Fresh Breath, Adhesives, and Carbonation
July 11 - August 10, 2014
I sidestep my mouse to skip a Geico ad and then I watch "The Stranglers- 'No More Heroes' - Dutch TV 1977" with a Call of Duty promotion obstructing the foot of the image. I think it may be the fifth time I played the video this week- the song is a negationist classic.
The band is set within a cerulean landscaped soundstage - weirdly sealed in ad hoc plastic wrap – and they play "live" for television. The audio track is clearly a dubbed general issue. I've seen this type of format used in archived versions of T.O.T.P., but I continually choose this selection over the twenty-one other versions of the song cobbled in the side margins.
My attention strays as I watch the clip: I look up the weather. I check my work e-mail. I check my personal e-mail. I click back to the Stranglers video and appreciate that the band members have swapped roles and instruments to literalize a Sebastian Dinwiddie dilemma. Each member mimes an essence of a rock performance and acts alternately with great specificity and sloppy generalization. Are they attempting to break down the band's hierarchical dispositions? Are they enacting a Pop détournment?
I push my cat away as he attempts to climb onto my laptop.
Jet Black (drummer) gyrates a simple modeling of the actual guitar cords while sporting expressions of severity. But is the corrosive momentum of the guitar's cord progression undermined as he plays with a standing lap slide approach, a beer bottle propped in his picking hand?
I get up and walk to the fridge. It's smattered with magnets advertising disparate services, all holding expired mailers, neglected bills or dog-eared photos. I open the fridge and notice that the milk expired three days ago. I close the fridge and walk back to my computer as a cymbal falls with no diagetic consequence.
JJ Burnel (bassist) hams it up for the camera and gives a crashing performance on drums with no attempt to sell the performance honest. Burnel kicks over the floor tom and jump ropes the snare; the music plays on. I always thought JJ made the rest of the band look like they have no stylistic imperatives whatsoever- or is it the other way around? For this reason, or perhaps because he is most attractive member of the band, the television editor gives him the majority of screen time.
The audio track of the song drives fervently into its finale, but at this point the band has already walked away from their instruments, aggressively parting ways with authenticity. Reference is dissolved into meaninglessness. The clip ends and twelve new options of rapid encounter are offered.
- Jonathan Santoro
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