Since it's Friday, I figure it's okay to sully the (normally staid?) Riff with some YouTube vids that fall more on the side of "amusing diversions" than "cultural revolutions." But who's to say: maybe the re-emergence of that super-synthy, overdramatic, dreamy '80s John Hughes movie soundtrack style (read more about that, in French, of course, here) will turn out to be the major cultural development of mid-2008. Or maybe a live action Spanish Simpsons will cause Lou Dobbs to realize we're all just the same under our yellow makeup and giant blue beehives. We're nothing but fair and balanced here on The Riff, so decide for yourselves: are these videos just dainty trifles, distracting you from your Friday afternoon drudgery for a few moments, and if so, is that so wrong?
Usher – "Love in this Club" (homemade programmable carnival animal video)
Via Pitchfork comes this, the latest installment in the always-worthwhile trend of programming creepy old sideshow robot animals and junk to sing along with today's hits. Perhaps it's a bitter commentary on the fleeting nature of fame, or maybe it's just neat to see a melancholy-looking robot bear sing "let daddy show you what it feel like."
Sigur Ros – "Gobbledigook" (official video featuring naked people, possibly NSFW)
I've written before about my distaste for this band and their fairytale, Celine Dion-like noodling, but even though they've titled this song a word I might have used to mock them, it's actually not so bad, a slightly more uptempo track than usual, and plus, the video (made in collaboration with Ryan McGinley) features actual naked people, prancing about in the forest. Gather everybody in the office around your PC and click here\. (Thanks to Gorilla vs. Bear.)
"Los Simpsons" (Spanish TV comedy sketch)
Via Laughing Squid comes this quick clip of what humans might look like if they were real live Simpsons, and, um, also spoke Spanish. Can somebody translate this?
M83 – "Graveyard Girl" (official video)
Okay, this is actually kind of serious I guess, but wistful, and also it's just generally kind of amazing how deep into '80s nostalgia trends have dug (sunk?). Sure, okay, bring back the electro beats, the skinny ties, that was fun. But now, we've got whole albums by French producers that are based on adoration for the thin synths and ambitious sweep of John Hughes soundtracks (and I mean the music accompanying the actual climactic moments of the movies, not just the Simple Minds on the accompanying record). Turns out it's all really great. Anybody want to watch Breakfast Club with me tonight?