Video Rewind 08.30.2013

The Pack A.D. “Battering Ram”

Sometimes we find ourselves in terrible moods, justifiably or not. It can make work difficult, especially if you are one half of a band, such The Pack A.D. In their video for their single “Battering Ram” we find the two creative forces behind the act at odds with one another. It’s unclear what has caused this rift, but it does exist. Perhaps it is the venue where they are set to perform. Actually, they don’t seem set to do anything but sulk and brood. Drummer Maya Miller exists from backstage, has at it on her drum kit, and watches as the already stark crowd pays her little mind, and one disinterested person leaves the room. She decides to go downstairs and get drunk. Singer Becky Black begins the video outside, with quite the malevolent look on her face. She enters and sits at the upstairs bar where an old man looks at her, then retreats so as not to suffer her wrath. The whole situation ends with Becky going downstairs, hitting Maya in the back with a pool stick and dragging her upstairs. Here, they engage in a Mortal Kombat-like battle several feet away from one another. Sadly, we don’t get to see one finish the other, but we do get to see how they resolve creative differences. It happens quite literally with blood. “Battering Ram” is off their album Do Not Engage set for release in late January.

OMD “Night Café”

Living in the city can have its difficulties. You are surrounded by people everywhere, and yet you can still remain feeling utterly alone. It has to do with people’s ability to just ignore what’s right in front of them. The video for OMD’s “Night Café” is animated and comical even if a little morbid. The video shows all sorts of things going unnoticed by the folk of the city. There is one man who decides to light his hair on fire, only to catch entirely and go running out of the subway in a panic. The business men and women remain unmoved while reading a newspaper, or texting away on a cellphone. Elsewhere, a man in a café remains totally oblivious as the barista takes a female into the backroom and begins to have loud sex with her. Why, there’s even a dog and a cat getting it on right in front of him, but he has no idea. At one point two men a few feet apart are shooting at each other. It begins with pistols, escalates to automatic weapons, and culminates with a rocket launcher. Yet, they miss each other with each round of fire. The video ends on a dire note, but I feel it speaks heavily to truth. We as a people tend to be more concerned with going home with someone rather than what is actually happening in the world around us. “Night Café” is off of OMD’s English Electric out now.

Saint Rich “Officer”

Saint Rich – “Officer” from stereogum on Vimeo.

The opening lyrics to this song are not indicative of every police officer out in the world. However, I think we can agree that there are more than the fair share of officers who act as described. “Well, I see you in the morning with your gun and your billy club. Why do you look so mad? You always look so fucking angry. But you should feel happy, and you should feel good to be king of the neighborhood. You’re the king of the neighborhood.” The repetition of officer in the lyrics that come after just ooze the feeling of “I’m talking to you with scorn officer because you approached me like a dick”. The video just shows all the ways that police officers love to give us grief by just approaching sans a smile. While we cannot see the face of the officer that approaches Saint Rich as they perform in public, we can be sure he’s walking over angrily to intimidate the band into stopping. It gets to the point where the police get grabby and start moving the instruments themselves to cease the performance. “Officer” is a social commentary both lyrically and visually. The single is off of Saint Rich’s yet to be released debut Beyond The Drone.

Sub Focus “Turn It Around”

In Sub Focus’s video for “Turn It Around” we see a young woman who is lonely. Again, she finds herself in the city with the bright lights and life seemingly bursting around her. The clubs are filled with individuals feeling self important and sexy. No, there is no Miley Cyrus, but there are girls twerking. She heads to the arcade, but here she finds grownups who haven’t grownup more excited with winning tokens and gaining high scores. She heads out to nature to relieve her anxiety. Screaming in the city leaves people thinking you are crazy. Heading out alone into nature, and it’s only the animals that think you’re crazy. They wouldn’t bother you anyway. “Turn It Around” is off of Torus due out in September.

Zola Jesus “Fall Back”

Love, whether the first, last or somewhere in between, is still a vast frontier. It pulls you when you want to push, and pushes you when you want to pull. It tries to change you when you don’t want to, and when you do, it cries for you to stay the same. In her single for “Fall Back” Zola Jesus sings about how she’ll do anything to be with someone forever. The video demonstrates visually how love is the yin to your yang. We start in the city where the manmade structures serve purpose with their orderly fashions. Zola is laying on a concrete ramp as it is raining. The city shots show her boxed in with straight lines and no movement other than her. Then we find her in nature, where not only is she more animated but so is the world. Waterfalls and rivers show moving water seemingly enraged. In the city, she’s boxed in by her feelings, her longings and desires and being able to do nothing to change that. In nature, she is free to move but now wants to know what can be done to quench the rage about her. It is very true that we can find ourselves in a position where we are not happy with what we have, yet unwilling to get rid of it. “Fall Back” is off of Zola Jesus’s Visionis.