“THE GOLDEN BOY”
Erik Horn & Gates Bradley
December 16, 2005
Happy Holidays! It’s Andy Gesner and the staff from HIP Video Promo with yet another ultra cool video that’s sure to please and captivate your viewers. Today, it’s our pleasure to share a new clip that’s really impressed us – a very smart, very artful video that nonetheless manages to be both visually arresting and emotionally complex. It accompanies the new single from New York rockers Shelby: a veteran rock duo with ideas to burn. The Luxury Of Time, their sophomore release, channels both the anthemic grandeur of Radiohead and the intimate, confessional style of singer-songwriters like Jeff Buckley and Rufus Wainwright. Accomplished and assured, the songs of Shelby exude intelligence, mastery, and mystique. There’s real wonder and danger lurking in the corners of these recordings.
Credit goes, in part, to singer and producer Kenny Cummings. His voice can soar to the icy stratosphere, and then suddenly become gritty and frighteningly earthly. He’s in command throughout, spinning out his fractured narratives with a cool eye and barely-controlled passion. Bassist Phil Schuster provides a firm counterpoint, throbbing with mechanical precision in a style reminiscent of Joy Division at their most monomaniacal. Both Cummings and Schuster are industry vets – the singer has recorded Blonde Redhead and played synthesizer for Midnight Oil and Elvis Costello, and the bassist is a former member of the way-ahead-of-their-time Britpop-dance fusion act Toshack Highway. They’ve become staples on the Manhattan club scene, playing shows at many of the city’s most prestigious indie stages (Bowery Ballroom, Mercury Lounge, Canal Room), and sharing bills with Rogue Wave, The Sights, and Lake Trout.
The video for “The Golden Boy”, the lead single from The Luxury Of Time, manages to augment and deepen the mysteriousness of Shelby’s music. It’s a series of snapshots – more than 300 of them – presented in rough chronological order, and following the progress of a man in the city and an ingénue who might be his contact, might be his girlfriend, or might just be his assailant. They’re the kind of shots that you might expect would fall out of the dossier of a secret agent, or a private investigator working a case. These still shots are framed by a flat beige wall on which filmed images of Shelby are occasionally projected. The photographs flip on the beat, and suggest forward motion frozen in time – or perhaps just choppy surveillance cameras. Words, too, float across the screen, drifting toward the viewer before dissipating. The whole clip has the feel of a window on to an intriguing private encounter that we don’t exactly understand, but still keeps our eyes glued to the peephole.
Arranged in crisp black and white by Erik and Gates of the Super!Alright! media collective, the narrative told by the photographs soon takes on a richly ambiguous resonance. Pieces of the images are periodically cut out of the photos, placing beige shadow shapes within the frames. The characters seem to react to these shapes, recoiling from them as if they were invading monsters. Ultimately, however, the young woman who accompanies the protagonist becomes a shadow shape herself, vanishing within her silhouette. Like the work of meta-mystery writer Paul Auster, the clip for “The Golden Boy” raises questions about the nature of photographic representation and investigation, and continually toys with the viewer, inviting and challenging him to find his place within the sequence of images. Intriguing, thoughtful, and disquieting in all the right places, it’s also an absolute thrill to watch.
We are thrilled to be working with all the kind folks at Gigantic Music again to bring you this compelling clip. The last time we heard from this excellent NYC based label, it was when we were promoting The Cloud Room’s “Hey Now Now” video. We are confident that you will enjoy “The Golden Boy” video as much as the “Hey Now Now” clip. We have plenty of copies of The Luxury Of Time for on-air giveaways, and we will be here for you to make sure all your Shelby needs are met in a timely fashion. If you need more info, call Andy Gesner at 732-613-1779 or e-mail us at info@HIPVideoPromo.com . You can also visit www.ShelbyNYC.com to learn more about Shelby.