Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sleigh Bells – “Rill Rill”

  We start out with a moving overhead shot of some rather worn-out power lines on poles, the old-school kind where you could die if you get anywhere near them. Then the traveling camera lowers and we are treated to a vista of dried-out sand and half-fried plants, so we must be somewhere unpleasant like a desert or the gene pool at a Tea Party rally.

  The camera pulls back a tad bit so we can see that there is a car barreling along. The driver’s window is down, despite the supposed desert heat which can make you sterile if you aren’t careful, so either the car is a piece of crap without AC or the occupants don’t understand how to keep cool and were clearly not the Valedictorians at their high school that they never finished. But the driver is sporting some interesting armbands, so it’s all good in the end.

  We’ll assume that the driver is lead singer Alexis, since she appears to be singing and has some sense of rhythm, based on the way she uses her accessory-clad arm to make those rollercoaster motions that one does when sticking their arm out the window. (It’s probably not a good idea to thrust body parts even closer to those old-school high-voltage lines, one short burst of sparks and you can never do the rollercoaster again, but she’s a free spirit and she has to entertain herself somehow since they can’t possibly get radio reception out here in Dried Crack, Arizona, or wherever they are.

  The cameraman switches angles, which is nice of him, so we can get a frontal shot of Alexis as she launches into that mystical part of the song where she sings numbers instead of traditional pop song words about unrequited love or babies getting back. Then we get a shot from behind as the car races toward another part of the land that is just as dried-out and pointless as the view for the last several hundred miles, allowing me to throw out another Tea Party reference and thus officially make my political-statement quota for this blog post. Thank you, Alexis and your finely tattooed arm and driving skills.

  And I guess I should also thank her passenger, a guy who has been nodding in and out on the far side of the car like someone waiting for a Kardashian to have an actual purpose in life. Home Boy, who is probably guitarist Derek but he doesn’t offer up any identification, reaches a point in his semi-narcolepsy where slumps over onto Alexis. First of all, this is rude, because you really shouldn’t try to sleep on people operating motor vehicles. Second, his intrusion is interfering with Alexis’ intricate hand choreography and we can’t have that. So Alexis, being a take-charge kind of gal, knocks his ass back to the other side of the car.

  The cameraman also switches car-sides, as Derek flops our way, and we can see that the side of his head is all bloody, as in “violence has recently taken place that surprised at least one person”. Well, then. This leads to many questions on our part, but before we can tap on Alexis’ shoulder and present our queries, she reaches over, opens Derek’s door, and shoves him on his way to meet Jesus or at least a startled armadillo looking for an unclaimed lottery ticket alongside the dusty road.

  Derek flops and rolls asunder, and Alexis niftily closes his door without any dramatic swerving and continues on her way to Blasted Snatch, Arizona. Oh wait, she also throws a guitar out her window as well. Does this mean she’s leaving the band and going solo? One would think there would be less violent ways to resolve contractual disputes, but I’m not a singer in a rock-n-roll band, nor do I have meaningful tattoos on my extremities, so my reference points are a wee bit off.

  In any case, we do a nice dissolve with the current scene and soon find ourselves in what might be Satan’s locker room. We have stacked lockers on both sides of the shot, something that we recognize and find comfort in, but there’s an odd, red glow coming from the shower area. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Beelzebub is in da house, but I can assure you I’d think twice before rinsing off my sweatiness in facilities that scream Rosemary’s Baby.

  Well, I guess it doesn’t matter, because we switch to Alexis sitting in a classroom, possibly a lab room, based on the abundance of weird wall charts and things floating in jars that were always accessories in your high-school science teacher’s digs. (Creepy things that made you wonder about your teacher’s sex life, but you didn’t want to take the thought-process too far.) It seems that Alexis is all alone and most of the lights are off, so she might be in some sort of detention that included sensory deprivation. But this doesn’t bother Alexis, and she keeps scribbling out her homework or the plans for her next body-dumping in arid climates.

