New Justin Bieber Video Features Misplaced, Peculiar Steampunk and Christmas Elements

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Okay, perhaps the headline is a bit catty.  I apologize.  That said, it has come to mine, and I’m fairly certain the rest of the world’s, attention that the new Justin Bieber music video is “steampunk.”  Granted this has become quite the trend in music videos in the last year or two, but someone as teenybopper poppy as “The Bieb” picking it up is not something I’d expect.

I’m not complaining though.  If things like this bring new people and fans to the movement, I’m all for it.  Of course, we at Steampunk Chicago (full disclosure here) are event producers so we do have a potential financial gain here.  Yet, after watching the music video, I’d be concerned that those expecting the steampunk movement to be in-line with what is seen in ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ may be a little disappointed.

You may view the video on YouTube if you wish.

So I’m going to get blunt now.

I don’t get it – I really – honestly – don’t get it.  Perhaps it’s because I’m a 30 something who’s given up on irony or perhaps it’s because I stopped trying to break dance when I was 19, or perhaps it’s because I have no interest in the animated family film Arthur Christmas.  Either way, there is a whole host of things I just don’t get here.

Sure the beginning is pretty “steampunky” I mean they have people with bowler hats with goggles on them, a woman with striped tights and a turn key coming out her back, people in vests, big gears, etc etc  (these are things I see often at SP events).  But then the music begins.

What immediately strikes me is that the choosing a steampunk theme for the song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” is just… bizarre… but it gets even more bizarre as we see a guy dressed as Santa clear off some random desk and start break dancing on it.  To exponentially confuse things Justin Bieber proceeds to start touching the other workers, which in turns seems to turn them into pop and lock back-up dancers.  Also – why are the back up dancing guys with the vests on having their suspenders/bracers hang down?  I get that this is a fashion trend, but it really just looks stupid if you ask me.  Also, at various points in the music video Justin Bieber plays the drums.  Why?  I don’t know why.

But what is most startlingly off-putting is that the music video is inter-cut with scenes from the newly released film “Arthur Christmas”.  The cuts have no relevance to the video, the theme of the video, the break dancing people in the video, the robo-woman who does nothing but also pop and lock in the video or really anything at all.  And why Arthur Christmas?  Wouldn’t a movie like Hugo been more appropirate?

Or was it that Hugo just had better sense than to be a part of this.

Go figure.

-The Lord Baron

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Topics: Music, Steampunk


  • 1 Alison Dec 8, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Ok… so I can dig the Steampunk Santa’s Workshop, that’s a kinda cool idea. I can even give leeway on the pop and lock as being a dance interpretation of the clockwork prevalent throughout steampunk. Ok. But why would you put this to music that sounds like it was sung by The Jackson Five? That’s where my comprehension runs out. And then they add that few seconds of industrial sound at the beginning so they can justify the Steampunk aspect, before abandoning it in favor of pre-teen boy band sound. Now if they would have stayed with the industrial sound throughout, it could have been awesome. Ah, well.

  • 2 Jack Dec 10, 2011 at 7:32 am

    So I finally watched it.
    The song is so boring I think all of the SteamPunkness was just so the video was entertaining at all.
    I think they were channeling ‘Santa’s workshop’ more then anything.
    I did crack up at the soulful breakdown he tried to do. Is anyone that intense about Santa coming to visit?
    All in all, I think it’s a non-threat. I think most people unawares would think ”Santa’s workshop” rather then ”that ‘SteamPunk’ thing”.

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