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 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)

 

 

Gotye – State of the Art

 

State of the art. Ah yes, why go purchase an actual instrument when you’ve got a computer? No wait, no. Not just any computer, a Cotillion D575. Why try to be artistic when you’ve got a simple computer to shizzle the dizzle for ya? And how much art is really art, anyway? If art is mere self-expression, we’re actually all artists, right? These amazing simulations end up sounding even better than the real thing! Yup. Just pick them beats, carefully selected for you by a team of high-end musically attuned developers, and you’ve got yourself the right material to end up famous. Go forth and imitate, by use of a computer. Who needs artists when you’ve got computers? Take the 1970 Cotillion. That thing is a Bomb. One could conquer the universe with that thing. Brainstorm humans, colonise Mars, take over planet. Try doing that with just a plain old guitar. No, no. In today’s music playground, samples are where you wanna be. Whether it be a sample of Gotye, or one of Frances Yip. Because there are really just two kind of musicians: the ones who staple samples one on top of the other (imitation), and the ones who actually use different samples to create a whole new art form (originality). But creating new patterns or playing with conventions is never as easy as it sounds, is it? Before you know it you’ve got exactly that: entertainment exploitation, from the comfort of your home or really just from your very own comfort zone. Invite the neighbours around. And just stay at home. Glad to see Gotye’s the latter though. Enjoy the state of the art. 

Director of MV: Gotye

 

 

Live – PJ Harvey, “Grow Grow Grow”, Review: On Art, Personal Growth and Vulnerability

 

“Not giving a fuck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different”, at least, that’s what Mark Manson claims in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (p. 14). You might not get his point immediately, but watching PJ Harvey’s live performance below will certainly change that. If mainstream art is all about being able to “fit in”, normal art is all about being different and not giving a fuck. Of course, not giving a fuck does not mean that you do not care, or that you are not scared, or that you are without emotion. Rather, it means you may feel all of those things, but won’t let it stop you from doing the right thing. Real art is then, in essence, all about vulnerability. About being able to be vulnerable in front of a large group of strangers, and about having the courage to do just so, even though you might be scared shitless.

Imagine you have to give a live performance about your deepest, darkest, most shameful inner fears in front of a group of artists such as yourself (people who know the vulnerability feeling). Difficult, right? Now, imagine having to do the same thing in front of a group of non-artistic people. People who are, or at least trying hard to be, utterly and completely “normal”. Even worse, right? Like, a fucking nightmare. Because, here you are, being your weird little self in front of those who try hard not to be; in front of X number of people who are all more than capable of pointing out just how weird you exactly are. Not just with your music, but with your clothes, your voice, … your everything.

Lately I’ve been having this suspicion that true art is all about the artist’s courage to “step out of the closet” and be authentically weird or, as a synonym to that, vulnerable. Because true art is all about the courage to be as vulnerable as possible, so that the artist’s vulnerability might serve other people, people they do not know nor care about (“strangers”), in feeling slightly understood. In that sense, one’s own vulnerability serves a greater cause. True art is then, indeed, all about the love of emotional growth. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why it is worth watching this stunning performance of PJ’s “Grow Grow Grow”.


Director: Unknown TV Show