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Watch Obol's song Flirt


If ever there was an Obol song that cried out "potential single", it would be this beautiful, sad and aggressive monster. Composed at exactly the same time as Gender, Flirt was born by combining 3 distinct song ideas that I had been playing with for months: Deeper, Naked, and Stray. Since all 3 songs played nice together, and they shared a randy undercurrent, they were merged into Flirt.

Song name: Flirt
Written by: Barry Craig, 2009
Performances on this recording: Barry, Josh, Joey & Talljoe
Last updated: Some new basslines bits and vocals, December 2012. Added Talljoe's keys November 2012. New mix, slowed tempo down to 98 bps, new vocals on 11/6/11. Recorded some new guitars with Joey in January, 2011.
Breathe. Deep in your heart, you know. Down in the plot you so hold dear. Deeper. See? Deep in the fall, you stay out. Dreaming your life a way out. Babe. Deeper. Now, I want inside. Your delivery of nothing leaves me... wanting. Wanting! So you want to get me naked, huh? Afraid of love, so you fake it? Take it? Bite down or you'll hate it more. That's right, sugar. do it, and you do it, and you do it, and you do it, and you're Calling now. Waste time with your inner Stalin. Rip into your outer core. Look back and you... do it, and you do it, and you do it, and you do it, and you Never ever can stop when you wear the leather? So clever! do it, and you do it, and you do it, and you do it, and you're Never to stay, she's going down, oh! Because tonight, never to stay, she's going down, oh! On the ground. Hard to get by alone. Harder to block out your soul, my dear. Deeper. Please, now that you've come to know, give it the inches, so we can crawl deeper. Now, I want inside, with a little bit of struggle. Feels... clever! Clever!
Insights and Interpretations:
From Barry, 2010: To me, Flirt is a song about the placebos people use to distract themselves through life. Things to make them feel good, but ultimately don't matter. These distractions usually involve the opposite sex. At first glance, the song seems to be dishing out some heavy judgment at a particularly short-sighted female. However, the person who "can't love, so you fake it" is, of course, myself. I am the flirt. Coo coo catchoo.
Fantasy Video Idea:
This is something that came to me the first night I had the song parts together, and it has only gotten more fun to think about as the song has progressed. Like all the Obol videos, there is violence, and a "this just keeps getting more and more out of hand" type script. We start vaguely sympathetic to our protagonist and over time he's shown to be very insecure and troubled. Unlike most of the videos I've seen, this Flirt video idea one would be fairly unique, in that beauty and sexuality are painted in a problematic light, as an involuntary "trigger" in men that can have all sorts of ramifications.
Flirt is punctuated, musically, by 5 distinct keyboard "fanfares" that trigger after the singer says "deeper". In each of these fanfares, we are given a series of quick Polaroid snapshots (like in Amelie) that reveal the guy's thoughts upon meeting a new person. It won't take the viewer long to figure out that the Polaroids during the fanfares have never happened, that they are just in the guy's imagination.
Intro (instrumental)
Dimly lit room. guitarist in foreground, drummer in background, both are shrouded. Think Matt Mahurin photos, just (strange) parts of our musicians are lit, the rest is silhouette. Guitarist strikes his first note. A guy, who is also apparently a source of light (via spotlight) pushes a grocery cart into frame and we follow him (leaving the band) into the check-out line at a grocery store. A normal store, except the lighting, which is still dim. From the vantage-point of the cart, we see up to this guy's glowing, but disinterested (depressed?), face. Cut to drummer playing. A shrouded cashier drags his products across the scanner. He's bought cheese and she's literally grating it across the scanner. Our guy looks around with a "get a load of this ridiculous cashier" look on his face, but the people in line behind him are also shrouded. Now our guy is carrying his groceries out. A shrouded little girl (dressed as a girl scout) hops in front of him, but he looks up past her at a light source, and he catches a glimpse of the girl scout's mother seated behind her. Other than our guy, the mother is the first face we clearly see.
Fanfare #1 (the key hook, where the keys first come in)
It's like a bright, flirty ad for Axe Bodyspray all of a sudden. The child is nowhere to be seen. Several snap shots of the mom in various states of undress. The mom is saucy in this version; she bites her lip, she's tossing her undergarments at him, laughing at the fun of it all, etc. Apparently she's tons of fun and crazy sexy.
Verse1 Breathe. Deep in your heart you know...
He snaps back to reality, with a twitch of his head. He buys a bag of the cookies from the girlscout, pats the kid on the head, winks at the mom, and exits the store. When he walks out of the store, he momentarily illuminates the keyboardist, who sits outside, playing keys. Our guy heads home, carrying his groceries. He walks and eventually strolls to the beat of the song. He now has a spring in his step. A young illuminated woman in spandex comes by, jogging, and makes (the unfortunate error of) eye contact with him.
Fanfare #2
Both half-naked, pillow feathers in the air, it's a sexual romp. He's yanking her hair, her face is a smeared mess, his pants are on her arms, etc. The scene is frenetic, to emphasize their frantic lovemaking.
Verse2 See? Deep in the fall...
He's getting married! Our bride is a shrouded woman (uh oh), whom we haven't seen thus far in the video until now. She's in her wedding dress and he's in a tux. They're smiling and laughing. The contrast between his lit face and her darkness, especially as they kiss, is where I imagine the video is strongest. Several shots of the wedding musicians (the band), as shrouded couples dance elegantly in their beautiful wedding outfits. (This should be effectively surreal.) There's a congratulations line. Shrouded couples take turns shaking hands with our happy couple. All is well, until...
