First of all, Tom Scharpling of The Best Show on WFMU fame is the best music video director ever. Yes, even better than whoever made the video for Michael and Janet Jackson’s "Scream." (What, that isn’t the bar at which you base the entertainment value of all things?) In recent years he’s been responsible for clips for Ted Leo and the Pharmacists’ “Bottled in Cork,”The New Pornographers’ “Moves,” and Wild Flag’s “Romance.” Naturally, Aimee Mann tapped the auteur to direct the video for “Labrador,” the second single off her new album, TK.
Scharpling directed the previous video for “Charmer,” with Laura Linney as an Aimee Mann imposter. For “Labrador,” Scharpling spoofs the video for Mann’s old band ‘Til Tuesday’s classic weeper, “Voices Carry,” and features funny people like Jon Hamm as Scharpling, Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster as an actor who gives it his all, whether it be a music video or the new Stanley Klubrick flick, and a cameo from Ted Leo. Scharpling and Mann have proven again that music videos are BACK. Take that, Hype Williams.
Check out the video for “Labrador” and the original clip for “Voices Carry” below.
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Rock star Ted Leo keeps pretty busy as the frontman for Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, but occasionally he reveals how truly eclectic his tastes are. He’s self-released a few awesome covers through the last few years on the internet (I recommend taking the time to listen to his cover of Concrete Blonde’s "Joey," in which he gives Johnette Napolitano a run for her money). This morning, Leo shared two new songs via his Twitter account: covers of Donovan’s "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" and Claude “Curly” Putman Jr.’s “Green Green Grass of Home.”
A producer at Radiolab emailed me asking if I’d contribute two songs dealing with “color” in some way, for a show they were doing on the theme. I spent some time learning and recording the songs I chose and sent them along. I was told they sounded “great,” and then never heard anything else about it. The show aired this past week with many songs from other musicians, but without mine, which I only realized by listening to the show, as I am generally a fan, and listen often. Fan or not, though, I thought this was kind of shabby.
He later tweeted that he didn’t mean to cause any fights with Radiolab. But really, let’s just be glad he made the tracks available for us online. Not bad news for a Monday morning, you guys. Listen to the songs below.