SJD “The Witness”

2004-sjd-the-witnessThe music video starts and SJD and his band are performing the song and… Wait? Why is there a lawnmower instead of the song? Is this one of YouTube’s weird audio replacement tracks? Thirty seconds into the video all is revealed. It was a false start, second only to the false start at the beginning of Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” video.

The song starts and we find SJD at an old motel, looking on the verge of being demolished. Everything all smashed up, with perfectly suits the offbeat soul of the song. SJD wanders around the wrecked room, while an outside an angry lawnmower man chucks bricks through the window, and the room floods with water.

The song has a lot of energy to it (a change from SJD’s earlier work) yet the video refuses to play along. This is a weird, dangerous environment that highlights the desperation of the lyrics.

Things get even more surreal at the end. The camera slowly pans along the balcony of a motel. Steam billows and people stand waving, like they’re seeing off (or welcoming) a train. On another balcony, SJD offers a confused wave. A perfect ending.

Best bit: SJD and band pause to enjoy some fish and chips.

Next… unterwegs.

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