Sunday, July 07, 2019

Weekend Diversion: Mitch James again

Kiwi singer/songwriter Mitch James was a Weekend Diversion in July of last year, and while I have repeated someone not all that long after I last shared their videos, it’s not all that common. So, consider this a rare treat, then, not the least because this could well be one of the last of these posts.

Early last week, when I was talking about the Midpoint of the year, I talked about how our free-to-air video music channel is now gone, something I didn’t know was happening until it disappeared. I also said that I had a few Weekend Diversion posts I was working on, and this is one of them, a post that may never have happened if it hadn’t been for that video music channel.

The reason the channel led to this post is the video above, for the song “Old News”, and released late last year as the follow up to his hit song “21”, a song I really liked (so much so that it made my top 5 minus one last year). When I first saw it—on that video music channel—I knew the basic concept wasn’t necessarily terribly original (record company execs offering advice on how to make a music video that ends up being a little off). Even so, I liked the use of chats/texts to convey that specific conversation, even though that basic idea has also been used. But weaving in and out through the entire video is the sort of self-deprecating humour that Kiwis as known for. The video, then, mocks the music video making process and Mitch himself.

The song reached Number 8 on the NZ music chart and went Gold.

Another video played on that music video channel also caught my eye, “Bright Blue Skies” [explicit language]:

That particular video is a “lyric video”, called that for pretty obvious reasons. There are a lot of them on YouTube, and the music channel used to have an entire evening of videos that were just that sort of video. What struck me about it though, apart from the fact I liked the song, was that the “swear words” were intact—not just sung, but even in print. To me, as a firm believer in both artistic integrity and authenticity, it was great. I hate it when videos are censored.

When I watched the video the first time, I thought, “what’s with the dogs?!” I later realised that they could be why he doesn’t need a goddam thing from anyone. The credits at the very end are absolutely perfect—and match my sense of humour, which is always a plus for me.

The song is Mitch’s most recent single and reached Number 4 on the NZ chart and went Gold. This was also his first single to chart in Australia, reaching Number 75.

The final video today is also the oldest, “All The Ways To Say Goodbye”:

The video was released in late 2017, and was his single before “21”. It’s a nice song, but I can’t remember for sure whether I saw it on the music channel, but if I did, it would have been after “21” was a hit. I think. At any rate, I went looking for it on his YouTube Channel when I started putting this post together after I saw it listed on his Wikipedia page, which was very incomplete last year. In last year’s post, my comments on chart performance came from me looking up individual weeks’ charts on the RIANZ site because information on chart performance and certifications was missing from the Wikipedia entry at that time (I really should have given myself a research credit on that…) Wikipedia’s information on what were his first and second singles was muddled at that time, too. Oh, well.

At any rate, I like the song well enough, though it’s also true that I haven't yet found one of his songs that I dislike; I just like some more than others. The video at the top includes a brief segment from this video, which is kind of nice for the sake of continuity. Or, something.

The song reached Number 12 on the NZ chart and went Gold.

And that’s it for our second visit with Mitch James. I don’t know if I’ll share another of his videos on this blog because I’d have to know about it first, and I haven’t hit on a suitable way of keeping up with current music short of—gasp!—listening to the radio, something that’s much harder to do now that we’ve either gotten rid of or packed away all our radios—seriously, though we have a tinny-sounding battery operated one for emergencies/disasters. Certainly not suitable for listening to music. Maybe the solution will eventually be a post in itself.

In the meantime, I have one or two of these posts to go, and by then I should know what I’ll do with these posts in the future. For now, though, they make it easier for me to find videos of songs I like and by artists I like, which is useful for me, anyway.

Still, this could well be one of the last of these posts. Stay… tuned?

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