Before I get into this crazy-ass video for what really is a great song, let me lament that there aren’t more Aimee Manns in the world. There was a time, not long ago, when female singer-songwriters covered the earth in thick herds visible form space. Shawn Colvin, Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant and scores of others…there was Lilith Fair, there were the Indigo Girls on commercial radio…it was glorious. Now we have Taylor Swift. And Gods love her, she’s fine, but…she ain’t no Aimee Mann. Taylor’s simply not as talented. She’s not as deep. And no, she’s nowhere near as enthralling and sexy. Sigh. It’s true: I have harbored a crush on Aimee since the Voices Carry video, through her cameo on Rush’s Time Stand Still, continuing with I Should’ve Known and shit, even up to ’til now.
But let’s be honest, in this video…she’s a little wacky. But then, the whole thing is wacky. This track was co-written by Jules Shear, and fun trivia fact: he’s the “Jules” in ‘J’ for Jules, another brilliant song from this under-achieving album. Both ...Jules and our featured song for this Video Breakdown used to be part of a mixtape my old roommate Marcus would play in the room we shared in college. He’d packed it with soothing melodies to facilitate soundly sleeping, even if sometimes each of us would actually be quietly shagging our female companions in our respective twin beds. Hey, man…college.
So, let’s begin by watching the actual video, shall we? Open it in another tab if possible, because you may want to flip back and forth. Ready? In the words of Fred Schneider,here it ’tis…
Away we go.
00:00 – Oh! Lindsey Buckingham?
00:09 – Surprise! It’s Debbie Harry! Or…wait…
00:16 – Is that a picture from The Haunted Mansion? A saw? A bow? A bow-saw? (Also, Aimee? Aimee! We’re over here!)
Camera one, Aimee. Camera one. Camera ONE.
00:33 – And this was your father’s lightsaber…
00:49 – I think they could only afford greenscreen for the top third of this shot.
1:04 – Magic 8-Ball getting’ mighty preachy.
The new ones just say “Reply hazy. Fuck you.”
1:08 – Robo-hand has sweet knuckle tats like Robert Mitchum or Jake Blues.
1:10 – ILLUMINATI CONFIRMED!
1:13 – “Crap, guys. I couldn’t find a clover or horseshoe graphic. Let’s just spell out ‘lucky’ if it’s all the same to you.”
1:20 – “Aimee, show ’em the thing!”
1:23 – Birds: We’re free! Free from 8-ball enslavement!
1:30 – Black hole sun.
Are those…birds? Or did someone drop a bunch of Playtex gloves?
1:34 – Aimee? Hey! Over HERE!
1:40 – Wherein Aimee steps in a hole or something, and domino doors, because…um…
1:49 – WHAT’S IN THE BOX?!
Memories. Memories were in the box, asshole. And what looks like a spider.
2:00 – Took me a minute to realize that the shadows were from the objects still falling, ostensibly, from the previously-mentioned box. Nice touch. I guess whoever was in charge of continuity earned their paycheck on this shoot.
2:08 – What is that shit? Ash?
2:10 – Oh! Bubbles! We’re underwater with goldfish. That is lucky! (But goldfish can’t read.)
|AT LEAST IT’S NOT MONOPOLY! HAHA!| (Translated from goldfish.)
2:13 – “Say, I wonder what my fate holds?”
2:14 – “FUCK! That can’t be good! Aw, man…”
2:18 – So we’re doing this again? This ‘Twilight Zone’ crap?
2:23 – Zoom in on young Peyton Manning.
He’s just patiently waiting for his chance to yell “OMAHA!”
2:30 – The Australian ‘Watership Down.’
2:40 – Finally! Dr. Who!
2:43 – Finally! The Doors!
2:45 – Aimee, open your eyes all creepy-like.
2:46 – Nice touch with that ‘Spock’ thing you’re doin’ there.
Actually, it looks more like a Dr. Evil move…
2:48 – The ‘Infinity Ticker-Tape” thing never really took off.
2:52 – Kids, that is a nice transition. Seriously, good match-dissolve.
2:59 – “ARE YE READY, KIDS?” (Because life. Life. In a pineapple. It’s de bubbles. Under the sea.)
3:03 – Those have to be snooker balls or something. Stupid English people gotta make everything fancy.
3:07 – “Lucky” is a great white-trash baby name, FYI.
3:12 – Time-lapse rose to symbolize…patience? I guess?
3:16 – Aimee puts her band on a pedestal. (No, fuck YOU!) Except…she’s up there, too…and Peyton does’t have his damn drums! WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR DRUMS, PEYTON?!
CAMERA ONE! GODDAMMIT, AIMEE!
3:22 – It is ALWAYS camera one! ALWAYS!
3:31 – ILLUMINATI!
Laugh all you want, and then tell me what other reason there could possibly be for this. Huh, smart guy?
So, to recap: Aimee Mann is a very talented singer/songwriter, but has no idea which camera to look into. The drummer for ‘Til Tuesday would grow up to shill pizza for Papa John’s. And in the 80’s you absolutely HAD to have a video. For every song you released. Sometimes your director had just depleted his last ounce of creativity trying to get Whitesnake to go in a more creative direction and, failing to do so, had gone on a three-day coke and alcohol bender before showing up on the set screaming “EIGHTBALL! WE’RE DOING THE EIGHTBALL SHOT!” (Double-meaning totally implied.)
Thanks for reading, and check out “Everything’s Different Now” by ‘Til Tuesday if you ever get a chance. Good stuff.