Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Twosday: A Mechanized Future - Gary Numan's Cars and Yello's Bostitch

Welcome to Twosday on Another Flavor! Twosday is when we compare two music videos with something in common.

Today we'll be glancing at two videos about mechanization. As machines become part of our lives, how does that affect us as people?

First, Cars by Gary Numan:

In cars, Numan states that the only way to live is in cars. His appearance is cold and unemotional.

You imagine he would look the same waiting in line to buy milk, having sex, or killing someone. If you said, "Nice day," to him he would look at the sky to ascertain whether the day was nice or not. The dude has no mercy.

When you see his band it is a bunch of identical dudes playing identical synthesizers.

I love the one guy who plays the hand clap noise. He occasionally just slams on the synth.

Gary Numan becomes the machine. That is his response to mechanization. What about Yello? Check out the video for Bostitch:

Okay, so first off this video is probably one of the best ever made. The guy in the video? He is actually an eccentric German millionaire. If I love anything, it is art made by eccentric German millionaires. If I love two things it is art made by eccentric German millionaires and my wife.

Yello do not become the machine, although they love machines. The words at the beginning are, "Standing at the machine everyday for all my life. I'm used to do it and I need it. It's the only thing I want. It's just a rush, push, cash." The awkwardness of "I'm used to do it," makes me happy. German millionaires don't need to speak English well.

Rather than cold and unemotional, the man in the video is decidedly un-machine-like.

That hat indicates that he is "just folks", not an elitist engineer or a machine. No machine would combine that hat with a shirt, tie, and suspenders. Few people would, either, but that is beside the point.

Rather than being accompanied by a band, the music we hear in the video remains a mystery. We have no idea how it is made, on what instruments or by how many people. The only other person who appears is this woman who is clearly also a mystery:

Her question mark hair is amazing, though.

Eventually the man rebels against the machination of his life. "Everybody needs somebody sometimes," he shouts.

"N'est-ce pas?" he then asks, slyly.

The sheer insanity that went in to the making of this song and video is unbelievable. Yello was on Ralph Records which is the record label owned by The Residents. They are the weirdos pictured here:

That explains some of it, but I don't think the video is weirdness for weirdness's sake. Yello envisions a man who needs to work at a machine, but he also needs somebody. His time with a machine has left him socially inept, not even aware of what clothing normal humans wear. He still needs someone, though. Is it a woman? He no longer knows. It's haunting, really.

I know I'll be thinking of this man always.

I think there is something wrong with me, though, because I want to be just like him. Man, eccentric German millionaires.

I hope you enjoyed this Twosday. I'll see you tomorrow with a post about a single video from the early 1990s.


No comments:

Post a Comment