Saturday, April 6, 2013

Love and Rockets - "So Alive"

  We start out with a shadowy image of what we’ll soon learn is a disembodied pair of legs that will quickly take over the video with a vengeance, then we cut to lead singer Daniel’s gloved hands caressing a microphone stand in a very intimate manner. (It’s not my place to judge, and they do make a cute couple.) Then we have a nice profile silhouette of Daniel, as he and his electrified hair prepare to sing about being alive and apparently having access to extensive amounts of styling products.

  First though, we have to go through a bit where they establish another theme of the video, this one involving making it look like things are under water. This is probably highly symbolic in some way, or maybe it’s just a nice feature for those partaking in recreational drugs. Then we finally get to the business part of things, with Daniel launching into the vocals while the shadow legs do some random choreography on the wall behind him, some footwork that could be the Texas Two-Step or could might be someone receiving the Heimlich maneuver.

  This leads to a shot where we have multiple sets of the legs wearing glamour heels and marching in a single line toward… I don’t know, it’s never made clear, but it must be an important place because the legs spend the entire video trying to get there. Happily, the legs are now the real thing and not just shadowy billows. Sadly, the legs are still missing the upper halves of their bodies. (Or the cameraman is really, really short.) It’s a little creepy, with the subtle hint that someone may have done something unsavory with a chainsaw, but they are very nice legs, in that super-thin supermodel style of legs, and you can certainly understand why someone might write a pop song about them.

  Next up, we start our third theme of the video, wherein the various band members wear moody sunglasses whilst various lights are splashed across their stoic, “bored with all this” faces.  It’s also about this time that Daniel starts one of his signature moves, where he raises his eyes to the Lord, or at least a ceiling fan, apparently overcome by the passion of the lyrics. We seem to spend most of these moments focusing on his right eye, so the director must feel that that one has better stage presence. Or that eye has a better agent who managed to get the eye better billing in the credits.

  As we approach the one-minute mark, Daniel suddenly gets a headache that causes him to briefly transform into David Bowie during his Ziggy Stardust fetish. It’s a very special moment.

  Then it’s time for more shadow play, as Daniel uses his hands and his hair to create images that spell out the migratory pattern of some interestingly-shaped birds. This goes on for a while, so the birds are apparently flying to someplace important. (Maybe they are meeting the torso-less legs for cocktails in SoHo?) This is followed by a quick montage of some of the light-dappled band members, reminding us that none of them are the least bit invested in cracking a smile.

  Eventually we get around to the image of just one supermodel leg swinging in the wind, which could mean anything. But before we can ask any questions, we kick off another montage, this one involving some video editor splashing stars all over the screen, some very grainy footage of possible pornography, and more close-ups of Daniel’s right eye as it gazes worshipfully at the ceiling fan. The ceiling fan doesn’t immediately answer Daniel’s prayers because, well, it’s a ceiling fan.

  Then the marching line of legs is back, but this time the sets of legs have stopped walking and they seem to be milling around in confusion. (This is probably the point where the sets are all wondering, “hey, where’s the rest of our bodies?”) While the legs compare notes, the camera runs through all of the band members again, letting us see that they are still very moody and insisting on not looking at us, because that’s how you’re supposed to act in an artsy, semi-Goth band where people wear stark clothing and quote poetry about death.

  Another brief shot of Daniel singing, without all the hand choreography, and then the legs are on the march again. This appearance of the stilettos is apparently slightly different, although they look the same to me, because it triggers Daniel (I think) to grab one of the other band members so they can do a mystifying modified waltz, with twirling and everything. (I have no idea.) Then we’re back to Daniel’s eye and its skyward focus, along with Daniel’s hair and its skyward focus. (Seriously, there’s enough volume with that mess that small children could hide for days.)

  Of course, the legs are soon back, because they’ve obviously become the stars of the show and the band members have become their bitch, forced to merely provide background music while the legs get all the fan mail. This time around, the legs are doing more of that milling about, probably because they don’t have eyes and therefore can’t see where the camera might be. But they still look quite fetching with their “oh so long”-ness and the complete lack of any body fat, so it doesn’t really matter where they pretend to look.

  And that’s about it, folks. There’s the better part of a minute left in the video, but we’ve rolled into that non-lyrical part of the song where some invisible backup singers do the “doot doot” thing while the musicians somberly play their instruments and think bleak thoughts. We get a final, extended montage of all that we’ve seen before (legs, hair, stars, legs, non-smiling, legs, more stars, hair, gloved hands, single-eye praying, legs) and then we fade to black. Which, naturally, is exactly where gothic people like things to fade to…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

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