Erykah Badu “Window Seat”
Before you start reading about this video, please watch it above. This article contains spoilers on the plot.
There is only one music video you must see this week. Space cowboy Erykah Badu sends her latest video art out into the world and it is one hell of a doozy. Right off the bat, Badu credits her inspiration to Matt & Kim’s naked in Times Square video “Lessons Learned.” Let’s start with the commercial implications of that: Matt & Kim’s video and that song were commissioned as part of Mountain Dew’s Green Label Sounds project, via the music marketing company Cornerstone. What everyone may not know is that Mountain Dew and MTV have a sponsorship agreement and one aspect of it is that they put the Green Label videos into rotation to a previously agreed number of spins. It quickly became one of the most talked about videos of 2009 though—offering a fascinating new example of the commercial patronage that more artists are benefitting from. If you’re interested in hearing more, you can download a lecture series on the history of Commerce and Culture by Paul A. Cantor from iTunes U.
One of the more fascinating parts of this, aside from the fact that Erykah Badu was partly influenced to make this video by another video that was commissioned as part of a contractual obligation to Mountain Dew, is that reportedly when MTV‘s standards department first received the “Lessons Learned” video they did not want to air it, for reasons of content. Implied public nudity is still illegal and seeming to encourage illegal behavior to a teenage audience is obviously a problem. Ultimately the video did make it to air, however, and I cannot say definitively that it is tied to the pre-existing sponsorship deal with Mountain Dew but a logical person would assume it was at least a factor in the overall conversation. Since Badu’s video is in the same vein, it will be interesting to see if her video makes it on-air.
What’s not apparent at first blush, because you’re distracted by the slow disrobing, is that Erykah Badu is in Dealy Plaza, walking the sidewalks of the route Kennedy took when he was shot in ‘63. It becomes apparent the people on the sidewalks were either casted or told not to react after Badu rounds the corner in her bra, because no one looks as she continues to strip and then falls to the ground, reenacting the fatal shot that killed President Kennedy. This is when the viewer is meant to realize that the entire video was shot in the style of the famous Zapruder film and that you’re going to have to watch this again to catch all the clues Badu was throwing at you.
SWARM PREMIERE: RJD2 “Small Plans”
In picking up the pieces of your life, have you ever found yourself using too much paprika on the hors d’oeuvres at a slumber party with multiple doppelgänger? It happens to the best of us…and the worst of us in RJD2’s brand new video, premiering right here on Ye Old Daily Swarm where the tables are turned on both lion taming and the national past time of watching reality TV in one fell swoop.
Vitalic “Second Lives”
I really don’t want to know what happens in the bathroom before or after I’m there. Vitalic really does. This video is based on the famous Japanese poster/art Toilet Cam—once again, thanks Japan for taking us there.
Casiokids “En Vill Hest”
Proof that visuals surpass language skills: I have no idea what is happening in this Casiokids song or video, but I’m hooked at the milk explosion. What kind of film do they use in Scandinavia, anyway? It’s amazing how everything out of the region looks like the ‘70s and is somehow all the cooler for it.
CALLEJON “Kinder der Nacht”
When the zombie apocalypse comes, this is how every metal band in the world will look. I suspect they’ll all start singing in German after the zombies eat their brains too.
CALLEJON - Kinder der Nacht
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