Money Mark --- Information Contraband Cato Salsa Experience --- So, The Circus Is Back In Town
Beulah --- Gene Autrey The (International) Noise Conspiracy --- Capitalism Stole My Virginity

  Money Mark --- Information Contraband / Emperor Norton Records
Reviewed by B.C. Heathcliff

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Money Mark -- Information Contraband Video Still Initially I flinched at the name Money Mark, but dismissed my distaste when I read the clever CD title, Change is Coming. Every beat & visual is perfect in this video - the permeable fiber between reality and cinema is traversed by a bemused cabbie (MM) and Thai action movie posters with indulgent styling and transitions so smooth they leave you breathless. This is a weird video, and really entertaining from both a music video and editing perspective. One of those "how'd they do that?" videos. In fact, there are moments when the metamorphoses between 2D and 3D is anxious: it's executed so flawlessly and quickly that the viewer is still visually tying the characters together in a single scene while the characters continue to morph between a new scene of "reality" and a new movie poster. Even if you watch it repeatedly, you won't catch up to the transformations until the end of the video when the cabbie finally takes his proper place in the final movie poster. This video was one of the ten that got picked for the ResFest 2002 "Electronica" music video program. It deserved to be, "Information Contraband" is an incredible piece of digital art, perfectly wedded to Money Mark's music. OK, go watch it and then come back and read the rest of this...

... It's a nifty spectator video as it teaches us how to watch it. Beginning with a narrative look and a main character, we're set up for music video narrative, with rapid pacing due to the short nature of the song: i.e., looking at the character intensely and knowing his/her relationship in the narrative has to happen in the first 30 seconds. In this video though, the spectator is briefly dislocated because the seemingly narrative characters are transforming through planes, and we're still in narrative mode rather than texture mode, so there's a mental scramble to Keep Up - but we fail, hence the anxiety. But within another 30 seconds we figure out that we only need to watch the texture of the characters and need not persist with detailed narrative attention. By the middle of the video, the viewer perspective has snapped into place, the cabbie's presence is an anchor, and the ride is fun! So while "Information Contraband" is spectacularly rendered footage, it's also quite a feat on a spectator-relationship-with-piece level.

  The (International) Noise Conspiracy --- Capitalism Stole My Virginity / Burning Heart / Epitaph Records
---- Reviewed by Catherine Lee

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the (International) Noise Conspiracy - Capitalism Stole My Virginity Video Still By minimizing the palette to three colors in two different sets, this Noise Conspiracy video creates a riveting contrast, with greater visual appeal than most performance videos. Heightening the color contrast is the two forms of "dancing" and "performing", yielding an inviting yin-yang dynamic of voyeurism. The cool, de Stijl colors of red, black, and white in the groovy party scenes shift with a swap of green for red and camouflage for euro-chic - the temperature rise is equal to the change in action with shimmying and swaying replaced by thrusts, thrashing and crashing. Simple yet effective and engaging. And the icing is that any video with cameos by "Lipstick Traces" and quotes by Durutti is more book-smarts fun than your average rock group will attempt. The personal is political and if the political is danceable then you get everything - win win win - dancing to the insistent beat of protest. This video was coincidentally shot on September 11, which made the whole video shoot a surreal experience, and left the Noise Conspiracy wondering about capitalism and the loss of innocence, find out more here.

  Cato Salsa Experience --- So, The Circus Is Back In Town / Emperor Norton Records
-- Reviewed by Catherine Lee

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Cato Salsa Experience -- So, The Circus Is Back in Town Video StillCato Salsa Experience (CSX) are bringing the Freyan dream (Freydream?) to video. CSX romps through 20 garages with lunatic playing and shakes it all up with a percussive mallard duck. It's exuberant and the falsetto "ooh-oohs" are irresistible. Plus they've got a trick of running a portion of the film backwards to burn their name in your memory. Or maybe the paper isn't burning backwards but what Cato told Video Vision is true, "We had to learn how to play the song backwards for that video." "So, the Circus is Back in Town" looks and feels like the wacky good time that's in every track of the first CSX CD A Good Tip For A Good Time. This is either the most fun "garage" music you'll find out now (they're really not cynical) or the Scandanavian answer to the (JS) Blues Explosion. Find out more about CSX here.

  Beulah --- Gene Autrey / Velocette Records
-- -Reviewed by B.C. Heathcliff

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Beulah -- Gene Autrey Video Still It's Gene Autrey as a roller disco king skating above the freeways of California! He's Godzilla sized, a supple skater, and a danger to those he meets. Characters and colors dominate more than narrative in this crisply animated video - the song could take a back seat to a warped animators (nostalgic?) version of 1950's California except for the fact that the song's timing and lyrics are so wonderfully woven together with these whimsical visuals. The song itself is a pleasure for it's combined moments of musical levity with a damn depressing "Everyone dies sad and lonely". While the color palette has the same lightness as the music, the main character cast (GA, toxin handlers, weapons manufacturing (?) entities) share the emotional darkness as the lyrics. Deftly, the songs upbeat tempo infuses the visuals and silliness ultimately reigns: like any decent Hollywood musical the conclusion is a choreographed swimming pool dance extravaganza, with bathing beauties, singing fish, and swooping colors charging the crescendo.