Sade Is In My Tape Deck: From Composition to Video
We rhymed Sade with the dreamed or remembered experience of driving. Taking and repeating the Big Boi lyric from the OutKast song, West Savannah, “Sade is in my tape deck. I’m moving in slow motion, boy,” Sade comes to mean more than the artist. For this song, Sade is a genre; she epitomizes the style of music we ride to. The playlist gets to Little Dragon, Anita Baker and Zaki Ibrahim, playing each through the “slipper-slappers” = the speakers, the sound-system. The whippersnapper = the whip, the automobile.
The refraining lyric, “Sade is in my tape deck. I’m moving in slow motion” is punctuated by the line we hi-jacked from Kanye: “Hit Lakeshore, girls go all crazy.” Kanye was talking about Lakeshore Drive in Chicago. I rode that road a lot while living in Chicago briefly, but for us, it’s really about Lakeshore Boulevard in Toronto. It’s something we’ve done a lot of—riding around the city listening to Sade (the genre). We get decadent. Driving to the right music is a contemplative, therapeutic, hypnotic experience. That hypnotic allure in the song is achieved first by the repeating chorus and bass line. Those are the seed—the pattern-generating intelligence that unfolds in the verses, each in the same paisley.
“Sade is in my Tape Deck” doesn’t say much outright, instead veering to gist or vibe. I don’t use the word “I” at all in this song—rare for a rap song. It’s more about weaving an affect than explicitly recalling the activities. The scene achieves itself sonically, word by word, sound by sound referring to things and creating them, colouring the planes of meaning. The parts of experience—the musical allusions, the metonymic car parts (rims, michelins), the motion, the people, the items in the car, the landscape, all of the things—are bound in the track sonically and by their having-to-do-with each other. Each reference is radiant, overlapping the others, in blended succession as motion-picture: “cinematic in the traffic.” The clusters of sound power their own weighted motion, revealing the scene as gliding video, taking you somewhere subtly, without noticing the transformation.
Our ode to Sade last week at the Thompson Hotel Rooftop in Toronto.
Directed by Charles Wahl
Music by Alexander Punzalan Junior
Vocals/Lyrics by Robert Bolton
Spent last week in New York for the HISTORY MAKERS Conference/Awards. A project I’d worked on some years ago was nominated for Best Interactive Production (it lost to the BBC). Overall, an inspiring week of art, theatre, and meetings.
While in NYC I connected with an old friend and young filmmaker, Ryan Sidhoo who thought he’d make me the subject of a quick doc. I rambled into a tape recorder and wandered around Manhattan on film. The whole thing happened in a day. Read the transcript after the jump.
ORPHEUS - A Graphic-Narrative Poem
Eric and I originally collaborated on this piece for a performance as part of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + Comics + Video Games + Art exhibit (May 17-September 7, 2008). It is structured around the story of Orpheus - the great poet and musician of Greek mythology who follows his wife Eurydice into the underworld.
On September 30th, 2010 Eric and I remounted Orpheus for TEDxToronto with completely new illustrations and the addition of music soundscapes composed by Andrew Zealley.
The piece deals with identity and activism on the internet.
Times Neue Roman is Robert Bolton and Alexander Punzalan Junior
Video by: Mark Valino and Giles Monette