In honor of Bob Dylan‘s career and to raise funds for Amnesty International comes Chimes Of Freedom, an album full of covers of classic Dylan songs by contemporary artists. We already love Miley Cyrus’ cover of “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go,” and now we’re really getting into Rise Against‘s heavy metal cover of “The Ballad Of Hollis Brown.” The metal genre fits the angry mood of the track perfectly, and the folksy guitar riffs remain true to the Dylan style. The video shows the plight of farmers and rural workers in America, with written statistics and actual sound bites from the weathered faces on the screen. It’s a call to arms — and Rise Against’s rendition really gets to the bottom of the frustrated and desperate emotions depicted in the documentary style video.
Ellie Goulding‘s new video for “Lights” is flashy, but it’s more brilliant than it is blinding. Featuring a glowing Goulding singing the dance-led track back lit by a glorious halo of clean light, the song has club anthem written all over it. Goulding begins playing the tambourine, and transitions to drums as the video picks up its pace. There are some great moments where Goulding is frozen in time, in a 360 degree view, surrounded by neon illustrations. If Goulding’s hair shaking and drum bashing while neon laser beams flash around her doesn’t get you dancing, then it’s probable that nothing will. Bright and fun, were thinking “Lights” is the perfect song to lead into spring toe tapping along with.
The Black Keys gave us a peek at their video for “Gold On The Ceiling” last week, and now we’ve got the whole shebang available for your viewing pleasure. The second single from their breakthrough album, El Camino, “Gold On The Ceiling” is an honest, organic rock song that is as faithful to the roots of the genre as any modern band can be. The video features footage from New York, with lines of people waiting to get into their shows at the Bowery Ballroom and Webster Hall for their album launch tour, as well as some dates in Los Angeles and overseas. There’s also footage of the guys recording in the studio, and an adorable trying on clothing montage in which they giggle over a bedazzled jacket. Mixed in are also some serious, “the road is a grind” moments with the band traveling in cars and airports, but overall, the vibe of the video is a fun one, and gives a sense of the adventure The Black Keys have partaken in during their meteoric rise over the last few months.
Forget Madonna Week for a second and take a moment to fawn all over Adam Lambert‘s new video for “Better Than I Know Myself.” But it’s not what you were expecting — instead of grappling with a lover, the video sees Adam’s personality split in two and confined to adjoining rooms, as if under observation, while he attempts to reconcile the dualling elements of his personality. The dichotomy is one that is as relateable to us as breathing — it’s the timeless battle of the little devil on one shoulder, and the little angel on the other. In one room, Adam is a Glampire, dark and brooding, restless and angsty, swigging liquor from the bottle and destroying his environment out of boredom and frustration. In the next room is a peaceful Adam, calm and happy, reading, relaxing, completely at ease in his solitude. With the two facets of Adam’s personality at such distinct odds, which one will rise to the top? We’ll let you watch the video to find out what happens, in the meantime, we’ve picked up on a few visual cues from popular culture that seem to have influenced the video. Do you agree?
We guessed that Adam might appear in the video as a vampire, and there are definitely vampyric elements to Adam’s darker self. His pale skin and unsettlingly bright hazel eyes for instance, are reminiscent of Twilight‘s Edward Cullen.
It appears that the dual Glamberts are being watched — if only by each other. The imagery of the split room, the stark contrast between the aesthetic of the two rooms, and the voyeuristic wall of glass between them reminded us of the observational room in Pedro Almodóvar’s 2011 film The Skin I Live In, in which an unwitting prisoner is kept and tortured by her Peeping Tom. To an extent, it’s the same in “Better Than I Know Myself,” with each Lambert tormenting the other, simply by the fact of their existence.
The All American Rejects new video for “The Beekeeper’s Daughter” is less of a fail than their moniker would have you expect. The video is an all singing, all dancing extravaganza; there’s impromptu synchronized dances in the street, explosions of color and a whole lot of sex appeal. The poppy beat will almost make you forget that the song is about an inability to commit to a relationship and have you dancing instead, much like the girls in the video. “The Beekeeper’s Daughter” is The All American Rejects’ first single off the album Kids In The Street, and while it’s not much of a romantic track, it’s definitely a fun one. We’re really loving the joy of the video — especially the final scenes where the band is playing on a parade float, a giant inflatable bee buzzing above the celebrations!
