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I’ve reached this point where I’ve seen enough music videos from the French electro-rock band The Shoes that I want to take some time to showcase them, as well as talk about the videos a little bit. I’m not exceptionally interested in their actual music—I find their songs hit or miss, some pretty boring and unspectacular—but their music videos are almost always interesting. Not to totally bash their music, as they have some really great songs. Apparently they’ve been relatively popular in France for a while, and I’m probably late to the scene in talking about them (with my silly American ignorance), but here I am. They have this great chaotic sound at times while also being capable of this dreamy ethereal vibe. Maybe they’re trying to do too much, but their music does have some potential. I believe in the quality of their future albums.

But then when I see they have a new music video out—I’m far more interested. They always have some sick, bizarre narrative going on. This never seems to fail. So here are some of their music videos, with some commentary and background (you know, to entice you).


‘Time to Dance’

I’ve brought this music video up before on this blog, and I really don’t ever get sick of it. Or the song. The sound here is everything I wish The Shoes could consistently be. It’s catchy and gets your heart-racing, and goes incredibly well with the actual video. This video was directed by Daniel Wolfe, who also directed another one of their music videos, as well as some videos for Duffy and Paolo Nutini. The story here stars Jake Gyllenhaal in a role that might as well have been practice for the feverish madness displayed in Nightcrawler. We start with some young people dancing (and end with some young people dancing) and Jake coming out as a total killing machine. When I first saw this video I was shocked with the sudden violent twist. And the way Gyllenhaal looks, his eyes ringed with purple, the intense focused expression as he trains and goes about mundane activities in between the killings—it’s really disturbing, and just a great music video in general.

‘Drifted’

Another one of their better songs, with a lively beat and occasional spastic sound. This video is a mash-up, starting off with that amazing clip of James Van Der Beek crying about some Dawson’s Creek-related thing and then developing from there. The video clips go extremely well with the catchy sounds of the song, and in the end this music video is pretty funny to watch. The clips are a collection of internet memes and general pop culture fads (Chuck Norris, Nicholas Cage, Bill Nye) and there’s some amusing photoshopping involved as well. That clapping sound just goes so well with Van Der Beek’s face as it crumbles into tears. I love it. The video is directed by Dent de Cuir, who also directed a DyE music video (which is ALSO awesome, I love DyE), as well as videos for Darwin Deez and Modeselektor. Good stuff.

‘Submarine’

With a bluish, underwater tint and occasional black and white scenes, we start with a romantic tale that gets very symbolic and features some creepy imagery. I’m going to spoil the plot of this narrative, so if you don’t want that skip this, though to be honest it’s bizarre enough that knowing ahead of time instead of puzzling over it afterward might make the initial viewing better. We have a loving couple, but then of course things go wrong. The man, it seems, has discovered he has some terminal illness (or so I interpret from the bleeding nose), and when this information comes out everyone around him reacts (symbolically). His illness affects everyone around him. His lover is devastated and her body contorts in agony with the fact of his illness. The man faces his illness—literally—and seems to contemplate suicide before touching the illness and perhaps, maybe, coming to terms with it. The video is directed by Karim Huu Do, who has directed a few other music videos from bands I’ve never heard of. The song itself is okay—dreamy, full of ennui—I’d listen to it while laying in bed, I guess.

‘Stay the Same’

This is definitely not one of the better songs. I like the lyrics, but the sound is just so dull to me. The video involves a man marching very frantically, in total exasperation, through a city. He encounters a man in a subway at some point—I swear it’s the same guy from the end of the ‘Time to Dance’ music video. Lead character/marching guy yells at a chameleon at one point, and generally remains frustrated for the rest of the video, and his nervous breakdown eventually becomes a dance. Hey! I wish my nervous breakdowns evolved into dance sequences. I feel as if any of us could relate to the character in this video, though not much really happens and this isn’t one of their better ones. This video was also directed by Daniel Wolfe, whom I mentioned previously.


There you have it, a few The Shoes music videos to watch. I’ve pretty much ranked them in order of how much I like them, and I left off some all together because I didn’t like them. But I definitely like this collection, and I’ll be looking out for more music video releases from them in the future.

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Why do I use a daily stream-of-conscious microblog—what am I supposed to be getting out of this, what are you, random browser, supposed to get out of this? It’s easy to say it’s because I want attention, but getting attention can actually be pretty horrifying as well, so let’s say it’s more complex than that. Let’s say that a part of it is because even when I’m at work, or at some social get-together of a more formal variety, I can’t always figure out if anyone, at all, is being genuine with me. If anyone around me is real. I don’t mean this in a solipsistic way, but that I will be at that moment experiencing a complex medley of emotions and memories that don’t match up at all with the script I feel I need to work through. So, in a state of confusion, I read through the script while being painfully aware that someone is reading their sketchy script at me too.

