YouTube WTF?

I like YouTube. Like other Google applications it provides a simple and yet powerful technology for the internet.

This week, while finding the clips to embed amongst my commentary, I found a number where I was told that the YouTube page wasn't available for viewing in my country.


YouTube are censoring the film clips I want to watch?

That's just silly!

And, from a pseudo academic perspective, it undermines my ability to compare the different singles that get released for different regions. I often think this would be a fascinating area to explore notions of hegemony and ethno-musicology.

It makes me wonder if the days of the internet being a lawless and relatively level playing field are well and truly over.

Cilmi tickles me

In a previous post I argued that microphones are fetishised.
The studios in audio production magazines as well as the producers of music film clips both seem to use vintage microphones to connote quality.

One example was Gabriella Cilmi so I was amused to see her follow-up clip today as her microphone has a massive foam protector on it. Dunno what to make of that, is it a case of increasing the visibility of the mic or is this a subtle message to promote covering these phallic objects?

Metaphors in popular music?

It's summer in the northern hemisphere but not here in wet Wagga Wagga.

The season heralds the most ambitious attempts at the consumer market in the blockbusters of the cinema and there's a similar phenomenon that used to be heard on commercial radio.

This song had me hooked from the opening line about putting your sneakers on. It's fun but formulaic, perfect pop. The aural equivalent of a fountain of youth to my ears but part of the appeal is the exact opposite of what's so obvious in...

Of course, both tunes are excellent pop contrivances in very different ways. The first is a call to the dance floor and the second shows how groundbreaking Tatu really were! Hell, maybe I've been reading this wrong. Maybe the Spice Girls are feminist icons and Tatu will be recognised for advancing gay rights in Russia.

Good pop usually delivers a simple repetition musically of an equally simple and repeated concept. Katy Perry delivers a concept that seems unsensational to me and muscially it's unsensational too. Lipstick lesbian is so 90s! Are we back there already?

At least the new single from Estelle (Substitute Love) is still in the 80s. Anyone who listened to popular music during that decade will recognise the debt it owes to George Michael. It ain't a bad substitution :)

But seriously, I think the best thing about pop is the way it can give a voice to kids. The desire to kiss a girl is something I can relate to at one level but imagine the importance such an act can hold for a teen audience and you can see why pop works.

Look through the charts, look at the titles and you're practically reading a list of hopes and fears and desires. That's why pop music works because like poetry or storytelling it's a metaphor for someone.

Andrew Pippos once told me that in Greek the word metaphor means to carry. Like a cart carries wood to the fire sorta thing. It goes a long way to explaining the power of art.

In pop music metaphors aren't usually very sophisticated but they are effective and I think part of their power is the way they often articulate something vulnerable that either the listener wants to hear or may want to say.

Admittedly, having singled out these two clips, Vanessa Hudgens doesn't need a metaphor to invite people to dance and Katy Perry doesn't suggest she's going to do more than kiss someone of the same sex. There are comments attached to Hudgens' clip on YouTube which argue the track is a commercial for her sneakers.

lol they are wearing mark red ecko shoes and she is a model for this was obviously a advertisement music video....

I guess the thing I liked was the call to put on sneakers and go dancing because that's sensible advice. Maybe I'm reading too much into pop?

Maybe I want there to be something more clever about pop music than just trying to sell kids stuff because they've got a disposable income. That seems so cynical and somehow so at odds with the simplicity of what they say.

It takes guts

During my usual weekend surveillance of music film clips, I was impressed with the gore and pseudo gore of Pivot (above) and Santogold (below). I love music that produces a visceral effect so I'm glad to see representations of viscera in music film clips.

It reminds me a very clever German forklift training video.


This would be great in the living room :)

Drug chart

Where's Australia and the UK on this chart? Reckon the Yanks have cut them off the top in a vain effort to look cool?

A grain from the bored

This week I was motivated to write another letter to the local paper. This time in response to the campaign being waged in the letters section by the former One Nation candidate. He has been telling all the farmers who voted for Labor or Liberal that they sold out and contributed to the demise of the single wheat desk.

As I recall the Australian Wheat Board handled this. The same AWB also gave nearly $300 million in the form of bribes to the former government of Iraq.

The Australian Army later assisted to invade the country because the Iraqi government were alleged to have ties to terrorists.

Does this mean the AWB might have funded terrorists?

Really it shows how monopolies operate and the AWB did well to keep theirs as long as they did given the way our capitalist society says market competition is the answer. You've got to hand it to those wily farmers, the National Party are a political lobby group operating beyond the realm of ordinary practitioners of the dark arts of influencing policy for minority groups.

And, as the troops return home from Iraq, you've got to wonder how long it'll be before people start admitting it was wrong for Australia to be involved.

I'm starting to think we'll have to wait until John Howard dies. Then, after the pompous public funeral, it'll be like that episode of Four Corners after Labor won the election when remaining Liberals said "Well, we asked Howard to go but he didn't listen." It's obvious the old guy had hearing problems.