Tag Archives: music video

Rayon Is A Punk Rocker: Arcade Fire’s New Video Fucking Sucks.

19 May

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Arcade Fire is one of those bands that everyone used to try to get me into for years and I was like “naaaaaaaaaaaaaaah”. Probably for the best, because it probably would have bothered me more to have a band I actually like churn out yet another piece of what Kat Blaque totally nails as “trans pity porn“. As I have admitted more than once, I’m kind of a guilty-pleasure sucker for the genre. But this campy paint-by-numbers bullshit just hit all the wrong buttons in the wrong order for me. I’m already willing to say this is the second worst music video I’ve seen all year.

So like first of all, as a trans woman born and raised in Texas, I am sick to fucking death already of the whole “gender-non-conforming person in redneck hell” trope. Like there isn’t homophobic and transphobic assholes all over “enlightened” big cities, but no we gotta keep that self-righteous white liberal boner going because you know what those dumb hicks are like. And it’s like, I’ve lived this and women in my community have died this way, so it leaves a bad taste in my mouth to see yet again a watered-down version of what some jackass imagines life is like for someone like me in the south. Just, ew.

But hold on a second, lemme tell you a thing or two about what I actually like about this video. Andrew Garfield manages to make little pouty faces at some interesting points that kind of hit home… invoking sad mirror feels while trying on clothes you have no practice wearing-

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-those awkward first times out in public where you have to unlearn male social posture defense mechanisms to fight off your own uneasiness and sense of vulnerability, convinced everyone is looking at you disapprovingly-

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-and just invoking this sort of wordless sorrow and desire to fit in somehow to a world where it feels impossible to do so-

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But like, when it comes down to it, this video is ultimately more an exploration of gender performativity/expression than identity. None of the characters, including the protagonist, is given exposition past the flimsiest of stereotypes. Even this fucked up Thai love song manages to give some (kinda creepy and busted) backstory to it’s trans character, but then it’s also like three times as long.

Basically what happens in the video is that the protagonist makes a bunch of sad faces into the mirror while deciding what to wear until she decides to go with what appears to be a Leg Avenue costume of Jessica Simpson in Dukes Of Hazard-

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She walks to the nearest bar, where she pouts a bit and then she’s (probably) beaten to death.

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Seriously, that’s her entire story. She’s sad and she’s dead. Also, jazz hands.

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Then, everything gets stupid. She finds herself alone in the bar, doing an interpretive Flashdance, because why not. And then this bullshit happens:

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YOU

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FUCKING

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KIDDING ME

So like I have to imagine that the thought process that went behind the scenes of this video went like this:

VIDEO DIRECTOR: “Transgender stuff is trendy right? Let’s make a sensitive portrayal of their lifestyle to look like hip LGBT allies!”

*awkward homerotic dance number intensifies*

VIDEO DIRECTOR: “NAILED IT”

So like then the gay cowboys lead the protagonist THROUGH AN ACTUAL RAINBOW DOORWAY OH MY FUCK.

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Where she comes out at an Arcade Fire concert lo0king like a pallette swapped Twiggy Ramirez and oh christ I’m so fucking bored and done with this.

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NEW DFC VID “L1F34CE(LIFEFORCE)” + Lyrics & Backstory

27 Apr

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So, last weekend I was out of town visiting Liz Larsen from LZX Industries for her wife’s birthday. While there, we set aside some time to crank out a Destroyed For Comfort video using her personalized home studio modular video synthesizer. We decided to make one for the song L1f34CE, a personal favorite song composed in 2005 (one of the first songs composed entirely on the Yamaha SU700 rather than porting over from the Zoom 234). We’ll talk more about the song in a moment, but check out the video first:

The video itself was filmed in one take, after about an hour of Liz and I discussing particular filter elements and color pallets and making sure the camera caught *just enough* detail to make sense while being washed out enough to look unsettling. As you can see, it turned out great.

The version of the track included was recorded at 512 Studios , engineered by Omar Vallejo, and mixed by me at home. It was also recorded in one take (which really added to the urgency of the vocal performance in my opinion). The recording session was a really enjoyable experience and the engineering crew is obviously very talented and efficient. Really happy with the result.

L1F34CE (LIFEFORCE)
(Everything’s gone green!)
I can’t quite explain my condition
I’m feeling fine except for this constriction
(I see silver cords and spots now)
I CAN’T FUCKING BREATHE
I’m like a rat in a glue trap
Grinding teeth
I can’t stop it
IT’S ALL GONE GREEN AND I CAN’T BREATHE

The lyrics may not make much sense, but they’re based on actual statements I was apparently mumbling to a boyfriend of mine while he was nursing me through an opiate and alcohol related overdose.

But overdoses are boring. Seriously. Yawn. You either have them or you don’t. Whatever. Moving on.

Composition wise, I wanted to reflect the idea of being poisoned to death. I composed the opening riff to sound like one of those “your character has been poisoned” tunes from an old NES game, and of course included those Gauntlet-esque warnings (“Your Lifeforce Is Low” “You Are About To Die” “Heal Yourself Quickly”) at the beginning before leading it into a super-dirty sounding electro main riff. This is also the official very first song where I started using that “okay I’m using pitch shift like an industrial singer normally does but STRETCHED THE EVERLOVING FUCK OUT” that even I’ll admit I overuse currently. It’s my thing.

Pretty sure this is the song I’ve performed live the most, but that’s debatable (No Wife No Horse No Mustache is a close second as well as Monarch/EPI7EPC).

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