MSTRKRFT

Fist Of God

(Downtown/Dim Mak; 2009)

By Calum Marsh & his imaginary friend | 4 March 2009

FADE IN:

INT. EXPENSIVE AND LUXURIOUS LOFT (NIGHT)

An expensive and luxurious loft, very late at night. It is unclear what city we are in; could be Seattle or Chicago, but the ratio of women to men is high and everyone’s smoking indoors—come to think of it, it’s probably Montreal. The living room is large and clean. Modern art prints adorn the walls. A high ceiling. Small but powerful speakers are scattered about the room, tucked here and there behind potted plants and fish bowls, and from them booms MSTRKRFT’s latest LP, Fist Of God.

Album opener “It Ain’t Love” fills the air as chic girls in American Apparel short-shorts and gold lame bras dance around the room, spilling wine coolers and wiping coke-smears from their upper lips. The party’s DJ—new “On The Go” iPod playlist shuffling away, his milk crate of vinyl DFA singles unused and ignored on the table beside his laptop—smooths a crease out of his oversized purple polo as a wasted 17 year old slinks by, complimenting his choice of record as he not-so-subtly admires what lies just beneath her too-transparent mesh tank-top.

THE DJ
(Tipping his white Yankees cap)    
           It’s the new MSTRKRFT. Part of a little playlist I just whipped
           up for the party.

SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD IN TRANSPARENT MESH TANK-TOP
           Oh, I love MSTRKRFT! Jessie Keeler is sooo hot.

THE DJ
(To impress)    
           Yeah, I just downloaded a torrent of the leaked album. Shit is
           off the hook.

S.Y.O.I.T.M.T-T
           Oh, put it on, put it on! I’d just love to hear the whole album.

THE DJ
           Uh, well, I just made this whole playlist. It has an obscure
           remix of “D.A.N.C.E.” on it, and…

S.Y.O.I.T.M.T-T
(Touching the DJ’s arm, ostensibly to flirt but also to keep balance)    
           Oh, please. Puh-lease. I’d just love to hear it.

THE DJ
(Smitten)    
           Oh, alright!

The DJ puts Fist Of God on in full and cranks the volume. More dancing commences.

CUT TO:

INT. E. & L. LOFT — KITCHEN

A kitchen off to the side, music volume slightly lower. More hipsters—twentysomethings in royal blue hoodies, oversized plastic sunglasses with neon trim, bottles of Labatt 50 in hands all over the room—scattered about, but considerably less dancing. Sequestered in the corner we find CALUM and his IMAGINARY FRIEND, who only CALUM can see, chatting with one another quietly.

IMAGINARY FRIEND
(Concerned)    
           You look upset. What’s the matter?

CALUM
           It’s this party. It’s irritating.

IMAGINARY FRIEND
           You think so? Why?

CALUM
           This music is terrible. I abhor MSTRKRFT—I hated their last LP
           and this sounds even worse. They want to be Daft Punk, and I
           love Daft Punk, but their records sound so hollow and dull. I
           don’t understand how anyone could be into this.

IMAGINARY FRIEND
           But many people are into this. MSTRKRFT have a lot of fans.
           Look around: people here love this! They’re dancing up a
           storm and I just heard a girl exclaim that this song was “the
           jam.” She also said Jessie Keeler is hot, but she pronounced
           it as “hawt.”

CALUM
           The only people who like MSTRKRFT are these samey hipsters.
           They do lots of coke and read VICE and wear nothing but
           American Apparel and listen to shitty music like this.

IMAGINARY FRIEND
           Don’t be a hypocrite. You shop at American Apparel and you’ve
           enjoyed articles in VICE. And really, does it matter what you
           think of the fans? It should be about the music…

CALUM
           But it is about the music! The music is terrible. Listen to this
           song, “Bounce”: “All we do is party / ha ha ha ha.” This is the
           biggest problem with this band and bands like them: too much
           post-post-post-post anything and everything, all laced with
           irony and delivered with a winking eye, a nudging elbow. They
           protect themselves from criticism by refusing to take themselves
           or their music seriously. It’s all so cold and empty and irritating.

IMAGINARY FRIEND
           Lighten up—it’s just supposed to be fun. You’re not supposed
           to think about it; you’re supposed to relax and have a good
           time.

CALUM
           That’s what I mean when I say that they protect themselves:
           any criticism is immediately met with them response that it’s
           “just fun” and that you shouldn’t be so serious about it.

IMAGINARY FRIEND
           And…

CALUM
           ...And they’re not immune to criticism because they deliver with
           a smirk. I remember in high school I saw some vacuous and
           vapid teen comedy, and when I told my friends that it was terrible
           they told me that “not every movie tries to be Citizen Kane.” The
           suggestion being that anything which is aware of its own vacuity
           and overall dumbness is suddenly and completely exempt from
           any criticism of it being just that. I refuse to subscribe to that; I’m
           not going to blindly forgive an album’s problems because it comes
           with the disclaimer that it isn’t trying to blow your mind and is just
           meant to be fun.

IMAGINARY FRIEND
           So…you don’t like simple fun?

CALUM
           Of course I do, but this isn’t simple, it’s simplistic—there’s a
           difference.

The album comes to “Word Up,” featuring Ghostface Killah. No one seems to know who Ghostface is, somehow, and the party rages on as normal.

IMAGINARY FRIEND
           Okay, but if you have legitimate issues with this record, why are
           you bothering with this silly review?

CALUM
           You know, my editor was just thinking the same thing…

IMAGINARY FRIEND
           This whole concept review thing is kinda gimmicky, don’t you
           think? You’re just making fun of hipsters, basically.

CALUM
           I guess.

IMAGINARY FRIEND
           Yet calling you a hipster really wouldn’t really be out of the
           question.

CALUM
           ...

IMAGINARY FRIEND
           Right. So I’m just wondering why you didn’t just write a few
           paragraphs about Fist Of God, commenting on its homogeneity
           and blandness, attacking it for sounding dull and boring and
           vacuous and so on, rather than writing this script thing, whatever
           it is, and barely talking about the music on the album at all.

CALUM
           ...

IMAGINARY FRIEND
           And the point of your gimmick, I guess, being that you think
           hipsters are douchebags—that they like MSTRKRFT and wear
           similar clothing and do a lot of coke.

CALUM
           My point is that MSTRKRFT are terrible and that they will appeal only
           to coked-out 17 year old hipsters at house parties who’ll listen to
           anything with a chunky synth and handclaps, and that Fist Of God
           should be avoided by anyone with a discerning ear or shred of taste.

IMAGINARY FRIEND
           And so this self-conscious bit at the end here, that’s…

CALUM
           Uh.

IMAGINARY FRIEND
           You protecting yourself from anyone reading this and thinking you’re
           a smug, pretentious douchebag hating on hipsters and MSTRKRFT
           without reason, trying to seem…what, clever? Funny? Really?

The album comes to a close and the dancing temporarily subsides as the DJ sifts through his iPod, looking for something else to play. Calum takes a long drink of his bottle of 50 and sighs when he hears the opening blips and bloops of a new Crystal Castles remix. It’s going to be a long night.