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The Michigakaily Weekeniq M
IQ Television Feature -
VH1 show reshapes
music video concept
GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DAY
vhe Rolling Stones' videos are frequently featured on VH's "Pop Up Video."
By stove Parusl Wlz
For the Daily
In the late 1970s, a brand-new way
to deliver music to the public was
born amidst the rise of punk rock
and the fall of disco. This new form
of broadcasting music introduced the
world to the glam rockers and hair
bands of the '80s. The name of this
transformation was music video.
Video created a whole new way of
listening to music. Not only could lis-
teners hear the music, but they could
also see it as well. The music video,
however, was not truly appreciated by
the public until 1982, when a fledg-
ling cable TV sta-_
tion known as Pv I
onto the scene to hntro
deliver videos to
the public. MTV t th h
changed the face of
music to come, bCIC roU
with its videos andR
its images of punk MUSIC Vid
rockers and pop
stars. The videos redefjnec
not only made
musicians stars Concept,
introduced the episodes
world to new forms
of music, such as enA ertarn
rap, hip-hop, alter-w
native and ska. weEEEEW
became a way of
life, and their pop-
ularity skyrocketed. Soon, everybody
who was anybody was making videos,
often spending millions in order to do
so. But still, the videos were just
videos, and no one knew how much
work went into them, or had a grasp of
who the artists really were. The new
art form was one of flavor but no sub-
stance, because there was no explana-
tion of the videos that the artists strug-
gled to make.
Years later, on a different music
network, in a decade when flannels
and grunge bands triumphed over the
leather and punk scene, one show
has begun to correct that problem.
The show is called "Pop Up Video",
because of the little bubbles of infor-
mation that pop up and give informa-
tion on the videos and the people
The show consists of a motley
assortment of videos, both old and
new. Pop Up Video tells about all
the oddities and quirks that hap-
pened on the set, along with subtle
cracks on the songs themselves. For
example, the Oct. 1 episode played a
song by Marc Cohn called "Walking
In Memphis." A lyric stated "I'm
going to buy a first-class ticket to
Memphis"; a Pop Up bubble came up
and gave the actual price of a first-
class ticket to Memphis.
The format of the Pop Up Videos
isjvs.t Jijke rtat ofsualyAideo. with
the name of the band, the song's
name, the record label and the name
of the album displayed at the bottom
corner of the screen. A change is the
little "popping bubbles" that sudden-
ly appear and relate information
about the song, video and band at
different points in the video. At the
end of the video, a large "blurb"
appears and relates the aftermath of
the video, along with any other
information that thebubbles may
A major theme of "Pop Up Video"
is its themed specials. An example of
this was the "Elton
/jde !John month" fol-
lowing the death of
Iuced us Diana and the
release of his new
'tory and version of "Candle
In The Wind." For
rid of the a week straight, the
show played noth-
eo, and ing but Elton John
videos. The same
I sat nervously on the dusty couch, say I'm looking for a job writing those
waiting in the hallway outside the office clever, witty blurbs of information you
door, in a situation many of us have find on the backs of shampoo bottles.
faced - the dreaded job interview. You know - that really deep literature
There may be different circumstances you read while you're taking a long crap,
- the couch could be a vinyl chair, the and the TV Guide is missing.
hallway could be conference But this is my senior year.
room, the potential jobs could Time to start taking the future
be different -- but the experi- seriously. Time to go to job
ence is pretty much universal. interviews. Time to get anx-
Your mouth gets a little dry; ious because somebody I
you fidget with anything you don't even know is going to
can get your hands on, maybe a :t.. make a decision that could
pen or a paper clip; you sweat a affect the rest of my life.
bit more than usual - no mat- And so I sat there. Waiting.
ter what those anti-perspirant Looking extremely uncom-
commercials may proclaim. fortable in my roommate's
And I get a little more ner- C ;is shirt and tie, because I don't
vous than most people. When FARAH even own a nice shirt and tie;
anyone asks me what my plans FARAH'S my definition of getting
are, I simply shrug and say FAUCET dressed up is wearing jeans
something like, "Oh, you know, that were washed yesterday,
I'm just going to roam the countryside instead of two months ago.
naked, foraging for nuts and berries." And then a man walks by. A janitor-
If I'm in a really ambitious mood, I young, whistling, wearing a black leather
beret. Not a care in the world. There he
was, perfectly contented, and yet he
embodied all my worst fears of failure.
He was a janitor. Just a janitor. No
prestige, no action, not much money. He
looked at me and smiled, noticing how
uneasy I felt in my businessman apparel.
"Hey, man, what's the shirt and tie for?
All dressed up, huh?"
"Job interview. Probably won't even
get it," I mumbled. At this, he frowned.
"Now what kinda attitude is that?" he
demanded. "You gotta go in there
knowin' nothin' is gonna stop you from
gettin' that job. You gotta know you're
better than everyone else, that they don't
got a chance against you.
"You'll get that job, piece a' cake."
And with that, he smiled and went on
his way, picking up scraps of pap
He didn't say much to me. An
he said wasn't even all that orig
I've heard the same thing in d
words from countless friends anc
But at that moment, sitting on t
outside that office, it was perfect
I went in there and I was nerve
not nearly as nervous as I could'
I wanted to say to the intervievA
matter what you may think, the
says I'm getting the job. So that's
I'll be honest with you. The ji
view didn't go well - the inte
even told me that I wouldn't get
Now I'm no job-hunting vetera
think that's a pretty bad sign.
I was pissed off- there was re
way I couldn't have been. But if i
I an old
when the Rolling
Babylon" tour -
all Stones videos,
T h e m e d
episodes are more
frequent than these
are usually held
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together by a unifying theme, such as
songs by "girl bands," songs that were
featured in movie soundtracks or
videos made by the Jackson family.
There was also a countdown of the
most expensive videos of all time.
One downside of "Pop Up Video"
is its repetitive nature. The show
runs in a three-week cycle, and after
every three weeks, the episodes
begin to repeat. Another problem is
that there aren't enough videos that
can be researched quickly enough to
keep up with public demand, which
also explains the repeated shows.
The bubbles are interesting and
really spice up the videos that view-
ers have seen a thousand times
before, but once viewers have seen a
particular show, they already know
what the bubbles are going to say.
Finally, the show often stays away
from metal, rap and alternative
videos, and sticks with more tradi-
tional pop, R&B, hip-hop and classic
But all in all, the show has many
good points and is an original idea
- its episodes are entertaining as
well as informative. With the rein-
vention of the art of the music video,
"Pop Up Video" has introduced us to
the history and background of the
music video, and has redefined an
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