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Saint Motel’s Pity Party: Undercut by Video

In anticipation of interviewing multi-media LA titans Saint Motel I went back to the videos. I didn’t have to go back to the songs because I’ve had them on my shuffle since I bought em.

A generation or two apart from Saint Motel, I’ve never been entirely comfortable with music videos. I feel about em much like movie adaptions of books: for every the Godfather there is a thousand Bonfire Of the Vanities. The odds are better with Saint Motel, and the videos work for the most part but for every out and out masterpiece video like “Dear Dictator” and “Eat Your Heart” there is a serious misstep like “Pity Party”.

“Pity Party” is a truly great song, actually there isn’t a dog in the bunch, but on “Pity Party” Saint Motel are too power-pop what Roxy Music were to glam rock. there is the damaging effects of art, all content lapsing into some formalization of sound and vision (sorry: Marie Lynn’s been driving me crazy with Art Theory all week. Isn’t Plato dead? I always thought it was a dick anyway, Plato for the writing but Aristotle for the theory). I can’t find the lyric anywhere but here is some (forgive me if I get it wrong) “You’re mother Theresa with elusive eyes, a taste for scotch and abusive guys-” Hot stuff, right? “Blame on the jews or the Chinese because I’m all out of time, you’re ships sinking now- pity party” it’s a kiss off song “the world may end tonight but I won’t be by your side so don’t roll over…” And a goody. PsThe chorus is why there are so many Bryan Ferry comparisons (by me, true), the lead singer A/J Jackson can reach for a high note (or more than one) while the band sounds very art poppy with a side of Eno.

And the video is pretty good as well. But not with the song. It’s a Tarantino-ey if not Peckinpacky piece of ultra violence and it is fun to watch various members of the band get shot to death but not with this song. The lyric to the song is oblique, she (or he -whatever, it is a sexual relationship) is a not very nice person and though i’m not suggesting Saint Motel should simply illustrate the song, I think they didn’t synch to the song either.

So some stuff to talk about with the LA foursome and I just regret not seeing em in town because I have youtubed them and they are mindbendingly good from what I’ve seen and I’m not gonna be able to really discuss it.

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