Video Dissection of the Week - 1

The band and their music

Video Dissection of the Week - 1

Postby Buck's Student on March 13th, 2011, 6:36 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWtCittJyr0

In the same vein of the Song Interpretation threads, I'd like to have some for the videos (Even fan made ones, or from related bands).

It's 12:36 AM, so I'll let you guys have the first wack while I sleep. 8-)
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Re: Video Dissection of the Week - 1

Postby Aspiemom on March 14th, 2011, 2:42 am

Welcome back, Buck's. Hope you enjoyed your spring break.

I'm sure I missed at least half of the themes that are in this video, but here's what I noticed. The song is about the incessant passage of time leading eventually to every individual's death. The community center shows people of every age, the "we" in the song. Every person there is on the same road, but will reach their final destination at different times. The running, along with the marching beat, emphasizes time's passage throughout the song. You see various activities people perform in their lives- getting married and raising a kid, buying stuff (the shopping cart), competing in business (two men in wrestling masks, a bit sexist, but it was the 80s), men trying to be king. I love how Chris and Tina's kid turns punky and rejects them. Overall, it reminds me of Ecclesiastes- "All things are Vanity!" Then there's DB, who spends most of his time running, drowning, and changing his hairstyle, sometimes at the same time!

The guy dragging his instrument up the hill may be Sisyphus- the mythical character who had to spend eternity rolling a rock up a mountain only to have it roll back to the bottom again. Albert Camus said that we must try to imagine Sisyphus as being happy. The song is a bit that way too. After all these images of futility, the lyric repeats "it's alright," and the song sounds upbeat. Hi, we're on a road to nowhere, wanna come with? :D

A lot of things are spinning, probably another reference to time. But the drain image, especially with the blood, seems more complex. Maybe death. You see no one die in this video, and I wonder if the boxes symbolize coffins. I've seen that rotating cube around DB's head before, but I can't remember where. Is Chris cryogenically frozen a la Han Solo? I suppose that could be an effort to defeat mortality, or stop time.

My last thought is about the road shot. The unseen vehicle passes all the individual characters from the video, and Chris/Tina as a couple. But the community stands in the middle of the road and the bus stops. So maybe I'm thinking too much, but this may indicate that although each individual will die, the community as a community will go on. Babies will replace the old people (like the old man who goes into the box before the baby emerges from it). :hippy:
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Re: Video Dissection of the Week - 1

Postby Aspiemom on March 14th, 2011, 2:47 pm

One more thought- the video may echo the Book of Exodus. In Exodus, the Jews who left Egypt were not allowed to enter the promised land. All the people who left their homes died on the road (to nowhere). Only the children who were born on the trip were allowed to enter the promised land (think of the old man who enters the box to be replaced by the baby). The last shot in the video shows a whole community on the road in a desert. The song suggests they are heading for an ideal city- Jerusalem? City of God? Just a thought. :coffee:
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Re: Video Dissection of the Week - 1

Postby Buck's Student on March 14th, 2011, 10:18 pm

Aspiemom wrote:One more thought- the video may echo the Book of Exodus. In Exodus, the Jews who left Egypt were not allowed to enter the promised land. All the people who left their homes died on the road (to nowhere). Only the children who were born on the trip were allowed to enter the promised land (think of the old man who enters the box to be replaced by the baby). The last shot in the video shows a whole community on the road in a desert. The song suggests they are heading for an ideal city- Jerusalem? City of God? Just a thought. :coffee:

I think of the song as a statement on the band, actually. "We're on a Road to Nowhere, come on inside," meaning they were somewhat disintegrating, and didn't really hide that fact.

The opening shots are of the band together on a small stage with many other people - A sign of being overcrowded by extra musicians and each member, besides David, losing some of their identity within that structure.

*Gosh, I gotta go* :biere:
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Re: Video Dissection of the Week - 1

Postby Buck's Student on March 15th, 2011, 2:25 am

To continue my last post...

I think the video symbolizes the band trying to move forward, and often not getting anything from doing so. When you see David running, he doesn't have a destination. When Jerry carries an accordion up the hill, he's having a much harder time climbing just because he's carrying that burden.

Tina and Chris growing old... It's like no matter what happens in the band, they won't split. Indeed, they still work together today.
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Re: Video Dissection of the Week - 1

Postby Aspiemom on March 16th, 2011, 2:16 am

Wow, so I see the human condition and you see band drama. They could be connected. Talking Heads is connected to everything. ;)

What do you think about DB's life preserver? I think it's funny. It's as if the character realized that the drowning metaphor kept turning up in the music, so this time he came prepared.
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Re: Video Dissection of the Week - 1

Postby Aspiemom on March 16th, 2011, 6:23 pm

s!mbells wrote:re "In Exodus, the Jews who left Egypt were not allowed to enter the promised land. All the people who left their homes died on the road (to nowhere)"

Is it actually quoted as "the road to nowhere"?

I feel a sense of hope and community in the song; growth, acceptance and direction. I also feel apathy.


No, I'm taking liberties with the Exodus story. Its described as more of a nomadic kind of existence, a wandering. The travelers were unhappy and complained, understandably, about Moses leading them out to the desert to die. Still, lyrics like "we're on the road to paradise" remind me of Exodus. That community was on a trip to a promised land, after all.

I don't feel apathy. I feel a kind of detachment- accepting the absurdity of the situation and then moving on. Yah!
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Re: Video Dissection of the Week - 1

Postby Aspiemom on March 17th, 2011, 2:17 am

s!mbells wrote:Thanks for clarifying.

