The Modernettes – “Barbra”
This clip is awesome for a variety of reasons. For starters, it’s got that vintage punk TV news report upfront, featuring a young and fairly amusing Joey Shithead (he kinda looks/sounds like “Kid In The Hall” Scott Thompson). Secondly, it reveals the fact that the bassist for the Modernettes was named Mary Jo Kopechne. Naming yourself after the girl Ted Kennedy killed is the hardest shit ever.* Canadians definitely had all the best punk handles. Thirdly, the video for “Barbra” itself—deliciously lo-fi, spunky, and cute, just like the song. My only WTF? moment is that basketball player. What’s he got to do with anything?
* = I’m 80% sure Mary Jo Kopechne was a pseudonym, based on the fact the other two Modernettes went by the ludicrously fake names Buck Cherry and Jughead (both were actually named John, according to various bios I uncovered on Google; I found no alias anywhere for their sexy female bass player). If for some reason I’m wrong about this, if Mary Jo Kopechne is actually on that girl’s birth certificate and she’s been cursed her whole life as “that chick who’s got the same name as that dead chick,” then I profusely apologize (and marvel at the coincidence).
Suicidal Tendencies – “Possessed To Skate”
This video is lo-fi, too, but in a very different way from “Barbra.” This is definitely one of those “so bad it’s good” deals. I don’t know what movie Mike Muir is whining about in the introductory clip, but I’m guessing it’s probably something like Police Academy 4. The only thing lazier than Mike’s vocals on “Possessed” is the kid’s acting in the video. He looks like he’s holding in the world’s biggest shit when he starts pumping his fist as the skateboarders invade his home. No, wait, I take that back—the way Mike sings into that Bob Barker-style microphone near the end is ten times worse than anything the kid does. I would like to officially propose the theory right now that the couch in the “Possessed To Skate” video is the same couch used on all seven/eight/nine/fifteen seasons of “Roseanne” (note the eerily similar quilt).
Spinal Tap – “Hell Hole”
Text book hilarity. I don’t think Spinal Tap get enough credit for their musical endeavors, which are often just as funny and biting as the 1984 mockumentary that made this gloriously fake band famous. “Hell Hole” is a prime example. Great comedic twist in the second verse. That shot of Christopher Guest sprinting down his pool deck as the Taxman chases after him with a wagging finger may be the single funniest image of the Reagan Era. I also quite enjoy Michael McKean’s emoting on the first chorus. I wonder A) how they got those bikini girls and B) what those bikini girls are doing now. Can you get very far as a bikini girl in Hollywood if you have a Spinal Tap video on your resume? These, my friends, are life’s imponderables.