Your Life in 9 Lives or Bob Dylan Revived: Gabrielle – Rise

 

Life. It can push you down definitively. When you know you’ve lost that certain support that used to always back you up when times got rough. That certain emotional affirmation you never truly seem to be able to produce by yourself. Because somewhere, somehow, you only give value to what others think.

You won’t catch me when I fall. Yes, maybe that realisation does it all. Maybe that’s when you realise that any outer emotional backup is really just one giant illusion. Why is it we always need others (other minds outside of our own) to feel that we are worth something? To feel that we add at least some value to the world? To feel, why yes, arisen?

“Life comes with Ups and Downs”, they say. That moment when you’ve just dealt with one very terrible Down, but you start feeling the time is ripe for another Up again. Cause though life can put you down definitively, it makes it more difficult when you start to see life as a sequence of 9 lives, or 9 phases. One life gone? Time for the second one! Cause Time is the so-called “healer of all Downs”, and any Down is really just a reason to rise again.

And maybe a life filled with 9 lives, 9 “Ups” if you will, is indeed enough to compensate for whatever fate may await. And I’ve always thought life was much more interesting if it comes in stages, rather than one straight line.

And 9 lives is one life worth living for. And anyway, curiosity, courage and consistency are things that shouldn’t come from someone outside of me, but instead from within me. Maybe that message is why Bob Dylan let her sample his tune for free.

Director of this music Video: Kevin Godley

 

 

Human Betrayal: Chinese Man – Wolf

 

There’s something really mesmerising with music videos that tell a story that is, in truth, a metaphor for something else. Specifically if it is a metaphor for a specific kind of feeling, like restlessness or the feeling of being lost or, worse, trapped. Usually I am rather sceptic of any music video made by Chinese Man. Because even though this French producer has got an awful good taste in aesthetically beautiful movie making, his videos somehow always seem to be missing a clear meaningful message, like they’ve been made by a directing genius who is too creative for his own good.

This video, however, totally hits the mark. Perhaps it is just me, perhaps I had just found myself in the right emotional mood to watch it, but I do have to say: I felt truly emotionally moved by the story in this video. And to explain my feeling, you’ll need some translation of the French lyrics or quotes taken from the Jin-Roh anime movie.

C’est toujours comme ça dans les contes pour enfants. Chaque fois c’est le loupe qui est le méchant. Which would translate to: “It’s always like that in children’s stories. Each time it is the wolf who is the bad guy”.

A quote that is interestingly separated in two pieces and interrupted by a verse line taken from NAS’s rap song “One Love“: I need the time alone to relax my dome, no phone, … . One could only guess what this line is doing in there.

Ce n’est pas un être humain que tu trahis. Which would translate to: “It is never a human being that you have betrayed.”

Now, you watch that video and you put the pieces together. Cause this time he’s really done it. Chinese Man’s samples combined with Classical, Dubstep and Drum ‘n Bass vibes turn this whole almost instrumental song completely upside down. And the video turns the song into a full-blown children’s story totally worthy of the next Music Video Award. Specifically the chase of a human being and its wolf counterpart are a total enrichment of the viewer’s own deeper inner life. I’d be genuinely surprised if this video has not surpassed a million YouTube views by the end of 2018.

Directors of this Music Video:
Chinese Man Records & Vincent Cappello and Matthieu Di Stefano (Zé Mateo) of JustLikeWow! Productions

 

 

What is Success?: HAVASI – The Road

 

The road is kinda bumpy. I’m feeling the cold under my shoes, and inside. The icecold wind is all around me, and raging from within, and it is fucking freezing. I’m in Switzerland on a bumpy road, filled with rotten concrete, amidst the never-ending snow. The land is covered in white and the pen in my hand, shivering above the piece of paper in my other hand, black. The colour of this plastic writing tool is in strong contrast with the bleak reality surrounding it. I was at a conference yesterday. It talked about success, not failure, being scary. They made us do an exercise. If we could kindly close our eyes and envision what, to us, success looked like? I saw a home; a place where I could be myself, where I could peacefully retreat, while holding a pen in my hand. About a year ago, I once entered such a home. And my stay there was of great significance. For, when I went away, I had not noticed that I had hidden my heart in a corner of that house. And none of its inhabitants, none of the people occupying that place, have realised I left it there. And that it is still there. And now I realise that I was so close to success then, yet so unaware of it. I long to feel that kind of success again. And to write all kinds of life stories in great detail. But I can’t. I cannot. Because the door to any writing seems of little significance when my heart is not even part of the entrance.

 

As with all my short stories, the underlying meaning becomes stronger after having watched the music video, so feel free to watch it below.

