Watch This Now: Dan Mangan – “About As Helpful As You Can Be Without Being Any Help At All”

“I was thrown in a boat, cast out to sea, friendly with waves, there were sharks below…”

Is that… is that Dan bloody Mangan? Again? What is this, your sixth time here? We must really like you, Dan. Not many other people get that kind of love around these parts. There must be something in the water over in your magical Canada land, right? Whatever it is, keep it up. The glory run of videos from the Oh Fortune record continues here, for the album opener and potentially one of my favourite Mangan tracks. This one requires a bit more imagination than the previous clip for Post-War Blues – and yet, that’s not quite the deterrent that you think it is. In fact, it can make this video all the more exciting.

Mangan is at the centre of the clip, surrounded by a wondrous and peculiar forest. He is seemingly the leader of a tribe of strange painted faces who follow his commands – which, naturally, involve confetti and sky lanterns. It’s simultaneously wonderful and unnerving, in the sense that there’s a sense of ecstasy and joy to the gathering and the colour and whatnot; but what are they all doing there? Who’s behind this? And just what does it all mean? Enter your imagination, stage left. It will know what to do. It makes this video what it is. I think I know what’s going on, but maybe your idea will be entirely different…


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