One of the great, unsung videos of all time is Eve 6's "Promise." It's nothing special in conception I'll admit, just another round of Max Collins playing with nonsequiturs to a catchy alternabeat while a cast of malcontents quit their crappy jobs.
It's a party tune, but that's like calling Vincent Van Gogh's the Night Cafe a picture of a bar. It's true enough, but it belies an undercurrent of vision and genius.
The Anthem... well, they're not quite that good. Their lyrics lack the subtleties of "Promise" and their video for "Out of Our Heads" passes the viewer exuberance mark with a stumble rather than a full-on run.
That being said, it's a time when we need a video just like this to latch onto, even here in Houston where things are relatively good compared to the rest of a still struggling country, and Anthem with director Merritt Fields delivers.
The song itself is Black Eyed Peas catchy, though in a modern-rock way that hinges on the strength of Micaiah Walker's voice and the power of a pop overproduction. It's an ode to the end of a work day, a battle cry to leisure and the explosion of built up stresses. Drinks, dancing, assorted tomfoolery, that sort of thing.
What did they say in Almost Famous about the Guess Who? They got the courage to be drunken buffoons, which makes them poetic. Right on Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs.
"Even if you love your job, that doesn't mean you have to love the people you work for," says Walker via email. "I think that in these times, most people just want to leave work, go home, take off their shoes and do whatever they want for the night. Sometimes you have to go and get out of your head, however you choose to do it."
Like "Promise," the video for "Out of Our Heads" is centered on a moment of walking away from a job you just can't take anymore. Walker stands up in his cubicle, glaring down at the tiny boss man ruining his, and by association all of our, life and stalks away from his 9 o'clock grave followed by the rest of the sorry cubicle mice.
"Who's coming with me?" he asks, and the answer is everyone.
Do you know how many people are stuck right now? Hell, back when the healthcare debate was waging the first time I got a chance to talk to a lot of local musicians that admitted their promising careers were on hold because of the inability to work full-time to afford health care and pursue the necessary tenets of rock and roll rise because of fear of being without health insurance for themselves or their families. It's better than being unemployed, but it's not a picnic.
So the idea of just walking away from it all into a hail of power chords, confetti and whatever you enjoy in your little red cup is hella appealing. Appealing enough that I find myself thoroughly enjoying what is at heart an unimaginative performance vid with a tiny "Take the Job and Shove It" back story.
Because that's what I and a lot of other people need right now. We need Walker and co. to drag us out of the machine and forget the marks of the gears and the burn of the oil.
"I think everyone has had that experience," said Walker. "Whether it's a relationship, a job, a family outing, something, we all reach those moments where it's better to walk out and do what's best for your self."
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Right on, amen, and girl you know it's true. Check out the video below.