“Dayzed Inn Daydreams,” Ariel Pink’s newest single and video off of 2014’s pom pom, is another intimate and peculiar look into someone’s life. Grant Singer directed it, and he worked on Ariel Pink’s other videos for “Put Your Number in My Phone” as well as “Picture Me Gone.” Singer is a Los Angeles filmmaker and has also done extensive video work for Sky Ferreira, DIIV, and Little Dragon. The music video features Rick Wilder of the 70s punk band The Mau-Mau’s as well as the Berlin Brats. The video explores the life of someone whose primetime on stage has long surpassed him and what his daily existence tells us.
Wilder plays an extremely skinny, anemic-looking elderly man past his prime days in the spotlight. However, Wilder doesn’t let his current situation and happenstance stop him from living out his punk fantasies. We see Wilder wake up in a trailer park, after sleeping on a couch, and take a beer from the fridge. His pale, blotchy, decrepit body, his thinned-out hair, and his sunken-in cheeks tell us that this is someone who has lived his life to his fullest without remorse.
Singer captures this intimate portrayal of someone nearing the end of his life, but not in a depressing tone. It’s simply a day in the life, free of ridicule or sappiness. It fits perfectly with the song’s lyrics and message: “The picture’s gone / but the memory lingers on.” It’s triumphantly based in the past, with a dismal, yet realistic view of the future. It’s about someone who has lived out his greatest wishes in life, and there’s nothing else new he’d care to achieve. “I used to dream / dream awake / hide in the dark / fade into gray.” Wilder’s character isn’t fading into oblivion, nor is he collapsing into some dark pit, he’s simply fading into gray and dying like the rest of the normal world.
Throughout the video, Wilder wears his punk bracelets, dresses in sequins, wears silver alligator-skin pants, he smokes, and there’s even a scene where he performs karaoke-style at a bar of about ten people, but you can tell he’s performing with that same passion and fire he did decades before. The lowest moments of his daily life happen when he’s working at a local grocery store, re-stocking shelves, wearing a ridiculous ill-fitting uniform, and cleaning up after other people’s messes. He even gets harassed by a group of teenagers on his lunch break, but still remains unperturbed by others around him. He also goes to a retirement home and holds the hand of some wheelchair-bound woman, who may potentially be his mother or a past partner or friend of some sort. She seems to not recognize Wilder, and he looks upset by this reality.
The video ends when a young teenage girl, wearing flannel, approaches Wilder outside his trailer home. She asks to bum a cigarette from him, and he asks her name. She responds, “Angel,” to which he cleverly and bluntly says, “I need an angel.” The video and song both point towards a story about a leading front-man of a band that is gone in the distant past. Ariel Pink sums up this story with these lyrics: “The story ends untold / my will survives / in a thousands future lives / and with that / I bid adieu.”