Video Kills the Gunfire

We were playing M.I.A.’s new album Kala over dinner last night – because
a) that’s the kind of noisy family we are, and
b) I only just got my hands on the album and can not stop listening to it.

Anyway, Campbell started dancing his way to the fridge when “Paper Planes” came on and when the chorus lit up with the four-to-the-floor gunshots, he suddenly said: “Wow, I’d like to see what they do with those gunshots in the video.”

How was he to know? Earlier in the day, I’d read a new story on about this very subject:

M.I.A. posted a blog on her MySpace page this weekend, upset over a censored version of the video for “Paper Planes,” The song’s chorus features gunshot sounds, which were removed by MTV. Directed by Bernard Gourley (50 Cent’s “Follow My Lead”), the video portrays M.I.A. as a street vendor and is free of violent imagery, something the singer said she made to fit an MTV audience.

“I did fight for the sound, because putting meaning in your videos, in my opinion, is a dying art,” she said, reminding her fans that “there is no such thing as an ‘approved censored version’ of ‘Paper Planes.'”

Kala: The American critics love it.

According to the news report, the “uncensored” video of “Paper Planes” is up on her Myspace page, but damned if I can find it – or the blog she posted about it to begin with. M.I.A.’s MySpace page – and her “proper” home page too – is just like her music: a riotous assault on the senses. Any which way, videos for Kala’s previous singles “Boyz” and “Bird Flu,” and a mix of “Paper Planes” (named “PPRPLNS ryeryeAB”) are all up on the myspace page for sure. Just remember to bring your sunglasses. And Campbell: if you can pay that much attention to what you hear in school, I swear your teachers will love you for it!

Rolling Stone just named Kala its album of the Year. Don’t let that deter you: it may well be mine, as well.

M.I.A. will be at the Coronet in London’s increasingly glamorous Elephant & Castle district tomorrow, December 20. A pub gig? A DJ gig? Her site doesn’t clarify, but we have some iJamming! readers live in that neighborhood – why not go down there and send back a report?

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November 2022