Tuesday, 20 September 2011

-Music Videos on my Mind- White Man Walking

British white guys with guitars must really like walking.

Seriously, you can't get more rock'n'roll than a moody bastard trying to walk in a straight line while crazy shit happens around him.

Richard Ashcroft did it in The Verve's Bitter Sweet Symphony, and Harry Potter actress Emma Watson walked the streets of New York in One Night Only's Say You Don't Want it.

Massive Attack recruited Shara Nelson to walk the streets of L.A. in Unfinished Sympathy, and Radiohead hired an actor to lie in an unnamed street while angry pedestrians fretted around him in Just.

Coldplay's Chris Martin walked forwards in both Yellow and Fix You, and then decided to walk backwards in The Scientist, ensuring he had all directions of physical movement covered. (He even went all-sideways in Strawberry Swing.)

This year has given us two distressed white guys with guitars walking down a street with mad things occurring around them.

First is Liverpool's The Wombats with Anti-D, an indie tune in which lead singer Matthew Murphy, dressed like a mortician's assistant, walks out of his house looking like a barrel of laughs while a barrage of cheery folk try to make him smile by being hyper-happy.

Next is Scotland's answer to R.E.M. (maybe that's too high a praise), Twin Atlantic's Make a Beast of Myself, in which lead singer Sam McTrusty upgrades the walking experience by strolling down a street in Berlin, causing people to freak out upon seeing him. (I think it may be because he's meant to be conceptually dead or something.)

As you know, the plight of British guitar music is a cause close to my heart, but the current crop of videos is letting the scene down badly.

Neither of the above songs are bad melodies. They are, in fact, good songs with both substance and meaning. Matthew Murphy is obviously singing about his own battles with depression, while Sam McTrusty has a stunningly emotive voice that's rife with anguished feelings.

The videos may be concept-driven but the execution is pretty lousy and that encumbers the overall effect. I think that both songs will have pleased me more if I had heard them on the radio first as opposed to watching them on television.

Walking down a street is all fine and well, but shouldn't we demand more from our white guys with guitars?


  1. I think it's because white guys with guitars are too cool to work out at the gym. You're not going to see these guys pumping iron at the gym...besides, they can't get too buff...that just would ruin their image.
    So they have to walk. Well, saunter. Carrying the guitar has added health benefits. I think.


  2. We need more guitars!

  3. oh, I swear I wanted to beat that Verve guy when he was punching and walking into all those poor people in the street. I have zero tolerance for angry and pompous rockers :) Although, he did redeem himself by giving me one of my favourite rock songs ever - LOVE IS NOISE

  4. Great blog - awesome design! Followed!

  5. You are so right!!!! So many of them love their guitars and walking.

    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  6. the iconic pose dreamed of by so many modern white guys: with guitar.

  7. Interesting observation. Yes, white guy walking down the street with guitar has been done to death.

  8. Why would we ask for more? Isn't it what everyboyd wanted to do at least once in his life? walking down the street playing guitar nonchalantly

  9. You've got a point there! British singers are sure walking a lot. +follow

  10. Isn't that what all cool kids do, walk/swagger/saunter down the street with a guitar? I totally LOL at Amber's comment. They sure have an image to keep.

    Thanks for stopping by, indeed I've been doing just that... and also contemplating whether Greece swear by Eckhart Tolle's quote "There are no problems - only challenges and situations". Like, sort it out already please.


  11. There's a serious lack of creativity and originality in the art world these days, especially in books and film. Either all of these video directors are copying the same old Hard Days Night Beatles clip from 50 years ago or else the same person made them all. Either one is equally likely, but if it is the latter then you could find this person, club them over the head, and force the industry to find someone new to come up with some ideas for future videos that hopefully don't involve a lot of walking towards the camera. Here in the US, we use that walking bit for our television and car commercials now. We expect more from our rock stars. Not that they deliver it, but we still expect it. Maybe we just need lazier rock stars who don't go around walking so much? Hey, what if they were riding on one of those Segways instead? Or riding a big old Harley through the crowds pushing people aside and making them gag from the exhaust? Eh, I guess the environmentalists would complain. Anyway, don't give up hope. Find that video director and give him a good whacking. Things will change if you just do that. I feel sure of it.

  12. Yet let me obtain my wish. Following!

  13. Ha, this is hilarious and oh so true. Perhaps it came about b/c of the Beatles? But yeah, it's like 40 years later. Come up with something new. Great blog by the way. Following you now.

  14. like i said, u gotta love it!

    im back bro following ur stuff!

    nice post.

  15. The Coldplay remark was hilarious! These type of videos is the reason I feel like a musician when I walk down the street with headphones, too many music videos! +followed

  16. There is also another walking guy video where he a white guy walks towards camera on a road. And other people suddenly appear in screen throughout the whole video. Some of them are dressed funny. It's a happy simple guitar song and only the guy is singing/telling a story. Do you remember that clip?