The best piece of performance art I’ve ever seen—measured by its emotional effect on me—was short and told a story of estranged youth. It began as a blood ritual set to black metal, it ended with one in the other’s arms flying from the stage set to this song. Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush. (Who, randomly, I first discovered owing to her work on the soundtrack to Brazil).
Today I found the video, and I also found the video for the cover by Placebo. I don’t really know anything about Placebo. And I’m wary of covers of such beautiful, earnest songs. But I like it. And what’s more, I like the video even more. I don’t really care about music videos as a medium, I have to admit. But there’s a really important emotional quality to the video that, well, reflects that the cover artists respect the original. It’s a series of clips of fan-videos, of sad people singing along. And that’s what Running Up That Hill is about. Sad people singing along. Fuck yeah. The cover loses a bit of the “hopeful anyway” that the original has going for it, but I like it.