By Benjamin Leatherman
If there’s one thing that YouTube is no short supply of, it’s homemade music videos. I’ve personally lost count of the times my eyes have been assaulted by streaming clips of goofy teenage girls lip-synching to rock and pop music, relentlessly random slideshows of weird images set to some of my favorite songs, or some machinima-style deal made with MMORPG footage.
These music vids range from the absolutely bizarre to the utterly banal, as jillions of wanna-be Michael Gondrys of the world have funneled their furious fandom into Windows Movie Maker (or whatever editing software they can lay their hands on). A good chunk of this MTV-gone-DIY action features bands from around our sprawled-out burg, made by fans both locally and elsewhere.
For example, peep the nutty work of a cat who calls himself “RyuSenshi.” The 18-year-old Missourian filmed himself singing along to “Hokey Fuckin' Pokey,” a rabid-yet-ribald song from Tempe humorcore band Psychostick. “This is what happens when I drink too many Mountain Dew’s and listen to too much Psychostick,” explains in the video’s info section. Besides getting hyped up on the caffeinated citrus soda, RyuSenshi apparently had fun fucking around with the filter settings on his camera, since the flick is heavy on the washed-out look and color effects.
Another selection from hard rock arena are the filmic efforts by YouTube user “myfubim” for Blessedbethyname’s “Festival of the Flesh.” According to my inner Beavis, it’s quite possibly “THE GREATEST VIDEO OF ALL TIME~!,” since it’s a non-stop compilation of guns, explosions, war machines, and hot chickadees showing off their goodies while Blessedbethyname vomits forth relentlessly unforgiving industrial rock. See if you agree.
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Moving on to something more inoffensive and upbeat, the members of gleeful keyboard pop duo Peachcake have been encouraging their fans as of late to conjure up videos for their electro-bubblegum songs. If they’re good enough, Stefan Pruett and John O’Keefe will incorporate them in their over-the-stop stage shows. In this clipage, Tucson music geek ColorfulDust prances around what I think is Bisbee dressed in a garish superhero-tutu costume and flinging around an inflatable alligator while Peachcake’s “Did I Just Do That Or Was It Jim Carey?” serves as a soundtrack. I’m sure with all the colorful granola crunchers types and other earthflower types running around that part of our state that no one batted an eye at ColorfulDust's spastic gymnastics.
But Peachcake isn’t the only downtown Phoenix indie darlings getting tons of love on YouTube, as fans of folk-punkers Andrew Jackson Jihad have uploaded some pretty kooky and crafty shit to the site. The one I was most struck by was a 90-second black-and-white masterpiece made by 22-year-old film student Aaron Grimmett for the Jihad song “Ladykiller.” If you’ve never heard the band’s music, AJJ songs are gonzo folk and rootsy acoustic twitterings infused with a hybrid of macabre humor and morbid imagery. Songs like “Ladykiller” can seem somewhat harmless and cheery, but underneath the surface lays murderous intent. Grimmett’s short fits the song flawlessly, as it switches from an idyllic first date to a gruesome snuff-like affair in an instant.
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It kinda reminds me of an evil joke I once heard:
A man and his girlfriend were walking through the forest late at night. The girl says, “Wow, these woods are really frightening me,” to which the man replies, “You think that’s scary!?! I’ve got to walk back all by myself!!”
Hi-ooooo! Thank you, I’ll be here all week.