06 April 2021

6 April 2021 - Phantogram - Running From The Cops

I felt like this excellent tune, from the Phantogram album Eyelid Movies, is an appropriate post in a week when Derek Chauvin is currently on trial for his part in the death of George Floyd in police custody.

That's as political as we are going to get with this post.  

Clearly, the protagonist in this song - sung by Josh Carter and not Sarah Barthel - is not a fan of the cops.  Neither is the guy who made the video, Naje Lataillade, who very much thought through the imagery used.  In Naje's words:
"...a sexy police woman comes into frame and gives chase to the crowd. The hipster wearing the PHANTOGRAM shirt is scared for his life. As we watch, we think, "Oh I get it, the song is called 'Running From The Cops'", but there is only one cop, not plural cops. Well, here in Brooklyn, cops equal pigs. So the next character to come out is a freak with a pig nose, dressed in all pink, carrying a bottle of swine flu. He looks angry and like he wants to raise hell. This explains why the people in the beginning were wearing medical masks, as he's spraying the swine flu everywhere. Even the cop is running from because swine flu kills 'pigs'."

The video is mostly in black in white, but there are splashes of blue and red/pink in the black and white.  Those two colors are what are required to make a phantogram, the technology you may have seen in your 3D glasses of the 1980s.

It is interesting to watch the performance of this song from 2009.  It is a song that is not only performed, but constructed and looped, synthesized to the nth degree to create something noisy and chaotic and beautiful.  Second note:  they're both multiinstumental.

With a fuller band, like they had in 2014, the song is still chaotic, but less electronic and looped, and more direct.  If you happen to have one of those old pairs of 3D glasses, now might be a good time to put them on.

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