| Video |

The Babies Braid Their Feelings In "Mess Me Around"

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

It's been awhile since I, the last VJ, had anything of note music video-wise to share with you fine folks, but my inbox has been flooded lately with extremely quality work. Today we're getting the ball rolling again with The Babies out of New York City and their latest video, "Mess Me Around."

Director Scott Jacobson proves what you can do with a good idea, a low budget, and a few good friends to make the whole thing happen. The Babies find themselves needing a ride to their next gig, and are forced to hitchhike to get there. The ensuing parade of freaks and weirdoes makes for a fast-paced and groovy experience that definitely entertains.

"No, not you. You! Yes! Hello, and you with the baby face," says a strange suburban wife as she chooses members of the band to let in her car as if they were slaves at auction. This trip ends with them all sharing glasses of wine while they drive aimlessly around getting no closer to their destination.


Inspector Owl's Video for "Mousey"

"The hitchhiker idea came about because we were working with no budget -- which is not unusual when you're making music videos -- and the hitchhiking story offered a good structure for a fast-moving, episodic story with some variety in location, and none of it costs anything because you're working in the actors' cars and don't have to deal with location fees," says Jacobson via email. "So it was mostly a pragmatic choice, but I thought it also fit the song in a weird way."

The rest of the band fares little better in terms of with whom they get saddled. Cassie Ramone and Brian Scheyler end up falling into a new-age cult leaders' recruitment speech as they sit trapped in the back seat. Played by Conan writer Todd Levin, he preaches about Ramone's "almond colored aura" and invites everyone to "braid their feelings" in one of the strangest lines I have ever heard.

It's a simple concept that does keep the short video moving a long quite nicely. What really sells it is the playful and patient exasperation that the band displays for their chauffeurs/low-key kidnappers.

For a song that is wonderfully pissy and angsty, it ties in nicely with these strange and off-putting adults also looking for fun and meaning but going about it in an awkward, finding-myself-at-college way that the Babies meet with a weary chagrin.

"Life on the road isn't as crazy as this video!" said singer Kevin Morby. "Life on the road is mainly filled with drunk people after your shows, but that's about it. If we didn't drive ourselves, however, and relied on hitch hiking, I'm sure we'd have some better stories."

"Mess Me Around" is like a trick r' treat-sized version of Smashing Pumpkins "1979," though it's less aimless and delightfully dated. It shows off the simple human freakshow of every day life over a hell of a good little indie rock track. Check it out below.

Definitely the strangest video we've covered in a while was E.S.P.'s "627." You can also look back at how awesome last year was with our Top 25 Music Videos of 2012.

Jef With One F is a recovering rock star taking it one day at a time. You can read about his adventures in The Bible Spelled Backwards or connect with him on Facebook.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.