By William Michael Smith
By Jef With One F
By Craig Hlavaty
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Sonya Harvey
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Nathan Smith
By Craig Hlavaty
In this promotional short film for a recent Linus Pauling Quartet gig, a trio of stuffed bunnies meets the Horned One in a dark wood. Satan lays claim to all of their souls, but they each get to say a few words in their defense. Two of them are cast into hell -- they had terrible taste in music, so don't weep for them. The last presents the devil with an offer he can't refuse. (Films like this could put concert-poster artists out of business, or at least force them to become directors.)
Whataburger White Boys
Melanin-challenged rappers Lil' Skittle and Big Yeast , a.k.a. Iced Out Eskimoz, know just how they like it: Whataburger-style, baby, and this video shows just how much. The two debate which location to hit up -- "Katy Freeway or San Felipe," and warn you away from the southwest side's Gessner location, where they say you'll "probably get shot." They also debate exact prices down to the penny (including the Whatasized permutations), and hell, these guys even have their favorite employees: "Thinkin' bout plain-n-dry, Fanta with some Sprite," Big Yeast raps. "Namdar's servin' so you know it's all right."
Los Skarnales en Vivo
Is there a better bar band out there right now than Los Skarnales? Is a better bar band than Los Skarnales even possible? This low-budget but perfectly crafted video of the surf/ska/dancehall song "Salud" -- filmed on location at Las Llardas, Fitzgerald's and outside Reliant Stadium, among other local locales -- argues strongly in the negative. You can practically smell the beer, perfume, weed and sweat of your wildest Saturday nights. Levanten sus cervezas, muthafuckas -- Skarnales singer Felipe Galvan shows you how it's done in the video.
A posse of local Asian kids remake the video of Slim Shady's "Just Lose It," complete with a pimped-out Michael Jackson impersonator, decent choreography, great costumes, hilarious kung fu movie special effects and a spot-on Vietnamese doppelganger to D12's hefty rapper Bizarre. All of this is shot against a shifting backdrop of southwest Houston locations including a Wal-Mart, the Galleria water wall, Hong Kong City Mall and a playground. And while it cost a tiny fraction of Em's budget, it's just as fun to watch.
Livin' on Tulsa Time No More
Here's one for all you unabashed sentimentalists. Guitarist and dulcimer player Quintin Stephens recently moved here with his wife and three kids from Tulsa. He did it for the same reason millions of us or our families did -- namely, because there's a lot of money here and there wasn't much in the places we left behind. Often those places were far prettier than Houston, and they were certainly more familiar and full of friends. As traumatic as this move can be for adults, it's often even worse for kids, and so Stephens wrote "OK in Houston" for his eight-year-old son, who was evidently missing his buddies and the trees and creeks back in Oklahoma. In the boom years of the '50s and '60s, dozens of blues and country songs were written in this vein, and "OK in Houston" is as good as any of them -- it has a nice vocal melody and a pretty guitar part, and the very fact that it exists is a testament to good fathers everywhere.
Jedi Mind Playing Tricks on Me
If you ever loved Star Wars action figures or the Geto Boys' "Mind Playing Tricks on Me," you will fall in love with this hilarious and masterful short film. Simply put, the entire original video is remade shot-for-shot with Star Wars figures portraying 'Face, Willie D, Bushwick and all the other roles -- Scarface's girlfriend, the sinister old man, etc. While we have some quibbles with the casting (Lando, who would have made a great Willie D, is miscast as Bushwick, who, in turn, probably should have been portrayed by a Jawa, Ewok or R2-D2), it's hard to complain about the overall result. If you're "having fatal thoughts of suicide," this will cheer you right up. (Runner-up in the Geto Boys video remake stakes -- but a classic piece of work in its own right -- is Damn It Feels Good to be Sonic the Hedgehog, which you can see here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7wDoLKAIKk.)
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