Thursday, February 27, 2020

Greatest Music Video Ever Made: Local H 'All The Kids Are Right'!

L to R: Joe Daniels, Scott Lucas, Joe Daniels, Scott Lucas, Joe Daniels, Scott Lucas...
It's funny, the year I formed my first band was the same year that MTV finally overpowered radio and began asserting its control over the music industry. In the same sense that the labels had long provided musical content, recorded at great expense, to radio stations free-of-charge in hopes of gaining airplay, labels were now doing the same thing for MTV in the form of music videos.

While also made at great expense, music videos quickly became a way for bands that may not have had a shot in hell of getting played on popular rock radio formats of the time to reach a national audience, even if it was three o'clock in the morning and most of said audience was counting sheep.

What made this content different from that which the labels furnished to radio stations was that music videos were created specifically for MTV and MTV viewers and rarely, if ever, made commercially available. Sure, a music video might also be played in night clubs and on other fledgling video shows and networks, but nobody gave a rat's ass about those plays; it was all about "getting played" on MTV.

By 1998, the whole world had lost its head and MTV had boldly announced that they were now cutting back on the number of music videos it played to make way for more "original content".

In other words, the network that had single-handedly "killed the radio star" was choosing to pay money out of their own pocket to create original shows that had nothing to do with music rather than simply press "play" on the content the labels had been furnishing to them on a silver platter for the past two decades.

Call me crazy, but when a network called "Music Television" stops playing music, something has gone terribly wrong in the executive shitter, but what can you do but watch in horror as the once-constant stream of grunge videos turns to Snooki and Pauly D?

The reason I bring all of this up is because, by the time the greatest music video ever made finally came along, the ONE freakin' network that would and should have pumped it into every living room in the country every hour on the hour for an entire summer was too busy pissing off longtime viewers with content that somehow manages to have fewer socially redeeming values than that W.A.S.P. video where Blackie Lawless's crotch turns into a buzz saw.

And, yes, Local H's video for "All The Kids Are Right" is, indeed, the greatest music video ever made and, had it come along five or so years earlier, I wouldn't be the only one saying so.

First off, what makes the video so amazing is that band members Scott Lucas (guitar/vocals) and Joe Daniels (drums, drums, and more drums) comprise the entire cast for the video, not only playing themselves, but everybody else in the video.

Now, this isn't anything earth-shattering to anyone who has seen "Multiplicity", where Michael Keaton played multiple clones of himself, but when you see the "live performance" where Scott and Joe playing the roles of EVERY SINGLE AUDIENCE MEMBER in the crowd, consider this camper's mind fully blown.

For that feat alone, this video deserves an Oscar.

Beyond that, the scene where Scott plays a club bouncer who frisks everyone that looks like him while the "Joes" walk in untouched remains one of the most succinctly stated commentaries on societal racism ever made in a rock video.

While modern rock radio stations played "All The Kids Are Right" enough for it to become the band's second most popular tune behind "Bound For The Floor", it remains a stone cold shame that few people even know such an amazing music video even exists.

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