At some point in the future (perhaps in the very near future), we’ll remove all the risk and all the unknowns of meeting new people by choosing to socialize only in a virtual world. One might argue that with Facebook and Twitter and an infinite number of other social network platforms, we’re there already. But as far as I know, we can’t yet have a complete virtual experience that in any way rivals the full sensory adventure of really being there and interacting with others.
In their debut video for their song “Defenseless,” Blackpaw, the alter-ego and artistic project of Los Angeles songwriter and musician Adrian Rodriguez, considers this possibility. In doing so, he offers some poignant social observations about L.A.’s dating scene and our need to connect with someone on a deeper level. The song, as its title suggests, is about opening yourself up for whatever comes and taking a chance. What possibilities lie beyond your fear?
After watching this hypnotic and slightly sad video, with its surprise, goosebump-inducing ending, I found myself Googling “Connect” to reassure myself that this wasn’t actually a thing. Google Connect, anyone? But no, if you look carefully at the packaging in the video, you’ll see that the manufacturer is Blackpaw. Whew!
The film is cleverly crafted by Blackpaw and Mitchell deQuilettes. It’s an engaging story with subtitles, giving it a French New Wave film vibe, while the song is like a narrator’s commentary. It features the spellbinding couple Mani Yarosh and Quincy Banks as two people who are searching for connection and intimacy in the wilds of Los Angeles nightlife, from the safety and comfort of their own apartments. Is it worth taking a risk for a chance at love? We’re left with that lingering question.
This summer, there will be two more singles ahead of Blackpaw’s much anticipated debut EP. They have a few shows scheduled — June 15 at Moroccan Lounge in Los Angeles with Harley Cortez (for his release party), June 16 at the Supergloom Fest in Long Beach and June 29 at Zebulon in L.A. with The Big Pink and Marc Baker.
In an interview with Noisey, Rodriguez explained the inspiration behind the song:
‘Defenseless’ is the inner monologue to the idea of letting yourself feel something no matter what the outcome, good or bad. It’s about having your preconceived notions and having your guard up. Once you let it all go and get lost in it, you’re truly able to experience the moments that become memories. I think it’s important to cherish as well as let go. No matter how good it feels, or how much it hurts. These energies build us.