Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Brian Thorn at The Magic Shop in New York City, during CMJ week 2011
The way that the startling and kick ass video for the Electric Guest song, "American Daydream" plays out is a way that makes you think that you may actually be living amongst werewolves and venomous snakes and you'd never really realized it. Then again, the way that Asa Taccone, the lead singer for the Los Angeles outfit behaves in the short song is a way that we've all felt before, when we've actually felt like the maniac that he portrays in frequent and uncontrollable fits for jealousy. He takes on the persona of someone like Patrick Bateman, from Bret Easton Ellis' "American Psycho," assuming an identity that's either him or not him, but one that he craves and is repulsed by at the same time.
You could imagine Taccone (brother of Lonely Island's Jorma Taccone and one of the writers of "Dick In A Box") and the character in the song to be as deft at discussing and celebrating the merits of Phil Collins, Whitney Houston and Huey Lewis & The News. You could picture him losing all sorts of control when someone doesn't care or doesn't respect something with the same kind of intensity or fervor. He would fight for Phil and Huey. The character he plays in the video for "American Daydream" loses his shit when he sees a particular girl talking to other people and then the rage just goes right ahead and extends to everyone else at the pool party.
As the video goes on, his face brandishes more and more lacerations - the blood from the open wounds on his head starting to gush more, until he's hysterical, late in the night, head-banging the blood out and onto a tavern pool table, with the look of a man who's completely cracked and lost it. He warns in the choruses that something's going to break. The daydream is just a warning, an arm of the consciousness that's been brewing and shorting out, ready to go berserk due to all of the stress that's been going around. He just wants the girl to make herself "available" and he wonders if that's really too much to ask. When it looks like it's not going to happen, everything else just dog piles right on top of him and the floodgates open up for the rampage. It's not about the girl anymore. She's just the periphery cause.
Electric Guest come from so many different places and angles that it's hard to keep up. What it usually melts down to is something a little less chaotic than the results of "American Daydream," but all of the elements of that song still find ways into the skeletons of the rest of the band's work. The songs are steeped with thoughts of getting through some heavily depressive stuff to find something shinier, something that's going to feel good. It's about getting to some loving arms at the end of a fucked up night. It's about finding a way to get to some place that resembles home. It's about trying to solve as many clues as possible to get to the centers of the secrets of happiness. The daydreams are going to be violent and bloody for a while when the attitude is, "Guess I'm in love with always feeling down." It's about dancing off the tiredness. It's about stylishly grinding to get to the good parts of not being a kid anymore.