On Twitter, sometimes, you can find very real people. Honest, confused, mistake-making, talented, scared, excited, loving, hating human beings in real time, looking at a screen that can somewhat neutralize that script. You know, in between the joke formulas. And the people pandering at low points which are equivalent to other people’s dreams.

When I find someone who I can relate with, who seems real, I feel relief, like, “Phew! Thank god, I’m not just some feeling freakshow, and other people also are bewildered/impressed/terrified of this weird LIFE thing.”

Audrey, or @singing_ghosts, is one of the awesome people. I’ve interviewed her below as part of Bec Interviews Twitter Users You May or May Not Have Heard Of, which I started out of sheer boredom on a road trip and continue to still do. I’ve followed Audrey for a long time now, and simply put, her tweets are just really, really good—she’s a really interesting human being. She has a mix of prose, personal thoughts, music, art, brutal truths and funny jokes that I like best because of the morbid and sentimental blend. She seems to really care a lot about people, and she is wonderful to interact with on the webs. I am grateful that I found and follow her, and I think you should follow her too, if you don’t. She sells beautiful and interesting items at her Etsy shop, which is definitely worth checking out. Her music can also be listened to on this Dumpster Girls SoundCloud.

1EFqWRGT

pictured: a plant


Why do you have an account on Twitter dot com?

My girlfriend at the time didn’t care about anything I said. She thought I was weird after 5 years together and just made me feel stupid a lot. In reality, her disorder started to take hold of her and I didn’t know that’s what was going on. I felt really bad about my personality, she was becoming more abusive, mostly emotionally, sometimes physically, and just wanted someone to be like “it’s okay audrey. you’re funny and loving!” I guess. So, here I am. Single and Logged On.

Where is the best place you have ever been?

I tripped hard and went to a place where the mountains moved like teeth grinding and every step I took felt like I was walking on the moon. that was cool. not under the influence? idk really. I’m trying to think of a “THIS WAS THE BEST DAY EVER” moment but I can’t. I guess the best place I’ve ever been was home when I came back to it.

What is your favorite song to sing?

Only Skin by Joanna Newsom but really anything Broadway or Joanna Newsom

Where do you get the items for your Etsy shop?

I make them or I get them from old dead women.

Drop a truth bomb, right here, right now.

I just told someone I was born a woman and started crying because they didn’t respond well to it. I have a really hard time with my gender identity and it’s one of the biggest struggles I face in my real life I very rarely discuss online.

What is your favorite movie?

This is an unfair question because it depends on genre, decade, actors, style, country. I lean towards horror and old Hollywood, a lot of musicals.

What’s in your Tinder bio?

ATM my bio says “I don’t wanna have sex I just wanna lick feet. I’ll pay. don’t bother getting to know me” lol

Who is your favorite musical artist?

Joanna Newsom!!!! but also Fiona Apple

What’s something that’s more important than everything else?

To me? Being accepted. Not like initiation accepted, even if that sounds pretty sexy. Just like, you know, feeling comfortable as myself.

What is a social issue that you are passionate about?

Is disarming rich white men in power considered a social issue? That’s what I’m passionate about.

Who is your favorite account on Twitter dot com?

@petfurniture!!!! She was one of the first people I followed. I always thought she was gentle and interesting and I felt this awful pain when I saw her tweets. She just knew what it was like to ache but as aware as I was that you’re not supposed to. It was reassuring for me, like, if this sweet girl, who could find warmth in what seems like a dark world, existed, I wasn’t alone in being hopeful and buried alive. I thought I was the only person who felt the way her tweets read to me. I had no idea what twitter would be like when I found her. It took me two years to get her to follow me back. I never interacted with her or made any attempt to let her know I existed, of course. She found me eventually and it was like a “God, finally” sigh.

What is your spirit animal, and why?

I don’t have a spirit animal and if I did it would definitely run away.

What is the scariest monster of all time?

Arousal and intoxication. The drunk and horny combination. When I’m drunk and horny, or on opiates, just stay away from me. What happens to me is one of the reasons I wanted to get sober, not to get all MY DEMONS!!! about it or anything. Real monsters? Probably sharks or aliens.

because THEY ARE REAL

What is a life lesson you feel you have learned thus far?

When you’re afraid of things and hide, nothing will happen to you, nothing bad, but nothing good. Eventually you have to stop playing it safe or you’ll end up like your least favorite parent. Also don’t masturbate after cutting jalapeños.

