“Word Crimes” by Weird “Al” Yankovic and Jarrett Heather

"Word Crimes" by Weird "Al" Yankovic
Open “Word Crimes” by “Weird Al” Yankovic and Jarrett Heather

“Word Crimes”  is an official music video designed and animated by Jarrett Heather for “Weird Al” Yankovic.  The video uses kinetic typography and evocative visual images to reinforce the didactic tone.  The song is a parody of Robin Thicke’s own “Blurred Lines” employing its catchy tune, lyric structure, and even typography (as in the case of the hashtags) repurposed tosatirizes common ways that language is used incorrectly in writing.

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Slenderman, The Marble Hornets, and Totheark

slenderman-1-708110Remember those chain emails your most obscure contacts would send you during the wee hours of the night that read something like “IF U DON’T FWD DIS A CREEPY CRAWLY GHOST OF A GIRL WILL COME OUT OF DA CLOSET AND KILL U” ?

Well they’re back. And they’re coming to get you for not forwarding all those emails.

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“Rubber Traits” by Why?

Screen capture of "Rubber Traits" by Why? A dog drools the lyrics to the song next to a razorblade; a pug with a human mouth (mustache included) sings the words of the song. Text: "A Blade / But I want... / But I want... / Oooo"
Open “Rubber Traits” by Why?

Indie rock/ alternative hip-hop band Why? has always prided itself on befuddling listeners with a distinct blend of unorthodox beats, lyrics that fluctuate between rap and the nonsensical, and a surreal approach to their melodies. “Rubber Traits,” although one of their “poppier” singles, does not disappoint in this respect. The single touches on lead singer Yoni’s frequent bouts with depression, yet the video utilizes kinetic typography to complement Why?’s eccentric musical stylings, which underscores the bands ability to display a valiant sense of humor despite the lyrical content being weighty.

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“Right Action” by Franz Ferdinand

Screen capture from "Right Action" by Franz Ferdinand. Cyan background with four grey arms holding each other to form a square. Text: "Right Action"
Open “Right Action” by Franz Ferdinand

“Right Action” is a music video that incorporates static and kinetic typography from Scottish alternative rock band Franz Ferdinand. In the video, as the band performs the song, the music video progressively shows the viewer the lyrics to the song, every time with a different variation as to the form of how the word is written out. Aside from the typography, the music video also contains various images that appear to associate themselves one way or another with the lyrics of the song. When the band is shown in the video they are blended into the background while the images that cover both the background and the foreground of the video have brilliant colors, attracting more attention to the images and typography than the band itself. The blend of typography, color schemes, and almost subliminal messages through its images makes the video keep the viewer ever so attentive.

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“Alan Wake” by Remedy Entertainment

Open “Alan Wake Official Launch Trailer”

Alan Wake is a survival horror video game released for the Xbox 360 and Windows platforms and developed by Remedy Entertainment, a Finnish company known mostly for their Max Payne video game series. In the plot of the game, a best-selling thriller writer named Alan Wake is trying to overcome his two year writer’s block and mending his marriage by going out on vacations with his wife to a place called Bright Falls. It is here where the storyline starts to develop itself as a thriller narrative, seeing as the game itself from its beginnings alludes to this aspect through a nightmare the main character has, by showing dark corners, mysterious characters and eerie ambiance in plain day during the prologue of the game. As the game progresses the player learns that there are  pages scattered around the game environment which foretell events warning the player of dangerous circumstances ahead. These pages add more depth to the transformation of the game from a thriller to a horror game, immersing the player in its structure and pace while wrapping it up in cinematic genres that perform language like episodic storytelling similar to a television series.

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“Snowfall” by Kentai-P

Open “Snowfall” by Kentai-P (Video embedded below)

“Snowfall” is a great example of music written using Vocaloid software. When listening to this artificial synthesized singer one can appreciate the software’s sophistication and realistic results.

The choice of musical instruments– xylophone, drums, snare drums, and bells– visuals in the video– blue background with snow falling, and white font for the lyrics– all evoke Winter. It isn’t long after the voice stops singing the first stanza that the most astonishing part of the song takes place: a choir joins in to sing the chorus. It is common to see choirs used in Vocaloid pieces, but it is very unusual for that choir to be formed by one single Vocaloid library. The melody also evokes a Scottish or Celtic culture by playing bagpipes before and during the choir. The overall effect is evocative of a medievalist fantasy adventure: a love song by a singer who yearns to be reunited with her love.

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“Vocaloid” by Yamaha Corporation

logo_vocaloid_by_angel_corp-d6yl5z0.png

Vocaloid is software that uses voice libraries built from the recorded and modified voices of human singers to allow users to possess their very own artificial singer. This software has created a great amount of possibilities and has had a significantsocial impact in many regions, especially in Japan. This entry will concentrate on explaining the authoring software and its e-poetic potential.

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