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Phoenix’s ‘Trying to Be Cool’-‘Drakkar Noir’ Video Overflows With Creativity

Effort pays off in fanciful clip for 'Bankrupt!' medley

picture-18576-1373300776Marc Hogan // July 2, 2013

Phoenix have raised questions throughout their career about the lines between Meaningless Trash and Meaningful Art. Frontman Thomas Mars told SPIN the lyrics to “Trying to Be Cool,” from this year’s Bankrupt!, mainly analyze “the beauty of the fake.” That’s a beauty the Creators Project and Spanish directors CANADA pull off winningly in the new video for the song. More specifically, the video is for the band’s frequent live medley of “Trying to Be Cool” and “Drakkar Noir,” which fascinatingly jumps from debating innocence and cynicism to ask, “Do we have to know what truth is?” The visuals here are extraordinarily calculating in their attention to innocent pleasures, from ping-pong tricks, cannon fire, and bubbles to a choreographed dance routine at the end. Might simply raising the questions be more important than answering them? It’s certainly truer. And, to bring up another Phoenix song, it’s fine entertainment, too.