Friday, August 3, 2018

VHS Review //
Michael Myerz
"Omega Mall"

$20 //
Edition of 25 // //

Who is Michael Myerz?  Isn't he the guy from that Jamie Lee Curtis movie?  No.  Not this time.   Michael Myerz in this instance has a photo of himself on his Bandcamp with that tape recorder that was once a child's toy but every time I see one at Savers I buy it because I feel like I can never have enough of them.   Along with Forever Bogus Productions (shout out Bryce Shoemaker), this VHS features videos from the songs on the cassette "Omega Mall" as well as skits, commercials,

The music videos feel like something out of the 1980's or 1990's.   It has the filter like it was shot with an old school video camera, the one you actually put a VHS tape into, and for all I know that's how it could've been shot, but I really love that about this-- that it commits to an era when the VHS would've been most relevant (but I still love VHS now because it's more accessible)  As a rapper, Michael Myerz reminds me a bit of Darko The Super but otherwise I don't have much other vocal comparisons (And, yes, a Darko-Myerz crossover would be amazing)

One of his lines to diss someone is that "You probably listen to the band Skillet" and I find that way funnier than I probably should for some reason.  "Virgin Vibes" has more of that R&B vibe, like something from the 80s or 90s still, but you know, with the singing and synth.  He's also naked in the bathtub eating tacos.  The videos are fun and seem innocent enough until you hear some of the lyrics.   Somewhere between Tony! Toni! Tone! and DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, there is a 1990's feel about this which makes me think of "Full House" but also vaporwave.

Sometimes the vocals are slowed down which makes me think vaporwave and Michael Myerz has "vaporrap" tagged on his Bandcamp so I'd say that's pretty accurate.   Shout out to evanbrews.    Shout out to Michael Jordan.    Shout out to those disturbing puppets that shouldn't be as creepy looking as they are to me.   There are also these scenes in a playground which make me think of back when the McDonald's Play Places were strictly outside and you could crawl around in the head of Mayor McCheese. 

When you see the Taz shirt, you're reminded of the 1990's if you lived through it.   There is a sidewalk sale at South Town so you know that's something special.   An ad also comes on next where the "Omega Mall" cassettes are being pitched QVC style.   I find it fascinating because you don't really need one to justify the other (as in you can enjoy the cassette of music without the visuals on the VHS and, yes, you can even enjoy the VHS without the cassette) but at the same time who doesn't want to have the cassette to listen to when you can't watch this VHS and, well, let me keep telling you why this VHS is a must.

Public Access Channel 8 comes on (sponsored by The Discovery Zone) and they are telling us that Kenny GG Allin's Heavy Metal Happy Hour is up next followed by Antique Roadshow.    We actually go into this heavy metal show and there are some killer guitar riffs.   The host then chats with Michael Myerz under a French accent and as a record label owner.    This is something that really goes beyond the music, beyond the music videos and just explores a larger level of entertainment.   It's the acting, the comedy, things which not every artist who can make good music can also succeed at. 

He changes accents because he was abducted by aliens and he's promoting his new fragrance called Cabbage Grease.    My thing about this segment is that I feel like it was shot in more than one take because maybe if someone stumbled over a line or forgot what they were supposed to say they'd pause and go back, but at the same time it feels like a public access show you'd watch at 4 am in the way that it would be shot in one take because, you know, public access.   Back in the late 1990's I used to watch public access because there was this local show about professional wrestling but I haven't watched public access since.   It's still funny to me though.

This skit goes into Michael Myerz doing a live performance on the Kenny GG Allin's Heavy Metal Happy Hour show of "I Love Everything", which takes us back to that profile picture on Bandcamp because he's standing in front of that backdrop with the tape recorder.    He also has Skeeter at one point, which is a great nod to the 1990's.   They go back to the set, talk for a little bit and then we're shown footage of people inside a mall.   There is a voiceover but I'm not sure if it's real or not.   This mall looks nice though and it also looks very much like it's from the 1990's not current timeline.

Nothing on TV?  Guess again.   Now I see Super Nintendo.   There are some effects in here as well, which make the images look trippy like vaporwave.   The videos carry on in this way with the songs over them and it feels a lot like what some of the first VHS editing software would've looked like.   Then there is a party with people dancing under a strobe light and this could be from MTV's "The Grind" but it says it is actually Dance Party USA, which also used to be a thing.   Back in the 1990's, there used to be a lot of shows about dancing.   Not like "Dancing With The Stars", but just people dancing.    It was different times but I wouldn't mind seeing it come back.

Casual Corner footage from 1994 now.    Does Casual Corner still exist?  A fashion show scene as well, with that Michael Myerz music over it.   These women look like Vanna White.   We're driving down the highway now.   Dig that sax.   Smooth singing comes in now as we're back in the mall and passing by a clearance sale at Woolworth's.    We flashback to 1991 and there is some footage on here now of teens preparing to go to prom.   The next song is dedicated to Jewel.   Footage is shown of a city which I want to say is NYC.    And then I see Dillard's and think the mall footage is in Houston.

Some time later now and the kids are shown dancing together at prom.   Definite vaporwave feels now as we go from those pink/purple brackets used for memes into breakdancing.   As he tells us he loves us there is applause which turns into a standing ovation.   There is that vaporwave bracket flowing through there again and then we switch to the dark interior of a mall, which appears to be closed, and that takes us to the end credits which are played over a fishtank type of simulation.   As it is said that they hope to see us again soon I hope this is not the last VHS for Michael Myerz but can appreciate all of the hard work which went into it so I'm happy to at least have seen this one.

In the late 1990's I actually worked in a record store (shout out Sam Goody) and unless you were part of the culture at that time, the idea of artists releasing VHS tapes probably is new to you.   While they weren't the only artist who did it, I clearly remember this VHS tape I owned by 311.   It had this live footage, behind the scenes type of stuff from them where they were backstage and on the tour bus and then there were the music videos mixed in as well.   To have this concept return is something that I definitely enjoy, but only if you have the visuals to back up your audio and Michael Myerz does.

Michael Myerz does have the help though of Bryce Shoemaker and then when you look at the Bandcamp credits you'll also see a number of names which includes air Jordans™, who is connected with BOGUS // COLLECTIVE, which is the label run by TVVIN_PINEZ_M4LL. whom I love so a lot of this all just comes full circle.   Your favorite artists are likely connected to Michael Myerz somehow, you will likely find new favorite artists connected to him but most importantly, Michael Myerz should easily be your new favorite artist after you watch "Omega Mall". 

No comments:

Post a Comment