Archive for the ‘music video’ Category

Pink’s Song “U + Ur Hand Serves as an Example of Chleuasmos

December 10, 2011 2 comments

Pink’s song, “U + Ur Hand” offers another representation of chleuasmos.   Though most women have had to ward off some sloppy drunk’s unwelcome advances, Pink cuts right to the quick with her dissuasion.  When “Dick Head” approaches her and puts his hands on her, she responds with a plethora of insults that would cause any man to tuck tail and run.  One can only imagine how a gentleman might respond, or choose not to, when confronted with this barrage:

You’re in the corner with your boys, you bet ’em five bucks
You’d get the girl that just walked in but she thinks you suck
We didn’t get all dressed up just for you to see
So quit spillin’ your drinks on me, yeah
You know who you are, high-fivin’, talkin’ shit
But you’re going home alone, aren’t ya?
‘Cause I’m not here for your entertainment
You don’t really want to mess with me tonight
Just stop and take a second
I was fine before you walked into my life
‘Cause you know it’s over
Before it began
Keep your drink just give me the money
It’s just u + ur hand tonight

The song does not share what the man says, but it does not take much imagination to come up with a list of cheesy pickup lines, and, although, Pink replies a little harshly towards her suitor, she does have a point.  Her trip to the club, at least on this particular night, was not for the gratification of the predatory wolves.  She and her friends have chosen to treat themselves to a girls’ night out and would prefer that the boys just play with themselves.

As in many cases of chleuasmos, this verbal onslaught should achieve the desired effect.  One can hardly envision another man having the courage and/or stupidity to approach Pink and her friends again on this night.

Dave Meyers, dir. “U + Ur Hand”. Sony Music Entertainment Inc. 2006. 2011. Web. 6 Dec. 2011.


Praesumptio: “Someone like You”

December 8, 2011 2 comments

Vocalist and songwriter Adele performs her hit song “Someone like You” live at the Bit award show in 2011. The lyrics from Adele’s hit song is a great example to  really help explain the term prasumptio. The song was written by the singer herself and was written due to a heartbreaking end of a long-term relationship.

The singer wrote this song based on where she felt her ex-boyfriend would be within years of their breakup, and how she would react to him moving on and settling down. Adele anticipated an imaginary reconciliation with her long time love, but ultimately she knew that he had moved on and had gotten married. Adele still anticipated seeing him and was in fact compelled to show up where he was living just to see if he too believed that it was not over between them. Praesumptio means foreseeing or weighing objectives and anticipation, which is found strongly within lyrics such as:

 “I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited but I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t fight it. I had hoped you’d see my face and that you’d be reminded that for me….it isn’t over. Nevermind I’ll find someone like you. I wish nothing but the best for you…too. Don’t forget me, I beg, I remember you said- sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead.”

From this passage of lyrics, we understand that Adele ultimately realized what would come of showing up at her ex-lover’s door after such a long time had passed-but still she had a bit of hope. Sadly, her hope fell short when she realized a reconciliation beteen the two of them was only imaginary. Still, she held out and even used the word, “beg” in her song, which really displays how vulnerable she felt in this situation. Praesumptio in this song is found within many lyric’s throughout the song, “Someone like You” and really brings the term to life through this emotionally powerful ballad.

You Tube. Adele – Someone like you (OFFICIAL VIDEO LYRICS) HD Live from Brit Awards 2011 . 28 April 2011. 7 December 2011 <;.

Merismus in OK GO’s “End Love”

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

The music video for OK GO’s song “End Love” employs merismus throughout the entire production. The video appears to be one continuous shot going through an entire day-night cycle and back into the next day, while the band member move through the park. The shot, though, is broken up into a stop-motion kind of cinematography. While the shot continues, the jerky, jarring quality of the video brings attention to each of the band member’s skillfully choreographed movements. A hallmark of OK GO’s videos are their intense and complicated routines, but the use of merismus in this one serves to amplify their already impressive movements, as well as produce some otherwise impossible actions (such as sliding across the park while maintaining a single pose, or “butt-racing” as I like to call it, where the individual “drives” along the ground while seated). One would expect a disconnectedness in the video because of the stop-motion animation, yet it produces a surprising fluidity. By cutting apart and emphasizing each movement of the choreography, it increases what may have looked somewhat silly without it. Each movement is important, and the arrangement of the group in a line allows for a sort of tier effect, with the first individual motioning for a few frames and then the next either following suit or adding. This merismus amplifies each movement and makes all the motions significant.

Another use of merismus connects the choreography with the music. As the group moves through the park, usually one individual is at the fore of the screen while the other three are grouped together, either moving separately or engaging in some other choreography. This is an example of merismus as well, as each of the band members is separated from the group in order to carry the song (the individual up front is usually the one who is “singing” in the song). This method of separation occurs throughout the film, as each member is cycled through at least four times by my count. This creates a sort of imbalance, as the person up front seems to appear larger, thus giving that individual more emphasis. It also brings attention back to the music with the amplified person singing, so that the music isn’t lost in the choreography. Another example comes up when one member is shown singing, and a new one enters. The previous one is left in the background, spinning around in circles, while the camera’s main focus is on the new entry. This process is repeated until all the band members are on screen and spinning. This stair stepping action continues to emphasize the individual, but the group is always present in the scene. The group continually comes back together to move as a unit, but each member is divided out to emphasize their role. This emphasized individuality and the importance of each member of the group, and paired with the elaborate group choreographies it solidifies that the group could not function without the individual. For each choreographed movement, each member must do their part in order for the movement to be successful. Nowhere is this more clear than near the end, when the group is in a close line that then extends. There is a group that then expands to four separate individuals and then retracts back to the single unit. Merismus in this video allows the viewer to see this cohesion.


