Eric Wareheim: Awesome Videos, Great Job!
In anticipation of the upcoming live comedy show this Sunday at the Marquee Theatre featuring Adult Swim goofballs Tim & Eric, I feel I must bring to light the magnificent music video directing skills of Eric Wareheim (the nice young fellow on the right). Wareheim is the more musically inclined of the duo, playing in a handful of bands while living in Philadelphia. He has directed a handful of music videos, infusing his mind-numbing visual aesthetic into songs by Ben Folds and Phantom Planet, to name a few.
The videos are absolutely amazing and they restore my interest in both bands, whom I stopped caring about in 2002. I will feature the videos after the jump, with a brief explanation of why they are both brilliant and absolutely fucking hilarious.
Tim & Eric have gone through three mind-bending seasons of their hilarious Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, not to mention two seasons of their revolutionary cartoon Tom Goes To The Mayor. They have also released an album of their mostly hilarious, sometimes head-scratching songs, Awesome Records, Great Songs! The duo, who met while students at Philadelphia's Temple University, have become prolific comedy innovators, quickly gaining a cult following of both fans and celebrities. Living in Los Angeles has opened Wareheim up to the horde of musicians living there, and he has made fast friends with bands like The Bird and The Bee and Flying Lotus. Some of these bands, rather wisely, let Wareheim direct their music videos, and the result is a fantastic mix of good music and batshit crazy aesthetics. I only wish everyone would let Eric Wareheim direct their videos.
The Bird and The Bee - Polite Dance Song
A perfect starter video for those not familiar with Wareheim's comedic sensibility. It captures that cable access feel that Tim & Eric love to exploit on their show. I love how disinterested Inara looks as she sings. It's fantastic to see the musicians play along with Wareheim like that. Smoke and lights...who doesn't love that?
Ben Folds - You Don't Know Me (featuring Regina Spektor)
This video captures the domestic struggle that infatuates both Tim and Eric. They love to feature it in their show, and it puts a nice spin on gender roles in America. Both guys are anything but shy about dressing up in drag, and Wareheim makes for an especially bizarre female. I also love how Ben Folds joins in on the silly faces montage. I didn't know this song existed before I watched this video, and it's a pretty awesome song.
Phantom Planet - Dropped
Everyone loves silver flames and flip-glasses. This is quite possibly Wareheim's best work. Putting the band in green jumpsuits so you can display exploding fireworks on their bodies while they play may seem like a simple idea, but it's too deliciously amazing to take for granted. The couple in the video is a perfect example of Tim & Eric casting - odd looking individuals who love to be in front of the camera and will do pretty much anything. My favorite part is when Brenda (most likely her real name) tells Reggie to "stop with that hot dog mess." Genius. It's good to see Phantom Planet still making pretty decent music even after the departure of their original drummer, Jason Schwartzman (although he's gone on to a nice solo-career under the name Coconut Records). Miniature Tigers' newest on-loan member Darren looks great, too.
MGMT - The Youth
Yeah, Wareheim managed to make a song by MGMT seem fun and pretty cool. Notice the abuse of the soft lens...a trademark in Wareheim's bizarre aesthetic sensibility. The choreographed dancing is purposely awful, and it's made all the more so by that tacky sequin abuse. I just wish I could now sit and listen to a whole MGMT song...but I can't.
Dance Floor Dale (set to the track "Parisian Goldfish" by Flying Lotus)
I didn't write the following warning, but it's no joke. Totally NSFW. You've been warned.
This video below contains some explicit cartoon scenes, flashing lights and is FOR OVER 18's ONLY.
Tim and Eric have made friends with the LA-based Flying Lotus, né Stephen Ellison, and he let them create this Dance Floor Dale phenomenon set to the tune of "Parisian Goldfish" off of Ellison's 2008 album Los Angeles. Words can't really describe what this video is, but the song is fucking amazing and it's pretty unnerving to think one man thought of this idea in his head. Is it a bit over the top? Perhaps. Is it provocative and unsettling? Most definitely, and that is usually Wareheim's main objective.
For more Tim & Eric videos, check out this page. I suggest anything with Dr. Steve Brule in it.
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