The dog days--that's what baseball players call the part of the season just after the All-Star Game. But the music-video dog days have been around for weeks, with no end in sight.
Like shapeless clouds on a hot, smoggy day, one dull clip after another drifts by on the tube. In the hazy summer torpor, Sound & Vision's competition-minded thoughts turn to imaginary games of video volleyball between the Beach Boys and Missing Persons, as well as a thrift-store rag-pile wrestling match between Madonna and new challenger Regina. There's even real conflict in Run-D.M.C.'s video to consider, as the rappers do battle with some surprise guest stars. Still, there's nothing, really nothing, to get very excited about, and plenty, really plenty, to turn off. Oh, well, another round of ice teas and dim hopes: The fall season of big pop releases and accompanying videos will come at last.
Ratings system: 80-100, don't miss; 60-79, recommended; 40-59, watchable; 20-39, weak; 0-19, wretched.
THE BEST OF A BAD LOT
Run-D.M.C.'s "Walk This Way." On the heels of the rap kings' "My Adidas" hit single comes this enjoyable remake of the decade-old Aerosmith song, with Aerosmithies Steven Tyler and Joe Perry jogging along. The video is a textbook example of how to cleverly illustrate music--in fact, you get the feeling that they recorded this track with the video in mind. Run-D.M.C.'s three members are shown in a studio getting upset over all the rock 'n' roll noise coming through the walls as Tyler and Perry rehearse next door. When Steve and Joe go into "Walk This Way," the rappers turn up the volume and take over the vocals. Tyler rams a mike stand through the wall. Looks like a rumble, but instead we switch to a concert scene where all concerned finish the collaborative effort in friendly fashion. Fast and fun. Director: Jon Small. 80