Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Video Premier

Every Friday, we're highlighting a specific video (or two, or three) for your end of week enjoyment.

Happy Friday everybody! Sun's out, semester's winding down, Cubbies are winning, and even though the Democratic party is exploding, Cambodia's botching their genocide trials, and the evil Spurs might go through, we just can't help but enjoy the day.

Check out the video below for the JJ Collective's first "Friday Video." It's "Us Placers," by Kanye, Lupe and Pharrell's group Child Rebel Soldiers. They're on the Glow in the Dark tour right now.

There's a couple things I like about the video, even besides the song. If you listen to the lyrics (especially the verses by Lupe and Kanye) you see that the song is mostly about the often pained life of a star.

Lupe's verse lists a star's accoutrement, but ends it with the loaded phrase, "All the money in the world don't make it painless." Kanye says, "I try to keep that balance/ After MTV that’s a Real World Challenge."

The video (which is not official, by the way, it was done by some YouTube director "Vashtie") is poignant because of the use of kids' innocence. The child actors who play CRS are not completely comfortable in front of the camera--you can see "Kanye" often looking away, like Snoop did in his earlier videos--and so they seem to be eschewing the spotlight, which fits the lyrics perfectly.

Plus, the kids in the video are not stars, they're (presumably) not yet corrupted by fame, and so the video is also a kind of wistful realization of CRS' dreams.

What do you think?

I like the song, too, although its sparseness was at first offsetting. There's nothing besides the piano, Thom's wailing, and that hazy electronic percussion that you can find all over Thom's solo album "The Eraser"--but in the end, I was won over by the piano taken straight from the first song on Eraser, "The Eraser," which is below.

I mean, you can see how much CRS leaned on that song.

By the way, The Eraser has some ridiculous album art. (Thank you, Stanley Donwood.)

Photos from