San Francisco's Cool Ghouls bust out the extra track and train sets in the People Inc. video debut of "Queen Sophie". Following up those sweeping West Coast vistas of the Marin Headlands on "Natural Life", the world of natural living gets buck wild and weird in the apartment, SF style. Their Tim Cohen-produced self-titled presents a group who has contributed to San Francisco's indie rock fabric where the exhaled chord rhythms of yesterday ghost through the great tomorrow that never knows. Keeping 'the San Francisco sound' in full effect, it would not be complete without a soirée set up in a rented Victorian space.
Hop aboard the train, and ride around the physical bodies of the Ghouls and their friends as things get out of hand like a Fellini film set in a Duboce Park flat. Heads, hands, feet and a random scrotum hang about the toy tracks as the GoPro cam steers and and veers around bikes, cars, dart boards, trysts, Budweiser cans, PBR cans, bathroom shenanigans, quarrels, and smoke outs. The Casey Jones loco-motion of "Queen Sophie" could only be paced by the steady trucking steam engine moving on down the line in a residential environment of invited chaos. As Pat Thomas, Ryan Wong, Pat McDonald, and Alex Fleshman turn a lazy day into an all out hobby; their friends turn a 'no-rules' afternoon into a piece of pure debaucherous performance art. A few brave Cool Ghouls gave us a behind-the-scenes tour:
Pat McDonald: It got pretty buck as filming went on. We just tried to think of as many weird/funny things to do as possible. Everybody in the video is a close homie of ours, and they were all down to get weird and make it ridiculous. Therefore we ended up with people hitting each other, making out, people taking selfies while shitting, a chick popping balloons with her ass, Ryan dangling his nuts in front of the camera, Pat T being basically naked all day, etc (there's no nudity in the video though, by the way). And we were all at risk of getting mono that day, 'cause a couple people in the video were sick at the time. So it was also very high stakes. Haha."
Pat Thomas: Yeah the whole concept of the video was to have wacky stuff for the camera to catch as it rolled by on this miniature train track. So it was just us and our friends coming up with things on the spot. And most of the ideas involved drinking beer. So a few hours into the shoot, it got kinda tough to maintain focus. My girlfriend gave Alex a drunk haircut. It looked pretty bad.
Alex Fleshman: The idea for the video, with the GoPro taped to the train track and having it circle around an apartment, came from our friends Mel and Emma who are "People Inc." I did the soundtrack for a movie that Mel just made, so I had worked with her before with music and video and we knew we wanted to work together again because we so enjoyed the experience. The budget was basically them buying a model train, driving up from LA and back, and pizza that we bought for the shoot. So pretty much shoestring budget kinda thing. I did get a haircut during the video, and it did look pretty bad because Pat's girlfriend (along with the rest of us) was prettttty drunk at the time. It's funny too because you can't even really tell I'm getting a haircut; its not really in the frame ahaha. Mel and Emma did that amazing animation in it and I have absolutely no idea how. Pretty talented people.
Cool Ghouls' self-titled is available now from Empty Cellar Records.
Catch their performance this Saturday, July 13 at San Francisco's Potrero del Sol Park for Bay Bridged's Phono del Sol Music & Food Festival from 12:50-1:20pm. Tickets available here.