Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Lumineers – “Ho Hey”

  We start out by reviewing a framed photograph and some nice homespun artwork on a wall, helping establish the fact that we’re about to review the work of a folk rock band and not the latest bragfest from a rapper who can’t rhyme unless a nearly-nude woman is hanging on each arm, both of them begging for his physical attentions. Then the camera turns and we follow a string of old-timey lights down a darkened hallway, so we’re either about to meet the pleasant folk singers or we’re about to be attacked by a masked serial killer with questionable fixation issues.

  We make it to the end of the hallway without any bloodshed, and here comes lead singer Wesley walking out of a side room (hey, what was happening in there?), strumming his guitar and wearing a festive hat. He doesn’t immediately face us, so we might have done something wrong with our arrival (were we supposed to bring a covered dish?), but he appears to get over it and turns in our direction. Then he walks right past us and keeps singing to someone that we can’t see.

  Hmm. I guess we should have read up on proper Lumineer etiquette, because we’re obviously doing something wrong. Maybe there’s a brochure on a table somewhere?

 Wesley strolls back down the long hallway, pausing in front of an open door along the way. We can’t really see much of what’s in the room, but it seems to be filled with the kind of junk people should just throw away but there’s always something interesting on TV and it never happens. I’m not really sure what we’re supposed to be learning here, but we’ve already pissed Wesley off so I make sure to gaze at the broken and dusty whatever with considerable awe and respect.

  Then we’re suddenly in another part of this building, which could be anything from an abandoned school to an Amish recording studio to that creepy Overlook Hotel where Jack Nicholson went cray-cray and became best friends with an axe. Wesley and Jeremiah suddenly make a grand entrance from behind a poorly-designed red curtain. (Did Helen Keller hang that thing?) They are quickly joined by Neyla, and the three of them trot down another hallway, very happy to be singing and walking through an odd structure, wearing simple clothing devoid of bling.

  As they shuffle along, they start doing these little synchronized dips at key moments in the song, usually during a “ho” or a “hey”.  Then they kick in with some nifty footwork, indicating that there is actually a line dance that goes with this little ditty, which means that I have missed yet another cultural development and I should be woefully ashamed.

  Oh wait, I think somebody just stomped on a light bulb, which seems rather violent for a song about devotional love and abbreviated yodeling. I start to ask Neyla about this, but she chooses that moment to ignore me and turn back toward the main hallway, where we can see lots of people dressed just like Wesley and Jeremiah, hats included, running past. (Some of the runners have breasts, so they’re not exactly like Wes and Jerry, unless there are a few critical details that have been left out of the band biographies.)

  Neyla runs to join them, so we do as well, because we sure as hell don’t know where the exits are in this place. We end up in a large room where the band is suddenly giving an impromptu concert for all the folks who took the time to dress alike. Whoops, we’re back to just the three band members two-stepping down that one hall, then the big room again, then the hall once more, with the clones joining the band and creating a capacity issue. Back to just the three, with Jeremiah rudely knocking over a cupcake piñata with his tambourine.

  I officially don’t know what’s going on here. Is there a part coming up where Rachel Maddow walks in and helps me understand things? I’m starting to feel like Shelley Duvall not understanding that Jack Nicholson doesn’t understand that the hotel is haunted and some serious not-good is about to happen.

  And we’re back in the big room, where someone has quickly accessorized the goings-on with more strings of lights and roses that appear to be hanging from the ceiling. This makes everyone very happy and they all throw their matching hats in the hair while an unseen member of the cast sets of a confetti machine, which results in thousands of pieces of colorful paper filling the air. (Think of the trees, people! Surely it’s not good to destroy an ancient forest just so you can pretend you’re at a victory parade.)

  But no one is interested in my concerns, because I’m the fool that didn’t bring a covered dish or at least a decent bottle of dandelion wine. (There’s even one girl, that sort of looks like Angelina Jolie but without the lips or the product or the career, who flips me the finger. Or she might have been just pointing at the cash bar and asking me to grab her another apple martini. I really couldn’t tell because of all the dead trees in the air.)

  We roll into the final bit of the song, where the ho’s and the hey’s become super important, and the whole crowd is in a joyous rapture at getting to yell out those bits. So they stomp and clap and holler, as Wesley and Jeremiah smile and enjoy the love while the song ends.

  Wait a minute, where’s Neyla? Is she out in one of the hallways, holding hands with her twin sister and waiting for Danny to ride by on a Big Wheel?

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

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