Director of Music Video: Peter Graf 

 

 

Like Machines in Your Ear: Trixie Whitley – Soft Spoken Words

 

When he talks, love sounds come out (or so it would seem). But here’s the thing: a simple statement contains a ton of information apart from the words themselves. Even when words of love are soft-spoken and seemingly full of love, there are all these other layers. Layers that psychics, or lunatics, call “reading between the lines”. Cause we all know that even the most lovely words of all – “I love you” – can often mean nothing.

When your soft-spoken words sound like machines in my ear.

When he speaks, love sounds come out. And he may think they mean anything, but not necessarily so. Some love stories down the road, you’ve come to learn that words are merely words. Unless there is courage involved.  But often there is none. Maybe because of the situation, or because of him, or maybe because of you. But whatever the reason may be, in the end all these love sounds still just feel like … machinery. Stuff you’re supposed to say, or you’re supposed to feel.

When your soft-spoken words sound like machines in my ear.

But the truth is that one can never feel complete, unless you dare to listen to the most painful words of all. And that, dare I say, is where true love comes into play.

Director of this Music Video: Derrick Belcham

 

 

Milk & Capitalism: The Prodigy – Baby’s Got a Temper

 

These days milk is really no special product. Anyone can get it and, let’s face it, everyone is using. How else to face the daily 9 to 5 reality of today’s so-called “market efficiency”? How else to stay hyper-productive during the work day? Even the milk makers themselves need it to do their job efficiently. Because pure, tasty, qualitatively good milk requires strict product processing.

And you can’t have any of the supply chain girls stealing it either. This is why they have to perform nakedly. After all, one must obey the number one law of any capitalist product: Never Trust thy Employee. And the second, equally as important law: Honour thy Consumer (as expressed by the clone Sonmi-451 in the movie “Cloud Atlas”).

This baby’s got a temper, you’ll never tame her.

Now this line right here is pretty interesting, cause what does it refer to? Could refer to anything really … Option number one: The Consumer (for one can never have enough milk). Option number two: The milk itself or, more specifically, the crazy cow who made it. We like rohypnol. But I guess all products have an expiration date. So maybe it’s not milk that is the future but, rather, rohypnol. Because, really, what better way to deal with capitalism than a forget-me pill? This baby’s got a temper, you’ll never tame her. Or, no, wait. Maybe the line actually refers to option number three: Capitalism itself. That sounds awful.

Please hit me a new line. Or a shot of milk.

Director of this Music Video: Traktor

 

 

You Can’t Tame a Wild One: Lucky Rose ft. Tep No – Wild One

Short story based on music video “Wild One” of DJs Lucky Rose and Tep No.

 

It’s difficult to tame a wild one. They all want one, until they actually have one. Then it blows up in their faces. You simply can’t tame the one thing that is too afraid to be caged. It will kick and scream, yell and spit, punch and hit you, right where it hurts. Whatever needs to be done to avoid entering the cage. Most of them keep trying anyway. But not much so with him. He lets me be. We can go for these long, quiet walks in the woods. And he’ll curiously jump and run around like mad, in some kind of childlike overexcitement. But he’s got his eye on me though. Follows me around. And even when I feel alone, I just look about, and guess who’s still around. He’s just as wild as me, exploring all them different corners ferociously. But sometimes I do keep him on a leash … Like when he’s been naughty, screwing up my carefully constructed territory. That much curiosity should sometimes be restrained. But the cuddles, well, they’re the best. His soft skin complements my firm face. And he’s so cute when he sleeps. And he’s strong. And protective of me. He’ll save me from anything, if necessary, though he knows I can take perfect care of my own. And when I dance the night away, he doesn’t care whether or not I’m drunk. Doesn’t feel the need to show the dance floor the two of us belong. He knows I am the loyal kind. He knows that I know that he’s around. Honestly, all the times I went out without him, it felt like I had left some kind of important piece of myself behind. So really, … who needs a man when you’ve got a dog?

Director of music video: Not mentioned anywhere – ? UltraMusic

 

What Actual Travelling Feels Like: The Blaze – Territory

Short story inspired by the music video of The Blaze for the song “Territory”.

 

This is what a real traveller feels like: Homeless. Without home. Not the place where you were born, not the place where you are now. And the sound of music that you float on exists of a million different cultural pieces from now on.

Travelling as a word has become a trend these days. But there are different kinds of travel. Travelling away, far from home, but knowing you’ve got one, is for example very different from actual travelling: Travelling as done by the lone wolves in the movies, travelling as done by the human species centuries ago. When there is not a place on earth you actually belong, when you have become a Nowhere Man, meeting people but never really being understood, then you are a real traveller.

