LA based musician Carré Kwong Callaway, known professionally as Queen Kwong, keeps the energy from her new album Couples Only going with a music video for “Sad Man” starring Jackass star, Johnny Knoxville.
“I’m too old for this shit” she laments again and again. Pointless brunches, wanna-be fuckboy clowns, paying rent by selling guitars and DJing sad bars, being 40 in LA doing cocaine; she’s done with all of it. And as we watch Knoxville parade around town as a sad vigilante cop making deals and pulling people over, you can feel the darkness beneath the surface. Glimpses of him and Kwong moping in a sleezy hotel room and praying on their knees in a church pair perfectly with the dissonance that gradually builds in the lead guitar.
Something is wrong here; something doesn’t feel right. That’s the feeling that keeps flooding back. It’s an “I Want” song where Queen Kwong wishes for ultimate detachment from social pressures and obligations that she is forced to care about. “I just want to grow up and not give a fuck about anything that I give a fuck about right now”, she summarizes at the end of the song. A fitting thesis that captures the pessimism of forced social interactions and the slow, weary treading through capitalist burnout all while dealing with sad men who offer little to no solace.
While Knoxville is known for this self-deprecating humor (often featuring self-inflicted pain), this is an interesting role for him that uses a similar kind of humorous catharsis but paints it in tones of dread that shadow any sense of joy or fulfillment from his debaucherously styled life. Queen Kwong comes out on top again as a master of the psychologically dark tones that spurs a timely social commentary about late-stage capitalism.
“Sad Man” is available on major streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music as is Queen Kwong’s new album Couples Only. The accompanying music video is also available on YouTube. Find this and more great music on the Alchemical Records Multigenre Mixture playlist on Spotify and YouTube.
Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Charleston, South Carolina who currently teaches with the Dance Program at the College of Charleston. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression and research. He also currently plays rhythm guitar for the Charleston-based punk band, Anergy, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.
As the leader of nineties pop rockers 4 Non Blondes Linda Perry broke down barriers in the male dominates music business and created one of the decade’s most catchy songs: “What’s Up?” Perry released one stellar album with the band before going out on her own.
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