Friday Video: “When I’m Small” – Phantogram, or, You Guys Make it Really Hard to Get on Board with This When You Look Like Such Self-Serious Buttholes

More so than a novel, more so than a film, the pop song makes it easy for us to forget the intentional fallacy—to regard its content as autobiographical unless we have strong evidence to the contrary. And maybe more than even a live performance, a music video can confound our sense of distance between the artist and the art. We’re watching a really carefully-put-together clip that (in many cases at least) shows a performer/performers giving us his/her/their song. Which, not that big a deal if you’re watching the video for “Power“—when Kanye says, “[the SNL cast] can kiss my whole ass,” he probably is talking about himself. But when you see something like “When I’m Small”? In which Phantogram all but say, ‘we are not having fun right now, nor should you be’? Oh brudder. This video invites you to daydream about complementing the duo after a set, only to have them mutter faint “huh”s without taking their eyes off their phones.

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