Sight & Sound

VIDEO: Bad Religion – “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

Parody or not, Bad Religion have never been a band to stay clear of polarizing their fans.  From Into the Unknown to their major label days, the band’s output has often wavered from being incredible statements of political and social nature to just plain baffling. Their Christmas album? A little of both. While the content seems rather lame, the actual execution has been quite good.

As part of their freshly minted advent calender in which the band will be gifting fans one new gift a day until Christmas, the band have released the video for the song “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”. The video uses traditional Christmas choir footage edited with the less-traditional rendition of the song. What can be expect from Bad Religion until Christmas? We’ll have to wait and see each day.

For now, check out the video below:

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Headlines, Music

Bob Dylan, let’s never do interactive again

Is Bob Dylan dead? He’s not right? I’m pretty sure the most famous marbled-voice folk troubadour is still alive and relatively well. I know he’s a little aged now, and sometimes, when he speaks, we have no idea what he’s saying- snapping out of it only during his most sanguine times- with his guitar. But really, there’s got to be a reason for this right?

An explanation is needed for this, his much talked about and heavily shared ‘interactive’ video for “Like A Rolling Stone”. The concept for this new media venture is you, the user, being given the opportunity to “make” a new video for one of Dylan’s most celebrated tracks. Now “make” is generously used here, and before you get your Michel Gondry/Spike Jonze video dreams up, let’s just say that the interactivity featured here is about as interactive as Night Trap the game was back in 1992. Which to say, wasn’t very interactive at all.

For sexed up males in 1992, Night Trap was a schlocky, and quite terrible, “sexy” video game made up of footage that was meant to be interactive. But unlike the games of today, all you could do with actual video footage was switch between scenes, hoping to catch up a glimpse of a half naked coed as she was stalked in her house.

This new interactive video gives you about as much control as Night Trap– except the “clever” part is that the video they use (synced footage from made up TV shows, movies, news broadcast) is singing along to “Like A Rolling Stone”.

I fumbled about, slightly confused as the video rolled footage from a reality show called “Bachelor’s Roses” (yes, that nice lady pictured above is singing a Dylan song). It left me wondering who these people were and thought maybe it was just an ad playing before the footage. Turns out, this WAS the footage I got to be ‘interactive’ with. I managed to get a few minutes into the video before I realized I couldn’t do anything but change channels and turn the volume up and down. Neil McCormick of The Telegraph asks; “is the interactive new video any good?”

No Neil, it’s not. It’s terrible.

What’s the point of this exercise? Perhaps Dylan, or more specifically, his label/management/PR, are just trying something new.

Perhaps this is all terrible because it’s Dylan and the footage used would best be kept on the TLC scrapheap. Either way, Bob, please, let’s never do interactive again.

The concept isn’t entirely at fault. What if you could make a Dylan video made up of old 60s footage? Now there’s an interactive video that would be worth your time.

Just imagine.

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Sight & Sound

Bodyjar turn back the clock in new video

Looking rather old and haggard, Bodyjar return with their first album in 8 years and with it, a new music video. Role Model is their first since 2005’s self-titled, but I tell you what, this song rocks.

I can’t remember why I didn’t really get down with the ‘Jar, but I do remember liking their Nitro Records debut No Touch Red (Editor’s note: This is incorrect, their Nitro debut was in fact, How It Works) but little else. This new song, “Hope Was Leaving”, does however, paint them in a new positively rocking light.

Their new album is out now and I’m sure they’ll be playing at the Corner soon. Maybe they just needed to get old, but this new stuff definitely does not suck.

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