With the video for No Doubt’s first single in roughly ten years to be released this Monday, anticipation is high. I’ve missed this band, and after seeing the sneak peeks and webisodes they’ve been releasing in preparation for it, I’m even more excited to see this video. It looks like a lot of fun, and the band doesn’t look or sound like it’s been years since they last performed together. It seems like they’re just as tight as ever, and come Monday, I hope all the excitement is worth it.
In the meantime, MuchMusic.com posted a list of top 5 favorite No Doubt music videos, so I thought I’d do the same. Watching all their videos again has reminded me of what I love about this band, and further pushed my giddiness for new content into overdrive.
1. Just a Girl
Hands down, the best No Doubt music video of all time, and easily my very favorite. There is so much to love in this video: Gwen’s iconic ’90s look (most importantly, the cropped tops showing off her killer abs); her kick-ass, punk rock, strong female attitude; and the “ladies” and “women” bathroom signs spliced throughout the video. Not to mention the rock-out scene with separated “boy” and girl” moshing until the band members invade the girls and everyone blends together, where there’s a shot of Gwen pushing against a wall as she sings that, for reasons even I’m not entirely sure of, I just love. I also think this may be one of my favorite Tom moments of their videos, especially right around 2:40 of the video where he casually sticks his tongue out in true rock ‘n’ roll fashion.
Plus, from this video alone it’s easy to see why the song, and the video, from their third album Tragic Kingdom (1995) catapulted them into the spotlight and became one of their most well-known, and well-loved, songs.
2. Simple Kind of Life
It’s the beginning and the end that do it for me with this video. Shots of Gwen, with pink hair and wedding dress, running from her tuxedo-ed bandmates (who knock over a crate of oranges - subtle throwback to Tragic Kingdom, perhaps?) pretty much set the video up to be awesome. It’s pulled together near the close of the video. with a shot of Gwen holding a baby and each band member coming up in turn with his hands out, leaving her with a tough choice. “Simple Kind of Life” (from 2000’s Return of Saturn) is not high on my list of favorite No Doubt songs, but the video has a very cool, well-executed concept that fits the song perfectly.
3. Don’t Speak
Famously thought of a song about Gwen and Tony’s romantic split, the video for this song off Tragic Kingdom is very well put together. A highly tense band rehearsal is featured as the main content, mixed with flashback shots of happier practices. When Gwen seems to “plead” with each band member but is given the cold shoulder, it is the icing on this cake. The mood of the song is so well executed, you can’t help but feel the heartbreak too.
4. It’s My Life
Again, it’s not one of my favorite No Doubt songs, but it is a pretty great cover, and the video is iconic. One thing I love about No Doubt videos is that they tend to have Gwen interacting with each band member. Except, in this one, she’s killing them all in different ways: Tom gets off “easy” with poison, poor Tony gets run over, and Adrian - always the naked one - gets electrocuted in the bathtub. Then there’s Gwen in an orange jail jumpsuit with red bra peeking through. The ’20s theme - not to mention the murder trial - makes the video reminiscent of Chicago, which, for me, just adds to the goodness.
5. Hey Baby
I almost didn’t include this one on the list, but two things changed my mind: 1. The “NO DOUBT” “ROCK STEADY” and “HEY BABY” scribbled in red, black, and white as the background, an instantly recognizable image from the band’s last studio album Rock Steady (2001); and 2. the shots of the band against said background. This video looks like it was a lot of fun to make, and I loved watching the playful interactions between the members, reminding us just how well they work together.
It’s a good weekend to be punk fan and CBGB enthusiast in New York City.
The CBGB Festival kicked off this Thursday, July 5, features music showcases, film showcases, a music conference and film conference, as well as a Spirits Festival to close out the weekend on July 8.
Krist Novoselic kicked off the festival as it’s keynote speaker on Thursday and events have been on a rolling schedule ever since. The line-up consists of 300 unknown bands as well as a few more well-known headliners playing in various venues around Manhattan and Brooklyn. There will even be a free concert in Times Square on July 7!
In true CBGB fashion, much of the news about this festival has been underground, at least from what I’ve heard here in California. The festival, which I heard about a few months ago, seemed to sneak up on me!
