Video Hangover: Soul Asylum – “Just Like Anyone”

Every week, we dig in the archives for videos that we find noteworthy, memorable, or just unbelievably stupid. And then, Jon McMillan breaks ‘em down for you. Why Video Hangover? Because when you watch as many videos as we do, you’re going to feel it afterwards.

“Just Like Anyone”
Soul Asylum, 1995

Every time Dave Pirner sings / an a-list starlet gets her wings.

And Winona Ryder Is Really Tom Cruise
Once upon a time, Soul Asylum parlayed a great touring rep and a solid back catalogue into a major-label contract. With help from some lost children, Grave Dancers Union was a huge hit, Let Your Dim Light Shine went platinum, and then…well, not a whole lot after that. My theory: the fall of Soul Asylum coincided with the rise of Nicole Kidman. To Die For, her breakout role as an “actor” came out in 1995, the same year people realized that “Just Like Anyone” wasn’t all that great of a song. Seriously, have you ever seen Nicole and Dave Pirner in the same place at the same time?

Luckily they cut the third verse, where Ricky Vazquez asks her to light a match
For a video that only lasts 2:44, Claire Danes spends a disturbing amount of time on the crapper. Usually I admire directors who try to match a visual theme to the lyrics of a song, but not when the song is about a woman sitting on a toilet. The first verse sets the scene, I get that. But was the second verse really necessary?

Little Claire and the icky bumps
Having forgotten about this video entirely, I was impressed by the production values on Claire’s transformation from girl to angel. Those prosthetic nubs are creepy without being gross, and the scene when they split open has a bit of that pre-CGI magic to it. Unfortunately, fake wing technology hasn’t improved much since the days of the Hawkmen, and in full bloom Claire comes off looking like a bit of a drag queen. Still, it’s a beautiful thought.

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Tags: Soul Asylum