There are a lot of videos coming out of Austin these days, so we’ve decided to make life easier for you by compiling some of the most notable into a recurring feature called Out of Focus.
Marie Davidson- “Balade Aux USA”
Montreal is a really fucking weird city. I don’t think enough people know that. Maybe it’s because North Americans (re: Americans) on the whole are unaware of the three way cultural war being waged in Canada every single day, between the Conservative, British view of Canada, the more hedonistic and obstinate French-Canadian view and then the omnipresent threat of American assimilation. To live in Canada is to be stuck in a warzone of cultural identities and conflicting notions of survival. But if you need a glimpse into the weirdness of Canadian cross-cultural battling, Marie Davidson’s team up with video team Kaspar’89 for”Balade Aux USA” is as good a starting point as any, with its ’80s kitsch vibe, eerie strip club dressing and American suburban fetish. The video zooms in and out of coherence, looking like something you might catch while channel surfing in the universe of Videodrome. If that doesn’t sell you on it and Marie Davidson’s whole thing in general, I don’t know what will. Free poutine, perhaps?
There are epic swaths of Texas where nothing exists but grass and cows and maybe a hollowed out old farmhouse or two. You can drive for days and not see anything but flat fields and clouds of dirt. The collective consciousness of the US views Texas as this hick paradise where everyone rides horses and shoots at shit, but there are reasons why artists flock to the state in droves every year. Texas is a state of isolation and if you wanted to accurately nail down its politics, it’s not so much conservative as it is “leave us the fuck alone and stay out.” I’m not defending that, necessarily– there is a reason I live in Austin and not, say, Utopia, TX– but I think it’s an important thing to keep in mind when watching something like HADES’ video for his new track “Redemption.” It’s just HADES in one of these wide, desolate spaces, hanging out in an abandoned house, reflecting but also getting angry. Out in these dead open lands you can let loose a lot of emotions and not have to worry about collateral damage except a tumbleweed or a Depression-era screen porch or two. It’s a good place to hide out if you need to conquer whatever has infested your thoughts. Or be consumed by it.
KB the Boo Bonic- “Farah Flossitt”
The video for KB the Boo Bonic’s “Farah Flossitt” premiered several months ago, but since the album of the same name just came out a few days ago, it seemed appropriate to give it some love now, particularly since we missed it the first time around. A vibrant travelogue that has KB the Boo Bonic strolling around doing her thing, the clip for “Farah Flossitt” looks like something Action Bronson might unveil, which is fine by me since too many ATX hip hop videos are about as vivid as a documentary series on pavement. Unapologetically flashy and bold, KB the Boo Bonic stands out from the pack sonically and visually and I’m hoping her new album will soon yield more videos like this. Oh, look at that, wish granted.
S U R V I V E “Omniverse”
Videos that look like screensavers aren’t really my thing but I’m sharing this new S U R V I V E clip for “Omniverse” anyway because the track itself is damn fine. An ominous, bubbling analog synth instrumental from the band’s newly reissued debut, “Omniverse” admittedly fits pretty well with a bunch of Reboot style digitextures but I like it even more in the context of, say, The Guest, the underrated ’80s sci-fi action flick gem from last year that had a human Terminator head bopping to this and other synth heavy delights. I very well might be alone in this, though.
Nick Hanover got his degree from Disneyland, but he’s the last of the secret agents and he’s your man. Which is to say you can find his particular style of espionage here at Ovrld as well as Loser City, where he mostly writes about comics. You can also flip through his archives at Comics Bulletin, which he is formerly the Co-Managing Editor of, and Spectrum Culture, where he contributed literally hundreds of pieces for a few years. Or if you feel particularly adventurous, you can always witness his odd .gif battles with his friends and enemies on twitter: @Nick_Hanover