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Hear and Now

The latest news in music for the week of March 20, 1998

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BLUE STREAK Music videos have long used sexual imagery to arouse interest, but you can expect their link to actual pornography to become increasingly explicit (and we’re not just talking Fiona Apple’s ”Criminal”). Consider: Ex-Judas Priest singer Rob Halford — who recently caused a stir by announcing his homosexuality on MTV — hired gay-porn director Chi Chi LaRue to shoot ”I Am a Pig,” the first video from his new band, Two; alterna-kids Fig Dish tapped blue-movie actor-director Jon Dough to capture the spirit of ”When Shirts Get Tight”; and Latin rap duo Funkdoobiest turned the cameras over to smut king Ron Hightower for their recent ”Papi Chulo” video.

While musicians’ employing porn directors isn’t wholly without precedent — sludge-rockers the Melvins used X-movie legend Gregg Dark (of Dark Brothers fame) to direct their 1996 ”Bar-X-the Rocking M” — some of those nasty men who choreograph money shots are now looking to conquer MTV. Hightower, for one, admits he’s anxious to expand, and hopes to work with some A-list musicians.

Is this commingling of pop and porn simply a reflection of musicians’ lascivious viewing habits, or is it a sign of Boogie Nights chic to come? Fig Dish spokesperson Diana Baron, who calls the trend ”kind of a first,” sees a connection between Boogie Nights, the graphic version of Prodigy’s ”Smack My Bitch Up,” and the Tommy Lee/Pamela Anderson sex tapes, citing ”a tremendous interest among fans for this underground stuff.”

And the underground doesn’t get much lower than Son Doobie, Porn King: Vivid Raw 6, a bona fide porn feature directed by Hightower and starring Funkdoobiest’s Son Doobie. Though it’s not being officially marketed with the group’s new album, The Troubleshooters, a copy of the movie was sent to EW by Funkdoobiest’s record company at a journalist’s request and features Son Doobie putting some of his, uh, nonmusical assets to vigorous use. Talk about going all the way to promote a record….