October 15, 2014

1962, cornfields, '60 Chevy.

Pretty Sweet doesn't exist on the Internet, at least not in the places I'm willing to look.

Cory Kennedy in Pretty Sweet, is sure to be the video's most fondly remembered part. The other sections really vying for memory--Marc Johnson's SOTY victory lap and Guy Mariano's SOTY robbery--deserved all the buzz they got, though it's unlikely they'll be considered those guys' best ever attempts (for MJ it's close, but not obvious, Mariano=Mouse). For Kennedy, that part is what we've got, and until he goes and does better, there it is. For a video that sometimes felt too much like a music video and or a product, Kennedy's section benefitted from the production value, coming across sincerely when a lot of the rest seemed focus grouped. It also helps that he didn't skate to the female pop cover of a Wiz Khalifa track. That song, that song, that song.

"Night Moves," is yearnful music. Seger's summer of '62 equates the verve of some summers in the late aughts. This Slate podcast discusses the song, commenting on how it's all about sex, nostalgia and mortality, and how it's possible, like I do, to enjoy the song in both ironic and unironic ways. The song might be everything.

To steal one of that podcast's best bits, from Wikipedia on "Night Moves:"

"Night Moves" is a mid-tempo number that starts quietly with acoustic guitar. Bass guitar and drums are introduced as the song's setting is described: 1962, cornfields, '60 Chevy. An intense summertime teenage affair is described, knowingly more sexual than romantic, with short instrumental lines breaking the evocative imagery sometimes in mid-sentence. Piano, female backing vocals, electric guitar and organ are added as the song's emotional nostalgia builds momentum. Then suddenly it stops, as the narrative flashes forward to some period in the future, where he hums a song from 1962. To a quiet acoustic guitar, the narrator, awakened by a clap of thunder and unable to fall back asleep, ponders a different sense of the title phrase. Then the rest of the instruments fall back in, for an extended coda vamp of the chorus.

Equally as night movesy as those first summers as a freshly single adult, the time around the making of Weekend Warriors is another ready nostalgic pit, a wonderful bit of existence laser-focused on a goal existing completely outside the rest of reality. A video line-up that moves along together fosters camaraderie and we went out at night a lot, making full use of the fact that the city really opens up past 11 p.m. on a week night. When Meyer put out three videos in three years, starting with the Anonymous premiere, I edited featurettes of the old videos, four minute montages, bangers revisited, that played before the feature presentation. Those clips are lost to time. Weekend Warriors never had a direct followup, so no featurette, though if something had come out in the spring of '08 I bet it would have ended up pretty similar to my precious: The song always gets me going.

1 comment:

Wylie Tueting said...

I like this post; it's an honest post.
After Pretty Sweet came out, I don't think I heard anyone but me and one other guy speak of its problems, which were subtle but many.
MJ's part was definitely graceful and impressive, but even though he chose a groovy song, how well could the song groove with a part full of techy, single tricks? (MJ had a few great lines, admittedly)
And Mariano's part -- please forgive me -- was just a little overdramatic considering his song choice, that he puked in slow-mo, and that he only had one line!, the first trick of which was a ride-on fs-tailslide to drop-down fs-tailside.
I still give the best part to Stevie Perez. He brought the heat; he brought the variety. He's multicultural.