VIDEO PREMIERE: BART & THE BEDAZZLED “HALLOWEEN BY THE SEA”
Bart Davenport‘s new outfit Bart and the Bedazzled, which matches Davenport with a top-of-the-pops band made up of bassist Jessica Espeleta, drummer Andres Renteria, and guitarist Wayne Faler. Their Blue Motel is out now and slow-burner second track “Halloween By The Sea” is like Cleaners from Venus or Prefab Sprout with half the arrangement stripped away, or like Dwight Twilley going deep on some Nebraska-style American noir. This beautifully clear black-and-white video by director Justin Frahm—a beach and a beach town, with all the people gone and only memories left, which makes it more an On The Beach town—deftly underscores that strange kind of isolated mood, like a arthouse version of one of those Twilight Zone “Where is everybody?” episodes. That’s by very deliberate design, explains Frahm:
“”There are pitfalls to walking into a moment of reverie. You know yourself on the way in, but who’s to say which ‘you’ will walk out of it? Are the memories worth the mirror they hold up—highlighting the years between and how much we’ve changed? We may feel the same as we ever did, but it’s the memories that are the fixed points on a steadily receding horizon—good for a flyby, but that sun is always moving and we have to move with it. Let’s not stare too longingly back at those people we were and those times we had. Instead, let them watch us and wish us well as we make our way on.
Making music videos often begins with one big question: ‘Follow or extend?’ Which is to ask: do you visualize the story told by the song, or do you extend past it and make a story that complements the story unfolding in the lyrics? I almost always prefer the latter, but this song compelled a compromise with the former. Certainly in the setting, there was no place we could shoot this but the beach—the locus of the memories that stirred the song’s writing. And in casting the Memories, we were lucky enough to secure the on-screen chemistry of two stalwarts of the San Francisco music scene: Sarah Bethe Nelson (Burger) and Jamin Barton (Earth Girl Helen Brown, Life Stinks and more).”
Blue Motel is out now from Lovemonk, Burger and Légère Recordings—get any manner of digital/analog versions here!—and while there are no local shows on deck, they’ll be performing at the Vida Festival in Spain on June 30.