Part III: Elijah McClain “His Last Words” (HS LST WRDZ”), (2021), Music: Between The Clock and The Bed by Manic Street Preachers.
"I found the text containing the last words of Elijah McClain as a post on social media. Actually, I found several, nearly identical versions of it. The fragmented, poignant, often apologetic words were shocking and painful to read. The text demanded a strong, contrasting musical setting. I thought about the work of Manic Street Preachers, a Weish band noted for complex and varied cultural references in their lyrics and leftist political perspectives. I thought McClain’s text layered even more abjectly against the Manics song, ‘Between The Clock and The Bed.’ The song in the context of the video reads like a statement of complicity with the violence described, and its gorgeous lyrics and vocals, especially the presence of Green Garthside, an artist with a history of compelling fusions of political and theoretical rigor and impeccable pop aesthetics, adds a register of sublime sadness to the minimal text animation." - Tony Cokes
“In the case of the use of Manic Street Preachers’ song “Between The Clock and The Bed” I will first say that I have greatly admired the wide range of cultural reference in the Manics’ work, in particular their avowed and critical leftism, a position rare in Pop. I chose to juxtapose an excerpt from the song (with its haunting chorus) with an animation of words allegedly spoken by a young Black American violinist, Elijah McClain who was killed by police. Those last words were tragic, fragmented, and yet deeply resonant. I thought those words layered even more abjectly against the Manics song, its gorgeous lyrics and vocals, especially the voice of the amazing Green Garthside, an artist with a history of compelling fusions of political and theoretical rigor and impeccable pop aesthetics. The song adds a register of sublime sadness to the minimal text animation.”
- Tony Cokes
Manic Street Preachers are a Welsh rock band formed in Blackwood in 1986. The band consists of cousins James Dean Bradfield (lead vocals, lead guitar) and Sean Moore (drums, percussion, soundscapes), plus Nicky Wire (bass guitar, lyrics). They are often colloquially known as "the Manics". They form a key part of the 1990s Welsh Cool Cymru cultural movement.
The band's early albums were in a punk vein, eventually broadening to a greater alternative rock sound, whilst retaining a leftist political outlook. Their early combination of androgynous glam imagery and lyrics about "culture, alienation, boredom and despair" has gained them a loyal following and cult status.
The tune "Between The Clock And The Bed" was inspired by the self-portrait Between the Clock and the Bed by Edvard Munch.
Question 5: Cole Moore x Tony Cokes discuss Part III: Elijah McClain “His Last Words” (HS LST WRDZ”), (2021), Music: Between The Clock and The Bed by Manic Street Preachers.