Tobacco's Found Video (Which Maybe Should've Stayed Lost)

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Tobacco's April show at the Empty Bottle was just the kind of psych-damaged synth-pop weirdness I'd expected, and was accompanied by a video projection that apparently drew from sources—old VHS tapes salvaged from thrift stores, garage sales, and the below-bargain-basement liquidation sales of video-rental places converting to DVD only—similar to those pillaged by TV Carnage, Everything Is Terrible, and the Bang, a video-enhanced Ann Arbor dance party put on by some friends of mine. Tobacco's visual aesthetic—which has elements in common with those three, as well as with untold numbers of less well-known video-mix-tape makers—is a kind of warped celebration of the cheapest, cheesiest, most low-budget, and most unintentionally horrifying things ever committed to videocassette. Chicago-based Web zine Ladies & Gentlemen has a great new interview with Tobacco about his video work, including a few illustrative clips. Be forewarned: the clip of the Russian E.T. knockoff porno is beyond NSFW, and should probably be avoided by anyone who hasn't already had their eyes and mind hardened by pure video horror.

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