Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Yeah I Like You: Watching Dandy Warhols Videos...

I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s an era where rock music was for many central of us not only entertainment but central to our identities, central to the countercultural identities and communities some of us created, and central to lives. I am old enough to remember when MTV came along in the early 1980s and offered us wall to wall (in between the commercials, of course) music with videos, rock videos.

By and large the rock videos I have seen--admittedly I haven't seem them all nor do I want to--are wretched. Whether there are more wretched rock videos than films, television shows, or works of literature remains another matter and is worth investigation. Personally, I suspect 90% of works of film, TV, literature, or rock videos are crap. This doesn't mean, however, that they are not worthy of social, cultural, and historical examination.

I found much interesting in two recent rock videos I have been perusing: the Dandy Warhols "Bohemian Like You" and "We Used to Be Friends". I like satire, Twainsian satire in particular. That is why I like the Dandies video "Bohemian Like You", a tune I first hear on an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. No song or video, it seems to me, better captures the modern day collegy bohemian world of sex, drugs, rock and roll, fashion, narcissism, and Bacchic joy better than this song while at the same time poking fun at it. Having your cake and eating it too?.

Another Dandies song I was introduced via the small screed was the Dandies song, "We Used to Be Friends". I first heard "We Used to Be Friends" on Veronica Mars. It was the introductory theme tune for the show. There is a lot or references one can explore in this video whether it is the references to Warhol and house band at the factory, the Velvet Underground (the banana), the link between food and sex, the surrealistic mirror effect at one point in the video, the video's use of pop artish oranges and yellows, the satiric humans in the monkey house watching the video inserts, and the uber cliched band and crowd scenes thatt dominate the video. What I found most interesting about the "We Used to be Friends" video, however, is its references to and back to the video of "Bohemian Like You". The young man and woman who enter the monkey house in "We Used to Be Friends" were the waiter and customer who hooked up in "Bohemian Like You". Apparently, young bohemian "casual easy things" don't last very long at least in the world of the Dandy Warhols. And we shouldn't forget that the hulu hoop guy who briefly appears in "We Used to Be Friends" was also in the "Bohemian Like You" video. I give you intertextuality.

Whoa ho woo!

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