Treasure Mammal Outlines a Classy Date: Sizzler, Crystal Pepsi, and Planned Parenthood
The reports of the romance's death have been greatly exaggerated.
That's what we're taking away from the video for "Dream Girl," from Phoenix's Treasure Mammal. A standout song from his excellent Checkognize, the track has a silky, '90s R&B groove and characteristically outlandish lyrics from songwriter Abelardo Gil III.
The video, which stars Gil on a date with his wig-sporting bandmate, Daniel Funkhouser, is as hilarious as the song, which features lyrics like "I want to be all over you like British Petroleum-- but that's too soon."
"As far as the date goes, I'm a classy guy, so I took her out to Sizzler like any gentlemen would," Gil says. "I just haven't seen a woman eat so much fried shrimp in one sitting in my whole life."
Learn more about "Dream Girl" after the jump.
Up on the Sun: Tell us about the song itself. What inspired it?
Abelardo Gil III: Well, I'm an educator by day and a wild man at night, and I'm sick of playing the field, you know? I'm looking for the goddess out there, and I think with this song I can reel her in. I guess the inspiration for this song is my never-ending quest for love in this dark and cruel world.
The lyrics are really something. What is your favorite line?
AG: It would probably be the "my love for you will spread like the bubonic plague" line. I like the comparison of two concepts that are totally polar opposites from each other, but at the same time they are very similar when put next to each other.
Describe the production process for the "Dream Girl" video.
Daniel Funkhouser: We started with a basic story premise and just began filming scenes around it. Most shots weren't planned; we would just get a bunch of different angles and ideas down. After a day of shooting, I'd take the raw footage home and start editing the good and dumping the bad. After each round of editing, it would lead to new ideas or demand re-shoots for the next filming session and the cycle repeated.
In that way, the narrative slowly shaped itself with each progressive shoot. It wasn't the most efficient way to do it, but I like leaving a lot of flexibility when working on a project. It led to a few more surprises and different directions than if we'd story boarded the whole thing from the start.
I also wanted to include some footage from a live performance because it's such a big part of the Treasure Mammal experience. I handed my camera off during one of our shows at the Trunk Space (to impromptu camera girls Zoe Clang and Emily Rader) who did a great job capturing a variety of scenes for me to work with while editing. Tell us a little bit about the fine lady in the video. Would you say the date was a success?
AG: I call the fine lady in the video my diamond, because I can't afford real diamonds, but she's so precious to me, I like to call her diamond. Diamond did tell me over the phone before the date that her measurements were 36-24-36, and that was a little bit of a lie, but she was firm as hell so I didn't mind.
As far as the date goes, I'm a classy guy so I took her out to Sizzler like any gentlemen would. I just haven't seen a woman eat so much fried shrimp in one sitting in my whole life. I also, broke into my old 2 -iter bottle of Crystal Pepsi that I have had in my shed since 1992. But, if there was a special night to break out the Crystal Pepsi, this was it. After all, we ended up at Planned Parenthood the next morning so we could get the day after pill for Diamond...so I don't know if you could call the date a success, but it was definitely an experience.
Abelardo, was there a particular cowboy you were modeling your look after? AG: I was going for that Brokeback Mountain look, ya know.
Daniel- what was your experience like pulling double duty with acting and directing?
DF: We shot most of "Dream Girl" with the same digital camera I use for my own art photography and self portraits. This was my first time making a video, but I'm used to going back and forth on both sides of the camera. It made it really easy (and fun) to take a shot then run over and immediately see the results or fix a problem. Setting up the lighting and getting dressed between takes was time consuming, though.
What's up with Michael Jordan/the Christmas tree/the unicorn/the wizard/etc? DF: There's a bunch of personal items and references to our live shows throughout the video. People who've seen us perform will recognize the Wizard, Randal the unicorn, and props like the Shake Weights. But the main location for the video was Abe's house where a lot of his personality came through -- weird '90s basketball kitsch or Spandex wearing Christmas tree toppers and the like. Despite all the adjustments to the set and lighting for filming, I thought it was great leaving those small details in. They're all ingredients that helped shape how Abe makes his music.
AG: I put the "boom" in "boom shaka laka." It's the way I live, America!
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