Archive for June, 2009

RIP MJ

It’s difficult to pinpoint Michael Jackson’s biggest contribution to popular culture. Was it his ability to seamlessly combine soul, R&B and pop? Or the way he spread urban culture to every conceivable corner of the globe? Or was it his mastery of spectacle, which transformed concerts into high tech extravaganzas that defined the entertainment revolution?

But for us, the magic of MJ was always about his music videos. No artist, before or since, could turn music videos into a global event. We’ll always have memories of crowding around the living room television waiting for his clips to debut on MTV. Over-the-top, big budget affairs, a Michael Jackson video felt more like a mini-feature; perfectly executed rock operas that could ignite the imaginations of millions of people all over the world.

It’s pretty difficult to nail down his best video. The obvious choice is, of course, “Thriller,” a 13 minute, fastidiously choreographed masterpiece that remains seared into the cultural memory. But Thriller is only part of the story. Another perfect pop cultural gem is “Bad,” a Martini Scorsese foray, which featured a then unknown Wesley Snipes. From there he went from the high concept (the groundbreaking morphing effects in “Black or White”), to the zeitgeisty (Herb Ritts’ sepia toned video for “In the Closet” which featured Naomi Campbell) to the bombastic (the “Scream” video with Janet Jackson, which remains the most expensive clip ever made). We could go on…

But for now, hats off. glitter gloves on. Let’s salute the best music video artist of all time with HubsTV’s fave MJ clip.

MichaelJackson

Michael Jackson ‘Scream’

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Paging Child Protective Services!

MGMT

Maybe I’m a little late to this party, but is the long-delayed video for MGMT’s ‘Kids’ not scary as all get out? It definitely captures the childhood primordial fears lurking within. What’s up with the Nietzsche quote attributed to Mark Twain? And what about Joanna Newsom as a convincing Madison Avenue princess? A riddle wrapped in an enigma, the Ray Tinroti directed video has totally bought the song back into Hubs high rotation.

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Madness ‘Devil Dust’

Madness

One of the best things about being a Hubs editor is the amount of new music that gets shoved in our ears (obviously). On receiving the new Madness video I was pretty skeptical, I mean ‘House of Fun’ is a classic but one of those songs I can barely tolerate at Karaoke let alone consider adding to my Favorites on Hubs. ‘Devil Dust’, however, went straight to the top of my list after a few listens. Madness have been around for 30 YEARS and it’s most excellent to know they can still swirl out a catchy tune after all this time.

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The Bloody Beetroots ‘Warp’ (feat. Steve Aoki)

Steve Aoki

Practically everything about Steve Aoki makes my blood boil and give off fumes toxic enough to knock-out small children (expect, perhaps, his kinship to Devon). I mean, have you seen his clothing line? Bloody hell… Thankfully on this track with Bloody Beetroots his vocals have been churned through the Cher synthesizer and I can blissfully imagine him getting mangled in the machine cogs. Aoki aside, the latest Bloody Beetroot track is pretty catchy, they’ve gotten an obscene amount of publicity recently and is the first time I’ve had a proper listen (I’m lazy ok), now I understand why.

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