Your home isn’t anywhere. Not where you were born. Not where you are now. Not all the different places in between. Not the airports, not the stations, not the cities you’ve been passing by. It is simply non-existent. It is simply … You.

Flowing lost and alone is how to recognise a true traveller. The one who travels around, reluctantly, with an open mind. The one who carries his shell on his back, while moving slowly towards the one true path: The path of belonging. But all humans are fundamentally alone (no matter how big the pack is), and any real traveller knows: There isn’t any territory, any region, any people in which I’ll ever fully belong.

In truth, the real traveller is a reluctant one. It is the one floating ball that actually doesn’t like travelling at all.

Director of music video: Jonathan and Guillaume Alric (The Blaze)

 

 

Live – Tinariwen ft. Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Cler Achel”, Review: The Pioneers of Desert Rock

 

When was the last time you went to a concert where you could not help yourself but move? In today’s music industry, we move around in “music genre bubbles” much the same way we move around in “social bubbles”. As a consequence, we have all kinds of expectations on how good music should sound like, according to the kind of sounds we are most familiar with, but we forget how music originated in the first place.

Tuareg band Tinariwen is here to remind us that the making of music arose as a means to unite people, travellers by nature, no matter their differences in background, experience or opinion. And since most of us cannot speak this nomad language anyway, their performance depends mainly on the rhythm of the music, and the energy in the room.

In ancient times, we would all sit by the fire and produce sounds with our mouths and limbs. Whether a spontaneous whistle or a cry, the clapping of our hands, or the playing of a handmade drum, the rhythm would be there, as a general team effort. And as pioneers of the music genre Desert Rock, the members of Tinariwen have creatively introduced the electric guitar into this ancient human ritual.

In this particular performance, rockers Josh and Flea, members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, decided to join in to provide for the kind of party we Western people so desperately need. No social anxiety nor public smartphone taping here. Just a genuine sharing of the love of music and its consequent highly energetic yet laid-back vibes.

Enjoy this video, and treat yourself that one ticket to a different music genre, and a different party (Tinariwen tours all over the globe, unusually often).

 


Director of MV: Antirecords

 

Monday: Get into your Work and Clothes

Inspired by music video: Chinese Man feat. lots of other folks – Get up.

Alarmclock. For, like, the fifth time. Cause snoozing is an actual lifestyle. You look at the clock: 7 AM. Aaaaaargh. Mondays.

Oh, the pain! You want to get out of bed, you really do, cause working is relatively cool, but … It’s just so difficult, you know? It’s like your soul wants to get up, but your body is just not buying it. These legs just feel like lead. And it’s so warm here, you know? Here in my Oh So Cosy Soft-Skinned Bed. So warm and comfortable and … safe. Unlike the cold, harsh, industrious world out there. But so, whether you like it or not, your body is still in Weekend Mode.

So you know it’s time to pull out the big guns: them fluffy, creepy potheads of Chinese Man. You pick up the remote, point it towards your barely-used retro stereo, and let the music slowly sink in … Get up, get up. Yep. There it goes. You’re starting to feel some movement in the legs.

Get up, get up, you lazy lout. Reminds you of your mom back in high school. “Get up, get up, you lazy lout, get into your work and clothes.” Yes. Let’s do this. Get up, dude. We gotta suit up, then clock in and go to work. And before you know it, you’re out of the bed, using both those feet again. Feeling the cold, hard winter-y floor. You’re up! Yes! You made it! And you pose like that guy from Ratatouille, that useless red-haired kid who sucks at his job, while screaming “Let’s do this thing!“, and you’re off, into the world. Into the big bright beautiful world.

Of course, this doesn’t work on Fridays.


Director: Fred & Annabelle

Live – Portishead, “Roads”, Review: On the Fork in your Road

 

After I got fired from my job a while back, I spent three months wandering around planet Earth, crossing all kinds of roads, trying to figure out which one to take. During this journey, I’ve gotten all kinds of advices in helping me pick the right road, both from people close to me as well as those that just happened to be about, but one in particular stood out. It was the one that asked me, quite puzzled really, “What road? You just gotta look at the options and take ’em. … If you see a fork in the road, just take it.” So I took it. Alone.

I got nobody on my side and, surely, that ain’t right. But, in listening to this song, I keep on wondering whether the fork was the solution all along. Because if the fork was the right choice for me, then how can it feel this wrong? And that is exactly the kind of feeling that you get from watching this live performance of Portishead.

The sense that, whatever road you might be on right now, and whatever fork there may be in front of you, the only one who can see it … is you. And therefore the only one who can actually feel it … is you. And since we as human beings are all fundamentally alone in this endeavour, more often than not we just don’t take any fork at all, and freeze.

 

Director of  video: Dick Carruthers