When MTV decided to eliminate the “Music Television” portion of their iconic logo and corporate mantra a few weeks ago, it signified that they finally acknowledged what many people snidely joked for years regarding the channel’s programming. With the music industry in a years-long spiral and music networks like MTV and VH1 devoting less time to the music industry selling staple, it made me wonder about their relevance in pop culture. For example, how will people know that Chad Kroeger of Nickelback still has that weird perm-and-beard combo?
Not being the young scamp that can devote hours on end to watching TV or whatever the kids do these days when they’re not experimenting with the weed and the sex, I rarely get to see what passes for music videos anymore. And the ones I do see fall into five categories:
- A clumsy mixture of a band playing interspersed with a heavy-handed narrative barely connected to the song lyrics. (50% of music videos)
- BLING! BOOBS! BOOZE! BUTTS! REPEAT! (48% of music videos)
- Live footage of a band playing, being a self-congratulatory ode to the band’s fame in disguise as a thank you to the fans (1.2% of videos)
- Musicians trying to be deep by having “normal people” holding up signs that point out who and what they are. (“Firefighter,” “Human Being”) (0.7%)
- Artistic expressions of music and visual talent. (0.1%)*
*Note = my math skills are equal to my exaggeration skills
So that last category is sorely lacking nowadays, as the focus on making iconic videos is all but gone. The last video to truly wow me was “Bad Romance” by Lady GaGa, a visual spectacle of glitz and lunacy that delighted my senses. And just when I was feeling hopeful that the music video could become an art form (like black-and-white photography and food canning) due to low expectations, I saw a video that has me writing off the music video medium permanently:
I guess this person goes by the name Orianthi, a mindfuck of a name for a mindfuck of a video.
On first glance, there is something off about the video for “According to You”. Perhaps that “something” is the guitar in the foreground. This distracting object follows the video’s shrill, emo protagonist throughout, going from her bedroom to a concert where said shrill, emo person is singing. The word creepy is not bandied about enough anymore, and it definitely needs to be used to describe a stalker armed with a guitar that plays music at another person’s concert — let alone everywhere that this young woman turns up. (That’s like starting a game of flag football during the Super Bowl.)
Seriously, the minds behind the video should be locked in a room and studied for clues as to how this was a good idea. Maybe the guitar is a metaphor for something randy? Perhaps they’ve been using Chatroulette too much? And it’s distracting, to the point that it gets in the way of the other bland notes in the video. And when it disappears for a few seconds, it’s a relief and an oddity — like, did the guitar stalker decide to go take a piss? Is he or she tuning their creep-tar? Are they physically assaulting suitors for Orianthi’s affection?