From what I’ve read and what I’ve seen, this seems to be a truly unique twist on the festivals we have seen more and more of the past few years. The spirit does seem to mirror that of the former club in that it features mainly unknown or underground artists, as well as re-formations and appearances by CBGB veterans such as those from the surviving Ramone, Tommy and Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols. Richard Lloyd and Billy Ficca of Television, the first band to play at CBGB, were scheduled to perform as well until illness caused them to cancel. The festival boasts many more acts of CBGB fame, as well as 30 documentary and rock films through two days of the festival.
All of this, I think, sounds unbelievably cool without trying to hard, again in true CBGB spirit. Unfortunately for me, I live all the way across the country in Southern California. If you’re lucky enough to be in New York, however, and you like a little punk rock, you may want to check it out - at least go to the free show in Times Square! Let me know how it is. From where I’m standing it seems pretty exciting, but there’s only so much you can get from news articles and short clips. I have a feeling this is something that needs to be experienced and I really hope that it turns out to be as good as it seems on paper so that perhaps in a few years I will be able to say for myself if the CBGB Festival is the festival to attend.
I just watched Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake of Halloween, and I do have to say I liked it.
I saw the original 1978 film (starring Jamie Lee Curtis in her first film) directed by John Carpenter before, and I’ll also say that, as slasher films go, Halloween is of the few I like (I’m also a fan of A Nightmare on Elm St., but the Friday the 13th movies are more comical than anything else, to be honest).The suspense Carpenter brought to Halloween was one thing I thought all other slasher films lacked; it’s the main reason I liked the film so much.
I know that generally, critics tend to dislike re-makes (and yet still, re-makes are Hollywood’s favorite type of movies), especially of horror films, and I know that reviews for this particular re-make we mixed. However, at least for me anyway, Zombie’s interpretation had a few things going for it that the original film lacked, particularly in the first half of the film (which seems to be the general consensus regarding this film anyway).
To be honest, I thought the first half of Zombie’s film was rather brilliant. Michael Myers is stripped down and then dissected, explained in ways he never was in the original film. Perhaps that was part of Carpenter’s vision - leaving Myers’ motives vague, and thus supposedly heightening the suspense and fear factor - but it wasn’t something I really liked. It never made sense, to me, why Myers killed his sister in the beginning, why he follows Laurie throughout most of the film. Both questions were answered by Zombie’s re-interpretation in ways that made sense; watching this film made everything click into place in my mind. I understand Myers as a villain, and to an extent I sympathize with Michael the child, which I’m sure is what Zombie intended. By showing a lot more of his childhood, Zombie brought back Myers humanity at least slightly, and reminded the viewer that at least one point, he was just a bullied kid from a broken home.
It was effective; personally, I like Myers as a villain more now that he doesn’t seem entirely like a zombie killing-machine. Ultimately, each brutal act throughout the rest of the film chips away at any sympathizing feelings viewers might have felt for Myers, and thus the blood and gore that is to be expected of a slasher film surfaces once again. The rest of the film seems to follow the general story-arc that is common among these films: Mindless, soulless killers preying on sexually expressive teens; the killers themselves are apparently immune to any weapon brought against him (this is particularly ridiculous in the Halloween films considering Myers is supposedly just a (admittedly psychopathic) man who breaks out of a mental institution after 15 years - there is nothing that should be supernatural or unbreakable about him, and yet he survives stabbings, bullets, falls, and other things that would kill any other man). It is therefore the last half of the film that Zombie slips back into this story-line and where for me, at least, it began to get less interesting or novel.
I will say, however, that one aspect I appreciated about the whole film, and particularly the last half, was that the suspense was never truly lost. Perhaps Carpenter held it better, sure, but it cannot be said that Zombie’s film lacked that substance.
All in all, I still like both the ‘78 and ‘07 versions; they both have their flaws and re-deeming qualities, but as slasher films they still hold as some of the best, in my humble opinion.
I’m doing a research paper for my American Studies Pop Culture class on fans of Led Zeppelin, so if you could PLEASE take a few minutes fill out my survey I would really appreciate it! Thank you!