Aa…aaaa…AAAAA…CHOO! Whew! *blows nose* Why hello there, dearest Filthy Dreams readers! I don’t know about you but I’ve been honking and horking my way through this holiday weekend. Mary, I’m about ready to give it up and start living in a bubble full-time like a hamster or Wayne Coyne from The Flaming Lips. Maybe I’ll get one that rolls around in case I want to go grab a drink at the bar.
Sure, I know what you’re thinking, Memorial Day is the weekend for…whatever it is you’re supposed to do on Memorial Day. But, here at Filthy Dreams, I, instead, have been spending it wallowing, picking out scents for my scentatorium in preparation for my final Des Esseintes-like collapse. While contemplating a long-awaited descent into decadence, I’ve also been obsessively picking out videos for you. You didn’t think I forgot about you, did you?
Because I do it all for you, I’ve picked out five(ish) films and videos for you fellow shut-ins this Memorial Day weekend. Trust me–I know you’re already planning to sit, glued to your computer, as YouTube’s Autoplay spins until you’re eventually stuck watching creepy Elsagate-related cartoons with Spongebob in compromising positions, wondering how in the heck you got there. At the very least, you’ll take in all the B-52’s videos you can stand until you start believing you are Cindy Wilson. So why deny the inevitable?! Filthy Dreams is here to help you along with your agoraphobic tendencies with a curated list of videos so you don’t have to rely on the whims of the YouTube algorithms to get you through until Tuesday morning.
Rather than suffering through a vegan, gluten-free trash-strewn backyard BBQ or sneezing while picnicking in a crowded park, grab a beer (or six) from the fridge a few steps away from your couch, sit down, relax and watch with us:
1. Azealia Banks’s Interviews with Dolls
This week, Azealia Banks released the video for her house-inspired song “Anna Wintour” and after viewing, I got stuck in a YouTube vortex of Azealia interviews and witnessed a vision. A vision of dolls, that is. Now, as you know, faithful Filthy Dreams readers, I love dolls, especially dolls in inappropriate settings. Here, Banks holds a random babydoll throughout these two interviews. Why? When she’s asked about it by MTV News, she provides no explanation. And really, why does she have to? She says, “I just happen to have her” and “She’s really just here.” Honestly, same. Now, I know Banks can be a difficult person to love. From her Trump supporting to hating on everyone she possibly can, she is the ultimate troll. But I’ve been hooked ever since it came out that she was sacrificing chickens in her apartment closet. That’s dedication! After these two interviews, I was wondering why (oh why) I didn’t see these before obsessing about Adrian Piper’s doll paintings. Banks certainly earned her rightful place in the canon of Black women artists using dolls! And in these interviews, the doll isn’t even the only role model-worthy choice. Banks’s face full of glitter resembles a shining beacon of mental collapse, augmented by her I-could-give-a-fuck-less sunglasses. All I know is I’m slathering glitter all over my face and dragging a doll to any and all professional settings from now on.
2. Talking Heads’s “Stop Making Sense”
“The sound of gunfire off in the distance! I’m getting used to it now!” Between Trump’s ratings-driven ploys with North Korea (and commemorative coin hocking) while nukes hang in the balance, seemingly constant news of school shootings and horrifyingly fascist stories about ICE, doesn’t it seem like the right time to return to the Talking Heads? The sense of the apocalyptic in their music seems more than prescient now. “Same as it ever was!” And anyway, what better way to respond to daily horrors and outrage than donning a giant tan suit and shimmying around?! Well, if you’re like me and you don’t own a ginormous suit, you can pretend by watching 1984’s Stop Making Sense, which is one of my favorite concert films ever. Is there some sort of dance-aerobics for David Byrne’s unabashedly weird and awkward movements? I’d sign up in a heartbeat. Just remember: This ain’t no party! This ain’t no disco! This ain’t no fooling around!
3. Charles Atlas and Michael Clark “Hail The New Puritan”
Charles Atlas’s recent exhibition the past is here, the futures are coming at The Kitchen featured a series of televisions playing his earlier work with choreographers including Michael Clark. After returning home from the show, I was led down a rabbit hole of Atlas and Clark’s collaborations such as Hail the New Puritans. A feature length pseudo-documentary about Clark, the film also stars role models Leigh Bowery and The Fall’s late mastermind Mark E. Smith (even though who the hell can tell what Mark’s saying in his portion of the film). While the whole film is necessary viewing, the dance scenes set to The Fall’s discordant, disconcerting and just on the edge of unlistenable songs like “Copped It” and “Ludd Gang” feature some of the most sublime choreography I’ve ever seen. It makes me want to scream like a fan girl and blast post-punk while bouncing around the apartment. The dances are beautiful, aggressive, terrifying and thoroughly subversive–everything you need in a dance number!
4. Glenn Branca at Paradiso in 1988
A two weeks ago, I was sad to learn about composer and musician Glenn Branca’s passing. With his jarringly noisy albums like The Ascension or his early work in bands like Theoretical Girls, Branca’s music was a wall of sound that was as antagonistic as it was transcendent. Color me a fan. It’s the perfect thing to put on if you want to punish your neighbors for playing Ed Sheeran without subjecting yourself to Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music. In this video, Branca performs at Amsterdam’s Paradiso in 1988, giving a sense of the controlled chaos he could conjure with guitars. It’s inspiring (and may even inspire your ears to bleed). Recommended: play as loud as possible.
5. Grace Jones at North Sea Jazz Festival
Grace Jones turned 70 last week. Is your mind blown? Me too. At 70, I’ll probably be an old sea hag yelling at kids to get off my stoop (I’m already almost there), but Grace is still hula-hooping, singing “Slave To The Rhythm” while half-naked and painted. In honor of our queen’s birthday, naturally I have to close out this list with an ode to her majesty through this concert video from last year’s North Sea Jazz Festival. And as a bonus, make sure to enjoy the below video of Jones hitting interviewer Russell Harty on air. She talks about this scene in her new documentary Bloodlight and Bami, which certainly earned itself a future post on Filthy Dreams. While we don’t want to condone violence on Filthy Dreams, you just know he deserved it. GET HIM, GRACE!