DJ Shadow’s latest single ‘Rosie’ takes place on a suburban high street. There’s a placid quietness and then, with no distant sound approaching and completely out of nowhere, an all-male marching band stomp and bark down the road. Some are topless, some growl down from a trailer attached to a truck.
A teenage boy, maybe 15, gets swept up into the pack; a drum is attached to his waist with a velcro strap, and he’s handed sticks. His young brain is so over-stimulated, the men are pounding and stomping too loudly; it seems to be part of their act to open their eyes really wide, their sweaty faces getting too close to his. As soon as he slightly gets the hang of their chants, and can stomp in time with the troop, they all clumsily drop their equipment and jog into the church hall. Someone’s in the corner, crouched over the smoke machine, trying to get it to work, and the floor is sticky with a film of sugary beer. It’s his chance to leave, and he does. That doesn’t mean it was bad, or not worth it, just slightly not good enough to care about who or what Rosie is.