Music Memory

Anybody remember The Box? The non-cable, non-network music channel that broadcast slightly-fuzzy pay-per-play music videos in SGF in the mid-90s?

We didn’t get this channel at home in Sparta, but my grandparents got it on their Division St. farm…and you’d better believe many a tween-years summer afternoon was spent sneakily ingesting music videos. Delicious and strange, sexy and secular, not-talking-about-Carmen-here-folks MUSIC VIDEOS. (Sir Mix-A-Lot “Put ’em on the glass” comes to mind…yikes. What’s the statute of limitations on getting grounded? Not living at home anymore? Okay, good.)

Granted, Grandpa and his “stories” dominated the TV much of the time, but if he’d be outside (likely) and Grandma’d be cooking or gardening or whatnot (also likely), I might be left to my devices with the clicker. And The Box.

Okay so fast forward to today. A friend posted a particularly whimsical looking photo on facebook, and I googled “Michel Gondry” to make sure I was spelling his name correctly in a complimentary comment. (This is a thing a nerd does before she posts about a director on facebook. What a weirdo! Point your fingers at her!) So it was purely by accident I discovered that — in addition to Science of Sleep and Eternal Sunshine, et al — Gondry directed the Daft Punk “Around the World” video back in 1997.

I haven’t watched this video since 1997, but seeing it again today I am back in my grandparents’ house on a sunny summer day, with ceiling fans and screen doors pumping in breeze. There’s rarely a quiet moment in this house, but right now no one is in the living room but me. And this music video. I’m a little weirded out (then, now), but I can’t look away. It’s just so delightfully strange.

I remember I used to recreate the mummy dance moves in my head. (This was in the days before YouTube, children, when you had to rewatch favorite videos in your brain…) If someday I can be a part of creating something that holds 15-years of imagination-haunting staying  power, I will be a very lucky girl indeed.

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