(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

What's cool? Moodoïd, Heavy Metal Be Bop 2

And now for something completely different...

If Fark.com has taught us anything, it's that the Japanese are the masters of WTF video. Other countries may throw their hats in the ring, but they seldom offer any threat to the reigning kings. Now Parisian Pablo Padovani (AKA Moodoïd) has risen to the challenge with "Heavy Medal Be Bop 2". To be fair, his video lacks the innocent inscrutability that is the hallmark of Japanese TV, but it's such a hot mess that it overcomes that hurdle with ease. It's become a truism that things can be "so bad they're good," but there's never any doubt that the word "good" is always in air quotes. This video is a veritable double rainbow of campy perfection. I flip-flopped from bad to good so many times during this song, that my sense of irony got whiplash.

Imagine if Andy Warhol, Devo, Lady Gaga, and John Waters went off on a drug binge and had a contest to make the most absurd music video ever. Even if you have trouble with that, Padovani not only imagined it, but he took notes, threw their ideas into a blender, and then made the damn thing. Bizarre fashion, twisted sci-fi surrealism, '80s pop video deconstruction -- "Heavy Metal Be Bop 2" has it all and then some.

The tight, uptempo abstract jazz section at the start doesn't just reference his father, saxophonist Jean-Marc Padovani, but it even bolsters the younger Padovani's essential French credibility. That interlude doesn't last long, as he abruptly pulls an about-face to lay down a chill pop-funk groove. The jazz elements come back later to support a stylized sax solo later in the song. That, along with the muddle of the two genres, suggest why he named the piece in tribute to the Brecker Brothers' Heavy Metal Bebop, but despite the juxtaposition of outside jazz and pop, music is fairly tame compared to the imagery he's chosen. Truth be told, I enjoy his guitar work with Melody's Echo Chamber more than "Heavy Metal Be Bop 2", but the video is so entertaining that all is forgiven.

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