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C.D. On Videos: Casey Desmond – "Talking To God"

June 3, 2011

Music videos can sometimes be a mess. You’ve got an artist with a song, then you’ve got some video director guy who has an “idea” for a “short film” and the song is relegated to mere background music status. The music video is – or at least should be – an opportunity for the song to go multimedia and express itself in not just the aural sense but the visual sense as well. And you had better believe that if there is one performer in these parts who is custom-built for this form of media, then that one performer is our very own now-world-famous Casey Desmond. The music video is the perfect vehicle for Desmond’s expressive performance, as you will see in today’s super special edition of C.D. on Songs that is actually “C.D. on Videos.” We’re doing it because Casey is having a huge video release party tonight at the Magic Room Gallery, where she’ll be showing you all this video (on a screen bigger than this) and even letting you check out pieces from the sets and costumes. Check out the video at the bottom (after you read it all, you hear?)

Casey Desmond – “Talking To God” 
[See It Below!]

Casey Desmond is, as we said, a visually arresting creature. Even Blake Shelton knows so. You can’t have hair like that and make your own clothes like that and this and that and not be interesting to look at. “Talking To God” extends Desmond’s visual style outside of herself – or maybe it simply beckons us into her world. This video’s world is full of saturated colors that shine out of the darkness of the freaky-deaky woods and creatures in magnificent handmade costumes.

If you saw these guys, you betcha you’d be all

This is sort of Casey Desmond’s Wizard of Oz in that she starts out mildly confused looking, playing the “wandering babe in the woods” role to perfection. And I bet one of those animals is Taylor Barefoot (“And you, Taylor, I feel like I’ll miss you most of all!”). Desmond must be a director’s dream, able to express herself in even the quickest of takes; whether she is narrowing her eyes trying to figure out what that is that she sees beyond the branches at 0:27 into the video, or gasping in exaggerated shock at 0:50 when she sees that it’s two anthromorphs dancing wildly around the woodland dreamworld. Later, at 1:16 (shown below), they make her their queen and she gives an “Aw shucks, meeee?” take. Things seem pretty sweet for Casey and her two new companions, in fact they already have a nice little dance routine planned out. Then, they take take her to see the boss.

Casey Desmond, Queen of the Dancing Animals.

The boss, in this case, is a True Blood-esque god-looking thing. Or maybe it’s a maenad. Who knows? Whatever it is, it is very, very interested in Casey Desmond, even though it appears she’s a little freaked out at the prospect at 1:33. As is the customary way of settling conflicts in a music video, they decide to have a dance-off. The big blue multi-armed god and Desmond engage in a Black Swan style dance of seduction, which I am pretty sure never happened when Dorothy met the Wizard. It is notable that we are brought to notice Desmond’s costume that is one side human, yet one side almost the same blue of the god’s painted skin at 2:08 it is a quick and subtle change at the costume, but also maybe a foreshadowing of what is to become. Maybe that is why her animal companions thought they might hit it off, Keymaster/Gatekeeper style. The dance – as is all of the choreography in the video – is rife with religious symbolism drawn from a wide variety of creeds and beliefs.

Casey Desmond: Never going on a blind date again.

The dance off is a sparkling success, and prompts the most gripping and satisfying visual of the video – the horned god cradling Desmond’s face in the curvature of his antlers (on the right) and Desmond succumbing to his godliness, if only to show us what Talking To God is all about. She slowly melds with this creature in a series of shots where she is seemingly engulfed by his physical presence, sandwiched between the hulking god and a piece of what looks like the Triforce that she willfully and gratefully accepts as a gift from god. This Triforce (we’re just going to go with that, if it’s OK with you guys) is something we realize was hinted at earlier in Desmond’s choreography – aligning the symbol with her hands when singing the tag of the chorus at 1:07. Maybe the blue guy is god, but my guess it’s is more like the Triforce. I just hope the horned guy isn’t Ganon, or we’re all in trouble. Desmond is gradually fully consumed by this being, with the final shot being him alone.

The difference between “to” god…
…and “with” god.

“Talking To God” is basically an example of what a good music video should be. It’s visually arresting. It tells a story. It runs through a view different recurring visual motifs – sort of like “choruses” to a video if you will. In some cases, these will line up with the song’s actual chorus, but not necessarily. There is the principle dreamland story of the piece, but there is also the requisite performing scene, where Desmond and Barefoot playing in some weird psychedelic room in front of a monitor that occasionally shows low-resolution, high-posterization shots of Desmond singing. This is one of the best technical touches in the video – the quick cuts between and two these different scenes match up perfect with the hooks of the song, providing an audio-visual experience that complements itself perfectly. Which is exactly what a great music video should be.

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Want to submit your band’s song to C.D. On Songs?
To be reviewed in a C.D. On Songs column, please:
*Be a Boston-based band/artist.
*Email a single mp3/m4a/etc. (or a download link to one) to cdonsongs (at) gmail (dot) com, with the subject line “C.D. on Songs” (DO NOT send us a bunch of songs and make us pick, we will ignore you). We require a file – not a streaming link.
*Include album cover art if you have any. If you don’t, a band photo or logo is acceptable.
*Tell us when you want to see it! Give us the date of your show and we’ll make sure it runs as close as possible to that day. No kidding.

We will assume that we have your permission to make the song downloadable on Boston Band Crush (readers will want to hear it, after all). If that’s not ok with you, say so and provide us with a link to the song on an embeddable player like ReverbNation – something we can include in the post (and not just link to).

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