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in what will hopefully be regular feature on Stylus (as long as that dude who filmed Reginald Denny getting beaten from a helicopter doesn’t get his way), we present our stash of YouTube clips worth watching. Or not worth watching. Or worth watching because they’re not worth watching. You get the point. On with the show…

Stylus’ Youtube-excavating column reaches its second week, and what better way to celebrate than with a series of videos all tenuously united by the common factor of featuring an act of violence at some point? None.


Sparks – Tips for Teens

An enduring classic from 1981, wherein a list of advice to a youngster is visually accompanied by a much more testosterone-fuelled story, as the brothers Mael resolve years of sibling rivalry by competing in a boxing match. Gasp at the tension as the brothers stand off to the lyrics “soon you will lose all your zits, tight sweaters no longer fit.” Marvel at the inexplicable union of Russ catching Ron with a fierce right hook and the phrase “don’t eat that burger! Does it have mayonnaise? GIVE IT TO ME!” Sigh at the inevitability of Ron’s eventual victory, because Ron Mael always wins.


The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony

A lot has been made over the years of how much the Verve got screwed over the royalties for this song, because it was like, a distorted, reversed sample of a bit of a string loop you could only hear in one headphone of some orchestral Stones cover. This seems a very charitable way of saying “this song is a straight fucking cover of the Andrew Oldham Orchestra version of “The Last Time” with some complaining added to it,” but hey, that barge-heavy, Walter Stern -directed video brings back lots of memories of that summer of 1997. It was a different time, y’know? If Ashcroft tried that shit now you’d get about seven seconds of walking and twenty minutes of entrails and bits of leather jacket flying everywhere.


Kano – Typical Me

A fairly literal interpretation of Kano’s complaint about the perils of being pissed in clubs surrounded by bouncers and sundry other aggressive types. Even at the stage where he seems to be minding his own business, some women have a fight instead and he is returned, Sisyphus-like, to the Fucking Headlock. There might be a sitcom in that, or at least a strip in Viz.


Fad Gadget – Collapsing New People

Frank Tovey rises out of a burnt-out car full of tar and feathers, and proceeds to menacingly prod, throttle, and molest his band in turn while sidling round like some kind of nightmarish chicken-man. This is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen, and makes barging Londoners out of the way while sulking look comparatively tame. Despite this, Fad Gadget were never particularly famous and now Frank Tovey is dead.


Christina Aguilera – Dirrty

Xtina took a sledgehammer to her nice girl image in 2002 with a video that featured her dancing in a sexually provocative manner while not wearing many clothes and singing lines like “I need that, uh, to get me off, sweat until my clothes come off.” But if Kevin Nash’s legendary “lawn-darting” of Rey Mysterio Jr into a production truck on WCW Nitro in 1997 has taught us anything, it’s that nothing really establishes you as an unsavoury character like beating the shit out of a Luchador, and so Xtina wisely slots this in mid-video.


The Fall – Eat Y’rself Fitter

Possibly the best Fall video, for the phrase “RID US OF SPACE BORES,” the insane Brix-dancing, and that weird guy at the end going on about the confidence of Glaspance. Conveniently, for my theme, it also contains about three seconds where two of them have a fight because they’ve gone mad.


The Auteurs – Light Aircraft on Fire

The first single Luke Haines released after jumping off a wall and breaking both of his legs in the mid-nineties featured the opening line “when you cut your lover’s slack you’ll get a fucking monster back” and this rather odd Chris Cunningham video. A young girl climbs through a projection screen to find a world inhabited solely by Haines clones playing the song, and initially passes the time dancing through the snow, blowing bubbles and generally looking a bit wide-eyed and wondrous. Eventually the sight of the rather dashing lead Haines’ moustachioed face being distorted by lenses and the rest of them turning into animals takes its toll, so she goes a bit funny and smashes their gear.


By: Fergal O’Reilly
Published on: 2006-08-03
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