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YouTube: Curved Air - Back Street Luv

Broadcast - Papercuts

Your assignment today is to compare and contrast these two videos. How are the songs different? Alike? What do the differences say about the time periods in which they were made (early '70s and 2000, respectively)? How are the video styles different? Alike? Do you like the songs? Do you like the Jefferson Airplane? Are psychedelia and anomie compatible states? (hat tip to Three Rivers Online for the Broadcast).

Update, papers have been handed in and here they are, with the "teacher" getting a final word in:
I would rather listen to the music without the video, in both cases.
The Broadcast singer is channeling Dorothy Moscowitz more than Sonja Kristina although after I had to use the internet to remember Dorothy Moscowitz's name, I was amused to see the Wikipedia entry on the United States of America compared them to Curved Air.
- anonymous (guest) 5-26-2006 11:32 am


A comment on video style from 20 seconds of each ... exTREME effects! What will the 2k video look like in 2030? The 70's piece has very "period" effects. The newer piece seems to draw from a broader range of influences than "what's the cool new effect."

As an aside, there are some TV shows that clearly show the production staff that created the original look-and-feel loved their brand new toys.
- mark 5-26-2006 8:43 pm


I think the Broadcast video is pretty stunning. It's meticulously organized, and I like the way the frames within frames are used rhythmically in sync with the music. It's hard to imagine it will date the way the Curved Air is dated, because it relies so much on quotation--the Austin Powers, lava lamp look gone all abstract and clinical.

I hadn't thought about Dorothy Moskowitz or the U.S.A but I should have--that group invented combining psychedelia and anomie, they were doing it in '68. (The literary version of this impulse might be Robert Stone's Dog Soldiers.) The comparisons between the U.S.A. and Curved Air are interesting, icy female singer, the use of violin and synthesizer, and not just synth but "synths that sound like synths"--that go out of tune and climb all around the scale rather than just being used as a spacy organ.

The anomie factor is pretty low with Curved Air, though, I would say they are melancholic/romantic rather than affectless/burned out. Also very ambitious musically. The main reason I liked seeing their video was that I've never actually seen the group play but have listened to Second Album and Phantasmagoria obsessively. This was a later incarnation of the band, post-Phantasmagoria, singing a song off Second Album.

- tom moody 5-28-2006 10:29 am

- tom moody 5-26-2006 5:01 pm [link]