June 20, 2014

Music video without the music — but with the sounds of tapping feet and so forth — is ineffably silly.

Here's David Bowie and Mick Jagger:



From "All Music Videos Are Weird/And this music-free rendition of Dancing in the Streets proves it," (which includes the original video with the music).

Is it that music videos are weird or that dancing itself is weird? I was walking down the street the other day, and I saw a man miming with these extravagant waving arm movements and squatting and slinking leg action. I thought: I've got to write about this in my notebook of strange things I've been seeing. Then I noticed he had iPod headphones in. Suddenly, it's not at all strange.

19 comments:

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Is it that music videos are weird or that dancing itself is weird?

It's like watching a cooking show when you're not hungry.

Or watching porn when you're not horny.

Browndog said...

Dancing is an odd phenomenon, I have always thought.

I have always said that music is whatever moves you--you, being your soul.

It's a beautiful, human thing.

mccullough said...

Bowie and Jagger aren't exactly Astaire and Rogers.

Bill Crawford said...

From Reason's interview with Nirvana's bassist, Krist Novoselic

reason: Can we still be ecstatic in America today?

Novoselic: If you want to be, you can.

reason: How do we do that? It seems like every time we turn around, there’s lead paint on the wall that’s killing us. If we drink Diet Coke, it’s destroying us.

Novoselic: If you hear a song you like, start dancing. That’s what I do. I’ll just start dancing and that’s it. That’s all there is to it. It’s simple.

EDH said...

"Music video without the music — but with the sounds of tapping feet and so forth — is ineffably silly."

Didn't Bowie's former wife come home to similar sounds and found them in bed together?

Martin said...

Mick and Dave's "Dancing in the Streets" is (one of) the most offensive and unnecessary cover version(s) of all time. The video -- with the music -- is the most ridiculous music video of all time. I haven't even watched it without the music. I still remember the last time I saw it. Ouch.

B said...

I have zero compulsion to dance. I don't even tap my foot to a song's beat. Dancing baffles me.

But I can still appreciate Fred Astaire. His coordination and control is comparable to an athlete. I don't have to enjoy what he's doing to appreciate the overwhelming talent.

Psota said...

Lot of under currents in this video, leaving aside the dancing:

1. this was their contribution to Live Aid

2. Jagger always said "Dancing In The Streets" inspired "Street Fighting Man."

3. there were all sorts of, ah, *rumors* about the Bowie/Jagger relationship, although they also shared some women too.

4. With the music, the video is goofy. As a kid, I remember wondering why Bowie keeps yelling "South America!"

Paco Wové said...

As others have mentioned, this video is pretty damned silly with music, also.

Browndog said...

Odd...Althouse write a blog post about the oddity of dancing..

She uses the Bowie/Jagger video as an illustration..

All anyone wants to talk about is the gay sex angle.

notions...

sonicfrog said...

That was good... But I think I like the "_______ Shreds" ones better.

Here's Kiss Shreds!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kw5oJoUYTb8&feature=kp

rhhardin said...

Wittgenstein :

Let us imagine a language for which the description given by Augustine is right. The language is meant to serve for communication between a builder A and an assistant B. A is building with building-stones; there are blocks, pillars, slabs and beams. B has to pass the stones, and that in the order in which A needs them. For this purpose they use a language consisting of the words ``block'', ``pillar'', ``slab'', ``beam''. A calls them out;--B brings the stone which he has learnt to bring at such-and-such a call.--Conceive this as a complete primitive language.

Stanley Cavell points out that you tend to imagine this as inexpressive grunt language, and zombie-like men.

But, he points out, if you imagine it's happening in extreme noise, construction equipment or sea noise or something, that doesn't happen. It makes sense. The men are normal.

Anonymous said...

I remember when this came out. It was widely considered an odd display, even with the music, with the judgment falling especially hard on Jagger - who had not survived the leap to the next generation with coolness intact quite as well as Bowie.

madAsHell said...

I compared the music-less version with the one that became part of Live Aid. The music-less version appears to be a rehearsal....cuz they aren't even attempting to lip-synch.

I think the Stones were on hiatus in 1985, and Jagger was trying to create a solo career. I'm glad that didn't work out.

Browndog said...

It's the freakiest show...is there life on Mars.....

Joe said...

I see this all the time at the gym where I can't hear the music on a distant TV, but can see the music video. Many singer/dancers are so awkward and stilted it's rather bizarre.

Smilin' Jack said...

Is it that music videos are weird or that dancing itself is weird?

"Music rots when it gets too far from the dance."--Ezra Pound.

jr565 said...

Look up ACDC shreds for another example of this type of video. Actually pick an artist, preferably one known for guitars and then add the word "shreds" and you'll find a bunch of videos some of them quite hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Right, EDH. I can never look at this video without thinking of possibly the most horrid gay love affair of all time.