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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Marilyn Manson's "The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles"

Back in January I bought Marilyn Manson's The Pale Emperor and uploaded the album to my iPod. For the past two weeks I've had "The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles" on repeat. I really like that song, especially the lines, "The past is over/Now the passive seems so pathetic" and "Lazarus got no dirt on me/Lazarus got no dirt on me/ I rise to every occasion..." I think the "I rise to every occasion" line is powerful. I can relate to "the past is over/now the passive seems so pathetic" well. I was going to post this song on Saturday for my blog party, but I forgot to.

On Monday, Manson posted on Instagram that he made a music video for "The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles" and it would be debuted that day, in the morning.

I love it. The video was directed by Francisco Carrozzinni and the Faustian narrator is Michael K. Williams of  Board Walk Empire. Of course, Manson takes on his Anti-Christ Superstar persona for this video and shows Catholic imagery in a dark light. However, the song is dark since Mephistopheles is a devil character in literature. It looks like Lazarus helped raise Jesus from the dead... which is interesting if you think about the song itself. The song has a lot of connotation and interesting imagery, which is why I like the song.

However, I really like the video. The beginning reminds me of an old Western right before the bad guy dies. In fact, the video at first reminded me of Sons of Anarchy. After William's character says, "I couldn't breathe. I almost said, 'God damn! ' He said, 'My son, it's not what you think... I'm the Mephistopheles of Los Angeles!'" and cuts into Manson acting as a Prophet trying to bring people to salvation. His followers soon meet the fatal side of faith. The question, "Are we fated, faithful, or fatal" are answered throughout the video, but "fatal" is the final answer. It's a philosophical question we should ask ourselves - are we here because of fate, what we believe in our faiths, and are those beliefs fatal? Will they harm ourselves and others?

After seeing the video, the song took on another meaning that what I picked up from the lyrics by listening on my iPod. Marilyn Manson lyrics. What do you think of the video?


  1. It reminds me of his stuff on Mechanical Animals. I haven't really listened to anything of his since Holy Wood (which I didn't really like...). I loved Portrait, it's still one of my fav albums of all time. It had that awesome gritty sound that he somehow never managed to achieve again. My friends and I were obsessed fans in high school. Manson put on one of the best live shows I've ever seen. And an obsession with Twiggy was what got me playing the bass. :)

    Sometimes I miss those days. And those brain cells.

    1. I wasn't really a fan of Holy Wood either. I became a fan in 2002, when I was 13. The Golden Age of Grotesque was meh, but I really like the Pale Emperor. It's not quite his pre-1998 days, but I like the style of Pale Emperor.

      Twiggy was always my favorite. I used to have a HUGE crush on him ten years ago. Next time Manson is in Philly, I'd like to see him. I haven't yet and the last time he was here back in January, I couldn't really afford to go. :(

      I hear you... sometimes I miss those days too.