Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Song of the Day: '(Let's Do) the Blackout' by Josie Cotton


Here's a blast from the past. To celebrate the re-release of "Convertible Music," Josie Cotton has added "(Let's Do) the Blackout" and -- the B-side of "Johnny, Are You Queer?" -- and released a music video, about which she writes:

People always think what they find on YouTube are videos I did early in my career, when most were just clips from tv shows I was on. The truth is I never got to make a video for "Convertible Music." It was ironic since my manager at the time was good friends with the head honcho at MTV, where unknown  alternative artists became mega-stars in the 1980’s. All the sets were built and ready to film videos for 3 songs, including “Johnny Are You Queer?”. But the night before the shoot my record company decided there was “no future” in video. {Fade to black...Sound of girl being   hit by cement truck} 

Over the years I’ve made a number of videos for numerous releases but "Convertible Music" was always the one that got away. Cut to 2020 where I miraculously got the rights back to my first 2 albums. I got right to work re-releasing my own music, and from the start I knew I wanted to include a bonus track on "Convertible Music." It also seemed like the perfect time to finally make a video for it and one song immediately came to mind.  “Blackout”, originally the b-side to Johnny Are You Queer?” (turns out some songs are merciless attention whores!) was always a favorite of mine and now was going to get the attention she deserved. An anti-dance dance song that you can dance to...about a dance that probably doesn't exist but you desperately want it to. 

Everyone at Kitten Robot knew the footage in this video had to be completely authentic. But we quickly learned how rare it was for anyone in the 80’s to actually point their video cameras at the audience or to scan the hipster clubs where it was all happening. Eventually, after watching hours of grainy, blurry, frantic footage...we found the lost footage that embodied the Blackout to us. 

This video is a time warp from another time warp. And after we finished I found myself missing an era that I never think about. I’m as guilty as anyone of thinking of the 80’s as more innocent than relevant...with its androgynous fashion of no tomorrow, Go-Go boots from hell and the long abandoned hairspray gods. No one knew where it would all end... but for the foreshadowing. 

You can see it in their dancing and on their faces… they belonged to that moment completely. It had an urgency I wasn’t expecting when we started. Music and art was all there was... and that’s not such a bad thing, looking back. It’s actually a little contagious, and I hope the long awaited “Blackout” video captures that. 

Enjoy. -Josie ♥

More info HERE.

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