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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Stokeswood's 'Our Streets' puts an upbeat swing on a dark message

It is hard to resist a video with a Pulp Fiction-esque storyline on top of eye candy that could rival Fight Club' cinematography. So, don't resist. Stokeswood's video for "Our Streets," the first single off the band's upcoming third and currently untitled album is a minifilm with a dark plot that calls attention to a mysterious and unidentified treasure - for which someone is willing to kill. The plot is intermittently interrupted by the dancing, headbanging, and hair flipping of Stokeswood in action playing along to a song that carries swirling electronic accents and crisp drum beats. In all the fun of the music, you might be surprised by a dark, mysterious video featuring guns, knives, and a tied up and gagged lead singer Adam Patterson. This contrast of lively song and dark subject matter was no accident, as keyboardist Michael Roman explains: "There's a sense of conflict in the lyrics and the conflict is found in the dark video and happy sound."

"Our Streets" was filmed in Los Angeles and directed by music video director Eli Berg (Norma Jean's "Sword in Mouth," "Fire Eyes;" Big Black Delta's "X22"). The Stokeswood boys jumped on Berg's offer to direct the video and used Kickstarter to fund the project. To their surprise, their campaign made $2500 its first day, and the group reached its goal of $8000 was reached just hours before the campaign ended. Roman admits, "We couldn't have done it without Kickstarter. We've been purging our resources into recording [the new album]." The video took one day to shoot, even though three days were allotted. Patterson came away from the day of shooting with a nice rug burn on his face from almost 20 takes of a take down, and two mattresses were massacred before it was over. "They spent the whole next day rebuilding and repainting that room," Roman says.

Without giving away the ending, we can say the video is packed with symbolism and mystery. You'll have to watch it yourself to see how the story unfolds.

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