Out of Focus: Troller, Whiskey Shivers and More

by Nick Hanover

Out of Focus

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

Troller “Nothing”

Thanks to the documentary of the same name, we now have a fairly good idea what Jodorowsky’s Dune would have looked like, but Melissa Cha’s video for Troller’s nightmare pop single “Nothing” has me far more curious about what that director’s Alien would have looked like. Seemingly taking inspiration not just from Jodorowsky’s film aesthetic but also his comics material, such as The Incal and Metabarons, “Nothing” is a beautifully unsettling work forcing us to take a front seat for an alien birthing ritual. Cha’s videos for Troller have been consistently excellent but “Nothing” is perhaps the best marriage yet of Troller’s sound and Cha’s vision, the pristine backdrops and imaginative costumes drawing out the subtle splendor of Troller’s style while the beautiful agony of the sacrificial mother brings out new emotional depths in Amber Star-Goers vocal performance. Now if we can just get Cha, Troller and Jodorowsky in a room together and give them a Valerian-level budget.

Troller will be DJing at Barrel O’ Fun this Thursday, September 7th, with Thousand Foot Whale Claw and Jonas Reinhardt doing sets. Holodeck Records will also be doing a music video showcase as part of the Austin Music Video Festival next Thursday, September 14th at North Door.

Whiskey Shivers “Cluck Ol’ Hen”

Remember that Kids in the Hall character The Chicken Lady? It was funny, sure, but also deeply disturbing and every time it popped up I couldn’t help but go down some nightmare inducing thought spiral, pondering how the Chicken Lady ever came into being in the first place and why. So fuck John Valley for making me relive all that with his video for Whiskey Shivers’ “Cluck Ol’ Hen,” with its focus on another chicken human. What’s worse is that this time the chicken person in question is trapped in a Black Snake Moan situation, locked up by some creepy dude who has people pay to come take a peek. And where the Kids in the Hall kept the secret origin of the Chicken Lady a little more guarded, Valley makes it absolutely clear this chicken person is the rest of some good ol’ fashioned bestiality. Somehow, things only get more fucked up after that revelation.

Director John Valley will have his work screened next week as part of the Austin Music Video Festival

Protextor and Brother Bear “Not Tonight!”

Protextor and Brother Bear (aka Mother Falcon’s Matt Puckett) recently launched their new project American Neon with the disco tinged delight “Not Tonight!” and now they’ve enlisted Zack Scott to take the party to the small screen with an undead roller party. Shot at Spider House Ballroom, the video has Protextor and Puckett donning neon war paint and roller skates as they worship glowing tv screens, show off dance routines and get slimed. The track is infectious enough as is but damn if these visuals don’t make the party look all the more enticing.

Dubb Sicks “Dolla $to”

Dubb Sicks makes living cheap look good in his new clip “Dolla $to,” celebrating everything from Franzia to tractors to generic brand corn flakes. The song juxtaposes Dubb Sicks’ brash swagger with an electro-funk beat and a chopped and screwed bridge, but the video keeps Sicks front and center as he guides you through what it’s like when they know your name at the dollar store. High art this ain’t, but Sicks’ brand of trashy is so endearingly goofy it’s hard not to be won over.

Sertified “On The Go”

Biggie had boats, Puff and Ma$e had so many Rolls Royces they just blew them up instead of parking them, but Sertified has to make do with go karts for his Rob G directed video “On the Go.” Truth be told, I’d side with Sertified’s brand of luxury any day of the week since at least he and his crew look happy to be riding around a go kart track and indulging in some putt putt golf; everyone in those prime Bad Boy-era videos always looked so unhappy to be popping champagne in international waters. Not that Sertified is entirely free of stress, the loose story of “On the Go” has the beloved local emcee having to relocate the party constantly because some fun killing security guard won’t get off his ass. Maybe they should just send the rent-a-cop over to the land of “Hypnotize,” seems like he’d fit in better over there with his permanent sour face.

Sertified will be opening for Raekwon at Antone’s on September 25th with Magna Carda

Ike “Last Day (feat. Mélat and Jon McConnell)”

“Last Day,” the newest single from Ike‘s album Paradise, produced by LNS Crew’s Haris Q, is about the nagging fear that we’re living in the end times but more specifically it’s about being honest about how you’d spend your final hours. The video adapts this pretty faithfully, following Ike around his city while he admits he’d be more likely to call up an ex for a hook up than turn to the Bible for any kind of redemption, but nonetheless he heads to the church anyway, not necessarily looking for answers but just seeking some peace and quiet to dwell on his shortcomings and anxieties. Simple as the structure might be, “Last Day” has some impressive cinematic chops, the color correction and grain leaning towards the gritty urban realness of Martin Scorcese more than the Michael Bay sheen so many hip hop videos like to flaunt. And like so many Scorcese productions, “Last Day” casts the city of New York itself as the co-star, driving home the background message about the stress that city’s most satanic tycoon is currently inflicting on the entire world.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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