Back in February, when MTV News sat down with the Black Keys to premiere their "Gold on the Ceiling" video, they let it be known that they had just shot another clip — this one directed by oddball auteur Harmony Korine — though they weren't really sure what it was for.
"We did a video with Harmony, but it's not really for 'Gold on the Ceiling,' " frontman Dan Auerbach said. "Well, it is, sort of," drummer Patrick Carney added.
And though he couldn't say when the clip would see the light of day, Auerbach went on to describe it thusly: "Pat and I are dressed up like babies, in onesies, and we're in BabyBjörns being carried by giants who have our faces. And [Korine] also had the ATL Twins in it ... they're these twins who are all Fubu'ed out, but they only have sex with the same girl. They're really strange. They sleep in the same bed together."
At the time, we thought he was joking, but fast-forward three months, and lo and behold, the Korine-directed video for "Gold" has surfaced. And it is pretty much exactly how Auerbach described it. Only, you know, so much more.
Shot on ragged VHS tape — much like Korine's nightmarish 2009 film "Trash Humpers" — this version of "Gold" features the Keys being carried in those BabyBjörns by dead-faced giants through a washed-out suburban sprawl, clutching fire extinguishers, occasionally wearing doo-rags and sipping elicit substances from baby bottles (in that regard, at least, it recalls the Korine-directed video for Cat Power's "Living Proof"). Odd textual asides — "Where's My Tooth?" "We Love Booty" — pop up from time to time, as do rickety wheelchairs and balloons. And there are roughly 1,000 ultra-uncomfortable embraces, most of which flicker back and forth, one frame at a time, .gif-style, only adding to the skin-crawling-ness of the whole thing. Oh, and as promised, the ATL Twins show up at the end, acting mad thuggish in a kitchenette, while blocks of cheese jiggle on a plate.
So basically, it's like every Harmony Korine project; unsettling, artfully ugly, incredibly odd ... only with baby versions of the Black Keys thrown in for good measure. And in that regard, you've got to give Auerbach and Carney credit for even releasing this thing. It is unquestionably the strangest video a major-label rock band has foisted upon the world in a long time — maybe ever. If you thought their "Lonely Boy" video was weird, get ready, you haven't seen anything yet.
If the video leaves you wanting more of the Black Keys' signature weirdness, don't miss the 2012 MTV Movie Awards, where the band will take the stage along with Fun. and Wiz Khalifa. It all airs live this Sunday, June 3, at 9 p.m. ET on MTV. What do you think of the new video for "Gold on the Ceiling"? Leave your comment below!