[Mourning Jams] Day 8: “Flashing Lights”

October 2019 is a celebration of horror and music

This October, Daily Grindhouse is celebrating the collision between music and horror with a series of posts under the banner of Rocktoberfest 2019. There will be daily features, recurring bits, and some special posts around the subject.

Mourning Jams is your daily kick off every morning with a different music video that has some horror elements to it. Crossing genres, decades, and more, it’s a good way to get in the spooky mood this Halloween month.

Kanye West is a…complicated figure. Like Axl Rose, Prince, and other musical geniuses that venture into topics on which they may not have the best handle coupled with egotism earned from accolades and innovations in the music industry, West is a divisive figure with his musical prowess at odds with his tendency for dumbshit moves, statements, and stances on political and social issues. It’s unfortunate because, as Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen) says in STEVE JOBS (2015), “It’s not binary. You can be gifted and decent at the same time.”

For his single “Flashing Lights,” off his 2007 album Graduation, West actually made three different music videos that played in different areas/channels/countries. But the third and final version, co-directed by West and Spike Jonze, seems to be the preferred visual interpretation of the song. As opposed to many other Mourning Jams entries, this one doesn’t feature a lot of monsters or references to horror movies—but instead is a suitably creepy snippet of pulp as unknown characters conduct horrific deeds in a desolate desert late at night. It’s beautifully shot, all in slow motion, and hypnotic even in its savagery. Model Rita G is able to project fierceness and righteous retribution without uttering a single word, playing out like a deleted sequence from I SAW THE DEVIL or other stylish revenge films.

Tune in tomorrow and every morning in October for a new music video to help start the day on the frightening foot as Halloween swiftly approaches.

Rob Dean
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