Video: Handsome Furs – Serve the People

Canadian husband-wife duo Handsome Furs released the music video for “Serve the People”, a track off their 2011 album Sound Kapital. Members Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade, Atlas Strategic) and Alexei Perry met the video’s director, Han Xia, during their 2009 tour. They met during a show in Beijing, when Xia was a film student at a local university. Xia’s account is below:

[toggle title=”click for Xia’s description”]I first heard the song “Serve the People” at a livehouse called 2kolegas. Handsome Furs began their second tour of China there. That was a drunken night, young people chatting and drinking everywhere. I totally get puzzled in this scene. I know they wrote this song for Asia, I looked at the people around me, they seemed to be happy about who they are—was it that they were happy to lie to themselves, or had they already got used to a life without any freedom?

The city around us is extremely weird and beautiful. It seemed like it might run like a crazy person at any second.

Alexei asked me if I wanna shoot a music video of this song. At almost the same moment, I thought about my high school classmate Yang. He is now a cute, shy street cleaner who is into indie music a lot. His only interest is collecting records and listening to them. He goes to the shows every weekend, and watches every gig alone. He doesn’t dance at all. He told me once that he dances in his heart, you cannot see it.

This young man earns less than 300 dollars. He cleans the streets from sunrise to sunset; the people who walk behind him have no connection with him. He serves us, but nobody serves him. He knows nothing about how gorgeous the world is outside his mind. He hasn’t even been to a music festival yet. He has no idea when this kind of life ends. He feels he has no right to hate it.

However, I know clearly there are thousands of people living like this here in Beijing. I feel a connection with this complicated city. I also hate the invisible damage it brings to young people. This is a feeling I cannot translate with any language.

I cannot express my grateful heart with any kind of words. I do hope people like Yang will get to see this video, and that they will realize: I adore myself; I can be a better person. I have not been abandoned by time.

This is my story. I believe you have your own stories with Handsome Furs as well. I love them not only because they are awesome people, or for the amazing music they make, but more so because they are totally in love with life, and they have the power to connect this love with the lives of individuals, and then change these people with their passion. It is a god-given talent.[/toggle]

Here are the band’s remaining tour dates:

Dec 01 Circolo Degli Artisti, Rome, Italy
Dec 02 Tivoli Theater, Lisbon, Portugal
Dec 03 Solyanka, Moscow, Russia
Dec 07 B72, Vienna, Austria
Dec 08 Tabacka Factory , Kosice, Slovakia
Dec 09 Control, Bucharest, Romania
Dec 10 Booha Bar, Cluj-Napoka , Romania
Jan 14 Canyon Lodge Indoors, Mammoth, CA
Jan 15 Belly Up, Solana Beach, CA
Jan 16 Constellation Room, Santa Ana, , CA
Jan 17 Soho Restaurant & Music Club, Santa Barbara, CA
Jan 18 Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix, AZ

MP3: Handsome Furs – What About Us

MP3: Handsome Furs – Legal Tender

Handsome Furs – Repatriated

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Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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