Flashback Finesse

The year is off to a good start if this is what we have to greet it. Bruno Mars reworks Finesse – the original being a fave off of his album 24K Magic, which as a whole sounds like it was triple dipped in the goodness that was 90’s RnB – into the perfect nostalgic trip back in time. He throws in a little Cardi B in this outing, even managing to make her make a little more sense than usual (what, exactly, is Bodak Yellow? I feel so old). Giving her her props for making that sassy mid-90’s look pop. Everything about this video is perfect, from the music, to the choreography and the outfits. Doesn’t everyone look cute, happy and innocent?

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Christmas YouTube K-hole

Apparently Jose Mari Chan doesn’t have a video for Christmas in our Hearts, which is a shame because that song dominates the Philippine airwaves the way Bing Crosby does on this side of the Atlantic. I know that song inside and out, and whenever they play it in September, you know the most wonderful time of the year is just around the bend.

Since I couldn’t put up a Jose Mari Chan video that wasn’t just random pictures cobbled together like a well-made videoke segment, here in no particular order are three music videos that I turn to come Yuletide. Hope they get you in the mood!

98 Degrees  – This Gift

Fake snow? Teddy bears? Handsome, clean-cut, corn-fed troubadours? I’m all in! This video gave me a weak spot for guys in cable-knit sweaters singing about giving gifts. This criminally overlooked Christmas song will forever and always be at the top of my list for the Christmas season. You guys can have Mariah Carey and Justin Bieber, I will take my cheesy, well-meaning boyband and hold it close to my heart. This Gift never fails to delight, even if it could use a little less Nick Lachey.

Troy & Abed – Christmas Infiltration (Community Rap)

Troy and Abed doing Chriiistmaaas! In an episode that melds the purity of Christmas with the underlying evil of the glee club (showrunner Dan Harmon wasn’t shy about how much he hated Glee), Christmas Infiltration is a standout and instantly became one of my favourite songs about Christmas. It was a wrench deciding between this, Baby Boomer Santa and Happy Birthday Jesus. I can’t help it. Troy and Abed always win out in the end. Actually, this whole episode wins out in the end. Community always aced their holiday episodes and Regional Holiday Music was no different. It’s Christmas viewed through the twisted lens of a music lover who wants to mean well but somehow can’t seem to find the strength to make the devil on his shoulder go away. It’s hilarious, it’s irreverent, it’s perfect.

Billy Mack – Christmas is All Around

Forever tardy to the party, I discovered Love, Actually a year ago on Netflix, while using some holiday downtime to do movie research for a project I was working on. It turned out to be a choice I thank the fates I made because  it has Bill Nighy as an aging rockstar with all the sleazy moves, Hugh Grant as an endearingly floppy-haired Prime Minister who has no idea he’s cute, Alan Rickman being Alan Rickman, a pre-Taken Liam Neeson as a grieving widower,  Andrew Lincoln before he moved to Atlanta to fight zombies and Colin Firth with a typewriter! I don’t give a rat’s arse what anyone says, Love Actually is an awesome holiday movie. It can’t be anything but, not with such a charming all-star cast and a truly hilarious script filled with that dry Brit humour we all know and love. Here, Billy Mack remakes his signature song into a wannabe Christmas staple, but even he knows it’s a “festering turd of a record.” I’m making a tradition out of watching Love, Actually every Christmas. I haven’t laughed as hard at a British ensemble movie since Ang Lee’s Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Random YouTube K-hole: Halloween Edition

It’s Halloween, and you know what that means. Everyone’s going to be running around in skimpy costumes pretending they’re not dying from exposure because it’s Canada and the temperature just hit the ultra low Cs. Sexy witch for the win! Yay!

There’s no shortage of macabre music videos that will leave you twisted for days – all the gore and cockroaches you could want! But I’m a pop tart and will forever be one, and suddenly posting something from Nine Inch Nails doesn’t quite feel authentic. Ha! Authentic. Like anyone would know. Or care. But anyway.

I wanted to revisit videos that are perfect for Halloween – whether or not they were intended to be – but are still sweet enough to avoid mental anguish. Without further ado, here are three of them (plus an extra one thrown in at the end because I’m nice like that!).

Daft Punk, Around the World

A Halloween party for people on a modest budget and a lot of imagination. It’s got everything. Mummies. Skeletons. Robot people. Synchronized swimmers. Tiny baby heads. All on a constant repeat. It’s hypnotic, weird and could potentially cause nightmares, but that backdrop of lights playing an otherworldly game of Connect Four is fun enough to stop just short of really messing with your head.

Ylvis, The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)

Let’s all dress up as animal mascots and have some bubbly! The closest I’ll ever come to an acid trip, this is what happens if the Hieros Gamos scene from Eyes Wide Shut is re-enacted somewhere in the Scandinavian woods. By hipster furries. On shrooms.

