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Sights and Sounds – Musician M. Ward and Diretor Joel Trussell

January 22, 2013

I consider myself a child of the music video generation. I vividly remember staying up late every Friday to watch Friday Night Videos with Terry David Mulligan. I recall seeing the debut of Michael Jackson’s Thriller in a movie theatre in Lae, Papua New Guinea where my dad had taken the family on a year-long leave of absence from the Electrical Engineering Technology department to teach at the University of Technology in Lae. Aside from featuring some crazy dance movies and the Zombie storyline – that music video extended the limits of that genre into a whole other atmosphere.

In the roughly 30 years that has passed, music videos have dramatically evolved – losing the spotlight they once had on television (hello Youtube) and becoming ingrained into mainstream film and television where the boundaries are sometimes blurred.

This post looks at the art of musician M. Ward and animation director Joel Trussell. Neither is entirely a household name, though M. Ward gets a lot of love from CBC Music 2 (98.3 FM on the dial). In addition to his solo career, M. Ward is also in a band with Zooey Deschanel called She and Him (PS – if you’ve ever seen the movie Elf, Zooey plays the female lead) and another ensemble known as the Monsters of Folk.

The first song/video is Chinese Translation off his 2006 album Post War.  The song is a simple tale of a man seeking the answer to three eternal questions.  The second song – The First Time I Ran Away was done several year later off his new Wasteland Companion album.  I realize that everyone has different tastes when it comes to music and art, but I think these collaborations epitomize how music videos truly have become an art form unto itself.  Plus it makes me “well” enjoying a few minutes of it.

Chinese Translation

The First Time I Ran Away

Bonus Feature:

This is Chinese Translation performed live on the Late Show with David Letterman back in 2008.  It’s interesting to see the song live, with some crazy percussion added to the mix.