I listened to a lot of Bailter Space in the ’90s, but I don’t remember many of their videos. “X” is a great song in that the vocals are obviously the lowest priority sound behind the guitars and drums. Yeah, Bailter Space were a guitary band; a dude band (though now they’re a cool-dad band).
The video sees the trio playing their song in an old warehouse, probably in America judging from a “police department” sign proclaiming “no guns beyond this point”. The video is filmed in black and white, with lots of scratchy, grainy layers, as if the film was retrieved from the bottom of the Hudson River, still encrusted with city sludge.
The vid also includes a remnant of the past: a cigarette. As the video begins, Alister casually lights up. This used to happen in music videos. Cigarettes were a visual shorthand for cool. Then parents got angry about the effect that cigarettes in videos would have on their children, and all the ciggies vanished. Now the only smoking you’re likely to see is a blinged-up cigar, if that.
Bailter Space, the smoking gentlemen of New York, get to hold on to that memory.
Best bit: the brief road trip, with doggy-style head out the window.
Director: David Kleiler
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… an ode to home decor.