Monday, August 24, 2009

Clips 'n' Cues

A band out of San Diego has recently come to my attention, more specifically a music video they produced. I'd like to start off mentioning some things I hate in music videos--random clips of the band playing, shots that specifically relate to the lyrics, & footage shot from car windows. I know that's like half of the music videos out there, right?? Well, that might be part of why I don't like it, but whatever the case, for every rule--self-imposed or otherwise--there is a way to break it.

Recordable Colors (alternate link) does just that w/ their video for I've Made Skin Crawl. When asked about the video Recordable Colors had this to say, "The I've Made Skin Crawl video is a collaboration produced by each of us. As much as the music is. We all focused (well some of us), filmed and edited it. Dorian Tucker [guitars & vocals] did most of the editing and we really have to thank for it." I really feel they have put together a vignette of their lives. I feel like the viewer gets a flash of every aspect of the bands life, places they go, interests, pets, family, friends & lovers. How personal the footage truly is is irrelevant as it's put together in a way that feels natural, like when one catches a sent they've not in ages & memories flood into your mind. It too, @ a little, reminds me of The Wonder Years opening credits, it's that pleasant.

On to the Terrible 3. There is about 5 seconds of what looks like the band playing in the first minute of the video. It's quick & split into 3 shots & all happens in about 5 seconds. It doesn't feel like the usual enter-live-footage-here clip that we are so used to seeing; one almost wonders, was that them or just another slice of life? The more I watch the video the more I see lyrics matching footage, but in no way do I feel like I am watching a narrative or random snippets shot for particular lyrics. Sometimes they aren't obvious visual representations of the lyrics, they are sly & unobtrusive. For example the line I've been looked at in good favor, but I've made skin crawl is accompanied by a shot of a mannequin slowly spinning in a store window followed by a sped up dog being walked. Mannequins are idealized & this is a rather showy display as it's spinning, that's easy. But the dog--this took me a while to catch. The dog makes me think of a caterpillar--always has--w/ it's many feet & long body. Is this intentional or am I reading into it?? Other times the lyrics come in before or after the image as if to allow the left brain to catch up to the right, or vice versa. One of many times this happens but possibly the only time both happens--still following??--is during the line When you were a child and tried it all, paired with images of parasailing followed by a beach scene w/ many children. This could be a coincidence or even a mistake--it's backwards, they messed up, right?? I don't think so; I think it's all intentional & very tactful. We don't need to be hit over the head w/ things to get them & it's more enjoyable this way. In a sense, I feel my writing about it is taking away from the video, so I'll move on. The images from a moving vehicle are peppered in just as tactfully, as if leaving them out would be excluding a large part of life--those who have lived in Southern California know how much being in a car is a part of life. In fact, when asked about inspiration, part of Recordable Colors' reply was, "…driving to work when you don't don't want to, driving to work when you do want to and everything in between." My favorite segment is one which the images cue the music rather than lyrics. It is right after I've made skin crawl, I've seen it all, right before the song picks up; there is something really beautiful happening during the stoplight & the out of focus underexposed girl. It's soft & tender, & feels very intimate--& just as quickly as you have been lulled the drums kick & everything is moving again. Other faves are The LOL-girl, The Heart Screen, & The Backwards Plane. What the hell am I talking about?? See for yourself:

Recordable Colors plans to release an LP by the end of this year. The band consists of Abe Deleon [percussion/vocals],Dorian Tucker [guitar/vocals], & Erica Putis [bass/vocals]. Side projects include but are not limited too:
Dorian Tucker - Jezebel

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