Tune-Yards is proving that there is a method to the madness with the release of a video for Nicki Nacks lead single “Water Fountain.” The single, which packs big punch, could not have been heightened with just any visuals. Tune-Yards’ front woman and curator Merril Garbus recruited director Joel Kefali to create the chaotic concepts that accentuate Garbus’ original inspiration – Pee Wee’s Playhouse. The video is like a colorful kaleidoscope of Kid Pix creations inside one mess of a wonderland. Brightly booming with mini and monstrous puppets, a talking couch, a disoriented chef (played by Garbus’ Tune-Yards collaborator Nate Bronner) and for educational purposes, a nonsensical scientist named Franklin, the video relates to our kooky and uncensored inner child. You’ll see nods to the tokens of your younger years like a twisted game of Operation between the shows segments which include “Lunch Date With Nate” and “Sports.” Kefali, who was thrilled to work with the Pee Wee concept, approached the video in the best possible way – he decided to take all his ideas and throw them into one video, while still leaving space for some social commentary.
“When Merrill approached me wanting to make a video with a “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” vibe I had to say yes. I’d had plenty of ideas for a kid’s show that had been waiting to see the light of day. I didn’t want to make a straight homage piece; there are moments of nostalgia in there but the video is our own modern, manic, collage of a kids show. Like many great kids shows I wanted to cram in as many ideas as possible and sneak in the occasional wink to the art world, contemporary and historic. The musical dynamic of “Water Fountain” lends itself perfectly to the concept and I think this video is best viewed while consuming a big bowl of cereal. Then again, what isn’t?”
Though there are no fruit loops falling through the frame, we can see why Kelafi suggests watching this while putting down some cereal and milk. The fun-loving video has some head tilting moments that make us even more addicted to the audiovisual overload. Stream the “Water Fountain” video below and if after that you’re craving more knowledge from the potato poking scientist Franklin, Tune-Yards released an extended version of his lesson.