Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Beatnik and the Nerd - Anything Could Happen by The Clean

Contrast is important in any artist endeavor. In painting, you might have purple contrasting with yellow. In comics, you have Green He-Hulk contrasting with Red She-Hulk. In film, you have what's-his-face contrasting with that other guy. And in TV, you have the one attractive, snarky, gainfully employed but with an inexplicably huge amount of free time brunette contrasted with the attractive, snarky, gainfully employed but with an inexplicably large amount of free time blonde.

The Clean, who "have been described as the most influential band to come from the Flying Nun label, whose repertoire included many major proponents of the 'Dunedin Sound,'" (whip that one out at a part and watch everyone immediately remember that they left their oven on) are a study in contrasts. They decided to make a music video to show this to the world.

Anything Could Happen by The Clean:

The video opens with a shot of a pastoral field.

Do you feel calm now? You shouldn't. That's a dandelion right there! Someone needs to do some weeding.

This is contrasted with a shot of a big pile of filth.


Then we get to see the band.

In the front there is the singer. He is going as Bob Dylan for Halloween. On the right is the drummer who, as is our custom, we will ignore for the rest of the video. On the left, though, is the bass player. Look at him. Isn't he wonderful? Look at those glasses. Look at that haircut. Look at the expression on his face! I think the person who invented the word "nerd-rage" had a picture of the bass player taped to his bathroom mirror. I love him. If he's still alive (why wouldn't he be? this video is from 1981) I should write him a letter.

Even the music video can't believe the contrast present in the band. It points at them.

They play amongst the garbage.

The singer desperately tries to get you to pay attention to him. It is futile, though. Your eye is immediately drawn to the man on the left.

The band plays in a cityscape (I didn't know New Zealand had cities) to contrast with the earlier rural-scapes.

I love how the bass drum is front and center in this shot. It also effectively obscures most of the drummer.

In the next scene the band plays in a field. The bass player looks down intently as he plays in an extremely uncomfortable manner.

He looks like he never played the bass in his life and someone handed him one and asked him to play in the video. At the same time, however, he looks like he is a master bassist. He must be a deeply uncomfortable person.

The director finally gives up and puts the bass player in the front.

I can't look away.

The video ends in garbage.

So, what have we learned? A whole lot!
1. I love the bass player.
2. Don't dress like the 1960s. It is not cool to try to look like your parents. It might be cool to dance like your parents.
3. There's an old orchestra joke: The orchestra arrived backstage at a venue and there was a sign saying "Musicians and drummers this way". Hilarious.
4. Don't be afraid to cook with high heat.

They say you should try to learn something new every day. Since we just learned four things we can take a few days off. I won't be taking time off, though. I'll be back tomorrow.

Happy Halloween!


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