Archives For Music Video

Guys. I’m feeling very.



conflicted right now.

At first I watched Taylor Swift’s new music video in collaboration with director Joseph Kahn, Wildest Dreams and I was blown away. Not only is the song pretty OK for the genre of pop, but I’m a sucker for old Hollywood. Give me an old-school film camera, a female lead with a head scarf, and some wide shots of a beautiful foreign landscape and I’m sold.

Savannah Swift

Oh My G-ddess there’s a GIRAFFE!!!!!

Then, I made the mistake of heading to my Facebook timeline. All my liberal activist (or at least social media activist) friends were NOT PLEASED with Taylor’s colonialist-loving, Africa-troping video.  Why? There aren’t any black people in an ENTIRE VIDEO about Africa (Edit: In a Washington Post article defending the video, Joseph Kahn explains that there are black people in the background of some shots he just didn’t cut to them for closeups) Also, it harkens back to colonialism, which pretty much nobody but those of white European descent can say was a good time for their ancestors. Furthermore, Africa is a HUGE COUNTRY (ahem CONTINENT DUH) with many, diverse nations so to portray it as if it is just Simba’s playground is offensive to all those nations.

THe Lion King

Offensive maybe, but damn, it looks like a good time. Hakuna Matata anyone?

Here, I describe the stages of feeling that went through me:

  •  DENIAL: Everyone needs to chill out. Why can no one ever make anything artistic without being criticized for being racist or anti-feminist, etc?
  • ANGER: Oh god I’m racist. I’m a privileged white girl who will never understand the struggle. I didn’t realize it was racist. HOW DID I NOT NOTICE THERE WEREN’T ANY BLACK PEOPLE. IT’S AFRICA!
  • BARGAINING: I just really like lions and zebras is that so bad? Oh god I’m racist.
  • DEPRESSION: Taylor Swift is racist. I’m racist. The world is a horrible place where people get murdered for no reason and babies are aways hungry and then they die.
  • ACCEPTANCE: Well, at least Nutella is still a thing…oooh oh and bananas. Bananas and nutella! And chocolate chip cookie dough icecream! Hold on, let me go to the fridge and see if I have those things.

It is literally impossible for me to come up with my own opinions anymore (thanks internet!) so I take you to the The Atlantic with an article that hit the nail on the hammer. Writer Spencer Kornhaber points out that the video is a nostalgic look at a world that clearly doesn’t exist. The makers of the video are looking nostalgically at movies  (not reality) that focus on the African savannah, and yes these films feature white people and white crew members because that’s what was done at the time.  The Atlantic continues that this is just nostalgia but even nostalgia can piss some people off, because in the nostalgic past, sh-t was f-cked up. Thanks again, white and WASPy ancestors.

I’m just left wondering, if everyone gets offended all the time and no one can make any sort of art without pissing someone off then where do we go from here? Do we just keep arguing on the comments sections in Youtube? I thought writing this post would make me feel less conflicted and sad about the state of the world, but here I am, one blog post down and one and 1/2 gin and tonics in and still very confused and sad.  Life is strange, guys.

Taylor Swift Brunette

The only real lesson I’ve learned from all this is that T Swift looks good with any shade of hair. Bitch.

And in a final note, can we all agree that it’s not a bad thing that Taylor is donating the proceeds of the video to the African Parks Foundation of America?  Maybe there are other causes, but geez, good acts shouldn’t be pooped on. Even if they are publicity stunts.

If you haven’t read through our archives, we here at Hipsterjew have very strong feelings about parodies. (You have one? Don’t fucking record it. Unless it’s so good that the world will thank you.)

For some reason people love Hanukkah Parodies. Like I feel like I should trademark the phrase ‘Hanukkah Parodies’ there’s been so many. So many Jewish parodies of Jewish holidays. And people still love them. And I am left to wonder how Jewish people became some engrained in the entertainment industry if this is the shit that people seem to enjoy.

Also, why does it always have to be a group of men? Like I get when you’re religious you can’t listen to any women above the age of 11 sing (which is weird and creepy, but a topic for another day). Why can’t it be a group of women, or a mixed group? And why it is almost always acapella? Didn’t every Jew take some sort of music lessons as a kid because sports are taxing and scary? I guess because then they can sing in Synagogue and finally make it almost bearable? (If you’ve ever been to an Orthodox shul and people sand acapella instead of the typical grumble-singing, please email me so I can call you a liar).

If people don’t know what Hanukkah is about, it’s about a bunch of bros singing some parody songs for fun. If this song shows anything it’s that there’s a huge gap when it comes to bearable Hanukkah songs. Maybe next year the Hanukkah Miracle could be that I don’t hear a parody. Until then….I guess I’ll just…shake it off.

Let’s take a moment out of our day to discuss current queen of all things ass, Nicki Minaj (Miley Cyrus get the fuck out). She catapulted into the center of pop culture after a guest verse on biggest hipster in the world Kanye’s “Monster,” and has been there more or less ever since, reminding us that she has a big butt by talking about it non-stop. And by shaking it a whole lot in every music video she does. Sometimes she raps in weird voices, but mostly she just shakes her ass and talks about the pros and cons of having lots of booty.

This really wouldn’t be of any concern to us at Hipster Jew normally. We’re content to stay in our corner, which is talking about hipster garbage, and ridiculing anyone caught making a Hitler reference or people that get outed wearing SS uniforms for Halloween. So we really don’t care about Nicki Min–


Oh! Oh. Okay. I guess we’re going there.

