All Songs Considered
10:54 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Viking's Choice: Channel-Surf In Hell With Roomrunner

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 1:54 pm

There's something blurrily manic about cable television at 3 in the morning. Ren & Stimpy reruns feel oddly prescient next to personal-hygiene infomercials, while the swimsuit models on Baywatch and horror B-movies start to bleed together. (Not that I spent four months after college graduation in that "OMG I don't know what to do with my life" catatonic state, flipping channels and making runs to Krystal's.) The production team behind Roomrunner's video for the oddly hooky thrasher "Wojtek" has been there, and makes our all channel-surfing nightmares come true.

Language Advisory: The song contains profanity.

Director Pete Binswanger reached out to the noisy Baltimore punk band first as a fan. Between him and the L.A. crew with which he worked, there are a lot of made-for-cable movies in their credits, including the Lindsay Lohan vehicle The Canyons. But these folks are clearly pop-culture and movie nerds of the highest order. Just check out this list of references from the director:

Inspiration includes, but is not limited to: Evil Dead, Susperia, QVC, Billy Mays for OxyClean, Baywatch, Sex Ed Tapes, LaserDisc intros, Mega Man II, Mission Impossible 2, Thunderball, Enter the Dragon, The Washington Capitals, Pet Food Commercials, Graffiti Art, The French Chef with Julia Child, Devo music videos, and Deodorant.

And, like they tend to do in my mind at witching hours, the cable characters in "Wojtek" start to cross over: Zombies start snacking on ninjas in a celebrity chef's kitchen and, well, I don't want to ruin it. Again, Pete Binswanger:

Structurally, we wanted to compare and contrast disparate imagery through framing and editing, while maintaining a couple of loose narratives. We tried to give people just enough genre cliches so that they can connect the dots, but ultimately the video's story is whatever you make of it.

Ideal Cities is out now on Fan Death Records. Roomrunner plays U+N Fest in Baltimore on Oct. 18.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.