Sort of surrendering this week to listlessness; much of today was spent browsing music videos, starting with mid-2000s ones i’d watch as a young teen, then veering off. But! Not completely irrelevant. Music videos are pretty fascinating capsules of history—cultural, aesthetic, and personal. A sampling of those viewed today:
1. “Like a Prayer,” Madonna (1989)
Um, pretty sure it would take a book to unpack all the racial & sacred/sexual shit going on here…Has someone written that book? Can i? Just a few points of interest: the featured lady gospel singer forcing a (happily compliant) Madonna to her knees by the forehead, after the choir joyfully welcomed M into the fold. Kissing Black Jesus’ feet. Soft core-ish shots of Madonna & Black Jesus interspersed ~between 3’50-4’14. Madonna’s stigmata, and eventual rescue of Black Jesus. Assaulter dude’s fancy entrance at 2’36. Madonna’s slightly prescient slip dress+a bullet-type bra. So much to discuss!
2. “Countdown,” Beyoncé (2011)
Beyoncé does modern mod! To an exuberant little love song! Pregnant! When i was watching this video compulsively last summer, i recall thinking how this song would feel different if/when Beyoncé and Jay-Z broke up.
3. “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” Eurythmics (1983)
Annie Lenox, tho. And, the bindi (ugh) turning into a crosshair, and the cows, and the carrot hair, and the ending that makes me lol.
4. “Objection (Tango),” Shakira (2002)
Odd video i was obsessed with as a 10-year old. That dirty dancing at the beginning. Them campy-cheap superhero renderings. Those pricked balloon-breasts.
5. “Take On Me,” A-ha (1985)
Neato! Did you know they were Norwegian?