There are a lot of videos coming out of Austin these days, so we’ve decided to make life easier for you by compiling some of the most notable into a recurring feature called Out of Focus.
Holiday Mountain- “Cómo Te Llamas (feat. Mexican Institute of Sound)”
If you’re going to emulate someone’s entire visual and sonic aesthetic, you could do a lot worse than Major Lazer. In their new video single “Cómo Te Llamas,” local party pranksters Holiday Mountain throw the Major Lazer classics “Pon de Floor” and “Bubble Butt” into a blender and come out with some new monstrosity of danceable weirdness. The action takes place in a dance class instead of a trippy funhouse or hip warehouse guarded by a giant ass fetishist, but everything from the costumes to the random enlargment of various body parts recalls director Eric Wareheim’s trademark style. Longtime Holiday Mountain collaborator Brittany Reeber still makes the video her own, though, particularly with the choreography and the frequent reverse drag and androgyny moments and all the deliberate use of watermarked stock imagery. The only thing that brings it all to a brief, screeching halt for me is the lyric “You my R. Kelly/And I could be your Aaliyah,” which comes across as particularly creepy with the video’s occasional images of glammed up kids, but that’s a longer conversation for a different time.
Big Bill- “Mainly Manly”
Speaking of trippy androgyny, Big Bill has it in surplus in their new video for “Mainly Manly” (the single of which we premiered a bit ago). Directed by veteran Big Bill chronicler T.W. Bond in his usual otherworldy style, “Mainly Manly” is structured as a Bill-ian fairy tale, following Annecy Lidell’s Tin Man on his way to a tea party. Or maybe it’s less fairy tale and more Odyssey, as the Tin Man gets distracted along the way by everything from sirens (played by Sailor Poon) to drug slinging hooligans (including Vampyre’s Bryan Davis). The video mixes and matches elements of Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz and The Odyssey at its leisure, but it really just all builds to the further development of the myth of Big Bill. Big Bill aren’t the only local band with such a distinct and developed aesthetic, but few groups locally or nationally have been able to maintain that aesthetic as well as Big Bill and T.W. Bond have.
Eyelid Kid- “Landscape”
In a different kind of weird, The Flash actress Violett Beane directs and stars in Eyelid Kid’s decidedly freaky new video “Landscape.” I can’t say that I ever expected bedroom popster Eyelid Kid to be involved with a VHS-esque horror clip, but aesthetic shock aside, Beane’s direction is solid and haunting, with excellent pacing and framing and expert use of limited lighting (apparently accomplished via a flashlight duct taped to the camera). Eyelid Kid’s stage dancers Morgan and Mackenzie Taylor arguably steal the show, though, with their climactic performance as two creepy dolls who come to life and show off a coordinated dance routine in front of a shocked Kid. I don’t know when Beane will make her feature length directorial debut, but I’m hoping it’s soon.
Nick Hanover got his degree from Disneyland, but he’s the last of the secret agents and he’s your man. Which is to say you can find his particular style of espionage here at Ovrld as well as Loser City, where he mostly writes about comics. You can also flip through his archives at Comics Bulletin, which he is formerly the Co-Managing Editor of, and Spectrum Culture, where he contributed literally hundreds of pieces for a few years. Or if you feel particularly adventurous, you can always witness his odd .gif battles with his friends and enemies on twitter: @Nick_Hanover