Thursday, July 02, 2009

Violence is golden

The Dead Weather – another round up.

Rockerparis' beautiful pictorial blog of The Dead Weather show at Cigale, Paris on June 29th.
Emelineuh's lovely photos of the same show, Cigale, Paris, June 29th.

A video I previously mentioned, of The Dead Weather touring a vinyl record pressing plant, is now up on YouTube, with a soundtrack of Will There Be Enough Water. At the end is an important message regarding how you can win a chance to tour Third Man Records. Interesting document. Weird concept.

That track's a cracker, isn't it? Far better than live, in fact. And it's fantastic live.

In other news, The Dead Weather has shot a short film (don't call it a music video!) called Treat Me Like Your Mother which will premiere on Cinemax on July 11th at 9:55 PM. The short will then premiere in the UK on Channel 4 on July 13th at 00:10.

According to MOG,

“It was overwhelmingly electric working with Jonathan Glazer on this project, which feels more short film than video,” said White. “I’ve never felt an intensity like I did on the set of this shoot. Absolutely violent, explosive, and poetic.”

“Theirs was a beautiful energy to tap in to,” explained Glazer. “You can’t ask for anything more.”

It's directed by Jonathan Glazer, the guy who did Sexy Beast, and looks to be spot on with all the pop culture references. For instance, check out the font on the ad above. It's a beautiful bit of typography. It provides an abundance of information about the motion picture it represents. It's lovely.

You can tell it's by an artist not a writer as most writers, by which I mean I, would have just written "you beautiful scumbag" because "you beautiful little scumbag" just doesn't swing. Does it, poppets? Be honest. It swingeth not. It does, however, fit the aspect ratio of the shot perfectly – you couldn't get away with any fewer letters than that in the composition. And for the foreign, or non-pop-culture people, Cinemax is the channel people call Skin-e-max. You know, that sort of channel.

Neither the typography nor the style matches the clip that's currently on The Dead Weather's site right now. (More "visuals" are promised in the days leading up to the premiere.) There Jack is sticking a magazine in a rifle, chambering a round and looking purposeful as he strides across a dry dirt field. It's got everything – gun, leather jacket, Jack White's ass, a brooding row of exhausted-looking suburban buildings, the death of grass.

Here's the clip preserved in bytes because it's bound to go away from the DW website (possibly rifling your wallet and stealing your car as it leaves) in the next few days. (Edit: I've substituted the whole film as the original link has decayed 07/2017)

The film – it says here – is uncensored (pass the smelling salts!) .

Do I want to watch rich rock stars in their mid-thirties who say things like 'overwhelmingly electric' apparently discovering sex and violence and art house movies? I found it charming at first - it seemed to be for real - but the short makes me wonder if it's not cynical marketing. It was a lot of fun during Punk to discover sex and violence, Sam Peckinpah, Faster Pussycat Kill Kill and John Waters and all the insane panoply that went on at the Scala in those days, but at the time I was 19 years old - and so were the bands.

Then again Jack was recently asked about his idea of a 'rock star'. Here he is at the IMGL premiere, talking at great revelatory length about a strategy of being silent and mysterious. It makes you want to pass him a note and let him know, doesn't it? He doesn't exactly sound like Malcolm McLaren here.

1 comment:

Malia said...

I haven't had to do this in a while (put my mud-wrestling gear on), hope I don't slip and fall and pull a muscle.

Meaning no offense, but you are sounding like a bit of an old fart - Hey you kids! Don't mess with my stuff!

1. You beautiful scumbag vs You beautiful little scumbag. To me, they both flow. The difference is the feeling they evoke. The first had a admiring/threatening vibe, the second, admiring/affectionate. At least that's what I get out of it.

2. A music video has never been anything more than promotional tool. Like the video you just watched? Then buy album X - on sale now in vinyl, cd and mp3 download! In record store and online now!!! Jack's always mixed art with his music, and speaking of arthouse, Coffee and Cigarettes anyone? Doesn't get more arthouse than Jim Jarmusch. Seems clear to me that Jack is a film fan (playing bit roles in several), and likes the odd bit of make believe. The Dead Weather short doesn't look like some OTT extravaganza like "Thriller" or any of Michael Jackson's odd movie/videos. It looks in keeping with the theme Jack has created for The Dead Weather, of sexually charged danger. If he and Baby Ruthless break into a choreographed dance number when the music starts, I will eat my words. No, he's not the first to discover the connection between sex and violence, but he's introducing the concept to this generation who have been numbed by whiny indie groups, depressive emos, and pretend un-dead Goth bands. I do have to admit that Cinemax is an odd choice of venue. Unless Jack and Alison get naked in the film and have mock-sex. Then it would be appropriate. Maybe he's trying to tap (heh) into the soft-core porn fan market. In that case, sheer genius.

c) Jack White is not a one-dimensional musician/rock star. Since I discovered his music, I have enjoyed not only the music, but the performance artist aspect of the man. For him to limit his art to his music would be a shame. With the sinking of the music industry, he is creatively seeking ways to capture peoples attention and get his music heard (read as boost album sales). Which is what it's all about, really. If the man has fun doing it and entertains us a bit, why should we complain? He's a little goofy and dramatic in his choice of words. As Fezzik said to Vizzini "I do not think it means, what you think it means." But that's part of his charm. You used to find him charming, didn't you?

-O(off to wash off the mud)


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