Riding that fine line between relevant pop cultural reporting and incredibly slow news weeks, Team Mercury joyfully presents a trip down commercial lane with yet another in our illustrious line of highfalutin music video reviews. Without further ado...
Hey, Grandma! Where'd you get all that ass? All that ass? All that ass? That's right, the matronly Madonna lets it ALL hang out in her new video entitled "Hung Up." A bizarre trip through dance genres, "Hung Up" features Madonna doing '80s style Jazzercize in a rehearsal studio while wearing a hot-pink unitard that exposes 97 percent of her ass. And let me tell you, Madonna has a LOT of ass. How much ass? Even Shaquille O'Neal would have trouble holding on to all that ass. But in between shots of bountiful booty and carefully shaved cootie, "Hung Up" is a tribute to '80s breakdancing, complete with dance-offs performed on street corners, subways, nightclubs, and even sushi restaurants. It also features seemingly random scenes of urban youth participating in Parkour [recently featured in the Mercury—see "In a Single Bound," Nov 3], as well as Dance Dance Revolution, and Madonna humping one of those really crappy Asian knock-off ghetto blasters. But nothing, NOTHING can compare to the Victoria Falls of ass tumbling out of Madonna's thong. Is this what happens when you turn 50? You develop menopause and an ass that looks like a Red Lobster combo platter of Jennifer Lopez and Serena/Venus Williams? I'm not insulting it—but I sure as shit ain't gonna stand underneath it, either! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
The White Stripes
"The Denial Twist"
It seems that Jack White is borrowing a page from the Paula Abdul diet plan—namely, the one that suggests fudging the vertical hold of your videos to trim a few pounds away from the growing girth of your double chin. Denial twist, indeed! In another of Michel Gondry's obsessively circular video explorations, the Stripes navigate a bizarro world of perpetually shifting size and spatial relationships during a strangely through-the-looking-glass performance on Late Night With Conan O'Brien. As per usual Gondry, the video is innovative enough to cover up the fact that "The Denial Twist"—like most of the songs on the latest White Stripes record—is otherwise painfully forgettable. ZAC PENNINGTON
"Confessions of a Broken Heart"
Though today it may just seem like incredibly depressing pap-pop mediocrity, I'm convinced that one day the world will look back at "Confessions of a Broken Heart," in both its song and (perhaps more importantly) video form, as the logical apex of the Disney Channel generation's joyful self-exploitation: a song by an actress-turned-singer seemingly motivated by all of the tabloid ink mounting against her crazy father—who of course would have no place in the press were it not for his daughter's fame. The mechanics at work here alone leave me lightheaded. Much like the lead-off single of Lindsay's previous record (the bold "fame is SO hard!" dirge of "Rumors"), "Confessions" mines the Lohan Experience like a well-tooled, publicist-approved page from Lindsay's diary—its themes propelled primarily on the fuel of the world's sickening familiarity with the 19-year-old actress' private life. The video—baring the surprising "directed by Lindsay Lohan" subhead—stretches this exploitative advantage to its utmost extreme: Beginning with a television shot announcing another of her father's court dates, the frame opens onto a living room wherein an abusive businessman husband dramatically berates his wife. Emo. In the bathroom adjacent—which, incidentally, the maid could really have spent a little more time on before it turned all 12th-century dungeon—a visibly upset (tears, heavy eye make-up, etc.) Lindsay throws a serious shit fit in an impossibly impractical prom dress. Emo. But wait... what's this? It's actually all taking place behind the glass of storefront windows? And a crowd is forming around to watch the whole dramatic episode? So fucking emo. Remember when celebrities used to live elaborate, disturbing private lives in secret? Before they started selling them as pop music? Me neither. ZP