George Michael is in the process of staging a Madonna-style comeback, with a new single, a benefit album and a new documentary all coming out shortly. The doc, called "A Different Story," is due out in November and covers his early life and the super-stardom that descended on him with the success of "Wham!," plus appearances by the likes of Elton John and Simon Cowell. You can watch a trailer for it here (QuickTime). The newly released video for the decidedly non-dance track "John and Elvis Are Dead" takes a page from the James Bond video book, projecting historic footage -- the moon landing, Nelson Mandela getting out of prison -- on to the bodies of twirling dancers over a slow ballad that finds Michael very much in "Praying for Time" mode.
Other new videos for the week: Sessions at AOL has videos of Martina McBride performing a number of the old-time country songs off her new album, "Timeless," including the Hank Williams classic "You Win Again" (QuickTime). And it's not exactly new, but George Harrison's "Concert for Bangladesh" -- the mother of all music benefits -- was just rereleased this week, including this live video for the anthemic "Bangla Desh" (QuickTime).
In honor of Halloween, a few of the great scary videos of all time: Watch Michael Jackson wolf out and then lead a zombie dance troop in "Thriller." (The video -- at over 10 minutes, more of a short film, really -- opens with this: "Due to my strong personal convictions, I wish to stress that this film in no way endorses a belief in the occult. Michael Jackson.") Kind of a low-budget version of the "Thriller" concept and shot, apparently, mostly during daylight hours, Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me" still manages to be creepy. (And we posted it last week, but don't forget the all-star indie-fest "Do They Know It's Halloween?")
And partly because it's almost Halloween, partly because I recently returned from living in Berlin, here's a weird litte assortment of videos from German artists for your enjoyment/horror. On the creepy side (and possibly not entirely safe for work):
- "Sick Like Me" is a dystopian track from angry electro-metalhead T. Raumschmiere, sort of a German Marilyn Manson. Windows Media or Real Audio
- "Mund Auf, Augen Zu" -- meaning "mouth open, eyes closed" -- is a rumination on clowns (scary!) from the electro-clash super-sampling girl duo Cobra Killer. (QuickTime)
On the poppy side:
- "Von hier an Blind" is a Tintin-inspired animated video from Wir Sind Helden, currently a very popular quartet in the Sundays/Cranberries mold. (QuickTime)
- "Troy" was the big single off of the most recent album from the Beastie Boys-esque hip-hoppers Die Fantastischen Vier. (Real Audio)
- "Die Brief," a simple song about getting a breakup letter, from the Berliner trio Katze -- which I'm including mainly because I can almost see the apartment I stayed in somewhere in the background.
-- Scott Lamb