Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Completely Biased List of The Top 30 Music Videos Of All Time - Number 27 - "I Stay Away" by Alice In Chains

In my best Kasey Kasem voice "and now let's get to the countdown"...

I'm a big fan of video gimmicks and one that isn't used enough anymore is claymation...well, I guess it really wasn't used a lot to begin with. The only claymation I can remember was mainly done by Peter Gabriel and Green Jelly.

Anyway, "I Stay Away" was off the EP Jar Of Flies. I remember buying this and wondering what an EP is. An LP is a "long playing" record so an EP is an "extended play" record. Anyway, Jar Of Flies and U2's Zooropa were probably the biggest EP's in the last 25 years...but I digress.

The song itself is one of my favorites featured a little of the old "light and shade"...love the string arrangement mixed in with the crunchy guitars. "I Stay Away" featured claymation versions of the band working in and around a travelling circus. I always thought the claymation version of Layne Stanley was pretty cool. Let's take a deeper look.

0:00 -0:49 The video opens with a little travelling bus with a kid holding, pausing for irony...a jar of flies. It looks like Alice In Chains is also on the bus sleeping off another bender.

0:50 - 0:52 For some reason the band finds themselves hanging out in a circus in the middle of nowhere. The band must be dying of heat exhaustion wearing those grunge era outfits.

0:53 - 1:01 Here are some of the circus characters. I love the lion tamer. With his one good eye, you'd think he would have bad depth perception when he whips the lions...then again, you'll see what ultimately happens to him at the end of the video.

1:02 - 1:11 I have no idea what this person is supposed to be. Is it a man or a lady? Are those real breasts? Is that seal sitting next to him/her...and doesn't the seal need to be in water to survive?

1:12-1:25 - Love the out of control clown car.

1:25 - 1:44 Now things start to go wrong...the lion is getting fired up. I love the bulging eye. Nice shadowing claymation showing the lion ripping the trainer apart.

1:45 - 1:53 An homage to Genesis' "Land Of Confusion" with the extreme closeups of the band members' faces?

2:00 - 2:21 - Say goodbye to motorcycle guy.

2:42 - 2:46 Though the flies have nothing to do with it, these three clowns just lay into each other.

2:57 - Love the elephant getting fiesty

3:10- A knife to the face is never good.

3:15 - 3:56 - Now the clown car started a fire....at least the clowns show remorse

3:56 - end - There's the trouble maker the started it all.

So looking back, we saw a lion tamer mauled by a lion, a knife thrower murder his wife, a trapeze artist fall and break her neck, a clown get knocked unconscious, and the motorcycle stunt man probably die....plus the seal now no longer has any water source so he probably died too.

Grunge music at its bleak best...

1 comment:

Kudla said...

Jar of flies is the 1st and only EP to hit #1 on the billboard charts. A feat AIC might have forever.

I Stay Away is probably their best video but Chains never really put out good ones. Although "Again" isn't so bad.

A friend of mine used to play "I Stay Away" on a 12 string and it sounded so awesome. I think i'd have to practice for 10 years to figure out that song along with the tuning.