New Music

Watch Mark McGuire's Pretty Personal Video for "The Human Condition"


By Kim Taylor Bennett


My parents never made home videos. In fact, my mom wasn't even keen on snapping pics of me as a newborn because I was a pretty busted looking baby, but that's by the by. My point is, whenever I see camcorder or Super 8 footage from the days before cell phones captured humanity from every angle, I look at the faded moving images with misty-eyed romanticism. More often than not, these Memorexed moments were events the participants saw as truly important. Nowadays we take reams of digital footage that no one will ever watch: modern banality captured in QuickTime.

Which brings us to Mark McGuire—the Cleveland-born, LA-based former guitarist of Emeralds. Last month he released his solo album, Along The Way, a collection that touches on folk dappled electronica, incorporates strafes of hypnotic synth atmospherics, before pinging back to glitchy instrumental pop. His vocals never demand attention but instead lie deliberately submerged, tangled in the fabric of his music. Above is the premiere of his new video for "The Human Condition (Song for my Father)" which, much like his layered music, combines cosmic imagery with  home tapings of his dad getting "roasted" by his family back in 1989. 

Mark eloquently explains: "'The Human Condition (Song for my Father)' is a song about looking at the aspects of yourself that are hard to accept, but cannot be ignored. It's about the heartbreak and neuroses that lie underneath the rug of all human relationships, and the attempt to resolve and overcome these issues, striving toward personal harmony. 

"The song is dedicated to my father, who is an undeniable influence on my chemical makeup, and a huge influence on this album. It contains audio samples of a "celebrity roast" his family held in his honor in 1989. First he is caught off-guard and begins to prepare himself to be roasted, stating "I gotta get that plastic smile on..." Though he knows what is coming, the sentiment is quickly taken over by the understanding that it is all sincerely motivated by love and positivity.

"Like many of our family events of that time, the roast was filmed by my uncle. For the music video I edited together some of the footage from that night; beginning with his entrance and general shock, all the way through dinner and various roasters, including a slideshow done that night by my grandfather, John Ryan McGuire. I also infused images of my family from my album Living with Yourself, a few clips I've filmed in the past couple of years, and some stock images of deep space, to further illustrate the cosmic properties of the family unit, and the inner personal temple."
Kim is nostalgic for things she's never known and she's on Twitter - @theKTB.



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