Music Video Review
By our guest blogger, Nick Hanover
Tom Scharpling's video for the New Pornographers' "Moves" is so simple, it's genius. Like an indie rock music video version of Tropic Thunder, the "Best Show" co-host turned video director has assembled an all-star cast of comedians to make what is essentially one big faux-trailer for a Hollywood production of the New Pornographers' story, complete with a Paul Rudd and Bill Hader-starring preceding trailer. Scharpling hits all the right notes in "Moves," with scenes that cleverly reference films like Ray or Walk the Line while remaining relatively faithful to parts of New Pornographers history.
We begin with a look at a young A.C. Newman (played by Scharpling collaborator and Superchunk member Jon Wurster), quietly strumming his guitar on the streets of 1977 Toronto before some bullies shut him down. Undeterred, young Newman puts up an ad seeking a baseball team's-worth of backing musicians. Faux-Newman finds help in the form of the Daily Show's Wyatt Cenac, Horatio Sanz, character actor Kevin Corrigan as co-band leader Dan Bejar (actually a pretty fitting resemblance), Julie Klausner as Neko Case, a crossdressing Ted Leo and others. Success, in typical Hollywood fashion, hits the band soon after as we see Todd Barry struggling to keep up with consumer demand for the band's 7" at his store.
From there the band hits the top of the charts (if only!) and flies southward to achieve fame and glory in the US, where they have a press conference (with Donald Glover in attendance, no less) and are mobbed by passionate fans on the street. The real fun starts when everything goes downhill, though, as we get Wyatt Cenac sprinkling his pizza with cocaine while Leo lounges drunkenly about in a cocktail dress and the inevitable overblown studio sessions have everything from Corrigan strumming his guitar with a gun and then pointing at a Ziggy Stardust make-up coated Michael Lisk. There's also the matter of John Hodgman's over demanding CEO getting his ass kicked.
"Moves" may not be the most original video you've ever seen, but it's more hilarious than it has any right to be.
View it below. Thoughts?