Debut: Linus Pauling Quartet, “Victory Gin”

Video by Ramon Medina & Clinton Heider

Texas psych professionals The Linus Pauling Quartet premiere their sock puppet video for "Victory Gin" from their new album Bag of Hammers. Out of their bag of metallic tricks and "get out while you can" warnings is an LP4 re-designed and re-imagined as if Shari Lewis took over direction duties for Meet the Feebles and got into music video direction on the side. But these clothed, foot-textile, hand operated animatronics are no Lambchop and Charlie Horse. Like the band's recent claymation video for "Crom", these Texan metal marauders are dedicated to bringing their lyrical lore to life through the mediums we loved in the days before CGI took over.

We invite you to "get out", heed the signs that the blackbird is coming, and share a drink with these friends of fleece as they enjoy some of that "Victory Gin". Deface your bottle of Hendricks to read 'Hendrix' and check out this behind the scenes interview with Ramona Medina on the band's spiked-Punch and Judy puppetry.

What was the main inspiration for this video? How do the visuals tie into the message and theme of the song?

Anyone who has seen us play live will attest to the fact that I play with a stuffed Jake the Dog an Lady Rainicorn on my Marshall for good luck. So given my love for stuffed toys and that i wanted to make a fun video, the original inspiration was Dinosaur Jr.'s video for "Just Like Heaven." As videos go, it's pretty low-rent but it's still one of my all-time favorite videos. It kind of evolved because when I sat down to put the idea together, I really didn't want to use a bunch of the store bought fluffy toys laying about the house so I grabbed $40 and ran down to the craft store and made up some sock puppets – more personal and a lot more expressive. The next day Clinton came over with a bunch of props and hats (who knew Build-a-Bear workshop was a great place for puppet hats?) and after he left I shot the whole things in my apartment. It wasn't until I was almost done editing that I realized that totally missed the mark on the original inspiration and the result was more akin to the Sifl and Ollie Show (the great under appreciated MTV sock puppet show of Liam Lynch and Matt Crocco). I hadn't even though about that show in years but then I was obsessed with back in the late 90's so I think some part of my subconscious took over. Anyhow, there are some great clips up on You Tube of that show but it's a crime that Viacom has never issued the show as a DVD.

Who directed the video? Did you collaborate with anybody else to get the video done?

I made the video in my apartment by myself over five days: one day building, one day shooting, and three days editing. Clinton tossed it the Hendix joke and brought over some invaluable props. We also ran to the practice space and shot some stills of our amps for the background so the background amps you see are actually ours (the Mesa is Clinton's amp, The Fender is Charlie's, and That's Larry's kit). But when you get down to it, it was pretty much a grown man playing with puppets in his apartment (and you wonder why I don't have a girfriend.)

What were the most enjoyable and/or challenging moments during the creating of this video?

Editing was a lot more fun – particularly playing with Adobe After Effects. I'm pretty proud of the background for the puppet with Mesa behind him. Building the puppets was also fun. When Clinton brought over the hats it totally made them pop out. The puppet with the pirate hat kind of took over because he had the coolest hat. Don't tell Clinton but I haven't given him back that hat because the puppet would be too heartbroken. The worst was shooting only because I was shooting in an apartment with limited space and lifting your arm over your head for hours ends up being really strenuous on your arm muscles.

Linus Pauling Quartet's new album, Bag of Hammers is out now from Homeskool Records. Purchase it here.

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