Music Monday: Teach Your Children Well

Jeff Scher has another music video out and it’s fab:

It’s all in his trademark animated watercolor-from-stills-and-footage style that we saw in his video for “The President Sang Amazing Grace”:

Aside from the sheer beauty of the paintings (which is a large part of their appeal), he excels in building a visual story from the images. In the “Teach” video the first half is black and white and covers protest and events in the 1960s era (when the song was written and recorded). He adds color as he shifts the images to the present day and the connections are literally illuminated. My favorite echo is the protest fist at the Olympics with the kneeling NFL players.

Watch it!

Zoe finally got to PA where Jeff had sent the frame he gave us:

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Music Monday: Tam Lin

Richard Thompson has a new album coming out which is a good reason to revisit my favorite Fairport Convention song:

It may be a conventional choice, but it really is delightful.

Music Monday: I Wish the Wars Were All Over

The third “short film” for the songs of Whistle Down the Wind is out:

It is a series of “macro” (keyhole? There’s a round frame) shots of ordinary objects (still lives almost) with motion projection.

I love motion projection but this video is…pretty abstract. I’ve watched it a couple of times and I’m not getting a melding of song and visuals. It feels more like a “here’s some cool motion projection bits!”

The transitions actually feel rather strong to me! But not quite right. The tune is stark but the visuals don’t feel stark or, at least, not stark in the same way.

Thus far, the one for “The President Sang Amazjng Grace” just seems so much better the others (I know, I know). The animation might not be innovative but its superbly executed and follows the song (but not slavishly). The second two seem more “I want to do some cool, arty film stuff” rather than “I want to interpret this song” or “I want to meld sound and visuals into an inevitable whole”.

Music Monday: Come Into My World

The Madonna video pushed me into a world I’d not seen before including this nifty video by Kylie Minogue:

The song is fine but nothing much for me. It’s not forgettable exactly as it has ear wormed a couple of times, but eh I don’t get much from it.

But the video…oh the video. It’s a continuous walker so you know I’m positively predisposed. She walks in a circle and each time picks up another version of herself. In the background various incidents are multiplied. It’s fun, and weird, and unsettling. I’ve watched it a number of times trying to see all the bits and pick them apart (I’ve seen a few seams!). If you watch carefully you can see the event sequences even though they are woven together into a single scene.

I want to use this sort of effect somewhere, but it’s so singular it’s hard to see how.

Music Monday: Don’t Tell Me

I’m not a big Madonna fan. After pulling up “Like a Surgeon”, I went back to a bunch of her early, oh so 80s stuff and…it’s not good. They really haven’t aged well (neither songs nor videos).

But I stumbled on a song that I didn’t know and…is really really good:

Damn! Good lyrics, complex arrangement (over a simple tune). It’s great and tricky to grasp. The video is a combination of amazing (I’m a well know sucker for walking videos) and why? (The cowboys dancing are bad enough but her black outfit…no. Just no!)

The a cappella section starting around 1:54 is particularly striking. After pouring the dirt she moves almost as in some of the early videos (think “Like a Virgin” or “Lucky Star”) but it’s just 5 seconds. It is damn effective esp with her “normal clothes” outfit. It’s sensual, and sexual, and feels real but is kind of subtle in its explicitness. She’s stopped moving but the scenery moves around her (a nice play on the fact she’s on a stage with a projection).

The rest of the video has no hint of anything like that. My favourite other parts are her walking on the treadmill, but her black outfit dancing is well done and she looks like she’s having fun.

“Don’t Tell Me” is derived from a Joe Henry version:

Madonna’s is a million times better. Who knew?!

I spied another continuous motion Madonna video:

And we’re back to meh. Wacky.