Chiara Angelicola, the singer-songwriter behind the grunge-pop band Motel Pools, grew up in the suburbs of Marin County, and, well, she hated it.
“There is so much I can remember from my youth about that suburban, domestic experience,” she says. “The private Catholic school upbringing, the narrow-minded conversations at friends’ dinner tables, the competitive sports, the teasing, the mean girls, the tipsy family friends, sneaking alcohol from my parent’s liquor cabinet, AOL chatrooms, Lunchables, Capri Suns, and the very palpable societal expectation that one had to be and look great at all times.”
In Motel Pools’ new music video for its song called — you guessed it! — “Suburbia,” Angelicola returns to her hometown to freak the shit out of meek housewives and unsuspecting passersby. Wearing a neon green wig and the shiniest black patent leather jacket known to man, Angelicola parades through Marin County, yelling obscenities through a bullhorn and belting her heart out in a local supermarket.
The song itself is a mellow, droning jam filled with raw guitar chords and monotonous drumming that really capture the whole droll suburban vibe. And even Angelicola’s voice — which reminds one of Courtney Love’s, albeit a bit more polished — is languid with a sun-baked quality to it.
The video ends with a rather dark shot of a housewife at the end of her rope. She crops up in earlier scenes in the video, lounging by the pool and inching her sunglasses down her nose to get a glimpse of Angelicola, but in the final scene, well, she’s a whole other woman. Balled up in a corner, the housewife cries as she inhales from a pipe ostensibly filled with some type of drug that will help her escape the cloying confines of her suburban life.
It’s dark, but it’s mainly funny, just like Angelicola’s green wig, and the whole video does a great job of parodying suburbia without going too overboard.
But perhaps the most bizarre twist to both the video and the song is the fact that Angelicola, now in her 30s, has moved back to the suburbs.
“There’s something really satisfying about driving to a mall to get my nails done, or running into neighbors in the Safeway parking lot,” she says. “Maybe it’s the creature comforts of my youth haunting me?”
Catch Motel Pools before they, too, get lost in suburbia at 9:30 p.m., on Friday, Sept. 9, at Neck of The Woods. More info here.