Katy Perry Pays Homage to Mod Pop Culture in 'This Is How We Do' Video

Jeremy Blacklow
Yahoo MusicJuly 31, 2014

Holy twerking ice cream cones and outfit changes!

Almost exactly a year to the date from the release of the first single, "Roar," from her latest hit album Prism, Katy Perry released the music video on Thursday for her album's fifth single. And she makes several pop culture references in the playful Technicolor "This Is How We Do" narrative that pay tribute to the party boys and girls about whom she sings.

The video starts out in a museum with a mid-century modern portrait of Katy that soon comes to life in a colorful display reminiscent of a scene from an early '60s Tupperware party. Soon the singer is surrounded by girls in mod dresses and boys in Pee Wee Herman suits, serving drinks and playing Ping-Pong, while gearing up for good times ahead.

The video then takes it retro even further, evoking the artwork of Dutch modern painter Piet Mondrian (from the turn of the 20th century!), whose distinct black lines and primary colored boxes helped define the artistic era of neoplasticism.

But it wouldn't be Katy if there weren't some contemporary references thrown in there as well. Katy gives a shout-out to Aretha Franklin (in her Obama inauguration hat!) when the song calls out for "respect," and she even features a faux-Mariah Carey in there for good measure to go along with the line "suckin' at Mariah Karaoke."

Hearkening back to the Teenage Dream years, Katy brings back the confectionary theme in a big way in "This Is How We Do," complete with animated dancing ice cream sandwiches, pizza, and popsicles...and yes, the aforementioned twerking cone.

The overall result is exactly the sort of pop summer fun we've come to expect from Katy — and general reaction online so far is that the video delivers.

On Wednesday, Rolling Stone published a new interview with the singer in which she talked extensively about her love of all things pop culture; along with topics ranging from how she's dealing with her current level of success and what she's learned from her past relationships, to transcendental meditation and conspiracy theorists who are convinced she's part of the Illuminati.

When asked about the perception people have of her as pop's head cheerleader she said, "I'm not. I'm the class clown's assistant. That's who I was in high school. I mean, I was called over-the-shoulder boulder holder, and I wasn't that cute. I looked like a square – a rectangle, actually – because I was going through my teenage awkward phase."

She continued, "People like to create characters. There are villains and heroes, and dumb girls and smart girls, savvy girls and hip girls – and they create these characters like a soap opera. I love it. I don't know what my character is yet. I have this kind of small indie side to me, too. Like, I know I'm not pop-star-lame and I'm not hipster-cool. I'm somewhere right in the middle."

We'd call this latest video anything but middlebrow!