  Brief shot of a mural depicting high-school sports. At first, things seem happy and innocently-athletic on the surface, but if you study it closely, it looks like the baseball player wants to use his, um, wood on the football player, who has just punched the lesbian basketball player, who has just killed a cheerleader by illegally dribbling her ball. Perhaps I read too much into things. I seem to recall a comment just like that on one of my own high-school report cards.

  Another brief shot, this time of another locker. I’m really thinking we shouldn’t open it.

  And we don’t, not yet, heading back to Alexis in her sci-fi detention as she fiddles with her statistical reports and a menacing dissecting tool. Then we’re back to that locker, which pops open to reveal a disturbing collection of items that Marie Leveau might have used to put some voodoo badness on somebody in New Orleans that she didn’t care for back in the day. It’s pretty clear that this is a high school that I would not want to attend, not without a court order.

  And I also don’t want to use the phones in wherever they are, because the dated “slimline phone” (remember those, from back in the day when a swarthy phone man had to hardwire your line into the wall while you stood nearby and had lusty thoughts?) now appearing on screen is oozing something bloodlike from the receiver. I don’t want to be associated with a phone like that. Where is the “opt out” button on the webpage?

  Another visit with Alexis doing inexplicable things with a pencil in her detention cell, then we have some mess with a milkshake that you really don’t want to order from the menu. It appears to be alive, and not in a good mood, with aggressive overflowing and such. Cut back to Alexis, who doesn’t say a word about the milkshake, because that’s not what brings boys to her yard.

  What does bring the boys appears to be the way that Alexis can walk down her driveway and manage to look both sultry and dangerous, which is what we see in the next scene, where Alexis is hooking up with some guy in a hoodie sporting death-loving slogans. He’s standing next to what might be the car from our earlier adventures in the desert, and the guy might be Derek, but I’m not swearing to anything because I’m scared of Alexis and whatever powers she might have learned in the questionable science lab. Derek (or some random dude) tosses her the keys so she can drive, which means that Derek hasn’t been taking the right kind of notes at critical moments.

  We zip over to Alexis and her sunglasses in a room somewhere, with both of them doing the mystical number-speak again. She’s holding some white roses, but we don’t believe her for a second. (The camera pulls back briefly to let us see that she’s recording this bit in what might be an abandoned school cafeteria, after the incident with the tainted pot roast led to a startling number of dropouts and a rezoning decision by the school board.) We go back to a closeup of Alexis, where she continues singing and does something with a raven that stupidly landed on her arm.

  Quick shot of a group of balloons that were probably inflated by the breath of people who are dead now, another shot of the dripping phone, more of Alexis making strange poses, another shot of Marie Leveau’s locker, a shot of all the balloons exploding because they don’t know what’s going on and can’t take it anymore, and the image of Alexis with a switchblade whilst singing “cut him in the bathroom”.

  Where the hell did these people go to school? Sopranos Memorial High School? Our Lady of Perpetual Godfather Wannabees?

  And we’re back to the desert highway, probably not Ventura Highway, because I don’t remember people dying in that song. Alexis is still racing along, intent on eventually cashing the government checks of the fool she killed and tossed. But, lo and behold, the fool has not actually perished, because we get a shot of him crawling along the roadside toward his battered guitar. Really? You’re one tooth away from biting the Big One, and you’re going to claw toward a guitar instead of, I don’t know, a healthcare facility? No wonder somebody sliced and diced your ass in a public restroom.

  Then again, this is Arizona, where the current governor is insane and thinks that all non-white people should be deported unless they agree to work for nothing in the Maybelline mines, hacking away and collecting the 50 pounds of makeup she needs to slather on her embittered face every day. (Gotta hide those horns somehow, right?) With her heartless budget-cutting, there’s probably not anywhere that a person in real need can crawl for so much as a band-aid.

  Back to regular programming, Alexis suddenly slams on the brakes of her getaway car, and pauses to reflect on something dangling from the rearview mirror. It’s either two of her children or she and Derek when they were youngsters and didn’t have issues that needed to be resolved with pre-meditated stabbing. She whips the car around and heads back.

  Where she eventually comes across Derek, still crawling. She looks at him, he looks at her, then she floors it and heads to Disney. Video ends.

  What the hell?

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

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