Dave Van Ronk, it's Video Vriday! Videos on any other day of the week would be unthinkable. This week delivered a big bounty of Portland vids, so let's dive in...
We're pleased to premiere the ambitious new video from Rafael Vigilantics, for his "Frantic Night" track from the album The Spade Tapes (and featuring Rebecca Tafline on the chorus hook). The Portland-based emcee stars in this remarkable space odyssey, looking lovingly low-tech in its style, but certainly not low-tech in execution. In fact, I'm not sure how they pulled this off. (Models? Wire work? Green screen? I know nothing about filmmaking.) Depicting Raf on an astral quest for his lady love, it features a spaceship, strange other worlds, even stranger beings, and an intergalactic dance party.
Here's the great new video for Blitzen Trapper's "Thirsty Man," directed by the one-and-only Robbie Augspurger (Wolf Choir, Ozarks) and featuring not just one but two awesome red novelty telephones. This track comes from BT's latest, VII, an album whose marriage of BT's established folk-rock skills and bedroom-hiphop loops and beats felt uneasy to me upon first listen, but makes perfect sense in this wild, surreal, noir tale. Blitzen Trapper plays on Monday at the Secret Society, headlining a benefit show for Denver's Tom Bevitori that's already sold out.
Nick Jaina apparently wrote "Don't Come to Me" from the point of view of an unpopular politician. The track comes from his marvelous (and perhaps a little slept-on) 2013 album Primary Perception, and for the video, Jaina teamed up with choreographer Candace Bouchard from Oregon Ballet Theater and director Seth Whelden from local production company STNDRD. Jaina says, "I've been working on composing music for ballet over the last few years, and there is not a better feeling than making music that people dance to, in any style or context. I asked [Bouchard] if she would humor watching me dance at a club and offering some direction on which moves worked. I also asked her to choreograph a routine for some real ballet dancers. The idea was that I would come in with my untrained moves and disrupt this beautiful thing they created, but in the process maybe I could suggest in them some autonomy. I mostly am wary of musicians acting in music videos. We've all probably spent too many hours watching musicians try to act. So why not just try to dance instead? At least the results, if not professional, would perhaps be endearing in their awkwardness." Awkward, perhaps, and pretty wonderful.
More Vriday after the jump, including Love Cop, Red Fang, Anne, Wampire, XDS, and Bitch Media's fundraising video!
Love Cop's new NSFW video for "Haunt My Heart" (it features a harmless shower scene and a bong rip or two) tells the tender tale of a happy, three-way romance between a tattooed gal and two ghosts. Who says you have to be alive to love? Not Love Cop. This video, directed by Chill Phil, comes from a track from Love Cop's latest, 2 True/2 Real, on Gnar Tapes/Burger Records.
Don't go anywhere to peep this one: It just wouldn't feel like the holidays without a new Whitey McConnaughy-directed video for Red Fang. This clip for the Whales and Leeches rocker stars Portlandia's Fred Armisen, an army of zombies, and, naturally, case upon case of PBR (Tecate also earns a nomination as best supporting beer). Filmed at the B-Side Tavern and other Portland locations, and featuring plenty of blood and guts (and beer), this is everything you could want from a music video. Bassist Aaron Beam says, "The content... is completely unrelated to the lyrical content of the song. This song is about the stress of balancing a touring lifestyle with having a family back home, but who wants to see a video about that? BORING! Instead, we have a video featuring lots of blood, beer, and exercise—some of us did more running in this video that we’ve done the whole year to date. Also, Fred Armisen... really steals the show. I thought I was a bad actor before, but after working with him, I see I cannot even qualify for such a high distinction as ‘bad.’" Red Fang play the Wonder Ballroom on Friday, December 27.
Anne's new video is just like that part in Godley & Creme's video for "Cry" (or, Michael Jackson's "Black or White," if your history doesn't go back that far), except that instead of a bunch of faces morphing into each other, it's just... one face. David Lindell's mug is onscreen for all of "Blonde Men," a track from Anne's first full-length, Pulling Chain, which comes out on Run for Cover Records on March 4. No actual blonde men were hurt in the making of this video.
Wampire have another fine new video, this one for "Giants," off this year's Curiosity album. Starring Patrick Dunnam and Charlene Cohen, it fulfills your daily quotient of barechested men banging on drums and women dancing on the sand. Director David Fine says, "We had a Sony F55 on loan for a day and wanted to make a music video while we had it. The concept for the video was simple: a guy with no shirt on is yelling at a girl. Surrounding that simple idea we created a story about a relationship in peril. I hope it's funny and a bit disturbing." Wampire just played the Crystal Ballroom last night, opening for Portugal. The Man; not sure when their next hometown show will be.
If "MNT Wishes" is a demo, XDS went ahead and made a video for it anyway. With lots of found footage and clips of the band pounding in action, it's a woozily weird headtrip, perfectly suited for XDS's exploratory sound. I don't believe this song isn't finished. At any rate, XDS perform next week at Mississippi Studios on Wednesday, December 18, sharing a bill with Sun Angle and Summer Cannibals.
We'll end today with a very silly, fun video from our good friends over at Bitch Media. Made by Dawn Jones of Heart + Sparks Productions and featuring music act A Severe Joy (AKA José Ayerve, from the other Portland), this depicts Ayerve running riot through the Bitch Media offices (yes, that's former Mercury staffer and current Bitch Media Online Editor Sarah Mirk in there). It's part of Bitch's annual fundraiser, and you should go here and read and learn lots about it. The reader-supported nonprofit is hoping to reach their much-needed goal of $30,000 by the end of the year, and you can help.