London band Graffiti6 released their debut album, Colours, two days ago, and the video for the first single, “Free”, off the LP, has us hooked already. “Free” is a song about passionate, all consuming love, and the visuals display both a sense of desperation and hope. Set against a hazy city skyline, it features front man Jamie Scott taking to the streets and the foggy rooftops of tall buildings to fight his inner battle, while his gorgeous model-esque love interest luxuriates in a bed. With a sense of frustration ringing true in the lyricism, the visual compliments the feeling by moving between the minimalist bedroom scene and the quiet streets at odd camera angles, always focusing on Scott’s pained expression. The video gets an injection of whimsy from animated colored geometries that appear across the screen at different intervals, and acts as a brilliant precursor to the wonderful album.
A few weeks back, our VH1 News team caught up with Matthew McConaughey on the set of the music video for Butch Walker‘s “Synthesizers.” The song is partially a lament about the perils of growing older and becoming decidedly less hip, but it’s also a rallying cry about the merits of sticking to your guns and not chasing fads in an attempt to remain hip. These decidedly mixed messages make for an interesting song, but also for a thematically jumbled music video.
Reincarnating the character of Wooderson from Dazed And Confused for this video was a stroke of minor brilliance, as perhaps no one character in the recent history of cinema better represents how cool it can seem to be stuck in one’s ways. As the video begins, Wooderson —still wearing that same
Marley Nugent t-shirt, mannnnn— makes his way into a modern day Hollywood nightclub, packed to the gills with table dancing Snooki wannabes and LMFAO-style hipster d-bags. Not surprisingly, he looks older and, if you can believe it, even more stoned than when we last saw this character; McConaughey initially plays it so Wooderson looks tired, desperate and past his prime, allowing a forlorn look of despair to creep across his face, despite the fact that he’s trailed by two smokin’ hot ladyfriends. However, as soon as the chorus kicks in and the song’s tone shifts from plaintive to defiant, the vibe of the video changes (not for the better), and Wooderson morphs from being an over-the-hill stoner and into the Pied Piper of Clubland by, get this, playing a trumpet and a tiny toy piano.
Actor and musician Scarlett Johansson got behind the camera for Jessie Baylin‘s video for the first single, “Hurry Hurry,” of her album Little Spark. Old school buddies, Johansson and Baylin attended New York’s Professional Children’s School together, and Johansson told MTV Hive that, “One of the greatest gifts of growing up with Jessie has been watching her develop as a musician.” This affection is not lost on the video, which is a simple, tender portrayal of Baylin singing on the rain soaked Manhattan Bridge in New York City. The video itself is romantic and lends an extra air of whimsy to Baylin’s already ethereal sound. As Baylin strolls back and forth on one section of the bridge, she is sporadically illuminated as light glows from her back and hair, as if by magic. The song itself is sweet and sentimental, matching the visual to perfection, and her lofty vocal is both melodic and captivating.
If you weren’t a Pitbull fan before, then we promise you will be now. In the second best Kanye West related thing to happen today (hot on the heels of his much talked about Twitter rant), Pitbull (featuring Sensato) has released a remix of Ye and Jay-Z‘s Watch The Throne hit, “Ni**as in Paris,” entitled “Latinos In Paris.” Not only is it a great concept — riffing on one of 2011 biggest hits with tongue firmly in cheek — Pitbull has even released a video for his remix, putting him one step ahead of the still video-less Throne duo. The video, the first Pitbull has directed, is pretty funny too, featuring Pitbull and Sensato rapping in front of an illuminated Eiffel Tower and cutting to images of tacky tourist souvenir mini-tours. We’re now waiting for this “Different Races In Paris” meme to kick off; what will be next? Should we start penning our own version, “VH1 Staffers In Paris?”
Matthew McConaughey‘s performance as the lecherous yet lovable Wooderson in 1993′s Dazed And Confused remains one of cinema’s most iconic portrayals of a stoner. Now, in a totally unexpected twist, L.A. glam popper Butch Walker has convinced his buddy McConaughey to revisit the character in the upcoming music video for his song “Synthesizers.”
We caught up with McConaughey and Walker on the set of the video shoot in Los Angeles late last month, and Mr. J.K. Livin’ himself about reincarnating the character of Wooderson after nearly 20 years. “If you love Dazed and you loved Wooderson, you’ll see this and you’ll probably get the tickle box pretty quick,” McConaughey told us. After securing permission from Dazed writer and director Richard Linklater to use the character, Walker and McConaughey had fun envisioning what Wooderson might be like in today’s society. “It’s some new things that Wooderson never did [in Dazed],” McConaughey explains, “But we’re trying to keep it pretty close to the bone for who he might be today and things he might be into that you wouldn’t expect.” We can’t wait to see what those things are, but we have a sneaking suspicion that he’s still into high school girls, man; after all, he might be older, but they’re still the same age.