Summer is finally ending, and the local music scene is ready for the temperature change with some cool new music video releases. Phoenix favorites like decker., MysticBlu, Red Tank!, No Volcano, and Pro Teens are bursting into fall with new multimedia material. Each of the videos by these five different artists or acts definitely have their own distinct flavor that goes in line with the direction of the band which produced it. At the same time, however, all four videos just feel like Phoenix. Let's have a look at each of their audio-visual offerings.
“Patsy” by decker.
Decker. has been on the road almost constantly since the band's album release party in February, but Brandon Decker has managed to find time to produce a high-concept video for “Patsy” with the help of his college roommate, the renowned Matty Steinkamp of Sundawg Media. This is the second collaboration between Decker and Steinkamp for videos from Patsy, the first being the country-esque “ODB.” For the title track, the band employees less of a country sound and delves deeper into the psychedelic desert folk that is decker's trademark. The video is creepy, playing out in the style of the videotaped collection of images in The Ring, with the seemingly random clips of small children, a fighting couple, and a shadowy female figure on a diving board. The video encompasses the dramatic aspects of decker.’s music and remains as abstract as the concept behind the album. JEFF MOSES
“You Don’t Wanna See Me” by MysticBlu
Let’s say an artist moves to the Valley and just happens to start performing under the moniker of MysticBlu. No problem, right? Well, the trouble is, there’s already another artist around these parts by the same nom de guerre who’s been making music here for awhile and she didn’t like the fact that the new arrival had adopted the same name — not one bit. Hence the setup for the music video for the “You Don’t Wanna See Me,” which serves as the OG MysticBlu’s response to said interloper and features her going full-on anarchist by adopting the Joker's persona to put the pretender on blast.
In the video, directed by Negro Tarantino, the original MysticBlu dons the makeup and attitude of the Batman villain (the Heath Ledger version, that is) and raps maniacally into the camera while what one must assume is an avatar for the impostor is tied to a chair behind her. It makes for a great concept video, to be certain. MysticBlu often has been known more for her R&B-infused music, but on this one she represents hardcore hip-hop extraordinarily well. JEFF MOSES
No Volcano by “The Long Game”
No Volcano continues to push the envelope both musically and in the new video for their song, “The Long Game” off of their amazing first record, Who Saved the Party (Onus Records). It’s the result of a collaboration between the Phoenix-based band and two local artists, frequent New Times contributor Troy Farah and Dena Johnson, which has proven to be a fruitful and slightly twisted partnership of sight and sound for the viewer. This was the second time No Volcano had worked with Farah, who put together their video for “New York Drugstore,” which is also on their debut disc.
According to singer/guitar player Jim Andreas, the band was excited to work with the pair. “On this video [Troy] worked with a good friend of mine [Johnson]. She does shadow puppets and I really wanted to incorporate that into a video,” shared Andreas. The longtime valley frontman (formerly of Trunk Federation and Letdownright) went on to explain how “The Long Game” is loosely based on the idea of con job, which works very well with the dark themes intertwined in the video: Fake nature, danger, and no plausible escape from the inevitable.
No Volcano will be part of a show at Last Exit Live on Saturday, September 19, featuring other Onus-affiliated acts, including Banana Gun, Field Tripp, and others. A local compilation entitled Sound Explosion that commemorates the event will be available on the night of the show from Onus. TOM REARDON
“Post Apocalyptic Nostalgia” by Red Tank!
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The last remaining original member of Tempe-based punk outfit Red Tank!, frontman Clipper “Danger” Arnold, keeps the band's signature attitude in the mix. But for the group's latest video (from their early-summer release I Want You to Crowd Surf My Body at My Funeral), Clipper and bandmates shed the punk attitude and for a feel-good vibe. In the video, the band takes a trip to the woods to act weird together and be friendly. It plays on the nostalgia in the song title and evokes memories of that one day when you went to the middle of nowhere with your besties to act with each other how you could never act with anyone else. It’s a happy-to-be-alive video, and it makes sense because Red Tank! has to be pretty happy to be alive, thriving, and preparing for what should be a big year ahead of them. JEFF MOSES
“Control" by Pro Teens
From what I can tell, Andy Phipps of Pro Teens is a strange guy, and his band's newest video only reinforced the idea. For “Control,” Phipps was filmed on a shopping excursion at Target, where he sang into the camera and acted erratically. Perhaps the concept indicates that Andy isn’t exactly in control. It’s a dreamy tune, like much of Pro Teens' music, and the video could easily represent Phipps' desire to take a dream stroll around a department store. JEFF MOSES