Friday, April 1, 2011

Florence + The Machine - “Dog Days Are Over”

  Okay, Florence has lots of different personalities in this video, so I’ll do my best to introduce you to all the various shades of whimsy, because I’m sure they’re all special in their own way, and they certainly want your attention. But some of them kind of scare me with their intensity, so I’m not guaranteeing anything…

  We start off with the camera zooming in on our first contestant, one I’ll call Fluctuating Emotions Flo. At first she’s just sprawled quietly in an odd position on the floor, head hanging, not really bothering anybody. But that only lasts about two seconds, because she suddenly pops her head up, shows us her startling hairdo, and starts warbling the song. Of course, you probably won’t notice right away that she’s singing, because you’ll be too busy looking around for a stick to beat that hair with in case it attacks you.

  Quick shot of Dancing Nymph Flo, cavorting about with some smoke, then we’re back to Fluctuating Flo making hand gestures that might mean we’re supposed to get our own lunch from the sideboard. Next up is Woolly Mammoth Flo, wearing animal skins that twirl prettily and accent the black half-mask she is wearing. Woolly Flo has her arms raised. I’m assuming that a nearby police officer has asked her to do this.

  Back to Fluctuating Flo and her creepy ballet shoes, beckoning for us to come closer. I have no intention of doing that. Another shot of Woolly Flo, with her arms still raised, praising Jesus or whatever she’s doing, then we’re visiting Fluctuating Flo once more, who manages to somehow give birth to two blue-skinned women with beehive hairdos. Her children then began to accompany her singing by performing some 60’s shimmy doo-wop moves.

  Another glimpse of Nymph Flo, then Fluc Flo is back, first hand-gesturing that she may have swallowed a rotten cherry, and then doing artsy poses with her blue but well-coiffed offspring. Then the children sort of appear and disappear as Fluctuating Flo uses her hands and billowing dress to apparently tell the sad tale of two rag dolls that were arrested for shocking indiscretions at a Maypole Festival.

  Whoa, another Flo shoves her aggressively-painted face into the camera and then disappears. We’ll call her Angry Kabuki Flo, in case she shows up again and you need a reference point. Then we have the Blue-Period children dancing while hooded figures play harps. (I’m going to guess that this is a political statement, but don’t quote me on that.) Nymph Flo pirouettes for a bit, then, yep, Angry Kabuki Flo is back for another brief appearance before dashing off to wherever people go when they need to rest their heads after wearing too much makeup.

  Just as the tempo of the music gets rather frisky, we see yet another Flo leaping into the air whilst wearing a kimono, with her airborne body book-ended by two odd men beating on tribal drums and stomping their feet in an overly-dramatic way. Kimono Flo must really like the rhythm, because she appears to be experiencing some very nice tremors racing through her body, and possibly even a full-blown orgasm. (Note to Self: Find out where she got those drums.)

  Things start really jumping about at this point, and I get the feeling that Angry Kabuki Flo and Kimono Flo might be the same personality. It’s just very difficult to keep the branches of the family tree organized when everyone’s running around all wild-eyed and clearly not following a script of any kind. (Unless that script said “act like you’ve just eaten some really bad Chinese takeout that leads to a fever dream where you can’t find the loo”.)

  Meanwhile the Blue Twins still look very happy to be here and their delicate hairdos have managed to survive everything that’s been thrown at them so far. Oh, and there’s Woolly Flo again, and she seems fine as well, doing an interpretive dance about the joys of unclogged plumbing. I was a little worried about that one, since we hadn’t seen her in a while, but it’s all good.

  We now have a new non-Flo character, in the form of a boy-child who can’t find his shirt but did find some cymbals that he can bang together for us. Behind him, we see the Blue Girls, one of them sporting an expression along the lines of “yes, I had sex and produced a child in between scenes. My bad.” Gee, these people around here can reproduce with an amazing alacrity and creative color design.

  Well, I guess that banging about of metal has had a calming effect on the Flo’s, at least temporarily. Most of them quit with the exuberance, and we have Fluctuating Flo singing softly and sweetly while her big-haired and big-eyelashed daughters look on approvingly from both sides. (Why am I suddenly wondering where my Wynona Judd CD’s might be?) The Blue Girls even do a gentle line dance behind Naomi Judd for a bit, which is really touching, since she has that hepatitis thing and all.

  Then it’s just Fluctuating Flo, presumably beseeching us to join her in the horseshoe toss at the church picnic, followed by Flo and the Young Uns participating in a pageant about sunrises and squid casserole. Next thing you know, we’re on a really big set where Kimono Flo has been joined by lots of musicians, including the unsettling monk harpists, the squatting drum bangers, some other matching sets of instrumentalists, and a gospel choir that was probably just passing through on their way to the Disciples of Hasty Pudding Blues Fest up in Nottingham.

  And this is when everybody just loses their mind, in a joyous tribute to the human spirit and the freedom to do whatever strikes you as interesting but you can still get paid for it. The Flo’s let loose with some amazing vocals while performing enough dramatic poses that you can be assured various chiropractors were called the next morning. The Blue Girls continue with their Ricki Lake Clambake, and the musicians are jamming like they were all cleared on the paternity tests. Oh, and there’s hair. Lots and lots of unruly, mind-of-its-own, hair.

  (Naturally, another child is produced during the festivities, this one a young lass with forehead symbolism and the yearning to beat on things while not smiling.)

  Then we have Woolly Flo (maybe?) running along in slo-mo whilst waving a blue flag. At first it’s not clear why she would be moved to do this, but it does seem to cause some general unrest with the partygoers. We suddenly have folks being distraught and running for their lives. (Even the Blue Girls try to hit the road, but they’re a bit slower, having to deal with wind buffeting their Memorial Hairdos.)

  Then people just start exploding. Yes, solidity into confetti, just like that. Perhaps they should have read the fine print on their contracts.

  It appears that Kimono Flo might be the culprit, since she seems to be in the vicinity every time there’s a reduction in work force Oh wait, that’s a lie. Wooly Flo dispatches one of the drummers (or at least a guy, I don‘t know who he was, we were never properly introduced), and then one of the Blue Girls (with the hair lingering just a bit longer than the body, nice artistic touch).

  And that’s how we end things, with the Flo’s killing off all the celebrants and seriously shortening their Christmas Card list. (Perhaps it only occurred to me, but how is Florence going to go on tour if she just killed off her entire band? This is quite a tragedy.) But the Flo’s don’t care. They have each other, they have magical powers, and they have their hair. Nothing else matters…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

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