Backstreet Boys, Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)

You didn’t think I’d let this post go without dropping the world’s biggest boyband and a literal monster mash of a video, did you? Backstreet’s Back, and they’ve got it all – werewolves, mummies, vampires, Jekyll & Hyde and even the Phantom of the Opera. Probably the closest in spirit to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, this is a Halloween Dance Dance Revolution.

And finally (more like inevitably)…

Michael Jackson, Thriller

The granddaddy of all music videos and the one that jumpstarted the MTV revolution. Wacko Jacko’s oeuvre wins Best Costume, Best Makeup, Best SFX, Best Zombie Dance Moves, Best in Effort, Best Everything, godamnit because just look at this classic. He even got Vincent Price to voiceover. There’s not a single Halloweenish video ever made that’s ever topped this one, before or since. Bad with a capital B, the song itself matches the video, making it the rightful ruler of the Halloween video empire.

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Random YouTube K-Hole: Dance Like No One is Watching

I like Charlie Puth. He’s a more palatable version of the Bieber kind. He’s cute, writes good, catchy hooks and sings like an angel. I could, however, do without the perennially wet lips, the poufy hair and the hopelessly derivative music videos. Like this.

Which is a knock off, designer imposter perfume, basic bitch version of this.

To be fair, it’s virtually impossible to outshine a tap dancing Christopher Walken. If you’re going to let go and get spastic all by your lonesome, you’re going to have to let it all out without an ounce of inhibition or a hint of self-awareness. Like Lorde, in pretty much all of her videos.

Random YouTube K-Hole: Hail Marriage, Full of Grace

Blake Shelton’s latest is out and it’s the whitest thing ever. Not complaining, I’ve always had a soft spot for country – traditional, family-based, blue jeans and pickup trucks, apple pies, cowboy hats, good wholesome love. Country comforts me. It’s like a nice warm blanket on a cold winter day. There’s only so much gritty, urban realness a girl can stomach. All that smacking my bitch up and things.

I don’t know about you, but having Adam Levine and Co. crash my wedding … on the one hand, holy crap on a cracker. On the other, how emasculating can that be? Watching your bride go nuts for Adam Levine on your wedding day, brutal.

Doesn’t matter how hard they try. Nothing will ever beat the sheer genius of this. The Prince cuffs. Boy George. Steve Buscemi. Are those love seats rattan? Alexis Arquette as George of the One Song is the best wedding singer ever. Never forget!

Random YouTube K-Hole: Suite Dreams (Are Made of These)

The official video for my favourite slow jam of the year is out! Versace on the Floor features mood lighting, a crystal grand piano and Zendaya writhing around in primo Versayce. Not what I had in mind as a video concept (mine involved twirling around in a gigantic empty ballroom, chandelier ablaze like an adult version of the Beauty and the Beast scene except she loses the clothing), but eh. It’ll do.

I have to ask. What is the use of paying top dollar for a pricey condo unit if the walls are so thin, the concept of privacy remains a concept?

This at least made sense. It’s clearly a crappy apartment building, if it can’t keep out the rain.

Truth be told, I don’t know my neighbours. Not very well, anyway. I’ve lived in my building for five years, and I only give my neighbours nicknames – the elderly black couple to our right, the girl with the golden retriever two doors down, the new Filipino neighbours with a WiFi connection named “Balay,” and the family with kids who live beside the possibly gay neighbour who, according to Le Hubs, plays Miley Cyrus and has very noisy sex just across the hall.

I suppose it’s a good thing I have pretty busted hearing, because ignorance is sometimes bliss. And I wouldn’t be walking around passive-aggressively catfighting with my neighbours.

Random YouTube K-hole: Stalk is Cheap

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The pigeons around my building are incessantly horny. I get treated to displays of  relentless and unabated stalking every morning. All day, every day, it’s male pigeons waddling desperately after female pigeons, coaxing them to mate. Nonstop. Mate with me. Mate with me. Mate with me? Please?

Welcome to the animal kingdom. Where art imitates life.

Everyone knows the best way to make a girl fall for you is to stalk her incessantly throughout an entire music video. Four minutes of this, and she’s yours. Forever. Music videos never lie. Not exactly sure why Tara Reid was being so coy here. Soul patch, questionable hair, ripped denim jacket, Ed Hardy trucker hat? Her ovaries should’ve exploded.

Maybe MTV is to blame for my slightly more tolerant acceptance of male heckling. (But MTV taught me that it was normal! Insert sad face.) It happens, and being overly offended by it is a waste of my time. Wasting time is bad. Blatantly ripping off the video that started this all, including extended dance break? Worse.

Sorry Usher. Michael Jackson did it first and did it best in this modern-day feminist’s nightmare. That white cotton sash will live on in infamy, though. This would never fly in 2017, that girl would’ve maced MJ after the first few bars, because progress.