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Hats off to Stargroves

April Fool's Day is a nationally recognized day of pranking. These tricks can range from silly and obvious parodies to sick and twisted schemes to humiliate or scare others. It seems appropriate to talk about the music video for “Hats In The Air” by the Stargroves. Teddy Watson is the man who plays the lead vocals, acoustic guitar and the banjo for the band. He said, “When we were coming up with a music video concept we talked a lot about tone. I feel like the imagery in the lyrics is dark while the tone of the song is happy, creating dissonance. We decided to make a music video homage to Harold and Maude, a film which has a similar sort of dark comic dissonance.”

For those not familiar with the film, we should give you a trigger warning for this music video. Anyone sensitive to seeing a fake, but violent-looking suicide should maybe think twice about watching. In the movie "Harold and Maude" the main character fakes several deaths in front of his mother and his arranged dates. It brings up themes of suicide, art, euthanasia, the Holocaust, alienated youth, the Vietnam War, psychoanalysis and living life with meaning. It was a very controversial dark comedy due to the extreme age gap between him and his love interest who is 79. Dame Marjorie, who prefers to be called Maude, loves art and trying new things every day. She shows an affinity for music, sculpture, and even had a contraption for the pleasures of the olfactory (smelling capsules that bring up memories). Truly it's a cult-classic from 1971.

This writer, who is also named Marjorie, does have a certain appreciation for the word “dichotomy” and clearly in this music video you see it. There are macabre scenes while the singer is smiling and the music is upbeat. The lyrics are also very important.

Here's a section of those lyrics:

Falling to the ground as your roots turn grey
As your roots turn grey
And that's where you're going to stay
And I tell you that I'm alright
But I'm terrified day and night
Coming over with a bad cough
Saying I've been on the road for so long
And you tell me 'bout the old days
And you say the world's a terrible place
And I say you're just an old fool
And I haven't got a minute left for you
Say hello to the sun for me
The thoughts that live under your stairs
Saying come on son it's a beautiful day
It's a beautiful day
To throw your hats in the air
It's ok, call me crazy I don't care”

“Harold and Maude” inspired the music video, but younger fans may wish to watch the movie after seeing these reenactments of the film. Art influences can sometimes be a circular thing. Also, if you are wondering about the sunflower thing, that also has a tie-in to the movie. Maude's favorite flower is a sunflower, because “they're so tall and simple.”

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