I’m having a bit of a rough week, so I thought I’d follow up yesterday’s “Call Me Maybe” post with something just as ridiculous and fun — the video for “Labrador,” a song from Aimee Mann’s new album Charmer.
Here’s the premise: a sleazeball director, played by the ever-dreamy Jon Hamm, tricks Mann into signing away creative control of her music video. What results is an endearingly bad shot-by-shot remake of ‘Til Tuesday’s drama-rich “Voices Carry” video, with plenty of slicked-back hair, gold chains, a Ted Leo cameo and an A+ awkward make-out scene, all couched in the understanding that Mann “really didn’t want to do this video” because “it was a stupid idea.”
The whole thing hits me just right. Mann’s deadpan delivery is spot-on, and the fake making-of (faking-of?) introduction gets funnier each time I watch it. It’s amazing how easily you can connect with artists when you find out they have the same sense of humor that you do, especially when the joke shows they don’t take themselves too seriously (Justin Timberlake is the undisputed king of this phenomenon, though Michael Bolton’s performance in the The Lonely Island’s “Jack Sparrow” video was pretty fantastic). Ironically, this is my first time giving Mann’s music a serious listen, but laughing at/with her here has me eager to dive into Charmer, as well as her previous releases.
Check out the gloriously terrible video for “Labrador” above and the title track from Mann’s new album below.