Help me crowd-produce the "Scatterlings + Refugees" video!

There seem to be at least a few fans of Red State Soundsystem out there, right? So I’ve had an idea, and I’m hoping you’ll help me with it.

The song “Scatterlings + Refugees” is maybe my favorite song I’ve ever written, and it’s going to be on the debut RSS album, Ghosts In A Burning City, which is dropping very, very soon. I’d like to make a video for it. I have access to decent cameras and I can edit and post-produce it myself, thanks to my clever ability to run Final Cut and AfterEffects.

However, rather than just making some moody, forgettable video of me looking haunted in, I dunno, an old factory or some silly bullshit like that, I’d rather do something that speaks to what the song is actually about: namely, the way that people scattered across the world can form a tribe.

So here’s what I’d like you to do.

  1. Download the song, below. This is a rough mix but it’s the final version, if you see what I mean; I may do some EQing on it, but this is the album version of the song.
  2. Go somewhere in the city or town you live in that you think is pretty or strange or representative of your home. Someplace that doesn’t just look like another Western suburb, in other words.
  3. Film yourself singing/lip-syncing the song. Use your cellphone, your iPhone, your digital still camera with the 30 second video option, your Flip, your high-def television broadcast quality shoulder-mounted Panasonic, whatever. Use an old PixelMotion if you’ve got one. Resolution doesn’t matter (though I’d prefer stuff that’s not too heavily compressed and blocky). Ideally your video should be at least 640 x 480, but if it’s really cool and low-res, I’ll be down for that, too. Audio doesn’t matter, as I’ll be dubbing over it with the song, anyway, of course.
  4. If your resulting video is small enough to send as an email attachment, send it to me at jzellis (at) gmail (dot) com. Otherwise, contact me at that address and I’ll send you to my private Dropbox account to upload it. Deadline for this is 11:59 Pacific Standard Time, Friday, July 31st.

When I get enough awesome clips, I’ll edit them together into a full-fledged music video, which will be available on this site and Vimeo and YouTube and Facebook and MySpace and everywhere else I can put it.

Unfortunately, I can’t offer you a free trip to Vegas or a chance to be on Cribs or anything like that. (Are they even still showing Cribs?) What I can offer is a signed CD to every person whose clip gets used in the video, plus a credit and a link on the video’s page here on Zenarchery, and my profuse thanks and an IOU.

I think this is a chance to actually put into practice a lot of the rhetoric going around now about crowdsourcing and making cool things for free on the Web. I hope there are enough of you who dig this song that you’ll help me make something really wonderful to share with the world.

So here goes: here’s the rough mix (128kbps stereo MP3), and below are the lyrics. Let’s do this thing.

SCATTERLINGS + REFUGEES lyrics and music by Joshua Ellis

We are scatterlings and refugees, we have never known peace We have never known a home Home is wherever we are when we’re together Peace is the sound that we make when we’re alone

Well, I rang the New Year in In a field out in the suburbs somewhere outside east Berlin I watched the fireworks burn the night And I wondered where you were and if you were alright

We are scatterlings and refugees, we are bastards, we are orphans We don’t ever make a sound Traversing the oceans in perpetual motion Our feet don’t ever touch the ground

We went dancing Old soul records playing in an alleyway And we are old souls, you and me Disappearing at the dawning of the day

We are scatterlings and refugees, we have never known peace We have never known a home Home is wherever we are when we’re together Peace is the sound that we make when we’re alone


And when my telephone rings in the dark You say “Hey, I’m at the White Cross On Las Vegas Boulevard” No matter where I am, I’ll get on a plane I’ll go anywhere to see you again

We are scatterlings and refugees We are angels, we are monsters We never mattered anyway We’re the patron saints of rented cars And last goodbyes in airport bars And in the morning, like ghosts We slip away

We slip away

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