So here we have a music video director taking a song about sex, and transforming it into some odd amalgamation of hip hop meets “Triumph of the Will.” I assume he had free reign to make the video however he wanted, after all, only artists are so obsessed with form and style that they would take a film like “Triumph” and admire it, get inspired by it, and then slavishly imitate it, while wholly disregarding the context. it’s something a film student would do after smoking a shitload of weed and then deciding to model his final project after a Reifenstahl piece.

But the degree of replacement imagery that’s in the video leads me to think that the director did this with full knowledge of the context. The whole thing: Nicki’s bent over ass pose replacing the Nazi eagle, Chris Brown as the surrogate Mussolini right hand man, the Young Money logo redesigned to take the place of the swastika, all calculated for clicks and pageviews. The whole thing is asking for a Twitter shitstorm, and since the director is retweeting but not talking to or engaging the people talking about it, it’s going to get one. And now even a small blog like HipsterJew is talking about it. Mission Accomplished.

Here’s the only part I don’t get though: Why is Drake the Pope? It feels tacked on. You couldn’t make him Goering or someone? Just… it doesn’t fit. I like my Third Reich tributes to be professional, you know? Shoehorning the Pope in to make some sort of tangential point reeks of amateurism.

Weird Al’s new, and possibly final album, Mandatory Fun, is set to be released TOMORROW! To celebrate, he will be releasing a new video every day this week. The first one to come out is Tacky, a star filled spoof on Pharrell’s Happy. Although Weird Al has stated that this is his last album, I am sure this isn’t the last we will see of him. I think he understand how important he is in making 14 year old boys and myself smile and laugh.

Haim is back with a new video for If I Could Change Your Mind. And it’s great. Which is perfect since they’ve been hyping IICCYM on facebook since the beginning of time. Or last week. Whichever. Just get ready for this dance-a-licious music video to be turned into 1000 gifs.

Chromeo is straight love-making. Another great song, another sexy video. WHY ARE THEY SO GOOD I DON’T UNDERSTAND I just wanna be them.

Nothing beats a video about a guy that has a hard-on for mannequins.


Are you in an indie band? Don’t make a music video. Don’t even try. If you make a Kickstarter for your video, I won’t donate money. Because I’m a dick, and also because you will not be able to top two new music videos, one by Bob Dylan and one by Pharrell.

Dylan’s video plays ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ on an internet TV screen. It’s Rolling Stone land 24/7, with real TV personalities edited to look like the characters are singing the lyrics. It’s ridiculous.

But then Pharrell came out later last week, and it fucking blew the lid off of ‘Best Music Video on Internet Ever’. It’s a continuous 24-hour music video for his song ‘Happy‘, where different people dance for 4 minutes each, at different parts of the day. It feels continuous, and is mindbogglingly mesmerizing. Watch it sober, high, drunk, sad, happy, lonely, it’ll be a wonderful waste of your time regardless.

A Hipster Jew favorite person, Alex Bleeker, of Alex Bleeker & The Freaks, released a really excellent music video today for the song “Step Right Up”. (Also, Alex Bleeker is in Real Estate. Read our interview with him here) This song is off of this year’s “How Far Away” released on Woodsist. The video shows Mr. Bleeker strolling around before a Phish concert with other hipster Jews including Alex Steinberg, guitarist for the band. He stated that “It is my opinion that Phish has the most enthusiastic concert-going music fans in the world. The choice to shoot this video in the parking lot of one of their shows this summer was simple. This was the only large crowd I could think of that would lovingly embrace and interact with a man in an antler helmet without a moment’s pause.”

If you’ve got the November blues then turn up this song, watch the video, and drift off into Alex Bleeker’s perfectly innocent and goofy world. Video directed by Richard Law.

I am not against cliches if they’re done well. Execution and sticking the landing count in my book, and can overcome a lot in terms of subject matter and narrative devices both novel and trite. So let’s use that as the explanation for why I’m praising a video where hipsters are likened to zombies culturally, then literally and eviscerated lyrically, then physically.

The case for the hipster-as-zombie is cliche but irresistible simply because no one can stop themselves from pointing out any hypocrisy, large or small; and any subculture that dares to act differently will unfortunately turn out to be acting differently all the same way. Hipsters are an easy target for this, we’re all going to farmer’s markets and getting sloppy on PBR and listening to boring indie pop that features a banjo and musical saw for no real reason, right? So we must be zombies. And the spread of hipster culture must be stamped out, like an outbreak from the nearest cemetery.

So here’s Watsky’s take on the Pitchfork/American Apparel crowd. Avoid rolling your eyes long enough to realize that once the mic is dropped, the shotgun will be picked up. Logan Square is full to the brim, and the next in line to fall is Garfield Park. Are you going to do anything about it, or are you going to let those filthy hipsters get your neighborhood next?

And props for using the best kind of zombie: the real one, from a grave, that walks stiff and slow with jacked up body parts. “Viral” zombies that move fast are bullshit.

This Haim video, is like everything this sisters is doing, amazing. Jorma Taccone, of Lonely Island and Girls fame, stars. The best part is that Jorma is a weepy ex boyfriend who spends half the video crying from frame to frame. Sigh. Maybe one day I can see Haim in the flesh. One day.