Pixies Premiere Second ‘Bagboy’ Video, Continue Creepy Vibe of the First
Earlier today, the Pixies premiered a second video for ‘Bagboy,’ their first new tune in nearly a decade, and according to singer Frank Black, the pair of clips offer “completely different perspectives” on the curious comeback single.
Visually, he’s right, as the one Rolling Stone debuted this morning is mix of scratchy animation (see the image above) and vintage TV footage. The original ‘Bagboy,’ which arrived last month via a surprise overnight email and Twitter blast, is an an unsettling live-action clip centered on a teen home invader with an unhealthy love for Fruit Loops.
The vids seemingly have little in common, save for their disturbing vibes, but insofar as both support a certain dark youth-gone-wrong interpretation of the lyrics, they’re actually pretty similar.
While Black’s wordplay is characteristically abstract, ‘Bagboy’ speaks to a freakish obsession with hygiene and self-betterment. Whether the protagonist — the title character, perhaps — is telling some other person to “polish,” “alter” and “cover” their “speech,” teeth” and “breath” or aiming those directives inward, Black talk-sings the words like a dude unspooling, a ticking time bomb.
In that sense, the original video (watch it below), directed by Lamar + Nik, is the more obvious fit. It’s “over-the-top outrageous” as Black says, and it drives home the idea the song is sung from the perspective of a troubled youngster driven to violence by overbearing or abusive authority figures.
The new version, meanwhile, was inspired by the artwork of Vaughan Oliver, the artist Black credits with creating the song’s titular character. Oliver’s Bagboy shows up toward the end of the clip and raises his arms in a “V,” just like the stick-figure self-portraits drawn by another young sociopath — one Pearl Jam introduced us to in 1992.
Bagboy’s triumphant gesture spells trouble for the clip’s cartoon livestock, which explode in the closing seconds like blood-filled water balloons.
The animated ‘Bagboy’ video is more impressionistic than its predecessor, but play ’em back to back and consider the similarities. One Bagboy smashes plates and sets off smoke bombs; the other makes sheep and chickens pop like zits. In real life, they’d be besties, and that’d be bad news for everyone.
Watch the Pixies’ Original Video for ‘Bagboy’