This post is a warning to those who can’t possibly heed it. Because, frankly, when I was in your shoes, some years ago, I would have ignored me, too. Nonetheless, because I’m your Generation X, father, I will give it a go. I was idly watching the clip of the New Radicals ‘You Get What You Give’ recently. I realised that despite this song being used in ads and played on radio continuously for the last 12 years I had only seen the music video twice. I recalled the second time I saw it, how much I hated it the first time.
Why so, Mr Triv, why are you hating on the poor little one-hit wonder complaint rock band of the late 1990s? Well, it’s late and I am easily annoyed at this hour, but also because the video takes what is dormant in the song and allows it to flower in its full, literalist glory. I refer to the annoying, hipster smugness that is well hidden beneath this song’s melodic pop exterior. If only they’d been less damned obvious and used our friends, implication and suggestion, then The New Radicals classic piece of pop could have had a good or at least not distractingly crap, video.
“But how,” I hear you say, “could this possibly be relevant to me?” Well, if you have ever idly considered making a “We’re young and you old farts out there just don’t understand our world, politics, music, hair and sexting” music-video – then me and my buddies, the rapidy ageing New Radicals are here to advise against it. Because this is the kind of hare-brained thinking that led to their silly video.
Have you seen it yet? The hip kids TAKE OVER THE MALL! The adults, the corporate straights, the suits, the well-groomed, coiffed, old, hopeless, jaded, cynical, blood-sucking Baby Boomer capitalist criminals are OWNED by cool, beautiful, natural, unspoilt, innocent YOUTH. Or in other words, some pissed off Gen Xers fuck over their parents. Revolutionary stuff. As themes go, Innocent Youth Is Better Than Jaded Age has a use by date similar to an open tin of salmon in the fridge.
According to the Wikipedia, the brains behind the New Radicals was a fella called Gregg Alexander who was 26 at the time. He is 38, now people. That’s two years away from 40! I wonder if he ever looks at this and reflects on what a smug git he was? (Why would he need to, when I, his blogger nemesis on the other side of the planet, have insomnia to burn on this subject?)
Sure, YOUR music video is actually a cross-platform, trans-media construction of audio content that can be remixed and mashed-up by a billion users. There is no definitive version and any visual story content is an interactive matrix of choices and actions that can be edited into any order by the punters on their iPhone 4.
You’re too up to date to even worry about such Old School linear, analog nonsense. All I’m saying is this – if you happen to have a great idea for a music video revealing the hypocrisy of my tribe, the prematurely elderly Generation Xers, then in the wink of a young girl’s eye it will seem as quaint and old fashioned as the reference I just made to the Bruce Springsteen’s song Glory Days Or indeed Briuce Springsteen himself. We used to refer to him as The Boss. He’s our Robbie Williams, okay?
And, my young friends, there are so many other over-used video themes you can employ. Working in an Office is Soul Destroying. It is the Future and the Authorities have Outlawed All Music. Or my all time favourite – Actor/Musician is chased by a mysterious hooded figure who reveals itself in the last seconds of the video to be the Doppelganger of the Actor/Musician! ZOMG!
Here’s to you, future oldies.