Wednesday, July 18, 2007

video #16: Trans Am - Tesco v. Sainsbury's

When I started this blog, I thought that finding enough animated videos to keep it regularly updated might prove to be difficult, at least after a few month's time. Keeping an eye on Pitchfork Media's Forkcast, however, has more than relived this fear while at the same time potentially rendering my "coverage" of such new clips rather redundant. New videos show up there -- and are probably featured and covered even more exclusively elsewhere -- almost every week, almost none of them destined for airplay on television, ever. (Although I'll admit that I don't have any idea just how many specialty channels exist outside of the MTV/VH1/Fuse family. Maybe there is a place for this kind of thing somewhere on TV? After all, I have seen Xiu Xiu videos offered on demand by Comcast.) I also don't know very much about the animation process, or how much time and money it takes to put together a four-minute video. Obviously, a video like this is going to cost a lot more than a monochromatic Flash video like this, but either way, I assume that it's easier and cheaper than ever for people to get in on this sort of thing. No wonder more bands want to commission animated videos, or even try making them themselves! It's better than doing another boring "warehouse" video, anyway.

I can't help but imagine that this Trans Am video was thrown together by some sort of a team, maybe a high school summer film class or something. It's somewhere between 30 and 40 quite random clips of computer animation, mutant claymation, crashed 8-bit videogames, puppets on fire, and other strange hallucinations that neither make sense nor translate into a potential viral clip with any hopes of catching on. Who knows where any of this came from or how many people had their hands in it? Like countless other videos these days, it was probably obvious from the beginning that this one would only find an audience online. But how can you really surprise people who regularly subject themselves to the most bizarre and irreverent shit imaginable on a daily basis?

"Tesco v. Sainsbury's" is the best song on the otherwise forgettable Sex Change. I won't say it's their worst album, since I still haven't heard the much-despised TA, but it feels so confused and directionless, the musical juxtapositions feeling quite pointless, the entire mess sounding much more boring than it has any right to. This is after a half-dozen listens. Do I need to give it a half dozen more?

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