THE BLACK LIPS x BRYAN BANKOVITCH | “Nightmare Field”

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THE BLACK LIPS, “NIGHTMARE FIELD” – BRYAN BANKOVITCH.  The Black Lips have been at their offensive, throw-up-covered game for awhile now and it ought to be more tiresome than it is.  Experts agree that they peaked with 2007’s “Good Bad Not Evil” and that they’ve been on the musical and onstage-urinating-into-one-another’s-mouths decline ever since.  Now they’re making every effort to get the anarchic hype back, and they’re doing a surprisingly good job.  Cole Alexander’s charmingly ignorant conversation with A.V. Club’s “Hatesong” is one of the more interesting interviews of the year and gives a strong case for the value of famous people eschewing political-correctness training (“I like my rappers more ghetto and ratchet sounding” – didn’t you read that “Jezebel” post about the appropriation of ratchet culture, bro?  Super not chill).  That, along with a Matt Swinsky-directed video featuring the morally upsetting ATL Twins and some songs that are actually pretty good could maybe make “Underneath The Rainbow” an indie semi-hit.  This latest video, directed by Bryan Bankovitch, further reminds everyone why they fell in love (or whatever this gnarly feeling of attraction is) with The Black Lips in the first place – moronic use of switchblades, confusingly ironic homo-eroticism, appropriation of mid-century cultural tropes.  It’s dumb, it’s questionably offensive, and it’s mostly just lazy, but – unlike most basic appropriations of mid-century cultural tropes – it’s done with no pretense of respect for its source material, and that makes for a great and hilarious time.   Like all youth movements, 1950s greaser culture principle virtue is its profound stupidity, and the Black Lips recapture that stupidity with practiced idiocy.  Jared Swilley’s dance moves are killer, but it’s the back-up dancers who really make it work.

 

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