Florida-to-New Orleans transplant Benjamin Booker mines a low-pitched traditions of a aged African-American South in his work, channeled through with a rough-edged coercion of a subterraneous sounds he grew adult on as a Gainesville punk rocker. In a new song video that blends dual tracks, “Slow Coming” and “Wicked Waters,” he and executive James Lees have combined a constrained bad dream of a film that ramps adult a raw-nerve power during a core of his essence and punk, and raises ghosts of secular assault that have newly been feeling unsettlingly solid.
The eight-minute video is an outgrowth, Lees told NPR Music cocktail censor Ann Powers in a new interview, of a incomparable film plan that “incorporates enchanting realism to try early-20th-century African-American lives in a farming Deep South.” In a short, Booker finds himself in a tiny Southern city during a Jim Crow epoch and drawn into secular assault — white military officers, black townspeople – that escalates horrifyingly. First an observer, afterwards driven to intervene, afterwards a journey target, Booker’s impression is sucked into events in a approach that feels increasingly frightful and increasingly familiar, from both apart story and some-more recent, polarizing incidents like a deaths of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York.
That, Lees told NPR, was an dictated result. “Contemporary issues that a video references are repetitions of events we have watched occur many times before,” Lees wrote to Powers in an email. “We seem unable, as a society, to mangle this loop. Benjamin gets pulled into a events since eventually we have to face adult to what is function in front of us and a dangers that might come with it. History shows that genuine change usually comes from those dauntless adequate to make this sacrifice.” The video spans hours, from an over-bright day to blue twilight to close, dim night. Its dreamily filtered light prompts a flashback feeling, a disorienting clarity of being unstuck in time.
One of a film’s many absolute moments comes after dark falls, after Booker is, it seems, full-on using for his life. He flees into a swarming nightclub, right onto a theatre where a guitar waits for him to tag it on. It’s a claustrophobically shot scene, a camera jerking as if being jostled by a dancing bodies. It’s absolute since of a destined embellishment — music as protected breakwater — and done some-more so by a explanation of Booker’s apparent ability as an actor. From a jukejoint theatre to a final scene, his face is unfit to demeanour divided from, grimacing and grinning with low-pitched gushing onstage, using wide-eyed, and in a moving final shot, set with a grim, initial clarity of inevitability.
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Benjamin Booker plays a two-night mount during One Eyed Jacks Friday and Saturday, Apr 24 25. Tickets are on sale now.