Three Music Videos to Watch Today

We can thank the internet for reviving the video star and keeping music videos as relevant as ever, even though they have lost the TV screen-time that birthed them in the first place. Today, because they are far more likely to be viewed, passed on, and talked about online than anywhere else, music videos have managed to both evolve beyond what they once were and maintain their relevance in entertainment and youth culture. Robin Thicke’s recent uncensored “Blurred Lines” video was both a YouTube ban controversy and the vehicle for a rising modeling star. Today, a music video can be a declaration of an artist’s point of view, a star vehicle, an inside joke, and much more. Here are three of the most talked about music videos of the moment:

 

  

1. Mumford & Sons “Hopeless Wanderer”

Chart-topping English folk band Mumford & Sons is known for their beards, their banjos, and their mastering of twee indie style—but today they’re being lauded for their sense of humor. In a perfectly self-aware and self-effacing move, the quartet stayed behind-the-scenes for the music video of the single “Hopeless Wanderer,” instead casting comedians Ed Helms, Will Forte, Jason Bateman, and Jason Sudeikis to play over-the-top versions of themselves. No doubt in a humorous nod and wink to the many Mumford haters who think the band’s fist-clenching earnest act is too much, the video parodies all things Mumford—from intense in-each-others’-faces singing to sun-dappled fields and prominently-featured rustic barns. The move has even critics laughing with them, not at them, and proves that self-awareness can get you far if done in the right way.

 

 

2. Jay Z “Picasso Baby”

In the last month, Jay Z has gotten rid of his hyphen, gotten his sports agency off the ground, and apparently merged the…

 
 

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“It[‘s] only about the music for me, nothing else dictates what I listen to, I either like it or I don't.”—Male, 28, WA

A new app is getting teens’ attention as it rises through the ranks of the new social apps to know, even surpassing Houseparty’s popularity—but the catch is it’s “piggyback[ing]” on Snapchat. Polly allows users to create anonymous surveys that they can send on Snapchat (there's that anonymity allure again), meaning many users may not have actually downloaded the Polly app, so they “could slip away if friends stop posting questions.” For now though, the app amassed 20 million users and 100 million answers last month, proving it’s one to keep an eye on. (TechCrunch)

Designers are taking to social media to “shame” the retailers ripping off their work. When Zoila Darton spotted a Forever 21 shirt eerily similar to the one she helped create to benefit Planned Parenthood, she posted a tweet to let the brand know their copycat didn’t go unnoticed—and quickly gained attention from fashion editors and others. This isn’t the first time pieces have been copied by Forever 21, but designers have a hard time taking legal recourse against the powerful company. Instead, social media posts are often their best bet. (NYTimes)

BeautyCon is continuing to take “Sephora and Coachella and smash it into one thing” to appeal to young consumers. At the latest L.A. event, 20,000 beauty fans came to meet their influencer idols and try out the latest makeup trends, surrounded by empowering slogans and messages—true to the brand’s idea that “beauty can be something beyond a concealer culture.” Of course, brands were there “to win over the new generation”—ChapStick Duo offered cotton candy while Rimmel London’s “slayground” gave attendees a chance to set down their makeup and enjoy a jungle gym and swing set.
(The New Yorker)

It turns out saving money might not be cord cutters’ top reason for switching to streaming. Instead, a recent Magid Associates survey found that “the attractions” of SVOD programming (aka their content) is their top reason for making the move, followed by the overall decline of TV-viewing among 18-24-year-olds. Cable companies are trying to reel The Post-TV Gen back in by offering lower-cost cable bundles (so-called “skinny bundles”), but stepping up their shows might be a better first step to reversing the “accelerating” trend of cutting the cord. (TheStreet)

Pokémon is reaching out to a new generation of trainers with its first app for preschool-aged kids. Pokémon Playhouse follows in the wake of the massively successful augmented reality app, Pokémon Go (which was so popular that we put together an entire infographic on it) but won’t be AR-based. Instead, Playhouse will tap into the collectibles trend by featuring favorite characters like Pikachu for kids to collect by completing activities. There will also be puzzles and more in the app’s “interactive park.” (Kidscreen)

“I'm literally listening to music any time it is socially acceptable.”—Female, 28, MN

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