Sunday, 30 March 2014

Great music videos

I am an MTV kid of the 80s. I used to go and spend summers with my dad in Boston and while he worked, I would watch MTV for hours and hours. We didn't have it at home, there was no such thing as cable or satellite when I was a teenager let me tell you and certainly not in Essex. So I used to soak up the videos like a sponge. Some songs I swear I like because of the videos. I believe the golden age of video is behind us or maybe I think that because I am nostalgic for the 80s. There probably are some wonderful music videos being made now but they are so overly sexualised. I don't want to see tits and ass. I want creativity, innocence, humour and images that fit a song to perfection.

I've been musing on this for a while now and as such, here are some videos I think just work. They complement a song and make it sound better. They are videos that you instantly think of when you hear the song on the radio.

Michael Jackson understood the power of the video and it's hard to imagine a better video that the one for Billie Jean. The steps lighting up! It's all unmistakably 80s but it works beautifully. I much prefer it to the video for Thriller.


While I am on Jacko, Beat It. Also fantastic and so iconic with that red jacket. In fact, this video is all about the red jacket. I used to jump for joy when this came on MTV.

Lionel Richie, All Night Long. This is the perfect video. It evokes warm summer night and a party atmosphere. I love how colourful it is. I can't watch this without dancing. Also, cute kids!

A large house at night, a gothic atmosphere, a full moon, a wind machine, doors being opened dramatically, long white dresses, curtains billowing, mysterious ninja dancers, men in pants cartwheeling. It can only mean one thing. Bonnie is in the house. It's all just fantastic.

Duran Duran were a huge video band. Bands often became over ambitious as they became uber successful. Wild Boys is a ridiculous video. However, Rio is perfect. It doesn't take itself seriously. It's glam and aspirational. We all wanted to be on that yacht with a blue telephone.

Club Tropicana has a similar feel. I prefer this to Rio (much as I love Rio) because a) George Michael can actually sing b) it's a better song and c) It has Shirley and Pepsi in it! Also, I still want that lilo. Listening to this transports me to Spanish holidays of my youth.

George Michael made some great videos. I also love Careless Whisper (of course) for its utter cheesiness, Fast Love, and of course, Freedom. Supermodels! Every time I watch this I am captivated by Naomi Campbell's drop dead beauty.

Madonna. This entire post could be devoted to Madonna videos. She understands the power of video like no other. The Like A Virgin video makes an average song sound good and that's a real talent. I can't think of a single Madonna video I don't like. Obviously the pinnacle of her career is Vogue. If I had to pick my favourite video of all time, then this would be it. The dancing still looks as fresh as a daisy and the entire concept is genius.

I also love Hung Up, especially when she struts into that club. The woman knows how to dance.

Madonna's natural successor is of course, Lady Gaga. Poker Face is a beautifully looking video. That opening shot of her coming out of the pool is so cool.

Bad Romance as well. I could watch this over and over. The visuals in this are stunning. She was so good and now, meh. Whatever.

And finally, Beyonce, Crazy in Love. Utter perfection.

I shall be returning to this theme as I think of more great videos I love.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Lenny Kravitz

How have I neglected Lenny? I am ashamed of myself. Lenny was an obsession that lasted for several years and I still love him. Recently I've been listening to Lenny again for the first time in years and am delighted to report that his songs still sound good. Not all of them, some were clearly written under the influence of too many substances, however there is some greatness to be had. In a moment I shall pick out a few but let's just take a moment to appreciate the gorgeousness of Lenny.

He is ludicrously photogenic. My obsession extended to waiting for hours so I could be in the front row of a concert at Brixton Academy. Here is my photo:

I can't believe that was over 20 years ago. He threw me his plectrum and I still have it somewhere. Oh I do love a good obsession.

Anyway, to his music. I always felt he wasn't given enough credit. He wrote some fabulous songs. Here are some of my favourites.

I adore Heaven Help, it's such a cute little song.

Are You Gonna Go My Way. This still has one of my favourite introductions to a rock song. I love bouncing around to this. It's a great workout song.

