If you’ve never had a gun pointed at you before, you don’t know the fucking sheer terror of it, the emasculating, horrifying, helpless feeling. Every instinct in your body tells you to just run and get behind some cover. You start trembling, sputtering. You can’t form sentences, let alone words. After being run up on by two strangers outside of Cabbagetown’s 97 Estoria in 2012, Daniel Scoogins, a.k.a. Cousin Dan, suffered a single bullet to the abdomen, but managed to walk away without any lasting injuries. Nearly five years later, the video for “Something in the Water” finds the eccentric electropop artist bouncing back from his traumatic experience like a white, ATLien version of Curtis Jackson (give or take about 8 other bullets).
“I was sitting on the couch, still in my hospital gown, and the gravity of everything hit me — ‘If this had been a fatal bullet, and I was dead, I’d be pretty disappointed with what I’d left behind for the world,'” Cousin Dan told the Huffington Post, who recently premiered the single version of the video. “I felt like I had a lot more to offer.”
In this particular case, those words take literal shape in the form of an extended version of the clip, which we’re excited to share with you today. If you’re wondering if an elongated take was necessary, we invite you to dive deep into the ’80s futuristic kitsch of this production. Just as absurdly alluring as Cousin Dan’s stage presence has been, here we have a video that matches the same liberating feeling we know he’s possessed all along, even before his haunting ordeal.
Directed and edited by Carl Janes, the 10-minute short film begins with Cousin Dan at home, speaking on the phone and hanging with a couple of video game obsessed friends. After passing out on the couch, he wakes up in the middle of the night outrageously thirsty, grabs a drink of water, and then crashes to bed. Given the title, you might be able to guess what happens next, but let’s just say that the visuals turn into something of a psychedelic fever dream populated by everything from a giant matchbox and gold idols to a topless mermaid and burning piano. Stringing together any kind of narrative is likely futile, but let’s applaud the visual efforts of this video, not only for the stylistic return of Cousin Dan, but also for the continuation of his wild imagination.
Cousin Dan will perform a FREE show on Mon., July 3 at 8 p.m. at the Secret Spot (538 Flat Shoals Avenue). Joining him will be fellow locals Goldyard.