Published on March 13, 2014
Smells like nirvana The video attempts to parody by not only changing the lyrics/mocking the song itself but also copies the original song “smells like teen spirit” almost exactly in terms of shots, but 100% in terms of the video content. The video does not take itself seriously as it is clear as he is parodying another artist, but it is also aware of itself as it shows shots of the video being filmed. This could be considered post modern as it is aware it is a text and therefore removes the effect of hyper-reality as the audience understands that this is a representation of the band, not the real thing. As he states “I don’t know what this song is about” it is clear he is mocking the original song lyrics as not being understandable or having any true meaning. Being made to look like the singer “Kurt Cobain” for effect. Conscious of itself as a text.
Clear similar shots and parodies In the original the shot pans to a group on unenthusiastic cheer leaders and in the parody this exact shot is used. However in the parody one cheer leader is a man to clearly show the difference and prove it is a parody. An active audience would understand that this shot is similar and therefore appreciate that it is post modern. Original shot. Another shot was of the care taker with a dirty white screen behind him. In the original video it is unclear what he is doing. In order to mock this is “smells like nirvana” he care taker finds rubbish in his cleaning products and begins to eat it. This is mocking the original as it shows that the care taker is not a serious character and has no real significance to the text.
Original Parody Other similar shots
The lyrics themselves have been changed from the original and clearly state that the original song “smells like teen spirit” is not very well written. It attempts to look at a popular band and almost mock their fame. The video tries to say that the lyrics are bad and the band is almost just an image. Instead of focusing on the music the band are focusing on their appearance and he is revealing that. The parody is almost like a show that is created for the viewers therefore making it postmodern as it expresses style over substance. The lyrics Implying the lyrics are all made up and written by a child as they don’t make any sense. As he drinks the water it sounds similar to the original song. This implies that he is mocking the music itself as well as the lyrics. This is postmodern as he is parodying the original.
Theories Goodwin believed that music itself told a story, therefore a music video was a key component. He states that songs balance the voice, the rhythm and backing when making footage to accompany the soundtrack. Images should coincide with the sounds. In both videos the images match the song and are edited to the beat. As well as this the title “smells like teen spirit” links to the video as teenagers are the only cast used in the video. In “smells like nirvana” they challenge Goodwin’s by using a variety of different ages that do not link to the name of the song, nor anything that links to the name of the song or the lyrics. As well as this the video is not always edited to the beat of the music. This makes it post modern as it challenges conventions and by not linking to the songs title or lyrics, it could be removing any confusion if they video is a true representation or not thus challenging hyper-reality (Jean Baudrillard). Jacques derrida stated that “every text participates in one or several genres, there is no genreless texts.” This is evident as the music behind the parody “smells like nirvana” is conventionally sounding of the grunge genre from that time. However the lyrics used in the parody are not conventional of this genre, more from a pop-punk genre. For example the video is similar to blink 182 “all the small things”.
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