Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: provocative

Dum Dum Girls – Are You Okay (Short Film)

It’s probably fair to say that when most people woke up today, they didn’t think they’d be watching a Dum Dum Girls short film written and conceptualized by Bret Easton Ellis that eclipsed 11 minutes. Yet, that’s exactly what happened to a large section of the people who pay attention to those kinds of things- and we’re all the better for it. There’s a compelling vagueness to the film itself (which includes some gorgeous additional score work from Tamaryn and Drew McDowell), that centers around a rich psychologically-involved narrative. Brewer is at the helm of the strikingly visual Are You Okay and throws in characteristically seductive flourishes throughout.

After an intense opening sequence that establishes Dum Dum Girls’ lead personality Dee Dee Penny as a patient in a therapy session (after an evocative opening shot of a desolate landscape that pans outwards over the sound of heavy breathing) who’s challenged to recreate an imaginary double of herself. As Penny goes deeper into the task, fully embracing all of its set parameters, Are You Okay begins to mount a sense of dread. Charles Ray’s postmodern Two Boys art piece is used masterfully throughout, intensifying the feeling of disorientation.

“Are You Okay?” winds up being the film’s centerpiece- and rightfully so, as this is ostensibly a showcase to serve the song (one of Too True‘s stronger highlights). The goth-noir tendencies are perfectly suited to the progressing tension that’s so present throughout the entirety of Are You Okay. While the song itself does lend a new dynamic to the film, it’s the introduction and epilogue pieces that drive the song to noticeably greater heights. All in all, it’s a gorgeous piece of multidimensional art that ignores the limitations of traditional formatting. As a result, it’s one of the most compelling things to have been unveiled in the artist/video category this year. Watch it below and get treated to some world-class cinematography and surprisingly exceptional acting.

Silence Dogood – Chairman of the Bored (Stream)

Chairman Of The Bored

Michigan power trio Silence Dogood have been stealthily cranking out incendiary lo-fi scuzz pop EP’s since 2012’s Sound of Silence. Master of Puppets (the band’s stock and trade lies in tongue-in-cheek appropriation)  is the band’s 10th (yes, 1oth) EP and opening track “Chairman of the Bored” sees them taking their apathetic nihilism to new heights. It’s not unfamiliar territory for a band who frequently finds their feet firmly planted in reactionary status. What it does do, however, is grab the listeners attention. Immediately.

“Chairman of the Bored” opens with some quick guitar stabs before guitarist and vocalist Cameron Mahoney makes a startling announcement. Those opening lines? “Me and my friends make our own rules- we burn down churches and piss off schools- and we’ll burn you too.” And he’s only just getting started. As the song grows darker, so does the lyrical content, hitting an apex with the couplet “some smartass kid made fun of my town/chained him to my truck and showed him around” before following it with a characteristically bored and detached delivery on “who’s laughing now?”

Mahoney’s lyrics have always been startling and one of the band’s strongest selling points. “Chairman of the Bored” definitely raises the stakes on their unpredictability though, definitely proving that their is no topic or character narrative they’re afraid to tackle. Their brand of post-punk works in tandem with that aspect of their music as a perfect complement. By striking a balance between contrast and accentuation they’ve landed on something weirdly irresistible.

Hear “Chairman of the Bored” below and remember that presentation isn’t always glorification. Seriously.