For the second in Iska Dhaaf’s pre-release music video series, the Seattle duo of Benjamin Verdoes and Nathan Quiroga is again referencing iconic cinema.
In November the band released a Stephan Gray-directed video for “Happiness,” which featured shades of Ingmar Bergman’s Seventh Seal. The Tristan Seniuk-directed video for new single “Everybody Knows”—a song that will most likely appear on Iska Dhaaf’s debut full length Even the Sun Will Burn, due out March 11 on Brick Lane Records—takes its inspiration from the 1979 war classic Apocalypse Now. (The video can be viewed over at Spin right now or you can go see it screen tonight at 9 pm the Fred Wildlife Refuge).
In a scene reminiscent of disturbing USO performance in the Francis Ford Coppola classic, Verdoes and Quiroga play a reverb-drenched soundtrack as a couple of beauties—one in Marilyn Monroe costume—dance for the troops. Instead of the creepy, groapy and rapey mob of soldiers that storm the stage in Apocalypse Now, though, the Iska Dhaaf troops appear to be more interested in just dropping acid and dancing. Also, they appear to consist largely of Seattle-area musicians.
That isn’t to say that this video isn’t dark. There is some hints of psychosis in the air as the band’s driving psychedelic quitar rock pounds away.
Much will likely be made of the cameo by Macklemore, the hip-hop star playing the role, it seems, of Bob Hope (his scenes clearly shot separately from the rest). But the real star of the video is Lonely Forest frontman John Van Deusen, who exhibits some very creative dance moves as the video hits its climax.
UPDATE: While I still argue that the video takes stylistic cues from Apocalypse Now, Benjamin Verdoes emailed to say that the actual inspiration for the “Everybody Knows” video was this package of clips from a 1965 USO performance featuring Ann Margaret dancing, wildly, with the troops. You will notice that the clips, taken from real life, are more in line with Iska Dhaaf’s version of events than they are with Coppola’s more sensationalistic take.
RELATED: Read Kelton Sears’ profile on the band, which includes behind-the-scenes reporting from the “Everybody Knows” video shoot.