• Avril Lavigne, Framed

    Everyone likes Avril Lavigne, but few like her more than Framed. This is the fourth time we've featured one of her vids here, and it's always a good time all around. This week we've got "Let Me Go," a Vevo premiere featuring Avril and her new husband Chad Kroeger of Nickleback. The track is slated to appear on Ms. Lavigne's new, self-titled LP, due for a November 5 release.

    The piano-driven tune is, perhaps surprisingly, a ballad, and a break-up ballad at that. That's sort of strange in that Chad and Av have only been married for three months. We'd like to say that Avril's projecting a more grown-up image, except her earlier 2013 release, "Here's To Never Growing Up," will also be on the new album.

    So what's your take, readers? Is this the same snot that gave us "Girlfriend," which was, of course, the second video ever highlighted by this blog? Or is this a new, more sophisticated songstress with a more mature story to tell? We'll hold our breath until you get back to us.

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  • One Republic, Framed

    This week's guest artists, the Colorado band One Republic, first caught the public's fancy with their 2007 hit, "Apologize." Since then, their work has sold steadily if not spectacularly, although their 2013 album, Native, hit #4 in the U.S.

    This week's video, "Counting Stars," is from that album, and the video is sort of weird. The band is performing or practicing in a horrible basement somewhere. Meanwhile, in a room right above them, some sort of Christian revival is taking place. Eventually, the floor of the church room collapses, and one its members tumbles down there with the Republic guys. End of video.

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  • Steve Martin, Framed

    Everyone knows that Steve Martin is a great, great comedian, a fine actor and one hell of a writer. But how many know that Mr. Martin is also quite a musician, and a banjo player of considerable skill?

    We here at Framed knew, of course, since we're highly (if randomly and seemingly arbitrarily) paid observers of the modern culture. It's our job to know stuff like this.

    Martin says he got interested in the banjo when he was 17, and learned to play it with help from John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, who later served as Martin's back-up band on his 1978 hit novelty tune, "King Tut." To underscore his love of the instrument, in 2010 Martin created the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, which includes a $50,000 cash prize.

    Our video this week is "Jubilation Day," a catchy and humorous bluegrass tune performed by Steve and the Steep Canyon Rangers. It appears on his2011 LP, Rare Bird Alert, which also features titles like "Go Away, Stop, Turn Around, Come Back," and "Atheists Don't Have No Songs."

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  • Hoobastank, Framed

    Good day to you, readers, and thanks for looking in. Framed is the only blog that entertains you at every level of your consciousness, so you've made a good choice.

    This week our video feature is courtesy of Hoobastank, the great SoCal combo that took the world by storm about a decade ago with their big hit, "The Reason." We'll examine the video and make many germane, if oblique, comments through our captions, all of which are copyright protected.

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  • Marc Anthony, Framed

    We're excited -- that's our default state, by the way -- that this week's special guest artist is the great pop/salsa singer, Marc Anthony. Readers may best know Marc as J-Lo's ex-husband, but, of course, he's a star in his own right, having scored three Top 10 LPs in the U.S. over his several-decades-long career.

    The video we're featuring is "Vivir Mi Vida," a new Vevo premier that's picked up over six million views in a week. The title translates into English as "Live My Life," and the lyrics are about living and enjoying life; laughing and dancing instead of crying and suffering.

    Good advice, to be sure, readers! The video's in black and white, so we asked Marc to comment, in caption form, on the artistic values involved in that choice.

    He graciously agreed, but we think he may have misunderstood us. That happens to us a lot. But, since we're on a tight deadline, we'll go with what he gave us, and hope it all goes well.

    See you next week, readers! With a whole new Framed!

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  • Katy Perry, Framed

    Hola, readers, and welcome back to Framed, the world's only music video/humor blog that is, on occasion, bilingual.

    ¡Muy bueno!

    This week we're bringing back demure superstar songstress Katy Perry, whose new video, "Roar," is gathering scads of views. It's already passed 60 million on Vevo as of this writing, and most of those viewers had to sit through a Grand Theft Auto ad just to see it!

    Oh, Vevo, you darn capitalists, you!

    The song seems to be about a gal who will no longer turn the other cheek, and the video pretty much depicts Katy as Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. It's a rocker, let there be no doubt. So please take our good advice and enjoy the vid, as well as the splendid captions we've written, and return here in one week for even more music video shenanigans!

    ¡Hasta luego!

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  • Lorde, Framed

    Hi, readers! Let's talk about Lorde, aka Ella Yelich-O'Connor, and this week's guest artist in Framed.

    Ella hails from New Zealand, an island nation on the other side of the world. We learn from her bio that she was spotted at the age of 12 by A&R scout Scott Maclachlan... and we're not here to ask a lot of questions, but, hmm. In any case, she was signed to a label and "began working with songwriters" when she was 14.

    Lorde is now 16, by the way. We know you're dying to know about her stage name -- hell, so were we!-- so here's what she's said:

    “When I was trying to come up with a stage name, I thought ‘Lord’ was super rad, but really masculine — ever since I was a little kid, I have been really into royals and aristocracy. So to make Lord more feminine, I just put an ‘e’ on the end! Some people think it’s religious, but it’s not.”

    OK, Lorde. Er, good explanation.

    Speaking of super rad, our video this week is, of course, Lorde's very catchy "Royals." The tune, in which she sings of her station in life, has already hit #1 on the U.S. Alt Rock charts. We have no doubt you'll like it, too, so sit, click, and read on.

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  • The Plimsouls, Framed

    In the late 1970s and early 1980s, a group called the Plimsouls was wowing Los Angeles crowds. The band was formed by Peter Case, formerly of the Nerves, and played the "New Wave" music that was becoming the thing in the U.S. and U.K.

    Although quite popular on the L.A. club scene, and signed to a major label, the Plimsouls -- a British term for sneakers, by the way -- couldn't quite break through on a national level. They released only two LPs and three singles during their heyday, two of the latter being "A Million Miles Away," this week's video.

    The song appeared in the 1983 movie Valley Girl and became their biggest hit. So much so that it was released as a single twice, on two different labels. And even though it was a terrific song, it wasn't quite enough.

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  • Anna Kendrick, Framed

    Wouldn't it be great, readers, to excel at several important activities at the same time? Like, say, acting and singing. Or writing captions and drinking beer.

    Wouldn't that be great?

    This week we're very pleased to welcome Anna Kendrick to Framed. Anna is the super-talented Academy Award-winning actress who's appeared in Rocket Science, Up in the Air, the Twilight saga, and many, many more.

    But Anna is also a talented singer, as witnessed by this year's hit single, "Cups," from the film Pitch Perfect. Ingeniously, the video features the staff and patrons of a restaurant using cups and hand claps as rhythmic instruments. Anna, who plays a waitress in the video, makes her way through the dining and cooking areas of the restaurant, as no beats are missed. It's really quite good.

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  • MGMT, Framed

    With their third album poised to drop -- that's insider music talk there, readers -- in mid-September, Framed is very pleased to welcome MGMT and their new video, "Your Life Is A Lie."

    MGMT consisted of two guys from Connecticut, Ben Goldwasser and Andrew Vanwyngarden, who later added a trio of musicians for live shows. The new guys also participated on their hit 2010 LP, Congratulations. MGMT have been critical faves for some time now, playing -- we are told -- "psychedelic rock."

    Hold on for a second here while we let the wind cry Mary.

    OK. "Your Life Is A Lie" will be on the new album (MGMT), which we predict will be a massive hit. There's no question you'll love the video, 'cause it's quite bizarre, and our captions, 'cause they're germane and nifty. But be back here next week when this blog decides that humor isn't enough!

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