To Film Or Not To Film

8 01 2013

Yes, Happy New Year blah blah blah…. Despite this being the first post in the New Year, I actually need to start with an apology. Or do I?

Yes I do, because as you may have picked up over various posts last year, I am a massive Church fan and this post will revolve around their music as it was half the inspiration for it. The other reason I need to apologise is that I didn’t take any pictures at the time (yes there is an element of “you just had to be there” to this – ed.) because it may have ruined the image of it all.

I was sitting in what my family and I like to refer to as our ‘Slice of Paradise’; this is an awesome name because it was adopted long ago but also happens to be a lyric in a Church song. It really is a coincidence. (Riiiiiiiiight – ed.) No, seriously, it is. (Ok, whatever you say Mr. Anorak – ed.) Anyway *shoots angry glare*, I was sitting there out the back listening to the Church’s 17 and ¾ minute epic ‘So Love May Find Us’.

It’s at this point that I must apologise (again –ed.) because I can’t remember if I have previously told you that I am short sighted and need glasses (well anyway he is and he does – ed.) As I shall explain that is also one of the reasons that I didn’t take photos because it would have changed everything and thus you would not be reading this.

Right, I think I’ve covered all the details now (nah, you will have forgotten something – ed.). So there I was out the back, glasses off, listening to ‘SLMFU’. I live on a hill so have an awesome view (see, told you – ed.) all around. It had been a hot day, with temperatures exceeding 40C and the local and surrounding areas being put on a ‘catastrophic’ fire danger warning. The day had been long and clouds had started to form. The sky at this point was mostly cloud, but as I was listening to the epic, there was a break in the clouds just enough to burn a memorable image.

At the beginning of the song, as I looked out over the city lights a break in the clouds the shape of a bat on the move at a fair clap appeared. I was engrossed in the moment because most of the lyric in ‘SLMFU’ is at the beginning; and because it was written during the Global Financial Crisis, it was a strong image because since when has a bat been used as a symbol of hope and encouragement? (Batman – ed.) That doesn’t count.

As clouds do, it moved on the breeze. We have this really big native plant in the corner of our yard which hid this break from sight; but another break came along, this one in the shape of a plane. A passenger plane like an A370; but there was something wrong with this image. What was wrong was the presence of a black cloud right in the middle of this gap. Black being a sinister colour, I thought this was also chilling timing as the song has an apparent element of sinister activity in the story.

I watched with keen eyes, however blurry they may have been. As I kind of hopped, this ‘plane’ didn’t just disappear like the bat; no, it crashed. Other bits of cloud slowed giving the effect that the wings had snapped off and the nose lost its aerodynamic shape absolutely crushing any hope of surviving.

What happened next was a total curve ball though. As the ‘plane crashed’, another shape took its place; and this was no ordinary shape. It was the shape of an angry bird; No, not an Angry Bird, but just a fierce looking creature reminiscent of a bird. I didn’t know what to make of this initially, but now I think about it, it could have been representative of power and how small or little effort it takes to over throw large things/corporations/empires etc.

Think about it; a massive A380 that is a feat in engineering and taken for granted by western society, and all it takes for it to fall out of the sky is a little creature (sparrow etc.) to enter the massive turbines and break something and lives can be lost.

Another reason why I enjoyed this spectacle is because of a conversation I had with my dad only 90 or so minutes beforehand. I’m currently reading a biography call ‘Shirl’ about the life of Graeme ‘Shirly’ Strachan (time for some more background kids – ed.). During their heyday in the early/mid ‘70s, quite a few of Skyhooks’ (for who Strachan was the lead singer) songs were banned from being played on the radio; in fact on their first album Living In The Seventies, only four of the ten songs got the all clear to be played on the airwaves. One of the reasons for them all being banned is because they were very suggestive in a not so subtle (or romantic more to the point – ed.) way.

At the time, they blew a fuse when Barry White could get away with singing about wanting ‘to make love to you all night long’ and not get banned himself (I couldn’t find the actual Barry White song referenced, but here’s another one anyway). But as it turned out, this only increased the interest in their song. As I pointed out, and to which my dad agreed, it was all about image at the time, and the Skyhooks were just a little out there to be considered ‘family friendly’. One of the main stays at live shows of theirs was actually an exploding phallus.

This then got my dad and I discussing modern music and how what the Skyhooks (there was also a reference to the Rod Stewart song ‘Tonight’s The Night’) said was nothing compared to what gets bandied about on the airwaves today. I consequently spilled the beans on my stance with film clips. That is: I don’t like them. This is because every time I listen to a song, I like to make my own film clip in my head; so by watching the actual film clip with a director and cast and all the hullabaloo that comes with it, I don’t enjoy it. I feel this way because every time there after that I hear the song, I will see that film clip; and the reason I don’t like this is because it may add an extra element of meaning to the song that I didn’t pick up in the words on their own (or there could have been a really disturbing image – ed.)

Basically, while I get that other people will interpret things different to me, in the nicest possibly way, I don’t care for what you see, so unless I ask, don’t tell me what you think of a song. This is why I really liked my cloud show, because it was put on by nature, not a director, so I’m never going to know what it meant, which is how I like my music; cool, intriguing, deeply contemplative, crafty in its use of metaphors but never 100% obvious.

PS – Steve Kilbey seems to have the same belief as me with music and putting videos with them (that should read ‘I have the same belief as Steve Kilbey’, because he held it long before you were born or even considered – ed.)

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