Austin's The Boxing Lesson is a consistently wonderful jaunt through indie music. I usually describe them as, "Radiohead, but you can fuck to it." Now they're back with a new music video, "Better Daze," which follows an invasion of Earth by strange, black aliens.
The video comes from the mind of Eric Power, the animation and filmmaking genius behind the band's 2008 video "Dark Side of the Moog." That one was one of the best music videos of the year, with a sort of dark steampunk brilliance that was both sinister and beautiful, the way new surgical tools are.
Does "Better Daze" live up to the bar the band and Power set four years ago? The answer is definitely yes.
Power scoured the streets looking for the perfect dark alleys and abandoned roads to set his xenocentric tale in. A twilight city is suddenly barraged from above by what looks like wadded-up balls of black construction paper, which unfold into a variety of bizarre, simplistic alien creatures. Each is obviously two-dimensional in a 3D world, but they still manage to blur the line between kitschy and horrifying, as Power so expertly managed in "Dark Side."
"I've been working in the medium of cut paper for several years and wanted to experiment with combining it with live action footage," says Power via email. "I'm a big fan of coming up with strange monsters, so I took this video as a chance to really let loose and see what I could come up with.
"I didn't want the video to have too much of a narrative, so I really just let the rhythm of the song guide me," he adds. "I just wanted to go crazy with these creatures and have them release havoc on the city."
"Havoc" may be too strong a word. Mostly the doodle-like invaders do little more than kick passers-by in the head... which is admittedly what most of us would do if we landed on a planet full of tiny people that were ignoring us. Regardless, the occupation of the night seems a pretty successful one until the morning sun prompts the aliens to flee.
All along under it is The Boxing Lesson's amazing song. Paul Waclawsky's voice channels the unabashed rut of Dick Valentine as he wails an ode to frustrated utopia. When you get a bunch of people all promised a paradise than never seems to get delivered, well, that's the sort of scenario that leads to descending upon a planet and going all James Dean on whoever you find.
That message of waiting for an end to a shithole existence and intergalactic anarchy comes through perfectly in "Better Daze."
"It's your personal 'walking down the street' theme song, you know?" says synth player Jaylinn Davidson. "Your headphones are on... And there's people everywhere... And you're walking in and out of them with this song playing in your head only for you... And you feel like a badass.... And you're walking to the beat... And you have your sunglasses on and you feel real good.... And maybe you might have a little strut... And when the song goes 'uh,' you pump your fist a little and say 'uh' out loud, too.... And you feel like nobody, nowhere could mess with you. And you don't want the song to end. That's what the sound of "Better Daze" looks like to me. And I think Eric nailed it!"
Check out the video below.
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