Features | Awards

The Chad VanGaalen Award for Best Utilization of Chad VanGaalen's Time

By Dom Sinacola | 21 December 2008

Chad VanGaalen :: “Molten Light” (Video)
from Soft Airplane
(Flemish Eye/Sub Pop; 2008)

Besides sneaking some of the most sickening and squeamish animation I’ve seen in the past few months behind one of the most strangely poignant songs I’ve heard in the same, VanGaalen’s “Molten Light” video deserves an award for tersely celebrating everything totally awesome about Chad VanGaalen in a year that, I thought, already did the same.

So there we are, inside his apoplectic head, this place where Chad VanGaalen cannot be stopped; he is tall like a formidable mountain, climbable though steep, and his eye-flaps breathe lazer beams when un-flapped. For Chad there is no final destination, some limit, only room to spit up into the air like a steroid’d goon in fast-motion, and Soft Airplane is Chad VanGaalen’s apocryphal sword of flame, synecdoche in the same way that “With Soft Airplane in hand, I will conquer the planet” is, always doubted but no spurious prophet he, for Soft Airplane was meant to be self-fulfilling.

I also like how those two wrinkly, Spongebob-ish protagonists are basically heavy-petting in fear when consulting with the tiny priest.