I also felt a sense of confusion in the song and that the premise of the song is - We've seen the light, we're on the road (the righteous path - a gravel road it might be) and anyone can come along - if they want. The road to paradise is the road to nowhere. (The word "nowhere" turns the song on its head and is thought provoking).

I can't help but think of the scene in "O Brother, Where art Thou", where one of the convicts sees the baptism ceremony (just after the hypnotic scene where Alison Krauss, and choir, are singing "Down to the River", while women in white "float" through the forest) and (the convict) says something like "I'm going in the water, all my sins will be forgiven"... (something like that) - great movie!

Just thinking out loud... :respect:


I think they're on a road to nowhere. The video in particular ignores all the heaven references. I think the point is you must keep going. Tell yourself whatever you need to ("it's alright," "we're on a road to paradise," "here is where time is on our side") but keep going. I never believe a DB lyric to be sincere when it describes time as being on our side, slowing, or being pleasant.

I find a connection in DB's lyrics between water/river/drowning and the passage of time, as in "Once in a Lifetime." I see drowning as an individual feeling overwhelmed by the relentless passage of time. Time, like the tide or a river, just keeps coming at you. You have to find a way to move with it so you don't drown. So I don't see the pool as a baptism image, but I could be wrong about that. DB has an interest in old-time religion too. I loved "O Brother, Where Art Thou," great movie with great music. :respect:
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Re: Video Dissection of the Week - 1

Postby Aspiemom on March 19th, 2011, 8:37 pm

s!mbells wrote: I feel a sense of community, people of all ages participating. I also feel everyone's journey is a little different. The imagery is great. The use of long roads could be a metaphor for our long journeys through life (was that posted already?), and a waiting by side of the road a metaphor for what? (I'm not sure, waiting for the next phase, waiting for someone, lost....I'm not sure...).

:breakdance:


My last post seems a bit bleak given the cheery sound of this song. Lingering on the lyric for a bit, doesn't utopia mean nowhere? That's one way to reconcile the nowhere word with the heaven idea. The ideal city, not letting "them tell you what to do," and helping to sing the song could be about building a utopia by staying true to internal truths rather than external pressures.

Getting back to the video, I agree with you that the long road is a journey through life. I'm confused by the characters standing by the side of it though. Are they hitchhikers? Why doesn't the bus stop for them?

BTW: I just saw "Rango" with the family this morning. I saw a desert, a road, clocks, water, drowning, vehicles, and a bunch of talking animals. The film addresses personal identity, choices, suicide, spirituality, and the meaning of existence. Weird choice of theme for a kids' movie. :hippy: But it was also very funny. We all liked it.
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Re: Video Dissection of the Week - 1

Postby Buck's Student on March 23rd, 2011, 4:16 am

I think the Little Creatures album offered some hidden messages about their inner struggle as a band/family. I actually think that may be why David was more interested in True Stories instead of a tour - Touring is intimate, just like studio work, but more so because you have to see each other every day (Mostly).

Maybe we should look for some incite on the band through True Stories, or discuss how David and the band may have been using that album/film as a way to hide their problems?
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Re: Video Dissection of the Week - 1

Postby NotSid on March 23rd, 2011, 7:45 pm

Buck's Student wrote:I think the Little Creatures album offered some hidden messages about their inner struggle as a band/family. I actually think that may be why David was more interested in True Stories instead of a tour - Touring is intimate, just like studio work, but more so because you have to see each other every day (Mostly).

Maybe we should look for some incite on the band through True Stories, or discuss how David and the band may have been using that album/film as a way to hide their problems?

I remember reading in Song and Circumstance where David wanted to tour this album, but he had an idea that involved actors or something er other. The band members wanted to do just a straight up tour. I guess they couldn't agree on a middle ground and foregoed touring altogether.

David could possibly tour this album is he wanted to, but I think some of the songs would strain his voice (i.e. Love for Sale, Wild Wild Life.) Not saying he couldn't do it, but I've heard he has issues with singing some songs (specifically, Nothing (But Flowers)

Honestly, I was never fond of Little Creatures or True Stories. I liked TS more though. Little Creatures just didn't sit well with me. I enjoyed And She Was and Road to Nowhere, also Television Mas is a highlight, but not so much the rest of LC.
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Re: Video Dissection of the Week - 1

Postby Buck's Student on March 23rd, 2011, 11:03 pm

NotSid wrote:
Buck's Student wrote:I think the Little Creatures album offered some hidden messages about their inner struggle as a band/family. I actually think that may be why David was more interested in True Stories instead of a tour - Touring is intimate, just like studio work, but more so because you have to see each other every day (Mostly).

Maybe we should look for some incite on the band through True Stories, or discuss how David and the band may have been using that album/film as a way to hide their problems?

I remember reading in Song and Circumstance where David wanted to tour this album, but he had an idea that involved actors or something er other. The band members wanted to do just a straight up tour. I guess they couldn't agree on a middle ground and foregoed touring altogether.

David could possibly tour this album is he wanted to, but I think some of the songs would strain his voice (i.e. Love for Sale, Wild Wild Life.) Not saying he couldn't do it, but I've heard he has issues with singing some songs (specifically, Nothing (But Flowers)

Honestly, I was never fond of Little Creatures or True Stories. I liked TS more though. Little Creatures just didn't sit well with me. I enjoyed And She Was and Road to Nowhere, also Television Mas is a highlight, but not so much the rest of LC.

Gimmie Back My Name is one of my favorite TH songs... LC just struck a chord with me, I guess.
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