Originality is overrated.
Everything is stolen, to a degree, and we need to learn to forgive that as a society. Every good idea has been had a billion times over, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with borrowing a thought to get your own creation off the ground. Even if something sounds completely unprecedented, chances are you just missed the source of the interpretation.
It’s all good, though. We don’t need to worry about everything springing from the void in complete de novo glory. The deeper the reference goes, the more satisfying the art. Whether it be the sample source for a sick beat or the raw material for a video edit, you gotta appreciate that everything comes from somewhere.
Astronomique – “Bleed Me”
Minneapolis electro-pop band Astronomique love old B movies. You know, the kind where square-jawed astronauts float on fishing line go to battle with rubber-suited aliens for the fate of the planet. You can almost hear the crackle of a 50-year-old audio track in the video for their new song “Bleed Me,” which is cobbled together from the types of movies you might catch if you kept SyFy on deep into the witching hour. The video was created by Sean Hogan to provide a quirky visual companion Astronomique’s otherworldly charmer of a single.
NFG Mayhem – “Arthur”
After-school icon Arthur is well into his second life as a hip-hop meme, but Minnesota rapper NFG Mayhem is ready to take that sensitive little aardvark to the streets. Mayhem’s new song “Arthur” samples the PBS cartoon’s soft reggae theme song, with Mayhem rapping along to the original cadence. However, he’s not talking about working and playing and getting along, he’s talking about packing heat and fucking your girlfriend. Director Endlessvisiion completes the childhood sacrilege by dressing Mayhem up exactly like the Arthur, neck-hung camera and all.
The Shackletons – “Happy Boring Life”
“I hope I live a happy and boring life,” Colin Campbell sings on the refrain to the Shackletons’ new song. Never has someone meant a lyric more sarcastically: “Happy Boring Life” paints domesticity in an absurd and dangerous light. What’s living for if not to fuck up without fear of permanent redress? The band captures this happy-go-lucky feeling by staging their very own kindergarten in a white room before inverting the whole scene and turning it into a mosh pit of post-adolescent rebellion. Never grow up.
Aaron Rice – “Ghosttown”
It’s pretty clear that Aaron Rice has superpowers. The velvet-voiced electronic artist has a spellbinding presence, but he can also use his powers for evil, as evidenced by the video for his new song “Ghosttown.” Directed by Wolves, the video follows a pair of burglars as they make the ultimately fatal choice of invading Rice’s home. Rice comes after them, eyes aglow, and makes them puke glitter until they regret ever trying to rip off a mage of his stature. “Ghosttown” is from Rice’s forthcoming LP Neverfade/For Dusk, due out May 10.
My Friend Oatmeal – “Letting Go”
Losing someone can feel like an impossible burden, as though you’re giving up a limb. Ambient musician My Friend Oatmeal is well acquainted with the difficulty, so he wrote his new song “Letting Go” to help speed the process along. Balancing baldly spoken words with sorrowful violins, Oatmeal is able to capture the surges of emotion and reflection that come in the wake of a breakup. Ben Kohler brings in the human element, juxtaposing Oatmeal himself with a firedancer to capture the catharsis of the moment of freedom that comes with finally, truly getting over someone.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]