An estimated 98% of us experience earworms. Despite the annoying times that we can’t get a chorus or a hook of an overplayed pop song out of our heads, getting a really good earworm stuck can be one of the best things ever.
We here at Nerdist are dead-set on bringing you those types of songs, if only for the weekend. We’ll be scouring the internet for the best earworms we can shove into your meaty brains!
Not content with just feeding you songs that get stuck in your head, I figured this week I’d make sure to give you guys something visually interesting as well. Eyeworms? Is that a thing? Sounds like a medical condition. After all, this column has thus far included YouTube videos in it and who am I to deprive the readers – I hope there’s at least more than one so that I can say “readers” – of something fun to watch.
This week, I also re-watched Birdman which, if you haven’t seen it, you should go watch right now. Yes, it will take two hours, but this article will be waiting for you when you get back. Great movie, right? The soundtrack, the acting, the cinematography! OH THE CINEMATOGRAPHY! Part of the appeal of the multiple-Academy Award-winning film is the way it was shot. Incredibly long takes that were seamlessly cut together to give the appearance that much of the film was shot in only a few takes. Which of course brings us to this week’s first earworm:
Spoon – “The Underdog”
The discography of Austin TX band Spoon is incredibly earwormy in its own right but their single “The Underdog” off of their 2007 album “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” hits a certain part of my brain that makes it a song great for almost any occasion. The toe-tappingly fun tempo with fairly sparse drums, relying more on acoustic guitar and alternative percussion to keep beat and the catchy horn line – damn that catchy horn line – is what makes the song so listenable nearly a decade later. The video itself is a neat adventure through an Austin recording studio. The steady-cam one-shot weaves through the building as each element of song builds from the band sitting in the center of the studio to a dozen or so other folks helping out including the apparent in-house mariachi horn section. Every studio has one of those, right?
A single shot in real time not enough for you? Well strap in, because it’s time to melt your brain on music video logistics and editing with…
Locksley – “Darling It’s True”
Without exaggeration, I’ve probably watched this video by Locksley about a hundred times. Another apparent one shot – if there were multiple shots, they’re very well hidden – the video was filmed in rearranged chunks and fast forwards and rewinds when each element of the song is needed. The single shot follows the band members through a few city blocks as they sing their out of order verses. The chorus is visited in the edit a few times but filmed only once in a convenience store and was seemingly filmed first. Or is it last?
The scope and overall planning of this video had to be monstrous and although they could clearly make up for timing errors in the fast forwards and rewinds; it had to have still been an incredibly intricate shoot. In the past I’ve attempted to figure out the order in which it was filmed in the one-shot style but I fail every time because the stunning way it was shot is downright distracting and lets face it, the song is just so damn catchy.
Bonus Locksley earworm! An acoustic version of their very poppy “Don’t Make Me Wait“. This video is not shot very well. Please don’t hold it, or its extreme closeups, against Locksley.
What are your favorite visually stunning earwormy music videos? Can someone smarter than I break down Locksley’s filming order for me? Want to point out that I coincidentally chose two songs that prominently showcase the tambourine? Let us know in the comments!