24 Hours of “Happy” (about 64 Minutes on the River)   Leave a comment

The things I do for research.

Pharrell Williams has released what purports to be the world’s first 24-hour music video, which you can view on line by clicking the link below. The video consists of a continuous loop of his 4-minute song “Happy,” with the camera tracking the movements of a number of characters as they dance their way across Los Angeles. You can forward through the loop — &  you will likely need to do so after a few minutes — to about 7 a.m., at which point dancers spin-flail-bounce-contort-gesticulate-skip-lipsync-smile their way along the bikepath that runs next to sections of the Los Angeles River. The shots of the river are fleeting but the characters are compelling.

At approximately 7:56 a.m. (PST), a woman manifests her glee on the dry plain of the river in the downtown section, followed at 8 a.m. by Pharrell Williams himself, dancing downriver from 4th Street on the concrete bed, the low-flow channel full, running fast, spilling over in places (though tire-tracks are more widespread than water). He turns & gyrates up the tunnel under the 6th Street Viaduct, & soon dancers & camera-crew leave the river behind.

‘Tis the season to be jolly, I suppose, & “Happy” aims to contribute to the Kettle of Good Cheer. The people & the city are all rather winning & the song is catchy, but I think I went through something like the five stages of grief as I listened & watched: Intrigued, Infected, Irked, Insane, & finally (if intermittently), In-the-Groove. As Elvis Costello said, “C’mon, Get Happy.”


Posted December 7, 2013 by the meaning of rivers in Uncategorized

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