Look, I’m not going to sit here and pretend that Broken Social Scene and its members aren’t weird. They are so delightfully weird and good and give us something to talk about with their music—commentary to mull over. The iconic Toronto collective has just released their first record in seven years, the decidedly extreme thinking face but sincerely titled Hug of Thunder, which tackles issues about how the world exists now and what they are doing to come to terms with it. It is, for the most part, sharp social commentary. And now I’m going to tell you about their new video, which features a toilet.
The opening scene in their latest video for the track “Vanity Pail Kids” shows a toilet in a recording studio with an unknown producer with a garbage bag on their head (my money is on Brendan Canning or Kevin Drew) telling the porcelain god(dess?) that their takes aren’t cutting it. They need a radio hit! And somehow the toilet, not from this world but an obvious stand-in here for your run of the mill musician, needs to make hit singles for a culture that is ever more vicious in its consumption of music. The toilet, like all of us when we have a tough day, heads to their local watering hole a drink. From there the music cues up and we see the establishment (a trendy bar in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood called Pretty Ugly) full of other such people with their heads covered by garbage bags.
It is an absolutely bonkers and surrealist video that features a menacing sink, the toilet getting stranded in the desert trying to find its way back to its home planet, and this very appropriate and useful advice:
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