On the Culture Front: Music Videos from the Underground, Part 6

Dick Van Dyke has an effortless charm, and it is alive and well as evidenced in the new Christmas video “We’re Going Caroling.” In it, he and Jane Lynch dance around an old fashioned microphone as they eagerly anticipate a yearly outing of caroling. Songwriter and director Tony Guerrero brought the pair together and has a keen sense of Van Dyke’s phrasing. Each word he sings is delivered with giddy amusement. The song itself, composed in big band style, is simple but fitting as it espouses a simple pleasure of the holiday season.

Venezuelan rock group DYK evokes the energy of early Red Hot Chili Peppers on their modern love-longing song, “The Procrastinator.” In the music video directed by the band’s drummer/songwriter JE Zerpa, the protagonist is engulfed by technology that paralyzes as it wraps him in a warm cocoon of isolation. Words flash on the screen at an almost subliminal speed. One states that the average person spends 90 minutes a day looking at their phone. One you factor in all the other devices. How much time does that leave for the whole finding love search?

Seattle-based hardcore metal band Arisen from Nothing begin their new song “Chaos,” with dramatic synth strings. The video shows a low angle of frontman Jessie Bringham who looks menacing even before he screams a word. Then a blazing guitar riff is unleashed followed by his roar of voice. Its primal ferocity contrasts with a more melodic chorus that provides a slight reprieve from the sonic intensity.

The video Texas-based Those Damn Eyes’ new song “Give and Take,” is downright chilling. It opens with frontwoman Meredith Williams leaving a stalkerish voicemail for a man she’s been seeing and then snaps focus to her organizing his kidnapping. The details of their relationship or lack there of are murky, but the scorn she feels is vivid and brought to terrifying light through Brandon Hall’s direction. As this unnamed man sits tied to a chair in a basement, his fate seems unclear until the end.

Shadows of Whales have an easy going tuneful combined with a natural penchant for anthemic riffs that reminds me of Kings of Leon. The Austin-based band’s latest video, “Runaway,” follows a restless young girl as she leaves home to join the band on tour. Director Joy Flores creates a wash of color for the scenes to unfold in which culminates in a beautiful final shot that both brings the journey to a close while leaving unanswered questions.

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