Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pop Quiz: Delta Rae 'Bottom Of the River' & Internal Contradictions

(This is an old post; the complete and thorough interpretation of the song is here at Witch Hunts & Sacraments: Delta Rae' s Bottom Of the River so please visit this link for a complete exploration of the symbols!).
I am about to go into cardiac arrest writing the review for Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, I am so angry about it. I hate it when you take the time to visit the site and I don't have anything new up, so here is a pop quiz to test your skills of analysis (if we don't do this once in a while, you won't realize how good you are becoming on your own!). Please remember, there are no right or wrong answers. Please watch this once, and don't worry about "noting anything," your first impressions are going to be really important; then, watch it again to start analyzing. I have listed questions below to help you and the lyrics are below that! This is Delta Rae's, Bottom Of the River:
I would LOVE for you to post your comments and questions in the comment forum at the bottom of the post, and maybe a brave soul will go first and start off the discussion with their own observations, but here are some questions to get you started: 1). Is there anything the song/video reminds you of in general? Are there specific things  in the song/video that remind you of something? (Please remember, art does this to form connections with "other art" that it knows it's audience is familiar with to increase the level of engagement we can have with it). Is there anything specifically being invoked by the song/video? What is it and why?
Analyze the costumes, because clothing is the person in a work of art, so the more you can understand about the costume, the more you can understand the character.
2). What time period is this taking place in? Why is this in the location where it is instead of New York or Ohio or the mountains? What is it that signals us to understand where this is taking place? How do costumes contribute to this? Are there contradictions, things that don't seem to belong together? Why would they do this, how can this have significance? How does the location--if at all--contribute to the feeling and mood of the song and, hence, our interpretation of it? 3). What are the weird, out of place, unusual aspects of the song/video? How can those be tied in with answers to the questions above?
What elements are being introduced at the very end of the video that we haven't seen before, and how does this contribute to our understanding of the song and, if at all, alter what we thought was going to happen at the beginning of the video?
4). Do you notice any symbols/acts we have discussed in other posts (okay, here's a hint: what is she doing when we first see the lead singer? She's sitting in front of a mirror, but not really looking into it, so she's "not reflecting" even though the opportunity is right there before her; is that good or bad? She's brushing her hair; what does hair symbolize? Thoughts [I am giving you way more than I should, but this is the first pop quiz, so it's okay] and the combing of the hair suggests a "disciplining" of the thoughts; is that what she's doing or not, and why do you say that?)
The band's album, Carry the Fire.
5). What is missing from the song/video? Okay, two more hints, first: instruments. It sounds like a capella, and where have we just seen this? The trailer for Pitch Perfect so why was a conscious choice made in Bottom Of the River to not use instruments and does that, in a larger cultural context, have any significance when being compared to the trailer for Pitch Perfect which is at this link (the first trailer)? What is something else missing? Light. The video is taking place at night, how--if at all--you think that is significant? What are the sources of light and what meaning does that have? PLEASE, HAVE FUN WITH THIS, THAT'S WHAT IT'S MEANT FOR! (Again, this is an old post; the complete and thorough interpretation of the song I did after posting this "pop quiz" is here at Witch Hunts & Sacraments: Delta Rae' s Bottom Of the River so please visit this link for a complete exploration of the symbols!).
Delta Rae; you can get a free copy of the song by visiting their website! If you click on the title section of the video above, it will take you to the YouTube site where I downloaded it and all their other addresses are there as well as discussion from other video viewers!
Bottom of the River Hold my handOoh, baby, it’s a long way down to the bottom of the riverHold my hand,Ooh, baby, it’s a long way down, a long way downIf you get sleep or if you get noneThe cock’s gonna call in the morning, babyCheck the cupboard for your daddy’s gunRed sun rises like an early warningThe Lord’s gonna come for your first born sonHis hair’s on fire and his heart is burningGo to the river where the water runsWash him deep where the tides are turningAnd if you fallHold my handOoh, baby, it’s a long way down to the bottom of the riverHold my hand,Ooh, baby, it’s a long way down, a long way downThe wolves will chase you by the pale moonlightDrunk and driven by a devil’s hungerDrive your son like a railroad spikeInto the water, let it pull him underDon’t you lift him, let him drown aliveThe good Lord speaks like a rolling thunderLet that fever make the water riseAnd let the river run dryAnd I saidHold my handOoh, baby, it’s a long way down to the bottom of the riverHold my hand,Ooh, baby, it’s a long way down, a long way down