When you burst through your front door in the morning, ready to get to work, what theme song is playing while you walk purposefully into your day?

I’m technically self employed so I guess when I go to water my garden the song that plays would be “feed me” from little shop of horrors. In general, I think my theme song is ABBA’s “take a chance on me” or anything of theirs. Really pumps me up.

What is love?

Love is walking across the street when someone you don’t see is speeding and there’s this moment where you’re like oh my god am I gonna die or is this gonna hurt really fucking badly? You don’t die and it doesn’t hurt. They stop just in time and they probably yell at you a little bit and you finally breathe. That first breath is what love is.

If you were a baked good, what baked good would you be?

pumpkin pie cheesecake with brownie swirls

We both have had bee-related usernames—beekeeper, honeydrone—What diabolical plan can we concoct that involves bees? I feel like the two of us could wreak some havoc with some bees.

We would need @beehivesy, as she is the queen bee, IMO, for some sorta of Beemuda Triangle? A porn maybe??? Where we put a dude in the middle of us and sting him with knifes and you can fuck him to death if you want. Just like fuck the bloods and guts out faster because she doesn’t like gore to begin with and I don’t wanna have sex with anything or anyone, dead or alive. Back to the bees! You can ADOPT beehives! FOR HONEYBEES!! I just learned this recently. I’m sorry. I’m just thinking about our porn now. Thanks for having me.

Spotify didn’t have this specific song, which really pissed me off, considering they had the rest of Rubblebucket’s music. Apparently there is some distinction between Rubblebucket and Rubblebucket Orchestra, and they don’t have the latter. Whatever! Now I can’t add it to a playlist. I will instead put the YouTube track of the song here, and hope it comes up on my Pandora Radio station again.

Rubblebucket is a neo-psychedelic, Indie pop band with awesome female vocals and—this is the most important part—trumpets and trombones. Fuck yes!

Music videos are an interesting medium for expression, since they incorporate several different kinds of art and often even contain a narrative that runs the span of 2-6 minutes. I began my music video scavenging hobby the moment highspeed internet was accessible to me—keeping in mind that I grew up in the middle of the rural countryside surrounded by corn, so this wasn’t as soon as it was for most. Anyway, it is a personal social goal of mine to find people willing to watch music videos with me and then join me as we sit around experiencing collective appreciation toward them. This is very lame of me, but luckily, there is the internet, where all the lame goes.

I would like to share some interesting music videos that I’ve come across over the years, all ranging in popularity, genre and style. A good source and interesting video website in general is The Tripatorium, which has music, shorts and straight up art tomfoolery for days. If you’re in for some visual stimulation I recommend heading there—after, of course, you check out the music videos I suggest to you.


Jason Forrest, ‘War Photographer,’ animated by Joel Trussel

An instrumental track, where animated vikings battle each other and then there’s some orgiastic finale which appears to involve wizards and a marching band.

Oren Lavie, ‘Her Morning Elegance’

What happens to the woman in this video actually happened to me this morning while I was in bed. It was a lot less romantic looking, however. The song is pretty too, I guess.

Das Racist, ‘Michael Jackson,’ directed by Weird Days

Something I really strive for in life is to be the man wearing flaming aviators and a fedora chilling at the table behind everyone. I want to embody that. Das Racist is always fun, and this is my favorite video of theirs.

The Shoes, ‘Time to Dance,’ directed by Daniel Wolfe

When I watched the movie Nightcrawler in theaters, I wasn’t surprised by Jake Gyllenhaal’s creepy performance as an ambitious adult homicidal sociopath. I wasn’t surprised because I had seen this music video, which stars a murderous Jake Gyllenhaal in a fencing suit, and might as well be an atmospheric preface to that movie. The video’s pretty fucking vicious. The song is really good, too.

Dizzee Rascal, ‘Bassline Junkie’

This music video is so entertaining. I don’t really know how I feel about Dizzee Rascal, but I love this video and I love that wormy looking blonde disciple. The whole thing just makes me laugh, and I love how the organ at the end has the majority of the keys covered in caution tape.

Autoerotique, ‘Asphyxiation’ 

The top comment on this video is “this porn got nice music,” and…. yup.

Stuck in the Sound, ‘Let’s Go,’ Alexis Beaumont & Rémi Godin

Achieving your lifelong dream will cause you to enter a ridiculous Twilight Zone scenario. Good to know.

DyE, ‘Fantasy’

Everyone I’ve shown this music video to has gotten mad at me. That’s all I’m going to preface this one with.


Well, that’s enough for now. I hope you’re emotionally damaged and scarred, and I’ll share more at a later time.

 

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