Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Who Owns the Sky? (UPDATED)

As jaded as I can sometimes feel, the Internet still offers up the thrill of discovery. I hadn't heard of M83 before and feel quite cheated because of it. This is genius synthpop shoegaze of the highest order and the video picks up on the enigmatic title, "We Own the Sky," in a powerfully affecting way.

One thing that strikes me in this video is that if the director intended the objects to be alien craft, they conveyed that much more effectively than if they'd simply put in flying saucers. What the kids encounter here seems truly alien- strange, scary, unknowable.

For some strange reason, this also reminds me a lot of Childhood's End.

I wrote about this Passion Pit video back in February, before it was mysteriously pulled from circulation and replaced with a mind-numbingly lame new spot. I can't help but wonder why- was this one too subversive? Did it rub someone upstairs the wrong way? But here it is now, so watch it before it vanishes again. Again, the solar stargate concept is fascinating in light of the SOHO anomalies we looked at in the original post. And is that Moby?

Then there's this- a homemade spot set to Killing Joke's epic rant, 'The Lightbringer'. You might find it all a bit silly at first, but it becomes very strangely insinuating on repeat viewings. The videographer understood the AAT thrust of the lyrics and illustrates them in an entertaining way. Here's a sample:

Who could cut with laser precision
make perfect incision into the hardest rock?
Who could lift one block of stone that weights for jumbo jets?
Yes your intuition will tell you best

Who is the symbol of the serpent snake?
Who gave us knowledge of medicine?
Who knew precisely the earth diameter?
Who modified our bestial character?

I guess video-making contests are the latest cost-cutting measure, but they also can result in more interesting spots than professional directors might manage. This Moby spot picks up nicely on the singer/composer's cosmic/alien fixations.

Moby became a fixation on The X-Files set, with his haunting 'My Weakness' used in Closure, which revisited the walk-in concept all the way back from Red Museum in Season Two. I've been thinking about walk-ins more than usual lately, since I see the concept more as "wake-ins" - in that traumatic experience awakens aspects of our neurology otherwise dormant.

Take your time to watch these videos. I believe you might awaken something yourself.

UPDATE: A reader turns us on to this hipsters-in-space bonanza.

UPDATE: German diva Nena re-records her 80s Cold War classic 99 Luftballoons and offers up a semiotically-charged video to go with it. The heaviers remake puts the original in the shade, if you ask me.


  1. Since we're talking crop circles and synchronistic vids, have you seen the latest ad campaign for Pringles multigrain chips?

    The NYTimes did a piece on the campaign back in July (which also includes an example of the crop circle print ad).

    To me it almost looks like an outtake from the M83 video you've posted. Same ol' teenaged elysian fields (and crop circles- even though somehow I'd overlooked them for the last month or it's been on the air). The song in the clip, also used in some international Pepsi ads, it seems, is "Hey Now Now" by The Cloud Room. It's all fluffy enough on the surface, but a closer look at the lyrics reveals a paranoia more at home in something like Inception...

    "Did the earth just slam in the sun?"

  2. hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day! http://kantahanan.blogspot.com/

  3. The splintering blocks immediately reminded me of one of the most hauntingly, beautiful music videos of recent years: "Sometimes". The music is by "Kid 606", but it is mostly credited as a show-piece to art/advertising collective "Pleix".

    Despite the obviously disturbing 9/11 imagery, AUDI asked them to do a similar film to advertise their new A6 model, which they did. Gives the phrase "Vorsprung durch Technik (advantage due to technology) a whole new meaning.

    Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEhQi--_HnM&feature=related

    Pleix are pretty amazing, you might want to check their installation: Astral Body Church

    or their website:

  4. More tunnels under pyramids, this time in Egypt.

  5. The first video reminds me of a vivid dream I had about 6 months ago: An enormous clump of rectangular stone blocks floating in the air in a somewhat random yet organized manner (like a flock of birds) that moved over some large bridge in a city and then suddenly all fell, bringing down the bridge. Perhaps they are little "monoliths" that have come out of Jupiter/Lucifer.

  6. Heh I wonder if The Killing Joke know so many Sync-heads talk about them

  7. hey chris, kidnapping, the water meme, rand paul and waco intersect in this article...


  8. 426- Oy. Well, as those crop circles- whatever they are and whoever is making them- get more and more complex and less likely than ever to be a couple of drunk idiots with boards and ropes I guess something has to be done to change the subject.

    tagskie- Wow- it worked! I am having a nice day!

    Stella- VERY cool- thanks for the linkage.

    Michael- Ooh, monoliths. Didn't even think of that. Well played!

    110- I'm sure they'd love it.

    1. Chris - Someone I know has decided to hit the beach with circles instead of crops, you'll see what he's done if you goole - 'sand circles brean somerset UK'.

  9. a little secret about the passion pit vid, i'm pretty sure that it also references one of your other recurring memes.entheogens and the psychedelic experience. like several cool videos i've seen, i believe it is also making specific reference to the ketamine experience, which i've heard described as 'going through the tubes'. what is the result or goal of turning on learys 8th circuit?
    is the vid an , answer to that question? i love your blog chris,truly excellent.

  10. Chris your holy mountain is so modern. I for one hail the advent of the psyche and it's gnosis. Time and space will enjoy our adventure. Your connection with the real continues to amaze me. Lot's of love and goodness, and the psychic quest is your straw berry my friend. Eat apples you , and you,and you. Dennis from time and space.

  11. Wonder if you have seen the "Sweet Disposition" video by The Temper Trap. The Passion Pit video reminded me of it. Apparently this is the UK version. The American version is nothing like it.


  12. Dboy- That sounds about right. The connection is apt in light of the Alien Dreaming concept- opening new doors in the mind and finding the ancient of days behind them.

    Dennis- Right on, brother! Thanks for spraying some positive vibes here!

    1151-Awesome. It's up.

  13. Wow, that was some amazing stuff, Chris. I think I've watched the first two about three times each today.

    I was wondering if you've ever seen the musical film Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, animated to the album Discovery by Daft Punk. If you haven't seen it already, I think you might enjoy it. Magic, interstellar beings, mind control, revelations, and of course star gates!

    I haven't watched or thought about it since it came out in 2003 but this post really synched with it and made me revisit.

    This makes me wonder if Kanye West's sampling of Daft Punk for his song Stronger may have lead him to his current image he's playing with in Power. They did perform together at The Grammy's in 2008.

  14. That's an awesome-looking flick, B. I bookmarked it. Thanks!

  15. Chris-

    M83 is indeed very solid music. I have a couple of albums. Deeply emotional, smart, and full of subtleties that come out through repeated listens.

    I was in Berlin a few weeks ago and saw posters for a Nena concert. I thought it was a joke at first but yes, apparently she is back and looking pretty great for someone who has to be at least 50 by now.

    As you have pointed out, it is really striking how much current pop music just oozes with 80's influences. As our everyday reality now resembles 80's cyberpunk, I guess we should expect the music would catch up too. I'm happy about it, because I've always been kind of sad I was too young to appreciate the 80's.

    There's nothing new, energy just cycles around and comes back in a slightly altered form.

  16. Well the difference is that the neo-80s tends to be a lot more musical and layered than the first go around. There was a lot of really boring, simplistic songwriting going on then and most of the more interesting stuff tended to be pretty obscure. Plus, no one really knew how to use the technology then since it was all brand new.