All posts tagged: Music Video

Beyoncé & Kendrick Lamar: Politicizing Popular Art

American popular culture, specifically from the mid-60s to mid-70s, was highly politicized, critical, and urgent. Calls to action and societal critiques were common in forms of expression created and disseminated within mainstream youth culture. The sheer abundance and popularity of politicized art meant that both creators and consumers were interested in engaging with immediate problems. The imperative for change was palpable. But this sense of American political urgency seemed to diminish in the 1980s, with the election of President Reagan and the establishment of an overpowering neo-conservative ideology. From the 1980s – 2010s, political expression was still a part of mainstream American pop culture, and is exemplified in the work of N.W.A, Shepard Fairey, Michael Moore, and countless others. My intention is not to discount these works, but to say that I am hopeful that America’s youth will collectively become more political again, with the same urgency that characterized the 60s & 70s. Which brings me to Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar. Already this year, we have experienced two particularly powerful political moments in music: Beyoncé’s release of her music video for “Formation,” and Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy’s performance. …

EXPLORING: MOCA / The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Earlier this week I decided to check out The Museum of Contemporary Art on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles because I knew I was running out of time to see Kahlil Joseph’s video exhibit, ‘Double Consciousness’. I’ve been a fan of Kahlil Joseph for a few years now, with my introduction to his work being the stunning music video for Flying Lotus’ ‘Until the Quiet Comes’. I’ve watched Until the Quiet Comes maybe 50+ times and it still moves me with each new viewing. He is, without a doubt, my favorite short filmmaker. His work is so stunning, so emotional, so impactful, that I honestly can’t put into words exactly how it makes me feel. Double Consciousness features Kahlil Joseph’s m.A.A.d, a double screen projection accompanied by the music of the equally as talented artist/rapper/visionary, Kendrick Lamar. Below are a few images from my visit. If you are in the Los Angeles area, be sure to check out Kahlil Joseph: Double Consciousness before it ends on August 16th.

LA Film Fest ’15: Making Cool Shit with OK Go

This past Friday night I attended Making Cool Shit: The Music Videos of OK Go at the LA Film Fest. The event featured a screening of 10 of OK Go’s music videos, followed-up by a Q & A session with the band’s lead singer, Damian Kulash. “Have you seen OK Go’s new music video?” is a question I’ve been hearing for years. They’re name has become synonymous with the kind of entertaining and imaginative music videos that leave you thinking, “How the hell did they pull that off?” During his talk Kulash made it exceedingly clear that he and his bandmates don’t see themselves as filmmakers, per se, but rather musicians who enjoy creating something that’s fun and visually highlights their music. But I see it differently. Maybe they don’t care about the technicalities of cinematography or traditional editing, but they care deeply about framing; and as Martin Scorsese says “Cinema is a matter of what’s inside the frame and what’s out.” Below are some of my favorite OK Go music videos that were featured at the event. Please share your favorites in the comment …

Bob Marley Honored with Year Long Celebration for His 70th Birthday

Bob Marley’s music has inspired those young and old from all over the world for decades. Even 31 years after his death, he remains an icon whose music and spirituality continues to influence people to this day. This year he would have turned 70 years-old. In honor of his legacy, the Marley family will be commemorating his work with a year-long celebration of his music and global influence. Throughout the year Universal Music Group will be working with the Marley family to share unreleased material to the public. The first release is Bob Marley & The Wailers – Easy Skanking in Boston ’78. The footage was shot by a fan who was given permission by Marley to sit at the front of the stage, and has remained with the Marley family until now. Because the concert was shot with film and the cinematographer needed to change the roles during the show, there are gaps in the footage that have been replaced with beautifully animation while the audio continues to play. Easy Skanking in Boston ’78 will be available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and CD and in …

MUSIC VIDEOS || Spike Jonze

From David Fincher to Michel Gondry, many successful film and television directors got their start directing music videos and commercials, and some continue to do so today. Among my favorite music video directors is Spike Jonze, whose videos are always extraordinarily fun and exceptionally creative. I would describe his work as being simple in a bare bones kind of way, but infused with an intense burst of imagination and kinetic energy. Here are a few of my favorite Spike Jonze videos – what are yours? DROP – The Pharcyde DRUNK GIRLS – LCD Soundsystem OTIS – Kanye West, Jay Z SABOTAGE – Beastie Boys WEAPON OF CHOICE – Fatboy Slim

Seattle’s EMP Museum

The EMP Museum (formerly Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame) was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2000. The non-profit museum is dedicated to contemporary pop culture and includes a variety of ever-changing exhibits. Current exhibits include Spectacle: The Music Video, Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic, Hear My Train a Comin’: Hendrix Hits London, Icons of Science Fiction, Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film, and Nirvana: Taking Punk To The Masses. The museum also houses a sound lab where visitors can try their hand at an assortment of instruments, and a stage where guests have the opportunity to film their own music video. Visiting the EMP Museum was an especially fun and enlightening experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone staying in Seattle, even if your visit is short. The museum often hosts events, so be sure to check their calendar before planning your trip: EMP Museum *Note – I recommend taking the monorail from the Westlake Center in downtown Seattle to the museum. It’s a short ride and only …

#TBT Video Of The Day: ‘Drop’ By The Pharcyde

Lately I’ve been posting videos of the day more often – and I decided that, in honor of the popular #tbt phenomenon, on Thursdays I will post throwback videos. Before he was a well known director of feature length films, Spike Jonze was the king of music videos. Here is one of my favorite of his music videos, for the song ‘Drop’ by The Pharcyde, which was filmed in Los Angeles in 1995.