bet this sidetone's a shocker!! we love music videos, didn't ya know?!?! to quote the aar, "blame it one the tv". however....although our hearts beat for the creativity of musical minute storytelling, we do have a strong opinion that sadly music videos were better in the early 2000s. this isn't just our '03 baby club showing, too. music videos now a days lack purpose or plot. they're sad. they are just for show. most of them are just there to make the artist look 'cool'. but where's the meaning to it?? seriously!! try and tell us that justin bieber's music video to "peaches" is better than "simple kind of life" by no doubt. even for the weird gwen-stefani-mermaid-naked moment in no doubt's music video, justin bieber's "peaches" can't compete. though, to give some credit here, we do believe the k-pop music videos could save the day. "blood sweat & tears" by bts is mesmerizing in all of its production and on-point choreography, and the same thing goes for seventeen's music video, "clap". and, thinking about it now, there are a rare few music videos from today that actually give us that same sensational emotive feeling that we get when watching the greats from the early 2000s. we'll make sure to shout them out in another sidenote later, but right now, we are focusing on the all-american rejects.
see them as the scrawny, over-played boys that had a few radio hits in the early aughts like our dad thinks of them as, but we have our own thoughts. first of all, if you are an alt/punk person, you gotta worship your alters (essentially your 'godfathers' of the alt/punk genre). and you can't deny that "swing, swing", "dirty little secret", or "gives you hell" didn't help define the genre.
now that we are on the same page, we can move along (hehe, just had to 😆). anyways, since we now agree to appreciate the music from the all-american rejects and not consider them overplayed fools, you can also agree with us that there is no reason that the majority should only know them by their 'overplayed' song. sure they are solid songs, but the is such thing as the all-american rejects post 2008. in fact, they have....(take a deep breath)....released more music!! wwwhhhhhaaaatttttt!!!! we know, shocker!!!!!!!!
a few years after their kids in the street album, in 2017, the band released a two single ep, including songs "sweat" and "close your eyes". in addition to these songs, they released an eleven minute music video short film by james thraves, basically combining both songs into one longer music video to tell the two-sided life of its character, betsy.
these days it seems like all of our stories about something shocking that happened to us or something we found with music all start with spotify, so forgive us if this is boring, but we're taking a very quick break for, your favorite, storytime!!
so, yes, spotify. to just clarify why spotify is essential in most of our stories, we used to not be able to just find and purchase anything we wanted. our mom had us come to her and ask if she could purchase music for us when we were kids. and it wasn't like we were very savvy about looking through and digging around itunes to find new artists. when we got older we had a weekly spend limit, but the itunes issue still was present. we were mainly listening to the radio and being really, really picky about what we liked. we eventually had to be patrolled a bit about our purchases because we shut our mom's card down once. we know!! it was just a very good music day on the radio, we guess?!?! we finally did become better of searching around for amazing artists, finding our ways to artists like james bay, jarryd james, nick murphy, half alive, and lolo zouaï. we were happy with this. but when spotify entered the picture, our search engine to find artists exploded. and so did our ability to figure out the life we missed out on. we were finding out how artists that we listened to and thought 'fell off the face of the earth' didn't actually 'fall off the face of the earth'. they had albums and albums that we had no clue about!! and you know this happened to us with the all-american rejects. we looked them up, saw their 2017 ep, and happily found the music video!! we might be a little late to the game, but we think that everyone is late to valuing "sweat" by the aar.
we really wanted to keep it a secret, however for the sake of writing something about the music video in this sidenote, we have to spill the tea a little. (spoiler) starring frontman tyson ritter in drag, as betsy, in the first half of the video (part one: "sweat"), we watch as betsy walks up and down the streets as a sex worker, acting mischievous when (spoiler) betsy is with the police. during this aggressively sensual and zestful half of the video, two of our favorite moments were (1) the closeup of tyson's green eye blinking, showcasing the beautiful eyeshadow, and (2) the dance number with betsy, the cops, and the sex workers at the end. the 'let's go out with a bang' style routine is an extremely enjoyable part to watch. not only because seeing tyson do the moves is fun, when we all thought he was just that band-nerdy-boy, but also this number gives you a sense of satisfaction by uniting the cops and sex workers in this dance when in society there is still abuse inflicted and a lack of acceptance between the two. some people may see this music video as risqué or bold of the band to do, but the art itself is beautiful!!
in the second half of the video (part two: "close your eyes") things get more serious. after a moment of silence, breaking up the two songs appropriately, the music cues in right as tyson (spoiler) starts taking off his eyelashes. by unleashing the sorrowful instrumental beginning, it makes the removal of the eyelashes so much more powerful. from an audience perspective, we feel like we are mourning the loss of betsy to the conformant of society's standards. then (spoiler) when tyson is driving, looks down at his one nail that still has on the polish from the night before, and begins to pick off the paint, your stomach and heart squelches!! then as we have to sit by and watch as post-conforming-suited-up-betsy acts out the 'perfect', ''normal' lifestyle, the power of the music backgrounding the fake smiles is so intense. equally, after the turn for the worse, when (spoiler) the timer goes off to reveal that the company is just a group of paid actors, this fantasy life that's at the sake of betsy's happiness, like we saw in "sweat", is heartbreaking. but the message within these eleven minutes is what is key.
finally wrapping up the video with (spoiler) a pan of betsy's closet, we see a series of wigs, almost suggesting a series of different personalities that betsy has to fit in. sure it's been said and done, bringing awareness to the importance of individuality and acceptance of all (specifically of the queer and lgbtqia+ community). although we do not know how betsy identifies, the acceptance of those who cross-dress or dress up in drag are equally significant to respect. some critiqued the band's choice of plot and inclusion of tyson in drag when the video aired. they questioned if it was deemed 'okay' for tyson to dress up for the sake of a music video during a time where trans women were heavily under attack. everyone is allowed their own opinion and thoughts on the matter. how we see it, we applaud the choice of art, since the band has the power of platform. they have an audience and they have the lucky power of influence. if we, or any general busybody, were to say something, there's a chance that some people may listen to what we have to say, but if an artist were to say something, there's a bigger chance that their fanbase would follow along. therefore we believe that, at the end of the day, this can be an enjoyable music video and an informative piece at the same time.
clearly we've now put ourselves in a precarious situation. after explaining how celebrities or people of status have more say-power, what's the point of us trying to convince you in this sidenote?? we literally just said that what we say has little sway. therefore, as a result, we defer to the favorite mantra: the more the merrier!!
so!! don't just take our word for it. here our some of the comments that others had toward the music video. as you can see, we like and agree with them all!!
ultimately, music videos today aren't the same as they were back then. we don't have an mtv music video countdown or a special cable/streaming platform for them to premiere. even the apple music tv isn't the same. we don't have cool vjs (video djs). just zane lowe interviewing celebs. most of all, people don't see the purpose of buying music videos when you can just look them up on youtube. even when we were in middle school, one of our friends made fun of us for purchasing a video. the culture around them has changed and so has the respect for them. but, here at twinsAF, we will forever and always adore the art and praise those who do it. 'cause at the end of the day, "sweat" may not be like any of the music videos we grew up on, but we can for sure agree that it's better than "peaches".