Amazing Music Videos : Sabotage by Beastie Boys

Sabotage was the first single of the eclectic 1994 release Ill Communication. If I remember correctly, the hilarious video directed by Spike Jones is what propelled that strange hip hop/rock song to the top.

This parody of 1970s style cop shows was nominated for four MTV music video awards, but didn’t win any in the end. That doesn’t matter. It definitely deserves a spot on my amazing music videos list. Sure, the story makes no sense, but it serves its purpose well: providing the opportunity for 70s style dramatic cop & robber chasing, busting stuff open, jumping and sliding over car hoods… Utterly useless moves, but they are quite intense! Can you hear the squeeking tires from here? Are you nauseous from the over-the-shoulder camera action and all the zoom-in/zoom-out shots?

But the characters really are the icing on the cake. A nice little touch. Too bad that just when you’re done reading one’s pointlessly detailed info, he’s already exploded. And the secondary characters with their elaborate costumes and styles are super intriguing, but they get thrown over a bridge even faster.

Now, are our downtown streets well guarded by the intriguing Cochese and his boots, the chief and his axe, Bobby the rookie and his debatable choice of interrogation style, and the low-key Bunny?… Yes, I saw you Bunny, and I am grateful for your 2 second presence, since you seem to be the only not ultra violent fake cop around in this video.

If one of the Beastie Boys’ uncle had an old 1970s blue car that he didn’t mind seeing roughed up, then this video must have cost a ridiculously low amount of money, given that there are always garbage bins and cardboxes laying around. Well, you’d have to pay for the hotel room, a few props, and that guy’s salary for holding up trafic all day. And the person doing the editing of dozens of 3 second shots! But seriously, it always amazes me that so many memorable videos aren’t all about spending lots of money on cool visual effects. It’s all about the concept. The visual effects, or rather stunts, here, are old school to say the least, and it works perfectly well. That’s basically the concept.

So, thanks Beastie Boys, I laughed again, twenty years later, watching your video. And here’s a hint that your video marked a generation : for many years, people came to Halloween partys dressed up as your intricately defined characters. How’s that for an unofficial award!

Highlights : too many, so enjoy the whole thing. 😉


Party Time with Bran Van 3000

Bran Van 3000 is a Montréal electronica-rock-funk-hip hop music collective, led by creative genius James Di Salvio. This collaboration of about 20 singers, musicians, producers, and friends resulted in Bran Van’s first album, the unique and surprising “Glee”. This album fits well in the mid-late 90’s, it has a cool indie pop rock / trip hop feel to it. “Glee” was both critically and commercially acclaimed, and the album won best canadian alternative album in 1998. Bran Van went on to make three other albums, and to collaborate with numerous artists like african singer and international star Youssou N’Dour, and american rapper Big Daddy Kane.

The name Bran Van 3000 might not ring a bell, but you have most likely heard a few of their songs (their first single “Drinking in L.A.” was playing everywhere at the time, and several other songs ended up on movie soundtracks; for example, “Go Shopping” was included in the soundtrack of Alfonso Cuarón’s great “Y Tu Mamá También”).

There are a dozen people on stage when they perform live, and it really feels like a huge party.

The Music of Lamb on Soft Winter Days

Lamb is an English electronic band, with a touch of trip hop/drum and base. I’ve been listening to this group a lot these days for some reason. Not to any particular album, just to random songs here and there from their 1996 first releases to their newest ones. This music fits the current atmosphere somehow, “trip hop” reminds me of soft winter days. Although, as I said, it’s not necessarily your typical trip hop band (by typical, I mean Portishead, who started it all). In any case, Lamb is a nice little find, so I’m sharing.

Here is a live taping of Gorecki, as well as the song God Bless, and Heaven.


Four Outkast albums in one post

The title is misleading… I posted one music video for each of the four following albums.

(1) ATLiens from ATLiens. I had that song on an old mixtape and it brings back memories for me. So sue me! Why the Ancient Egypt concept? No freakin clue. (2) Rosa Parks from Aquemini. When is there EVER a harmonica break during a hip hop song? (3) Bombs over badgad from Skantonia. Very very good. Really love the beat. (4) Hey ya from Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Just cause it’s a memorable video.