If you want a truly dreary experience, try listening to mainstream pop radio. It’s like a dishwater stain on an underpaid worker’s pair of dress code khakis. Don’t let nostalgia fool you either. It’s always been various shades of dreadful but in the distance, there’s a bright shade of hope in a landscape littered with the disposable fast food phonies masquerading as musicians and singers and her name is Actually Huizenga.
I have written about some of Actually’s work in the past over at Dangerous Minds. Live FAST has interviewed her before as well. For the past few years, she has put her special art-pop-rock with its tinges of the glittery, sleazy and witchy in both the fields of music and video, culminating with the release of her short film, Viking Angel, earlier this year. Most would be happy to rest on those laurels alone, but life is short and real artists create while the rest of the world basks in every small victory.
With her latest full length album, “Predator Romantic,” on the imminent horizon, Actually, in collaboration with the fabulous Murphy Maxwell (who previously worked with her on her the 2010 holiday single, “Christmas Inside”), has crafted a special-release single as a tribute to the American spirit in the form of “Red, White, Black & Blue.”
America has gotten the short end of the music stick in in the post-Sousa era, with it either ranging from Toby Keith-styled ‘murrican uninspired lowest common denominator pageantry or hundred percent serious-cheeked cynicism. Instead of the obvious, “Red, White, Black & Blue” is a sweet and sleazy sin-synth song that invokes the strange beauty that is the American dream. Actually and Murphy are the Greek chorus for this ride. It’s the first kiss under a red-neon sign in a dive bar, bright blue sky looming over a never-ending expanse of corn fields, the heart-shaped bruise, Nan Goldin style, on a pale thigh and a slice of Apple Pie with some cheap, American made liquor.
Being a true blue multi-media artist, Actually has also, along with noted photographer and frequent art-partner-in-crime, Socrates Mitsios, crafted a photo shoot to go along with the song. It’s the right mix of glamor and death and art-rock style, making it the sonic anima-animus of “Red, White, Black & Blue.”
My favorite kind of patriotism is the kind where you can look at the artists and trailblazers of your homeland and admire how they manage to put their own thumbprint on everything they touch. If you’re like me, then Actually’s latest single, “Red, White, Black & Blue” will either make you proud to be an American or at least want to go on a lust & PBR-fueled road trip through backwoods USA.