Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Manly Mixtape Monday: Animated Rock

Manly Mixtape Monday is a six-pack of songs on a theme. It will rock your face weekly.

Unless you were raised in one of those strange no-television houses (usually also the no-Halloween houses) in the neighborhood, there's a good chance you were raised on cartoons. Ninja Turtles, Looney Toons, Ultraforce, whatever. Point is, there were as much surrogate parent as entertainment. Admit it or not, we never really let go of them - witness the insane popularity of "ironic" '80s shirts. So instead of watching those same cartoons all the time - an activity that ranks up there in creepiness with owning a clown suit - I find it's better to combine them with excellent music.

And so, after that long-winded intro, we have our theme: cartoon music videos. Sit back and enjoy, preferably with some Lucky Charms.

The White Stripes - "Fell In Love With a Girl"

I cannot imagine the amount of work that went into this video. It only runs 1:53, yet I'm pretty sure there's a Lego enthusiast with crippling carpal tunnel who can attest to exactly how long the shooting took.

Madvillain - "All Caps"

I'm not a huge hip hop fan, but I am an enormous fan of MF Doom. He wears a metal Dr. Doom mask, raps in thick, consonant-heavy verses, and projects the supervillain vibe pretty well. I'd say he's my favorite rapper/supervillain. This video finds him acting awesome in the pages of a comic book. This is something I can certainly get behind.

Junior Senior - "Move Your Feet"

Atari and a hyperactive song built over a Michael Jackson-sounding chorus? The 8-year old in me is rejoicing. The 8 year old in Clay Aiken's basement remains terrified.

J Dilla - "Nothing Like This"

Atmospheric, semi-hip hop music like the kind J Dilla makes leaves me at a loss for words. Which is just fucking fantastic in a written medium like this one. I find it hard to explain what's so appealing about the song, but perhaps the video can put it across more tangibly.

Ok, so I just re-watched it, and now I can figure out the appeal. GIANT KILLER ICE CREAM CONE!

Dire Straits - "Money for Nothing"

A lot of great videos have come and gone since its day, but "Money For Nothing" is still one of the top 5 most recognizable videos ever made. And while Dire Straits may be the stuff of '80s Trivial Pursuit questions, frontman Mark Knopfler has reinvented his career as sort of a gruff singer/songwriter type. And he plays a hell of a guitar. This video was, I'm guessing, state of the art at the time. I'm fairly certain that these days, you can buy fart machines with more computing power.

Gorillaz - "Clint Eastwood"

I'll have to admit, I was not a fan of this song, or this band, the first time I heard it. Or the fifth. Or the tenth. In fact, the punishing grind of radio rotation almost ruined it for me, until I happened to come across the weirdly captivating video at 2 in the morning on MTV2, or MTV3, or MTV7, or whoever was still playing videos at that point. After watching kung-fu zombie gorillas, I began to enjoy it. I mean, I'm not made of stone.

- J.B. Mays

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