Music Video Review
By our guest blogger, Nick Hanover
Cake have been at this whole "ironic detachment" game since before it was cool, so I have to wonder if the video for "Long Time" is purposefully animated in a way that recalls the craptacular aesthetic of "Xavier: Renegade Angel" or if I'm reading too much into the situation. Given the overly somber story of the video, I suppose it's the latter.
"Long Time" is a weirdly dark little tale of some kind of criminal and his monkey. Unfortunately, its visuals are a huge obstacle towards its entertainment value- too serious to be laughable, too much like a student's final animation project to be notable. It's never really clear why this is criminal is awaiting execution (he seems to have stolen what looks like a Christmas ornament that he for some reason still has in his possession while he's in jail) nor is it clear how he even got caught in the first place. I suspect the monkey betrayed him. You can see in that monkey's eyes that he's up to no good.
Weirder still, the video doesn't fit all that well with the song no matter how you look at it. Glacially paced, barely whimsical, "Long Time" as a video just feels like a complete miss, especially given how high concept Cake videos normally are. Don't believe me? Go back and take a look at the clip for their breakthrough hit "The Distance," which had an anonymous business man running against furries before such a term existed. It also probably cost half as much as this piece of crap. Likely even cheaper was Cake's video for "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" which was just a series of man-on-the-street interviews about the song itself. It's more entertaining than it sounds, honest.
Point being, Cake are no strangers to clever concepts. The tragedy of that statement comes in the realization that we are in the midst of what is, by all accounts, a latter day renaissance for music videos and somehow a band that really understood the value of this kind of marketing have found themselves in the dust precisely because they have seemingly abandoned all the traits that made their prior videos pre-Reddit era viral sensations.