The Vidnight Society | Stand by R.E.M.

The Vidnight Society | Stand by R.E.M.

it's a nice autumn day here at the vid night Society I am Kevin James join with my friend Neil sue serega we are guaranteed video or some of guaranteed video Neil we're gonna be talking about stand by REM came out in 1989 huh this was your choice why do you want to watch this music video well I'm a big fan of the Weird Al song spam which is a parody it's one of his lesser parodies is to be honest but that is actually how I knew this song originally so I just I checked out the video one night and what struck me about it was the sense of familiarity a sense of nostalgia it reminded me so much of The Adventures of Pete and Pete a show we grew up with that was really formative really well-regarded that magic our nostalgia yep verge of autumn it's always autumn on that show that's why we have lit this this episode the way we have we do theme lighting huh so my thinking was this that the creators of Pete and Pete were probably REM fans because they had Michael Stipe do a cameo once and they probably just kind of going the look of their show from this video but no when I did a little research I found out the director of this music video directed most of Pete and Pete and basically co-created the show so after Dan Beekman Catherine Diekmann and she also went on to direct you know shiny happy people by REM and some indie movies and stuff and she's done pretty well for herself she is now an educator at Columbia University nice which is the school that kicked the Ghostbusters out I had to make room for her so anyway about this music video you rolled have been a little too well yeah those buddy I should have interrupted you it's part of a sub-genre of they have one set piece and the rest is all kind of filler that's b-roll they just went out they shot stuff that looked kind of interesting it's the kind of stuff that we all did when we got our hands on a camera sure and we just wanted to test it out Diekman was sort of inexperienced as a director oh yeah she had been a music journalist and that's how she got the link with REM and they asked her hey do you want to shoot this video so it was her first time behind the camera it has that feeling of someone messing around with the format a little bit the the shots in the visuals at first seemed a bit non sequitur which is kind of a reflection of the song itself yeah the song is it made by the band kind of nonsense like a lot of REM lyrics or just like oh here's something that's nice to hear or fun to hear it's openly their attempt at writing a bubblegum pop song that's just a design to get you know caught in your ear you don't worry about the lyrics too much sure conceptually the music video is for people and the people change depending on what part of the song you're in but there's four dancers standing on these compasses and they're doing these goofy kind of 1960s dances and they're jumping 90 degree angles kind of like the Macarena and there's like big rear projections behind them it really does look like a sequence from Pete and Pete there are only a few shots of the actual band members from REM in the video yeah they show up a little bit in the b-roll yeah when they're jumping all four of them and it cuts between the four of them they're like jumping off a trampoline off camera I think one of the things I want to do just as an excuse to show clips from this is I want to read a list of all the different shots in in the music video okay of all the things that were captured it's not a comprehensive list but this music video includes a spinning toy globe a kid balancing on a board a paved road a child using a viewmaster a drafting compass a bicycle with a pin wheel band members jumping in autumn an old woman feeding muscovy ducks I looked up the breed of duck because it's a yeah you're talking like bulletin points on the back of a box like if this music video came on a VHS it's got gardening it's got a light bulb a toy xylophone a typewriter and an old woman trying to untie a stack of newspapers it's got a leaf flattened in an atlas utility poles a rocking chair a kid listening to a mooing cow noise maker an actual cow a dirt road a kid running over a small bridge a screw being driven into would a kid drawing with chalk some nice neighbors waving at the camera yeah and the band members standing in autumn the dance they do on the compass those like for actors this is the actual set pieces yeah with the rear projections like it's such a non sequitur right I mean I get it evokes the emotions of thinking of home and a heritage and where you came from but even the guys in rem have admitted the song means nothing but talked about how they wrote the song as kind of a let's do something in the 60s bubblegum pop style yeah and it's an extremely catchy song it's stuck in my head right now re I'm spent the entire 80s waiting for the 90s to happen that's the best way to sudden my mom right yes everyone's having a good time but there's just melancholic undertone but yeah it is that kind of lost childhood feelings which I think it's the end of the world was we know which was more overt with that sadness it's a better video Saviano shorter but this one's fun to talk about it and looking at her work on Pete and Pete she's sort of a good analogy to draw would be John Schwarz well they're on The Simpsons John Schwarz well they're did not show run or create the Simpsons that's Matt Groening mm-hm but he wrote so many episodes he holds the record for most episodes written for The Simpsons by a single writer and she carried that torch repeating peach she really set the flavor in the tone of that show particularly early on Kate started off as interstitial bumpers on Nickelodeon and she was hired to do those exactly yeah but it became a show because these shorts that she was directing were so well received I remember being excited to see the shorts during the commercial breaks back in the early 90s yeah then they proceeded what became the Pete and Pete sitcom the one camera drama yeah drama comedy wherever the hell you want to call it when you're a kid that show is more dramatic than you're expecting it's like your introduction to a lot of emotions yeah they they really put a lot of heart into that show and this video clearly is so you can trace them all back to this video yeah that's our Ian's whole Jam as they were you know like they were very progressive you know poetic band especially for the 80s it was kind of narrative yeah those kind of just shooting the type of music videos were something that you could get away with producing on MTV they weren't necessarily high concept or provocative they weren't selling sex appeal or like much of an attitude exactly yeah this was counter-programming to hair metal this is just so innocent so PG yeah that there it's wonderfully saccharine it really is and they're just doing their goofy dance and you could just feel like Artie The Strongest Man is gonna jump out at any minute yeah oh one thing one cute thing I do want to talk about is I was trying to figure out the dance in this music video were they expecting people to do this dance were they expecting it to catch on like oh you want to do the stand you see it quite a few times in like an isometric the high angle view you can really read how the dance works yeah it's instructional so I was looking up videos trying to find like other videos of people doing this dance and what I found was a 1989 like home video of a bunch of school kids like out in the yard with teachers and stuff and I guess is like this was their their PE class was we're all gonna do the stand dance nice probably the closest we got to the stand dance catching on we're taking something for granted here you na yeah we were born in the mid to late 80s 87 86 if you haven't watched Pete and Pete make time today and watch them PvP yes it's one of the things from our generation that we loved and then you grow up and you realize like oh whew it's actually good okay good like you go back and revisit like transformers and things like that and like oh no this is like hot garbage I can't show this to my kids yeah but Pete and Pete goes beyond just the Rose tinted glasses I though I grew up with this and it's wonderful there's a wonderful creative just luminaries on that show like you had people like Buster Poindexter showing up on it michael stipe from REM of course Janeane Garofalo Steve Buscemi and the show is so good that our love of it rubbed off and to us wanted to talk about stand so yeah this is this is a this is a back door Pete and Pete episode I guess watch beam Pete we get the time it's wonderful show and its aesthetic is wonderfully bottled every episode is filled with it leaves abound and redheaded kids talking about the wonderful mysterious world of Wrigleyville but it looks like our key light is dimming because the battery is getting low or you know what that means it's time for us to go to bed all right well see you guys next time on midnight society it is dinner right I think so look is dimming that's funny

