Sunday, November 2, 2008

RAISED ON VIDEO

It's been years, decades possibly, since I've sat down and watched videos on TV. I didn't even know that MTV or VH1 even played them anymore. But this Saturday afternoon, VH1 is playing one after another. It's some kind of countdown. Of what, I can't quite figure out, and they aren't saying. I can't imagine what list would include Billy Squier's "Rock Me Tonite" (above, and see the most hilarious B.S. critique ever here), Maroon 5's "This Love," Beyonce's "Crazy In Love," Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time" (No. 19) and Lenny Kravitz' "I Belong To You," (No. 18), but where there's a will, I suppose there is always a way.

At No. 17 (with a bullet?), appropriately, is Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out Of My Head." I say "appropriately" because I just bought my ticket to her November 15 concert in Buenos Aires. It will be my first BA concert and the first time in 17 years that I've shelled out hard-earned cash for a concert ticket. One of the fringe benefits of working for major publications in New York City was getting all of my concert tickets for free, and until now, I haven't been able to bring myself to pay big bucks (281 pesos, to be exact, or around $90) to go to one. But Kylie is one of only a few of my favorite artists whom I've never seen live (Elton John is another), so why not make an exception?

No. 16: OutKast's "Hey Ya!" Never got this song's appeal. Still don't. In 20 years, it'll be an annoying staple at wedding receptions and dorky gatherings, a la "Play That Funky Music," "Turn The Beat Around" and "Hungry Like The Wolf."

I still love AC/DC's "Back In Black" (No. 15) after all these years. Their current No. 1 album, Black Ice, took me totally by surprise because I thought the band was dead and gone.

I remember seeing Britney Spears perform "Slave For You" (No. 14) for the first time at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards in New York City weeks before September 11 and thinking it was so cutting edge. We've all come a long way, baby!

Blast from the past! At No. 13, my favorite Spanish-language song and the one I couldn't get away from (nor did I want to) my first few months in BA: "La Tortura" by Shakira featuring Alejando Sanz. Alejandro is dreamy, but I could do without Shakira's tiresome bellydancer stomach thrusts. When i first moved to BA, I couldn't go to a club without requesting that the DJ play this one twice--and they always did. Those were the days!

Speaking of things I never really got, Guns 'N' Roses is No. 12 with a cover of "Since I Don't Have You." I've never even heard this before. I prefer Charlie Rich's version, which I was playing non-stop a few weeks ago. By the way, does anyone even care about Chinese Democracy?

I missed the title of No. 11. Is that Kate Moss singing? The music is an interesting pastiche of '80s new wave and '00s French electronica. I've never heard it before either, but it's fantastic. Ah, the video ID. Primal Scream's "Some Velvet Morning." And that is Kate Moss on vocals. I loved Primal Scream back in the '90s. I'll definitely be downloading this later.

Van Halen's "Hot For Teacher" at No. 9. Awhile back they played David Lee Roth's "California Girls," which actually sounds better than I remember. But I can see why it effectively ended DLR's career as a rock god. (Did he learn nothing from Billy Squier?) So does this mean no "Jump"?

Bryan Ferry's "Slave To Love (10), Billy Idol's "Eyes Without A Face (8), Aerosmith's "Crazy" (7). Argentina sure love its sappy oldies--particularly from the '80s. But aside from the obvious (sugar-coated ballads sung by guys), what do these songs have in common?

Madonna's "Erotica" at No. 6? Interesting. Especially when you consider all the material, girl, from which they had to choose. I prefer "Secret," but it's always nice when they go with the unexpected....Speaking of erotica, there's Divinyls at No. 5 with "I Touch Myself." How is it possible that I never tire of this song? I'm surprised Britney never covered it. It's so her....Completing the bedroom trilogy, here comes George Michael's "I Want Your Sex" at No. 4. Finally, a running theme!

Okay, now they're losing me. "Ratones Paranoices" by Rock del Gato at No. 3? "Paranoid Rats" by Rock of the Cat? Are they kidding? I like the cat/rat link, but are they kidding?...I'm going...going...gone. Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" unplugged? Even though the sex-on-the-beach video is one of the all-time greats! Plus, it would have fit in so nicely with Nos. 6, 5 and 4. Chris Isaak sure is pretty, though. My friend Deirdre and I once saw him live at the Beacon Theater in New York City with Fiona Apple as his opening act. I've yet to figure out what those two were doing on the same bill.

Joe Cocker's "You Can Leave Your Hat On" at No. 1?! Aerosmith was right: Craaaaazy!
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