"Danger! High Voltage"
Illuminated bras certainly aren't new, and illuminated crotches probably aren't either, but there's something about this nutty clip, which features both to excess, that's comically engaging yet oddly kinky. And it's not the backup vocal by none other than Jack White. We're told the male and female leads in the vid are a guy from the band and a middle-aged actress hired for the shoot, who is done up like a B&D librarian. The two do a lot of spirited kissing and ride a stuffed moose together. The paintings of one Brian Rea on the wall behind them add a certain elegant touch. Anyway, here's Mike Maguire on the concept: "The idea was simply a result of listening to the song a few times and feeling like there was really no other way to treat it. It had that combination of disco, glam, metal and duet that evoked the days of things like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This is simply our take on that genre."
Director: Kuntz & Maguire, MJZ Editor: Katz, Cosmo Street
Yup, its a trend. This clip also starts out with an illuminated bra sequence, in the form of apposite headlights. Are these things available in the Victoria's Secret catalog yet? Powder, for those who have taken one from the endlessly revolving pop scene, is one of those costumed, cartoony kinds of bands that occasionally become all the rage, thanks to a powerful frontline presence - in this case vocalist Ninette Terhart, a visual dynamo who looks kinda like Milla Jovovich's strapping sister. This clip, marking the video debut of Stuart Acher, has plenty of engaging comic book-style greenscreen shenanigans, good editing, and the song is a bouncy No Doubtish number, but it's Ninette, who can probably out-pep Gwen Stefani in her sleep, who runs the show.
Director: Stuart Acher, Picture Park Editor: Stuart Acher Effects: Filmworks F/X
Tin Henry are four ugly, hard-rockin', typically overpunked lugs from Texas who feature an incongruously elegant woman in a red dress in their low-budget but ambitious debut video. The good news is she jumps off the roof of a tall building, lands atop a car and triggers a fiery multi-vehicle accident. Then the whole thing plays in reverse, undoing all the damage. Ordinarily, we hate reverse footage, but there's something real nice about the way the woman flies up to the roof, thanks to the work of Dallas' Reel FX. According to a press release, the point of all this is to illustrate "the devastating effects that suicide has on the lives surrounding the victim." Duh. What could be more inconsiderate than jumping off a roof and landing in an intersection? But the frenetic camerawork and editing in this clip are oddly compelling and they actually complement the not-bad song.
Director: Lance Larson, Fat Lady Sings Film Co. Editor: Lance Larson Effects: Reel FX
Death in Vegas
This Death in Vegas (not to be confused with Dirty Vegas) track features guest vocalist Liam Gallagher, so it sounds like a typical acoustic guitarish Oasis tune. But the clip is all stylized samurai epic, and there's a sequence of circular camerawork that's so dizzying it should come with a barf bag. But any strong reaction to a music video is a good thing, so we salute Muto Masashi and his all-Japanese crew. We're told the narrative in the vid has nothing to do with the song; since the band and Gallagher don't appear in the clip, Masashi was free to develop a Crouching Tiger vibe, based around two female warriors and the rescue of a kidnapped lover from an opium-clouded brothel. Whatever the hell is going on, the heavily stylized action makes for great eye wasabi.
Director: Muto Masashi, Treatment @ Bermuda Shorts Editor: Takashi Yuba
"Volvo Driving Soccer Mom"
Well, here's the video of the TiVo future. It's got the product placement right up front, riding the tune like a hood ornament! And just like a no-nonsense Volvo, this clip has an unusually crisp visual narrative, in which a formerly slutty exotic dancer has become the creature of the title. Her previous life and her current life are juxtaposed in scenes that match like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. For example, as a soccer mom, she air kisses a female friend; as a go-go chick, she tongue kisses a female friend. It's all so coherently shot and edited, the band really lives up to its name.
Director: Francis Lawrence, DNA Editor: Mario Meares, Sunset Editorial