21 thoughts on “The Vidnight Society | Stand by R.E.M.

  1. So… when are we going to get a dedicated Pete and Pete podcast with flannel outfits and a possibly a wheel? I'd watch you go through every single episode one at a time.

  2. Everyone says season 3 is where Pete & Pete goes downhill, but i respectively disagree. The last episode where everyone has their own adventure is fantastic and I get a little misty eyed when they help Stu push the bus at the end.

  3. I'm looking forward to more 90's nostalgia with directors aping Katherine Dieckmann like they do John Carpenter right now.

  4. You are right, Pete and Pete is amazing. I've been going through a Pete and Pete kick lately.
    Tho I thought if ANY show would have inspired you to talk about Stand, it would have been Get A Life. And if you haven't seen that one, highly recommend it cuz that show had a great flexible reality too.

  5. Already ahead of you. I rewatched two episodes a few years ago. The Daylight Saving episode where young Pete tries to go back in time and old Pete goes on a date with Ellen and the Taste episode where the kids are obsessed with finding out who Mr. Tastee is and where he went. (Coincidentally the one with Michael Stipe in it) The show is really good and still holds up. I have fond memories of a lot of episodes back then. Most memorably when Artie pushes their neighbors house an inch to the left to throw him off. (Neighbor played by Steve Buchemi.) Or the episode with the kid at the planetarium talking about Johnny Unitas and TV signals reaching other planets.

  6. This made me realize that despite loving R.E.M. I never watched any of their music videos, shame on me!! I'm gonna go do that

  7. So you're saying its a show about 2 Petes? All jokes aside a really good show and a good song/music video.

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