Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Eye Candy # 12: Golden Dogs, Joell Ortiz, Secret Mommy

Three underground artists with impressive new videos...

Golden Dogs "Construction Worker"

dir. by Arno Salters

Starting with simple tools, director Salters constructs a highly colorful and elaborate set that fits perfectly with the feel of the song. The D.I.Y. aesthetic of the coloring markers and construction paper compliments the "indieness" of the band and highlights the playful energy behind the song. The video focuses on this theme of "construction," but the most impressive moment comes as the female singer twirls around her bandmates while playing her tambourine and singing the final chorus. It might intentionally seem like a simple video, but their is much artistry in its composition.

Joell Ortiz "Hip Hop"

dir. by ?

There isn't much to this piece, yet it succinctly captures the force of Joell Ortiz's words. He begins his rap about contemporary hip hop on the street corner - the spot where young MC's first hone their craft. Then he moves into the studio, showing off his impressive record collection, and busting rhymes about rising from poverty with his headphones on. He ends up on a sparse stage, performing his track to a raucous live audience. What these three venues speak to is the raw and unfiltered power of hip hop done right. It isn't about the glitz and glamor that many of Ortiz's peers wallow in, but instead here we are reminded of why artists are drawn to this genre in the first place. Hip hop, both musically and visually, is about explaining your personal struggle, showing the world your individual voice and experience, and in the process actually inspiring some social change in your environment.

dir. by Andy Dixon

The glitched-out excellence of the video for "Kool Aid River" hinges on the same touchstones that make the song such a surprising success. Secret Mommy (a.k.a. Andy Dixon) composed the music and the video, and the interrelation between the images on screen and the beats of the song make this a thoroughly entertaining abstract experience. We recently had the chance to speak with Mr. Dixon about the video.

Being the director, musician and artist in this project, what was the specific process like putting it all together?

Dixon: "The album is composed of tons of improvised sessions with friends, that's why you see another person in the video, but everything is sequenced and created by me. Some of the drawings are actually contained in the artwork of the CD, but large amounts were done specifically for the video.

I actually created the entire thing in flash - the whole thing is a series of JPEGS, each frame crafted one at a time. I used stop-motion photography and then added layers of images, sometimes up to 700 layers. It was a painstaking process."

Read the rest of this interview with Andy Dixon at Videology...

Depth of Focus Videographies: Radiohead / Bjork / Michael Jackson / Bowie