Cover #13 – Plumb, “Damaged”

13 Apr

Cover #13 is “Damaged” from Plumb‘s 1999 album candycoatedwaterdrops, written by Tiffany Arbuckle.  The song was subsequently remixed by Plummet and 808 State.

In 1997, I arrived at the University of Maine and immediately started seeking out freaks.  I found them, finally, and every friday would find us at Anime Night.  We saw such classics as Combustable Campus Guardress and Porco Rosso (by the same guy who did Spirited Away – I personally like Porco better.)   And we saw Neon Genesis: Evangelion.

Neon Genesis: Evangelion is either the most over-rated, overtly melodramatic, overheated, angst-ridden piece of crap you’ve ever seen, with giant robots, or it’s Japan’s answer to Hamlet, with giant robots.   Me, I tend to side closer to the Hamlet folks, though I completely understand the objections on the other side.  The main character is incredibly whiny.  There’s way too much young-teen torture, which strikes me now as a bit much (though at the time, fresh out of adolescence, I was able to see the agony of the EVA pilots as an appropriate metaphor for teenage stroppiness, which I guess was the point.)  And Rei (pictured above) is much less adorable once you realize how absolutely horrid her life – sorry, lives – have been.

Still.. it’s about a near-future where humanity is under siege, and the only people who can stop the terror are kids, because only the kids can control the EVA robots, which are semi-sentient, mysterious giant robot things.   And when the robots get hit, the kids inside feel it.  And the whole thing is controlled by the distant, possibly sinister father of one of the kids.  And the kids are going through their own teenaged angst while essentially fighting a war to save humanity.  Or are they?  Their whole lives have been stage managed and controlled so much, and there’s pain everywhere, but it’s necessary.  It’s a great metaphor for adolescence.  It’s epic, it’s full of emotion, it’s just great.  If you can devote 12 hours to it, do it.  It’s not fun, but neither is Hamlet.

I’m tying this all together.  I really am.  The point is, about five years later, the internet started to be fast enough to stream videos, and the age of the “Fan Made Music Video” hit its renaissance.  These things had been all over conventions for years, but it wasn’t until 2002 or so that they started to appear online.  And that’s where “Damaged (Rei-Mix)” comes in.

This video won best video at the AMV awards.  No one was surprised.  It’s to 808 State and Plummet’s remix of “Damaged” by Plumb.  Enjoy.

The original song was written by Tiffany Arbuckle, and it’s about an abused child and the presense of the abuser in the victim’s mind.  Rei – and the rest of the kids – are essentially being abused in Evangelion.  Is it necessary in their case?  Perhaps, but it’s no less traumatising.  Koopaskation, who put this video together, figured that out… which is what makes a great fan-vid work: it’s the combination of the appropriate clips with a song that makes you look at them in a different way.

Interesting to note: Plumb’s a Christian rock band, and there’s tons of Judeo-Christian imagery all over Evangelion.   This is how we celebrate Easter in my house, folks.

I found this thing again recently, and it reminded me of the song.  It’s pretty obscure outside of the Christian rock world (and, well, the Anime Music Video world), but it deserves more attention.



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