LCD Soundsystem’s music video for American Dream single “Oh Baby” is a six-minute mini-drama directed by sci-fi auteur Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Looper) and starring Sissy Spacek and David Strathairn, that takes on the big questions about life, death and DIY teleportation. The clip was originally posted on Tidal, but was officially released Friday.
If there were Oscars for music videos, this one would be hotly debated as a potential Best Picture nominee, only to be shut out in the end for reasons no one can clearly articulate. We open on a short sequence of scribbled equations on whiteboards and notebooks like in Good Will Hunting or A Beautiful Mind. Spacek and Strathairn are scientists … but are they mad? They seem happy together, but James Murphy is singing about “having a bad dream,” so maybe they’d better watch out.
Soon enough our heroes have cracked the code, ordered some parts off the Internet and put together a makeshift teleportation device in their garage, as one does. It works on a basketball-sized spheroid. It works on a chicken. Time to pop some champagne!
Only, wait, the song is getting sadder. The music video’s dramatic stakes escalate rapidly from there. There’s an act of violence, a hint of a miracle, and a nicely ambiguous ending, none of which we’ll spoil (even though we feel a little ridiculous talking about spoilers in a music video). “There’s always a side door into the dark,” Murphy sings.
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Johnson shared photos and insights from the video’s two-day California shoot in a recent Twitter thread, calling Murphy “a genuinely cool dude who loves movies.”
LCD Soundsystem, who have been on a roll since reuniting in 2016, recently covered Chic’s “I Want Your Love” for a Spotify Session. Band members Nancy Whang and Gavin Rayna Russom are hitting the road as a DJ act called The Ladies of LCD Soundsystem starting October 18th in Salt Lake City.
Variety recently reported that Rian Johnson has secured funding for his next film, Knives Out, described as “a murder mystery starring Daniel Craig” (which may or may not be named after one of Radiohead’s best post-OK Computer singles). That film begins shooting in November.