What The Hell Is Happening To Music?: A Look At Stereo Skyline's "Me & You" VideoWith groups like the Jonas Brothers rising to great heights and being compared to The Beatles by some who are probably confused with their lives, a lot of people have been complaining about what music has come to. I'd definitely agree with the sentiment that quite a few bands that get big these days do so because of marketing ploys and targeting pre-teen girls; that's exactly why Twilight made it big. The other day, my sister told me:
"You should start one of those bands that has no talent and just plays music videos on Nickelodeon. You'll get to jump around and film in amusement parks and all you'll have to do is shout 'Yeah yeah' at dancing 8 year old girls and you'll make so much money."
Wouldn't sound like too bad of a gig, eh? Then about five minutes later while she was watching some Drake and Josh on TeenNick, one of said music videos came on. It was no ordinary music video, though, but one showing a band that hails from the town next to me.
I've known about Stereo Skyline for a while now and remember seeing them at a couple of local shows here and there back before they were "big", so I thought it was kind of ridiculous seeing them on TV. They've undergone a ton of scrutiny on Long Island, and even more recently, a local LI band called Bellwether wrote a pretty clever, rebellious, "honest" punk song (definitely check it out, I thoroughly enjoyed it) which made a reference to Stereo's hit "Heartbeat" and the whole theme of being sellouts. Even so, it wasn't until I saw a video of them playing on "Good Day New York" that I was inspired to look more into them.
"We're like, a cooler Jonas Brothers," said the lead singer.
"Jonas Brothers with an edge!" the anchorman replied.
No, just no, anchorman Greg Kelly. I will give you a chance though; I've decided to review and analyze their video "Me & You" which played on TeenNick in order to look for the edge you speak of.
The video starts off with the band walking down the street, looking at a flyer that made me chuckle at first because I thought it said "boner", which later disappointed me. They are stoked to see an ice cream truck, which they proceed to hop in and drive off with. Great example you're setting for the kids, Stereo Skyline. Committing grand theft auto is a great way to start a sunny day. The video doesn't show them getting arrested later or anything, so I'm assuming they either bribed or got away from the cops who must have easily found them because of how easy ice cream trucks are to spot. The ice cream man comes out to find his truck is missing, and boy is he pissed. He probably has bills to pay, and his boss will be absolutely furious. Stereo Skyline advocates ruining both music scenes AND the lives of America's working class.
I guess this could be the edge he's talking about. Committing crime is pretty edgy. Then I listened to the lyrics: "The words me and you never ever sounded so cool".
Maybe not as edgy as it seemed. Let's keep watching.
The band lurks around town in their stolen truck, eating stolen popsicles and inviting women to the bonfire they're planning later. This sounds a little bit creepier than it is fun or lighthearted. They sing: "You're so so sweet, you're makin' my teeth hurt girl, you're makin' my lips work girl." Whoever they're pining for is apparently a painful person to love. I'll bet she's high maintenance too. Enter the chorus with some autotuned falsetto sounding stuff:
"Baby, you're my Rocky Road, my mint chocolate chip and more, feels like a cavity for sure, but here's the scoop, taste the truth"
The ice cream references are pretty clever, I guess, if you're a pre-pubescent girl who wishes guys with swooping blonde hair and high pitched voices compared you to frozen dairy treats. Personally I think the lyrics would be better if they were "Here's the scoop, this song is poop", but what do I know about successful lyricism and prose?
Two of the guys in the band run up to a random girl on the beach who's tanning and snap a picture of her on a camera phone. How mischievous! They then proceed to ditch the ice cream truck, probably setting it on fire (not shown) to dispose of the evidence, and they head to the beach with their instruments for the creepy bonfire they've invited all the unsuspecting girls to.
They assemble on the beach with all of the girls they're probably soon to sacrifice at the bonfire and start playing a show. The drummer has somehow transported his entire drumset to the beach which baffles me. They must have somehow picked it up on the way to the beach in the truck, but there's no way they had enough time to get it there and assemble it before the police found them. Either way, there's no reason to have that drumset on the beach for an acoustic show. It would be loud and obnoxious, and besides, drums move around when you play them and probably wouldn't be too sturdy in the sand. It's called physics, Stereo Skyline.
The bridge contains generic lyrics about the band being heartbroken by some girl, or something. I don't really know or care anymore by this point. The site I got the lyrics off of claim that the lyrics going into the bridge are: "(hm ba ba ba hm ba ba ba), (hm ba ba ba hm ba ba ba)" which makes complete, contextual sense.
The rest of the video is basically the band making wacky faces while happily finishing up their song. Several girls continue to flock to the beach, influencing the young girls watching the video to be attracted to criminals who will lure you to beach bonfires with their acoustic jams and damage the ice cream industry. It ends with them all happily laughing as a sunset pans out, probably because they could not show on TV or even Youtube the horrors that followed the seemingly safe, joyful beach gathering.
Maybe the edge that I was looking for IS indeed there. Stealing an ice cream truck is a pretty cool crime as far as cool crimes go. Even so, committing cool crimes doesn't make you cool, and getting big off of your image and crappy bubblegum pop doesn't really help either.
In the end, the anchorman was right, and even though the lead singer is wrong about them being cool, he's still probably happily swimming around in cash and light media exposure. Excuse me while I go start my own pop group. In the time I took to write this post I totally could have assembled my own ragtag band of performers and been on my way to being on Nick.
To view the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24KD-RYkSf4