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Posts Tagged ‘music videos’

According to Paul Simon, the song’s inspiration came from a party he hosted:

Simon explained how he and his wife Peggy were having a party for some rock ‘n roll musicians. Simon had invited a friend who was fellow composer and Pierre Boulez, legendary French composer whom his friend was accompanying, to the party. After twenty minutes, Simon’s friend approached him, saying that Boulez wished to leave. According to Simon, in their goodbyes, Boulez said, “Sorry I have to leave, Al, and give my best to Betty.”

Also supposedly, this is the second video made for the song. Simon didn’t like the first one (a performance he did while hosting Saturday Night Live), so Lorne Michaels suggested this second version.

I’ve always been fond of it, although looking at it now, I can’t help but see the cracks. Why isn’t the camera more stationary throughout? And the framing’s thoroughly weak. (Look, for instance, at how high Chevy Chase’s head is in the frame 1:08–1:40.) But that’s also part of the 1980s charm, I guess; today it would be super-slick. And it’s such a great concept that the technical flaws don’t seriously detract.

It’s above all “very late 80s.” It was directed by Gary Weis, who seems to have made music videos only in 1986 and 1987. He shot a somewhat similar promo for George Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set on You”:

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So if you go here, you can click on a link that takes you here.

This will be important in the future, as I’m making more videos.

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In 2008, David and Alicia asked me to make another video for them, for their song “Building Bridges.” This time, I decided to be more spontaneous.

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David McHone-Chase was one of the first people I met after moving to Bloomington-Normal (in July 2000). I had gone around town hanging up flyers with a picture of John Cage, looking for others who’d be interested in forming a noise band. David called me. Alas, the day before, I’d been hit by a car while biking, and broken both my arms. (This is true.)

David and I eventually did form a band—three of them, in fact. One of those bands, which included Tim Feeney, eventually somehow became Theory of Brides when Alicia Halm joined as its vocalist. Later, David and Alicia formed the duo Oh, Alchemy.

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After finishing the two Mecca Normal videos, I emailed Jamie Stewart, asking if I could direct a video for his band Xiu Xiu. He said sure, and sent me a copy of “Mousey Toy,” from their then-forthcoming album La Forêt (5 Rue Christine, 2005).

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Happily, Jean and David liked “No Mind’s Eye,” and asked if I’d make a video for their longer song “In January.” (A shorter version had appeared on The Family Swan; the extended version was released on their 2003 album Janis Zeppelin.) I agreed, unsure of what I was getting into.

In April 2003 I moved to Bangkok, Thailand …

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I don’t talk much about it these days, but I used to direct music videos. Some of them are up at YouTube. Maybe in the coming days I’ll see about putting the others up. In the meantime, here’s the first one I ever made, a collaboration with my pal Elf. We made it for Mecca Normal in January 2003:

The song’s from their album “The Family Swan.”

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