By Courtney E. Smith
With his new video, Ryan Adams and Elvira are pulling a Dorian Gray.
This is an interesting time for it, as the world ( that is the world of a certain generation and inclined to enjoy a particular type of music, that being in particular members of Generation X who were/are fond of indie rock) contemplates the solid excellence of the new Spoon album and music writers prepare their “the Chevy truck of indie rock” thinkpieces.
Adams is of that same ilk and generation, and has crafted an excellent, solid, exactly-what-you-want-from-Ryan Adams album that will be released in September.
And so the video to go with it is meant to push the buttons of a specific kind of person.
Director Michael Reich uses a VHS tape effect on the footage at times, so give it that same effect that Gen X would find familiar from host duties on ThrillerVideos. She was a movie star in her own B-movie right, but she also played hostess to some of the great, tame creep show films — including an ’80s B-movie take on Oscar Wilde’s excellent work, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
It’s a remarkable parallel because Adams and Elvira both look perfectly preserved in the video. And Wilde very aptly captures the essence of Adams, and why such a video would appeal to him, in this particular quote from Dorian Gray: “Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world’s original sin. If the cave-man had known how to laugh, History would have been different.”
Ryan Adams’ self-titled LP hits stores on Sept. 9.