Don't let the barriers you have built to define who you are blind you from appreciating the unfamiliar.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Neon Indian - Sleep Paralysist

On this blog, I usually post music videos that are innovative or interesting or have some cultural relevance, good or bad. Most of the time, when I come across video that doesn't really need much mention, I just move on. There is such a huge array of good videos out there that I don't really need to post the countless bad or mediocre videos I see. So, as you may have guessed, I am not so thrilled with this video.

Neon Indian has been hot stuff for the past year, in part thanks to a Best New Music endorsement from the music blog elite guard at The other reason is that Alan Palomo, the man at the heart of Neon Indian, is talented and put out a great record. I loved Neon Indian's Psychic Chasm and the entire lofi, throwback synth sound. I am also partial to music from Denton, Texas. (Please release another album Chris Flemmons from the Baptist Generals. There has been over seven years of talking about a new album and my heart can't take it anymore.)

I came upon this video a couple days ago with the headline, "Neon Indian makes first ‘official’ music video", on some blog that seems to be a instruction manual on what to like if you want to be a hipster. My first thought was, wait, I thought I have already seen a couple Neon Indian videos, but I guess they weren't official. My second thought was, fantastic, I can't wait to see the first official Neon Indian video.

After the first viewing, I thought, oh well, on to the next video. But instead of moving on, I investigated a bit. I watched the "Making of" video for the music video:

From the first 20 seconds of this video I realized something was wrong. Alan Palomo subtly rolls his eyes and says, "especially when it gets to be something so collaborative, it becomes something bigger than the sum of its parts." And then I not-so-subtly rolled my eyes. Who are you collaborating with Alan Palomo? Then we meet the two obviously very artistic directors as they vaguely describe their inspiration that seems to have been cleverly lifted from the title of the song. You see, the song is called Sleep Paralysist and so the brilliant directors wanted Alan Palomo to "walk through all these crazy scenarios" and "animate sleep paralySIS" (with emphasis on the SIS, in case you didn't catch the the title of the song is Sleep Paralysist).

So Alan Palomo goes through all these crazy scenarios like throwing plates against a wall, a white horse, masks that were stolen from the set of Eyes Wide Shut, a pile of wooden folding chairs, a game of backgammon, and lots of creepy smoke from a smoke machine. You know, like the crazy stuff scenarios you see in your dreams. How do they come up with this stuff? Don't get too freaked out.

Ok, enough with the sarcasm. This video is a boring and uncreative mishmash of unrelated random and cliched images. The video takes place in some weird house with a bunch of crazy rooms, but the video only touches on one or two rooms and a zoom shot of the outside. The description and footage of this house in the "Making of" video is more interesting than anything in the actual music video.

How do you shoot a video in such a interesting place and barely shoot anything interesting. Why even shoot there? It seems that someone with a chunk money rented the house, a white horse, and a smoke machine and just started filming. Since this video is "so collaborative," who else are you collaborating with Alan Palomo?

Then I check to find out who this Green Label Sound record label is that is hosting all these videos. Oh, its Mountain Dew. What??? Mountain Dew? Oh I am sorry Mtn Dew. I guess that is easier to tweet when you want to vote for your favorite high fructose corn syrup infused artificially flavored drink in PepsiCo Inc.'s DEWmocracy. Perhaps they should also let me vote on my favorite high fructose corn syrup infused artificially flavored music video.

Look, I am not saying that nothing good can come from a label run by an multinational corporation whose goal is to sell you overpriced sugar water. I am sure millions of PepsiCo dollars have gone to treacle-sweet acts like NSync and Christina Aguilera, but Neon Indian? There is a place for mindless commercial pop music, but I hard pressed to categorize Neon Indian as commercial pop for the masses. In don't know, maybe that is what Alan Palomo is going for with this video, covering it up with a vaguely artsy veneer. Maybe he wants to be the next pop superstar, but he isn't going to do it with this video.

To end on a happy note, I am going to do something else I don't usually do. I am going to post a fan made music video. The first time I saw this video, I just assumed it was official and it is too bad that it isn't. This video looks to be shot on a handheld digital pocket camera (watch at minute 1:07) by some kids on a vacation to Chicago. These kids made a much better video for the song than the crap that the MTN_DEW laxative has helped Alan Palomo and the directing team at Focus Creeps to poop out. Good job SaintEcho7.

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1 comment:

  1. I feel like they barely even know what their talking about. They don't even mention if they've ever experienced sleep paralysis much less the more rare hallucinations that some people experience during sleep paralysis. Also it is very short. Also, the whole point is, you're not moving, at all. Not walking around a house.