an occasional 90’s video crept up in the playlist.  After the jump is a sampling of pretty excellent retro videos I saw while suffering from sleep deprivation and waiting for the next Skinemax movie to come on.

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Mar 26 2010

Deftones Discography Part 2: Around the Fur

One of my favorite bands, the Sacramento-based Deftones, are preparing the release of their sixth full-length album, Diamond Eyes, on May 18.  In light of this, I am going back, re-listening to, and analyzing their previous albums to gain a perspective of the band’s past while waiting in anticipation of the band’s future.

Around the Fur by Deftones (Maverick, 1997)

Adrenaline had given the boys enough clout, along with incessant touring, that by the time Around the Fur came around about two years later, they were receiving minor airplay on radio and MTV.  The most prominent tracks from this album are “My Own Summer (Shove It)” and “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away).”  Both are signature songs from the group, giving the listener a more polished sheen to the quiet moans and squeals from Chino Moreno backed up by the metal prod of drummer Abe Cunningham and drop-D riffs from Stephen Carpenter.

Overall, that’s what Around the Fur is: a more focused, polished sound from the band, and a step forward in songwriting and structure for the group.  It isn’t a total departure from Adrenaline: the same aggressive plod is heard throughout (and at times a little “samey,” but not too much) and the album is definitely loud, but there are shining moments of maturity from the band that, at this point, the world had not heard.

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