Always On The Run. Another fantastic introduction. Lenny and Slash. I think my uterus just skipped a beat. I think this is possibly my favourite Lenny song. I adore it.

Except I also adore Stand By My Woman. The perfect love song.

I also have a soft spot for Believe.

Let Love Rule will always be my favourite Lenny album and the title song is still perfect. I can always listen to this.

Be. I used to listen to this over and over.

I don't have much time for later Lenny but I am enjoying his new career as an actor. He's pretty good as well. Now all he needs to do is get back together with Lisa Bonet and arrange for me to bump into them in New York and I can die happy.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Veronica Mars movie

I am so excited. The Veronica Mars movie is out in just three days. The TV series ended too soon after three seasons and never felt resolved. There is much to be said for leaving your fans wanting more. The money for this movie was raised on Kickstarter in record time. Had I been quicker off the mark, I would have certainly invested. For a relatively modest $10,000 I could have had a speaking part in the actual movie. For $6,500 I could have named a character in the movie. Kickstarter is such a brilliant idea. I have backed Beyond Clueless which is a film about teenage movies. Find out more here. My name is going to be in the credits!

Anyway, back to Veronica. All the cast return, especially Logan. We like Logan. I cannot wait. 12.01am - I really might have to watch it at that time in the cinema.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Top Ten female TV characters

I did my Top Ten annoying TV characters but I never did my favourites. What an oversight that was. Allow me to inform and inspire you. In no real order since all these are marvellous.

We start with CJ Cregg. I actually think CJ is the greatest female character on television past and present. She was smart, funny, sexy and yet one could relate to her even when she ended up as Chief of Staff. She did the Jackal. And she was played by Allison Janney who will, one day, be my best friend.

Alexis Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan (I had to look up Rowan, who was Mr Rowan?) There is no greater entrance to a show than her walking up the aisle of the courtroom at the end of season one (which frankly is deadly dull) in that white hat. Joan Collins is a legend and I can't imagine anyone playing Alexis better than her. She also had the best costumes in the TV soap history, a perfect combination of 80s, Aaron Spelling and glamour. I still wish I could wear my hair in a turban like Alexis and smoke out of a cigarette holder.

Christine Cagney was simply awesome. All these women are such good role models. OK, maybe not so much Alexis who schemed and stepped on everyone to get her way (although all the men did the same thing). Cagney was epic, a character who had no children and a career back in the 80s and wasn't a bitch. Until she descended into alcoholism, I wanted to be Cagney. Busting criminals and shopping in her spare time. Who wouldn't want to be her?

Rachel Karen Green. Choosing a favourite Friend is hard and I adore them all (even Ross) but Rachel is the one who gives me belly laughs. Her princessy, bitchy side is just the right side of endearing. Jennifer Aniston will never be better than this.

Tami Taylor. The mane of wondrous hair. The pearls of wisdom dispensed but never lectured. The loyalty to her yummy husband. Tami was ordinary but yet extraordinary. Her life wasn't soapy, epic or front page news yet she was so easy to watch. God I miss Friday Night Lights.

Hotlips Houlihan. Basically there was nobody cooler than Hotlips.  She played with the boys and always had one up on them. Her and Hawkeye's barely simmering lust for each other built up over so many seasons until, at last, in the final episode they kiss. Awwwwwww.

Lorelei Gilmore. She made many bad choices and could be selfish but boy Lorelei was funny. Boring little Rory was so lucky to have her as a mum. The pop culture references in Gilmore Girls were always hilarious and rang true to someone like me who felt the need to start a blog about all this.

Miranda Hobbes. The only Sex and the City girl surely anyone intelligent could relate to. She was a kick-ass lawyer and memorably called the other girls on their incessant talk about sex and their relationships. I have been rewatching this show and Miranda is fabulous, funny and gorgeous.

Veronica Mars. 14 March people. What's your damage?

Cristina Yang. I can't tell you what season of Grey's I am now on, I'm a bit ashamed. Except not really because Cristina makes every episode worth watching. She's cynical, competitive, downright mean and very talented. I honestly feel that Cristina and I would be great friends.

It's so life affirming to write something complimentary about great female TV characters. I feel like a good person.
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