“End Love” Dir. OK Go, Eric Gunther, and Jeff Lieberman. Prod. Shirley Moyers. Perf. OK Go. Music Video. 2010.

Anamnesis and The Dream Academy

December 8, 2011 1 comment

In the case of the music video, “Life  in a Northern  Town,” by The Dream Academy, the use of anamnesis invokes nostalgia. The song was recorded in 1985.  The dampened colors produce a feeling that the film was shot long ago.  The scenes depict imagery such as a drive down a town’s main street, John F. Kennedy’s motorcade, The Beatles in concert, and people dressed in clothing reminiscent of the 1960’s.  Though living in a northern town is not a shared experience between the people who watch the video or listen to the song, the evocation of life during a simpler time creeps into consciousness through experiencing the artifact.  The use of images to convey anamnesis strongly resonates from this example.  We see and hear people cheering during a parade during a time when parades exemplified a sense of community.  We witness a solitary smokestack in the distance and it calls to us as a symbol of hard work and elbow grease, the elements from which all great societies are built.  Gone are the environmental concerns of contemporary society and the very idea of pollution.  We slip into a trance where we are lulled into an age of innocence, far away from the concerns of the present.  Oddly enough, the concept of remembrance does not contain a concrete foundation, but the abstract emotional response demonstrates the profound effect anamnesis has on our lives.

“The Dream Academy Life in A Northern Town Rare 1985 Full HD – YouTube.” YouTube – Broadcast Yourself. Web. 30 Nov. 2011. <;.

Indignatio: System Of A Down – “Boom!”

December 7, 2011 1 comment

“Boom!” is an anti-war song with a music video focused on international protests to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The song targets the allegedly pro-war governments of the world, trying to instill hostility toward supposed murderous regimes that care about corporations and profit over the lives of people.

“Manufacturing consent is the name of the game. The bottom line is money; nobody gives a f***.”

The video more specifically targets, through the use of caricatures, President Bush, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Saddam Hussein, and Osama Bin Laden. It points out that children die in droves of starvation while these governments spend money on weapons. The interesting way the band overlays statements of protestors with their own singing serves to amplify their message and cultivates commiseration with the audience by implying that these opinions are the views of the oppressed masses.  The song culminates in a chorus of “why must we kill our own kind?” in an effort to imply that the target of the song is uninterested in preserving human life. The intended audience for this indignatio is shown in the video to be people of every nation and creed, with the desired effect of enforcing anti-war sentiments while converting war supporters.

System Of A Down. “Boom!” Steal This Album! 2002. Video.

Indignatio: Cake – “Rock & Roll Lifestyle”

December 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Cake’s music video for “Rock & Roll Lifestyle” juxtaposes a musical narrative of an ingenuous music fan who does all the right things to fit in with images of the band dressed in poorly put-together Roman garb and acting out a scene of imperial decadence. The narrative of the song is directly addressed to its target, the stereotypical “poser” fan who “drink[s] at clubs/ to music [he] hasn’t even heard of.” The chorus questions the authenticity of this fan with its pondering of how he affords his lifestyle. It calls into question his grounding in reality where people who are on their own have to pay for everything themselves.

There is an implied audience to which the indignatio is directed, which consists of such regular people who have to worry about money and surviving. This is intended to make the genuine fans and regular folks angry at the target in a “proletariat v. bourgeois” sense. The ingenuous fan spends money he didn’t earn on music and things he doesn’t know or appreciate, while regular people never have the freedom to be so flippant. This underlying narrative of conflict is only enforced by the “emperor” addressing the “gladiators” during different descriptions—the younger one at the line, “is it you or your parents in this income tax bracket?” and the older, presumably more proletariat one, at “how long will the workers keep building him new [guitars]?”—and pitting them against one another in a mock gladiator battle. This is one of the more positive uses of indignatio, as its intended effect is to encourage all audiences to be true to themselves. It accomplishes this through it use of humour to arouse the audience’s emotional response.

Cake. “Rock & Roll Lifestyle.” Motorcade of Generosity. 1993. Video.

Hyperbaton: “Sugar Water”

December 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Director Michel Gondry created a music video for Cibo Matto’s “Sugar Water” in 1996 that applied hyperbaton throughout the video.  Gondry presents two frames at the start of the video where the frame on the left moved forward in time and the right side moved backward.  Two unnamed females dominate each frame, one clad in blue on the left and the other in red on the right.  They each move through a series of minor events as the combined narrative of both frames leads the characters to one shared, life-changing moment which carried the emphasis of the video.

The woman in blue crashes her car into the woman in red just outside their respective apartments.  In that moment, the camera focuses on a mysterious note carried by the woman in red as she lay on the ground.  A slight reflection between the two frames shows the note reading, “You killed me.”  From that point, the women switch frames with red moving forward and blue backward through the chain of events leading to the accident.  Each frame presents a successful stand-alone narrative, as each simply switches the perspective to the alternate character.  However, the hyperbaton, through displaying both frames concurrently, emphasized the moment shared between the two women.  The note’s message equally applies to both.  The woman in blue nearly killed the other woman and now retraces her steps to the moment.  Mentally, she will never be the same due to this event.  Because she survives the fatal moment, red receives a new lease on life.  She now moves forward with her new life, blazing a new path, as she goes to her apartment after the accident.

The mysterious note reflected on the right.

Gondry, Michel, dir. “Sugar Water.” Perf. Cibo Matto. 2003. The Work of Director Michel Gondry. NY: Palm Pictures, 2003.  Also available: