Video Round Up: Playboy Manbaby, Jane N’ The Jungle, Foresteater and More

Mixing new videos for some older songs and some brand new songs with videos in tow. Unlike the last roundup, which was basically catching up on two months of video releases, this is ten videos all from the last few weeks. I highly recommend checking out all of these bands outside of the video realm by checking in to their records and live shows.


Photo by Ris Marek

Playboy Manbaby – “Cheap Wine”

I like that the series of videos coming out of Playboy Manbaby’s monumental Don’t Let It Be seem to pay homage to the comedic value of cross dressing in the same loving way British comedy utilizes it. “Cheap Wine” is the latest in this series and it’s simply fantastic. It feels like Playboy Manbaby is playing beach blanket bingo with “Cheap Wine” about the joys of being poor and drunk with the chorus of “I don’t wanna’ waste my time, I’d rather get wasted and say I’m fine.” At the base of it the song is fantastic surf tinged pop, with an underlying current about just how shitty it is to face adulthood at any age really. It is also complete satire about the damned who think they can drink their problems away without facing themselves or their reality. Pfeffer delivers the vocal so you can relate, but also so that you can maybe think about what he’s saying with a wink and a grin.  The video, with a visually peculiar nod to Nancy Sinatra is simply a riot.


Jane N’ The Jungle – “Faded Stars”

Jane N’ The Jungle put out one of my favorite EPs of last year and while I love the whole thing, “Walking Cleopatra” and “Faded Stars” have long been the songs that stole my heart and kept me coming back to their shows. With “Faded Stars” they make a nod to whatever night of the week they’re playing on, while on the record and here it’s Saturday night. I’m happy to admit that I’ve completed “Faded Stars” bingo recently and that means at some point over the last year I’ve caught JNTJ at least once every night o f the week. It’s a mid tempo rocker like “Walking Cleopatra” and that’s the speed at which they make their biggest impact with liberal showings of their collective talent. The video takes a minimalist approach, that is both hypnotizing and looks like it may have been a hell of a lot of fun to make.


Foresteater – “Very Friendly People”

One of the key thematic tracks of Foresteater’s concept EP from last year Nightlife of the Exploding Heads was “Very Friendly People.” It’s become a fan favorite, which seemed to be a surprise to Foresteater’s main man Mikey Pro, but with the perfect hook and flawless vocals what can you expect. With good reason they made it into their first actual video and if you didn’t catch the drift of the song lyrically, just watch the video as the song is enacted. If memory serves me correct, this is Coach Taylor’s first outing as co-director for a music video and I’d encourage him to get down to doing more of this. He may want to start by doing videos for the remaining songs of the EP, because it would make a pretty awesome set of visual stories as a companion to one of the best records of last year.


Paper Foxes – “Indica Feels”

When Paper Foxes released last year’s Strawberry Lashes, they introduced their re-imagined sound and had finally solidified their lineup, coming off with a fine blend of darkwave and post punk. “Indica Feels” maintains the signature fast and steady guitars with pounding drums, while adding more than a hint of Peter Murphy/Bauhaus in this mix. Patro Gaston’s synths absolutely make this song shine and come alive. It’s one of their finest tunes and it’s not difficult to understand why it was originally released as a single over a year ago. It’s also not unreasonable that it would serve as the perfect subject of their first video. Christopher Jacobson provides one of my favorite lead vocals and is found here wearing a fetchingly ironic “D.A.R.E.” shirt. This video is every bit as brilliant an trippy as the song, but I must say once more it’s nothing like any Indica I’ve known before.


Divided Minds – “Take My Hand”

Last year’s Perception EP by Divided Minds has spawned a few singles. “Take My Hand” is the newest one to get the video treatment. Jacob Reynolds directs  a video designed to tell the story of a summer romance doomed to the inevitable future of a bad breakup. This was the inspiration behind the song and it’s conveyed pretty well visually between shots of the band playing the song in a garage, like they probably did countless times before getting it on the record. The song has been one of my favorites by the band since last Spring and it’s great to see it get new life with this clip. Divided Minds has some of the most excitable, instantly memorable pop punk tunes in the Valley right now and I hope they are letting their energy loose on the world beyond Arizona. They may be young, but they’ve got the chops, the time and the talent to make sure a lot more people outside of this local scene have their songs buzzing in their heads for days.


Celebration Guns – “(Probably) Worth It”

Celebration Guns are a musicians band and it seems that it’s musicians and maybe people who write about music all damn day that are their most ardent fans. “(Probably) Worth It” is their first new song in a year and it seems long overdue, but they have been vetting a new drummer in their lineup. This crew is a perfectionist lot, so I’ve learned to be patient, but hopeful. The song itself is about playing in a band, which makes the hesitant title of the tune all the more amusing. This is the first tune to see the light of day from their forthcoming full album release later this year. I’ve wanted a full album from these guys since the start, because their music is aligned with my nervous system in such a way that I want to lose myself into a forty to fifty minute headphone experience with them at the reins. Check out the video and dig on the song.


Charles Ellsworth – “Growing Up Ain’t Easy”

A month or so ago I was having something of a nervous breakdown at work when Charles Ellsworth sent me his new album Cesaréa and it immediately corrected everything in my soul to get through the day. It was better than a B-12 shot in the arm. Ellsworth is local in the sense that he was raised in Arizona, but has made a life out of wandering America slinging a guitar as he goes. This is the third track on the album (more about that coming soon) and it’s one of the finest. The first listen I had to repeat this one a few times before moving on to the rest of the album. There’s a dark brooding guitar at work here, a dangerous rock vibe and Ellsworth’s vocal mixes gravel and gold, for a softly vicious experience. He has a magic tone that finds a sweet spot in my ear and what’s more is he finds that target in every song on the album. Be sure to check out Cesaréa when it’s release this Friday, May 26th!


Cori Rios – “I’m Sorry”

Someday I imagine there will be great debates in college kitchens everywhere over whether Cori Rios’ solo work is better than his work with The Hourglass Cats. I mean that’s the kind of shit I’d debate, drunk, in a random kitchen at 2am in college. I suppose the comparison is silly, but it seems to me that Rios creates a different vibe in his solo outings. There’s a far more introspective, heartfelt an reflective aspect to his solo releases, whereas The Hourglass Cats are more of a non-stop party bus. They’re both equally cool, simply two different sides of this very talented singer/songwriter. “I’m Sorry” is a fine example of this, where Rios is clearly revisiting a past relationship and ruminating on its demise and the implications thereof. This wouldn’t really fit in next to “Yoga Butt” if you know what I mean. The video is pretty awesome as it shows our hero struggling with the demons of memory. As visually potent as it is emotionally moving.


W.A.S.H. – “This Booty” (Featuring Sam Tha One & Magikal)

W.A.S.H. just released their debut EP last weekend at Shady Park and the first track on that four track dance party is “This Booty” with Sam Tha One and Magikal on hand to push the whole thing over the edge. If you are unfamiliar with W.A.S.H., then you may want to acquaint yourself with the work of Ducky and Puddles. These two bad ducks have been putting out mad dance singles for nearly two years now and they spend their time obsessing over the most outrageous things possible while leaving political correctness far behind. It’s a pretty magical time when those ducks are in the house and you can get that idea by watching the video. By the way, this is how every party with W.A.S.H turns out, they just happened to have a camera crew handy for this one. I cannot recommend the new record enough if you want an amazing array of debaucherous dance music.


HotRock Supajoint – “No StressN” (Featuring Blaze)

I like to finish my video round ups with a Supajoint, because if you save it to the end you can more shit done with your day. Also, Supajoint keeps making these hilarious fucking videos that I always try to watch at work so I’m spitting my coffee on monitors I don’t have to pay to replace.  This is another number from the recently released “Bitchez Love Mixtapes”, which everyone reading should own by now. If not, please go check that shit out immediately. Here Supajoint very nearly approaches sensitive Drake like shit, but mostly it’s about light up with a woman. There are so many brilliant comedic moments in the video, whether it’s Supajoint fully dressed in a bubble bath or every time Blaze appears. The point is, this is all for fun and you don’t need to be StressN unless you want to go way out of your to do so. In the words of Supajoint, “Stay high homies.”