Tom Waits – Poor Edward

This is rather nice.  It’s really simple too, and looks (the rigours of stop-motion animation notwithstanding) like it wasn’t too tricky to make, either.

I have been wondering this about music videos recently: what exactly makes a proper ‘music video’ these days?  A while back that was easy: it was something awesome for MTV.  Since the rise of the internet, though, videos have started to serve a very different purpose.

Now, instead of being for television, 99% of the ones I watch are made for the internet.  They’re an awesome tool to have at your disposal – people email them to each other, embed them in Facebook, link to them on Twitter, and idly browse them on YouTube, making a music video a really good way to get your music out to people.  These days they can get away with being so basic that in many cases YouTube users simply post the song with no more exciting visuals than a picture of the album artwork.

So if you can get away with that little, surely we can make our own videos  for Song, by Toad Records bands easily enough – I mean, we have the equipment, because we use it for the Toad Sessions already.  That makes it sound easy, but it really is harder than that.

As every lo-fi band out there at the moment demonstrates, the production values really aren’t all that important, as long as the tune is good and the melody is strong.  Somehow, however rough or polished, a song has to stick in your head.

For a music video it’s presumably much the same: if the concept is sound, people seem pretty easily able to see past any shortfall in production values, provided those shortcomings are honestly embraced rather than pretended away.

And I suppose, despite being the reason it’s easier than it seems, this is also the reason it’s harder than it seems: no amount of affordable technology is going to give me a good idea for a music video.  Sure, I could probably execute one well enough to just about get away with, but the more I think about it the more I am certain that I could no more conceive of a compelling music video than I could write a good pop song, no matter how much cheap technology I get my hands on.