Video Reviews for Week of November 24th

By C. Duke

David Bowie – Sue (Or in a Season of Crime): We open with a 50’s film noir themed setting in the inside of an open building with a man in hat and trench coat walking into the shadows, while a light through the door opening shines bright then fades, as if a car were passing by. Jazz music plays.

A stand up bass thumps like Morse code (short, short, short, short, long, short, short, short, pause, short, short, repeat). Reverb on the cymbal. Ting, ting, tinging. You feel as if one of those devious teenage rebel or detective murder/mystery movies is about to start. A lone saxophone blows deep and low as a search light flashes on the ceiling of the cold cement cave.

We move up an octave and horns gently enter as we pan down an alley to a large paned window. A light floods the room and fades but, not before we see, said man, standing in the room. A black silhouette.

Fog billows through the back street then, footage of Bowie while singing in the studio is upon the brick wall as he tunefully utters, “Sue, I got the job/We’ll buy the house/You’ll need to rest/But now we’ll make it”.

This song about an ill-fated relationship and the video grows more chaotic with more shots of the shadow man, superimposed footage of Bowie and the Maria Schneider Orchestra in studio and lyrics upon the walls as it plays out.

One of two new tracks Bowie is releasing, this single, also to appear on the new boxed set Nothing Has Changed (out November 18th), is due for release in the U.S. on November 28th as a digital single and 10-inch vinyl already having been released in the U.K. on November 17th.

AC/DC – Play Ball: AC/DC are back with their fifteenth international album, Rock or Bust, due to release December 2nd in the U.S. and elsewhere. Their first album with out founding member, Malcolm Young, who had to retire due to a diagnosis of dementia. This, on the cusp of drummer, Phil Rudd’s arrest for possession of drug charges and threatening to kill two men (which was dropped down from a murder-for-hire charge). Although absent from the video, Rudd did record his sessions, and it remains to be seen whether he will continue with the band and tour. Bob Richards has filled his spot in this video and the video for the other single, Rock or Bust.

Play Ball starts out with a bowling ball smashing into an old retro box TV on fire with the AC/DC logo on the screen. As soon as the TV shatters a drum snare hit kicks off the tune and we cut to a live performance of the band playing against a back drop of lights, green screen style. Kind of a cheesy 80’s look to it.

With throbbing bass, Angus’ ever-present school boy outfit and licks and Johnson’s gravel pit vocals, they stay true to their classic rock sound.

The video navigates between the bands performance shots and women in ball sports of old and new. Nun’s kicking ball, soccer ball kicks, pool trick shots, women’s football league, Darla from the Little Rascals yelling, “Ball”, volley ball shots, old time footage of a group of girls bouncing balls…you get the point.

The single for this video was first used in a trailer for Major League Baseball postseason coverage in September on TBS.

Idina Menzel & Michael Bublé – Baby It’s Cold Outside: Actress and singer/songwriter Idina Menzel and Canadian crooner Michael Bublé have teamed up and redone this old winter romance classic just in time for Buffalo, New York’s monster blizzard, with just as much charm and charisma as the original duet written by Frank Loesser in 1944.

“Designed to be heard as a conversation between two people, marked as “mouse” and Wolf” on the printed score” as Wikipedia states, the two have changed some of the alcohol references to family friendly, soda pop.

An apt decision as the video for it features children lip-syncing to the chilly tune.

Starting out with old time styled, gold, roaring twenties era font movie titling, we open with the elevator dinging as it lands on the ground floor and the doors open to reveal two children. One, a boy in an elevator operator uniform and the other, a girl powdering her nose dressed in a 20’s flapper dress and pearls.

As she exits the lift, the boy runs after her stripping himself of his coat and hat in exchange for a coat and tails. She grabs her suit case and as she

turns around to his presence she sings, “I really can’t stay” to his reply of, “Baby it’s cold outside”. The two duet back and forth as they dance around like a Fred Astaire movie in the art deco styled hotel lobby with child employees and patrons.

We get a quick glimpse of Menzel and Bublé in the mirrors as the mini-mes check themselves out. The video ends with an above shot of the two as they look up and sing the last line, followed by the old timely credits.

An endearing video, especially if you love the twenties and old winter classics. From Idina Menzel’s holiday album, Holiday Wishes, out since October 14th.

Band Aid 30 – Do They Know It’s Christmas?: This charity single was originally written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure and released November 28th, 1984, by Band Aid, peaking at number 1 and raising millions for Ethiopian famine relief. It featured some of the best known rock and pop acts of that time.

This is the 4th rendition of the song, the other two being, Band Aid II and Band Aid 20 of which, also went to number 1, features artist such as; Bono of U2, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Sinéad O’Connor, One Direction, Rita Ora, Seal, Underworld, Ellie Goulding and a slew of others, this time raising money for the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

With a grim opening to apparatus breathing sound and men in white anti-contamination suits picking up the body of an Ebola victim and carrying it out of the house, it then traverses to paparazzi shooting (with camera’s) our singers as they get out of their cars smiling to come into the studio to record.

Much like the original video, we watch as the various artists sing their parts into the microphone in a not so well lit studio, working up to the group shots of them singing the chorus, “Feed the world/Let them know it’s Christmas time”. A note to those who like to sing along, a few lines have been changed to update it for the Ebola topic.

Digital download has been available since November 17th and the physical release will be out December 8th.

Nicole Scherzinger – Run: Nicole Scherzinger of The Pussycat Dolls act and hit song, Don’t Cha, strips it down to a bare strings, piano and vocal tune in this raw video with warning advice to the next one to “run”.

Starting with Scherzinger sitting in a chair with headphones on and listening to her iPhone we fade out from that scene to a big open room with Nicole, in floor length white dress walking toward us as strings play. The strings cut out and a melancholy piano enters as she lies on the floor and starts to sing her message.

“Here’s some advice for the next one/Don’t let him lead you to the dark/Don’t tell him all your secrets/He’ll leave you with a broken heart…Here’s advice for the next one/Run, run, run”.

Different shots of her including tears coming down her face continue and finish this short song and video. From the October 17th released album, Big Fat Lie. 

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