Week in Pop: Friendless Summer, Jay Stone, Lady Lazarus

Sjimon Gompers

The perpetual rise of Lady Lazarus's own Melissa Ann Sweat; photographed by Marina Cohen.

Holy Wave

Catching tidal swells of the sacred sort with Holy Wave; press photo courtesy of the band.

El Paso by way of Austin’s Holy Wave are getting ready to partake in the festivities offered by the festivals Desert Daze, NRMAL Baja, and Sound on Sound and today unveil the world premiere for their video for “How Was I Supposed to Know” directed by Will Patton & produced by Backdive. A song that is slated to be part of a forthcoming release that was recorded in-between the band’s touring of their album Freaks Of Nurture; Kyle Hager, Dustin Zozaya, Julian Ruiz, Joey Cook, & Ryan Fuson’s new single is transformed into a karaoke quest of cinematic proportions. Starring Leslie Sisson as The Girl, Davy Molina as The Villain, Guy Gober as The Trump Supporter & Satan as The Cat; sit back, relax & witness as things get wild, weird with a whole lotta rad vibes.

“How Was I Supposed to Know” is a pop gem worthy of being a karaoke staple at any dive, in any ol’ town, anywhere. What was initially inspired by a strange “I Believe I Can Fly” feud over the dubious R. Kelly pop standard sets the scene for a karaoke showdown (spurned by Davy Molina as the villain) at the South Austin pub called Giddy Ups. VHS strangeness occurs surrounding tape of said cover where we are brought to the bar to witness a performance by Holy Wave on stage performing their new single. We later see Leslie from two days prior breaking into the band’s apartment to enjoy waffles & questionable reading material-leaving behind a video tape labeled with the cryptic message of “WATCH ME”. A late night showdown with Guy Gober (whose Make America Great Again Hat is flung off & later seen set alight) makes for some surreal roadside dances, which turns out to be some kind of dream vision as the show carries on. Everything comes full circle when we see Molina losing it as the band sings the song he wanted to sing as he is later swiftly escorted outside of the bar. Throughout all the oddness that occurs through the sometimes confusing visuals, we all are serenaded by one of Holy Wave’s most plush tracks that spins soft pop notion on it’s head. From karaoke battles gone awry, bizarre bedfellows waltzing in the night & bar fly fantasias; “How Was I Supposed to Know” offers up avant garde visuals for one of the sweetest songs that swells & ebbs like tides lapping at the sands.

In the spotlight with Holy Wave; photographed by Willi Patton.

Director Willi Patton provided us with the following exclusive notes on the making of the video:

The band witnessed a karaoke feud when they were on their East Coast Tour at the end of 2016. They went out one night with their friend and his roommate in Indiana, and the roommate decided to sing “I Believe I Can Fly”, knowing full well it was the friend’s go-to song. Their friend requested the same song immediately after, and it escalated to a slow, physical fight to the tune of R. Kelly. We started with that.

Rachel and I then began looking for locations where we might film and stumbled upon this great bar in way South Austin called Giddy Ups. We went to their karaoke night and discovered this whole scene led by the KJ (Karaoke DJ) Big John—who incidentally is one of the best singers I’ve ever witnessed. He sang “At Last” by Etta James the first night we met him, and it was pretty much love at first sight. We kept returning to karaoke night at Giddy Ups, sometimes with members of Holy Wave in tow, and put together the treatment by watching people and making up back stories.

We also thought it would be fun to cast local musicians in some of the roles. Leslie Sisson, The Girl, leads the band The Moving Panoramas. And Davy Molina, The Villain, plays in Angry Beige. Big John also stars as himself.

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