Some relatively good looking (and thus illuminated) guy and his girlfriend (the jogger, also illuminated) shake our bride's hand. This gentleman is very unassuming and shakes the hand innocently. He smiles as he says "congratulations". Cut to our hero's eyes widening.
Fanfare #3
In this series of stills, this "other man" is significantly slimy; He winks at her and he licks her hand. She laughs "oh you," and pats him on the lapel or whatever. He then rolls his hand up her arm and feels her wedding dress fabric. Our hero's face becomes furious.
Bridge Now. I want inside...
Cut to the guitarist playing the power chord. Our hero leaps forward (for some reason) and charges like a ninja, getting up in the suitor's face. The bride is thrown aside. The girlfriend/jogger makes a tactical mistake and tries to intervene, noticeably bitchy as she wags her finger, but our hero palms her face and essentially shoves her into the Wedding cake. Everything gets awesome from there.
Chorus So you want to get me naked?
Chaos. It's a bar-room brawl. An unfortunate volume of blood is splattered everywhere, including on our bride's white wedding dress. Cuts to the shrouded parents eating their meal, blood getting splashed on them. For each "Do it and you do it and you do it" line, we get quick, frenetic shots of the band. "your inner Stalin" The jogger/girlfriend gets up, she's complaining that she's covered in cake and our hero outright decks her. Apparently the suitor knows tai-kwon-do, as he does some unexpected flips. There's a jacknife in there somewhere, and creative use of a folding table. Toward the end, our hero is being choked with the garter. Finally, in true horror movie fashion, he struggles for the cake knife, grabs it, hoists it above his head---to the people's dismay---ready to plunge into the suitor. Our bride runs up to stop him.
Outtro Never to stay, she's going down.
He's gone too far. We don't see the violence, but she's hurt... she falls slowly from him, spiraling down into darkness, her beautiful white gown---flowing like the scene of Last of the Mohicans---stained with patches of red from all the aforementioned violence. She reaches up for him. He reaches out for her, to catch her. Truly sorry, regret in his eyes. She disappears into the darkness.
Verse3 Breathe. Deep in your heart, you know.
Lights come back on. Our guy sits in a dim hospital. As we pan around we see the other people at this hospital are old, horrendously obese, or perched upon iv stands. The band is there, playing among the sick. Apparently the fight was real, as our hero is still in his torn-up tux, but now he's got an arm cast with a sling. The bride is nowhere to be seen.
A nurse walks up. It's Heidi Klum (or some model/actress of recognition). She's dressed conservatively, looks normal/disinterested, but she is illuminated like God.
Fanfare #4
Images of her riding him on the waiting room seats, the operating table. All these different positions in a short period of time (very Clockwork Orange-y). She licks his cast, etc. Most of the other folks in the hospital cower, horrified, and gradually trail off screen (the imagination stills work like a flip book). In one of the stills, she pulls the obese patient over and kisses him while riding our guy.
Verse4 See?
She has walked away, out of the room, past the keyboardist playing. He calms down. Since she glows, she illuminates the keyboardist's face clearly as she passes. Our hero leans over to watch her leave the room. "Whooo-heee she is sweet" his face seems to say as he shakes his head in amazement. He looks around for confirmation. Cut to others in the room... it's hard to see their faces, you know. Cut back to our hero as his smile goes away. But lo, light begins to shine on his face again. He smiles, looks up, excited. An illuminated doctor (played by Fabio, ideally) comes in to see our guy, smiles and shakes his hand.
Fanfare #5
That's right, kids. He has a series of gay images plow into his mind. He's making out with the doctor like this, the doctor holds him in his arms like that. They're tickling, para-sailing together, riding unicorns, or something equally ridiculous/romantic.
Bridge Now. I want inside...
He starts to freak out. He stands up. The doctor is alarmed, urges him to sit back down because of his stitches or whatever, but our guy is enraged. He swings his cast at Fabio. Shots of guitarist playing. A series of sync'ed jump cuts with the drummer's hits, everything builds as the cast swings around in slo mo to Fabio's face.
Chorus So you wanna get me naked?
On "naked", the cast connects with the doc's nose, and blood spurts everywhere. Synchronized cut to guitarist playing the guitar hook. Fabio staggers back and drops his notepad. Nurses and security come to help, but our hero is crafty, and scampers. He grabs the IV stand from the old patient who was leaning on it (who promptly falls) and swings it around like a weapon, nailing people in the head that try to restrain him. Shots of the keyboardist playing... he's contrasted with the chaos of the room, he seems to be the only one who isn't writhing and panicking or scampering about. (The guitarist and drummer are jumping around like madmen, and the guitarist is kicking poor Fabio in the backside.)
The staff has encircled our hero. He's backed into a corner. He tries to look at their faces. For anything. A hint of what to do. But they're all pitch black. A policeman is there, gun drawn, face also black. "So... clever..." Our hero jumps out the window.
Outtro Never to stay
Apparently, he was several floors up. Slow mo again as he falls from the window, shattered glass about him. We see him from above. He arcs slowly to the ground, his arm reaching up (to God?). His pose and rotation are exactly the same as his bride's were. As the ground comes rushing up beneath him, a quick fade to black.
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