Gold On The Ceiling – Directed by Harmony Korine
I’m all for experimental artistry. I love it when artists and filmmakers alike test the limits of media and genre norms. Unique approaches to music and music videos have gained wide attention in the past too. People like weird stuff (remember OK GO’s wildly popular “Here It Goes Again” Treadmill video). But the thing is, there has to be something still inherently cool or intriguing for the “weirdness” to be embraced and not guffawed at. And that brings me to the new video that was released last night of The Black Keys’ “Gold on the Ceiling” single from their newest album El Camino.
This isn’t the original video for the single. That one is pretty good and shows the duo on tour and just generally being awesome. This second version though … I can’t really wrap my head around it. The video consists of the duo dressed in green pastel onesies with fully-grown men strapped to their chests in baby carriers, dressed like babies as well, all carrying balloons. Don’t get what I’m talking about? Yeah, it took me about 20 minutes to figure out how to even put this into words. I’ve watched it about ten times and reading that sentence still confuses me. Most of the video shows the bizarrely dressed group standing in awkward positions, staring into the camera, and moving in a stop-action-esque manner. All of this is interspersed with static screens like the ones you used to get at the end of the VHS of Lion King you’d watched too often. Pixilated text with phrases like “Where’s My Tooth,” and “We Love Booty” are also littered throughout the video.
Obviously this was something experimental that the Black Keys were trying. That’s what you get when you hire Harmony Korine, known for his dark humor, experimentalism, and non-linear plot lines, to direct your three minute and fifty six second video. I don’t think the experiment failed, per say, it is getting attention after all, but I’m just not sure it’s the type of image that their looking for. The Black Keys, at least in the perceived image I have of them, are cool guys. This makes me thing that they’re from outer space, or at least on something that makes them think that they are. But who knows, maybe this is the start of a new direction for them? Or maybe just something they wanted to get out of their system.
I can’t seem to form an opinion on this. I have mixed feelings. I’m still trying to process this video. I can’t yet watch it without tilting my head and I find myself watching with my mouth agape.
So, 20Watts readers, watch it for yourself and let me know what you think! At the bottom I’ve also linked to the original video. I suggest watching it second. That way you have something to compare the oddity to, and also to help you snap back to reality after watching four grown men stare into the camera while wearing pastel onesies. Happy Friday!
Gold On The Ceiling – Original