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Sunday, 27 July 2008

Kate Steed & Aaron Wood "The Best Day We Ever Had" - Sam Roman

It is 70 years ago that Orson Welles caused nationwide panic in the USA when his broadcast of H. G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds" was aired on CBS Radio. In the febrile atmosphere leading up to the Second World War, the broadcast account of a meteorite landing and subsequent successful occupation of the planet by Martians sent some people at least scampering to their phones and gazing into the sky. The Best Day We Ever Had is directed by Kate Steed and Slurpy Studios partner Aaron Wood and features the voice (and appearance) of British soul singer, Sam Roman, whose second EP, entitled Singer/ Storyteller, has just been released. In the official video, Sam sings a song with a narrative and the animators must have leapt at the chance to depict the story of meteorites, panicking cinema goers, a macho president of the USA, and some aliens who really don't deserve their fate. Wells' version had the poor humans sheltering from poisonous gas; this enfeebled green alien is zapped with an M16 bullet before he can say "Take me to you leader". Aaron and Kate's animation is adventurous to say the least, though telling the story in a predominantly literal style as befits the song, mixing live action (woman screaming, Sam reading the news) with a bold and vivid animation style. There are references to an earlier age with the black and white television image, the "Colonial" cinema, Sci-Fi feature film, even the flat cap and grey of the newspaper vendor though with its satellite controlled missiles and the like, a more cynical, hi-tech age awaits the invaders from space. The best day we ever had is gained by not taking chances with little green men, women and babies: no interstellar migration here, Mr President. Kate's previous movie, Death By Scrabble, was a joy. So is this. If I were Sam I'd be counting my lucky asteroids that I'd chosen the studio for my launch of the new EP. The studio blog as well as highlighting some intelligent concerns for the would-be presenter at festivals, reveals a busy schedule though the pair have had the advantage of attending this year's Annecy, something that eluded me. On a personal note, it's nice to see them linking to my blog, an inspired decision, reciprocated! Today's post is the first of three reviewing music videos.

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