Wednesday, June 26, 2013

“Stratospheric” (the new video from Story of the Running Wolf)

The best thing on the internet just went live today. Hardy Howl Films presents this nostalgic gem for the LA duo Story of the Running Wolf. I’ve embedded the video below, but do yourself a favor and watch it in 720p full-size to enjoy all the glory of the especially well done film-to-video-transfer and 80’s-television-look goodness.

Story of the Running Wolf is Josh D’Elia and Jeffrey Chernick.  While other acts may be attempting a return to all things 80’s, D’Elia and Chernick do it with a precision and flair that leave all others in the dust.  Not only that, but they are not simply imitating the past with covers (like most 80’s-return bands trying to access via corny, clumsy comedy), but are instead writing their own original material that could easily and seamlessly mesh with any video line-up circa 1983 MTV.  Think Naked Eyes, Asia, A-Ha, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, New Order and you are on the path to Story of the Running Wolf.  These guys remind you what the 80’s was all about.  When you see and hear them one might first be tempted to cringe at just HOW MUCH 80’S they have conjured, but NO ONE who was alive in that decade can resist the mysterious day-glo neon and checkerboard-bad-3D-cool that some how sucks you in (because it IS cool whether you like it or not).

The video for “Stratospheric” is a mash-up of originally imagery in the style of The Never Ending Story (they made a freaking LUCK DRAGON!) and Labyrinth.  Let me just say that D’Elia as Bowie is spot on, but literally each and every visual element and piece of the story does it’s part to transport the viewer right back to a time when Aquanet was as ubiquitous as OP.

Even the motion logo at the beginning of the video got my pulse pumping with nostalgia.  The way D’Elia (who did much of the post work on the video) and Hardy Howl captured the “Sit, Ubu, Sit” and “Stephen J. Cannell Productions” feeling (remember the guy pulling the piece of paper from the type writer and flinging it into the air so it turns into the “c” of the logo?), right down to the warbly audio and cheesy-quasi-industrial video music queue, is just perfection.

Perhaps the best thing about this video, however, was how it transformed a room packed full of LA-hipster-douchebags at the Sayers Club in Hollywood last Saturday night into a screaming mob of 8-year-old little girls.  It was magical to see the mass of scarf-wearing (IT’S 90 DEGREES OUTSIDE!!!), pretentious a-holes drop their guards and literally scream with joy when the music started pulsing, the video rolled, and FREAKING FALCOR came flying across the screen.  Not even the scenester elite could deny the awesome.  The performance from Story of The Running Wolf that followed the video’s premier was nothing short of magical (and was mystically enhanced by the AMAZING and legendary sound system at the Sayers Club).

And kudos to the folks at Hardy Howl for bringing CUPCAKES to the event! The staff didn’t know what to do with themselves (the manager commented that no one had brought food to the club… ever) except abandon their reserved cool and climb aboard the life-sized Falcor that Hardy Howl brought to the club for PHOTO OPPS!!! Seriously… slutty club girls sans underpants with faces filled with a joy and innocence that would have brought tears to their daddies’ eyes.

If you EVER get a chance to see Story of the Running Wolf live, do NOT miss the opportunity. And if you can see them at the Sayers Club (this was their second performance at that venue), do anything and everything you can to hear them amplified by electronics that I can only assume involved some sort of pact with the devil.

A new album (including “Stratospheric”) is slated to drop in the near future, so for now you’ll have to sate your SOTRW hunger by downloading the single from iTunes and watching the video over and over and over again.

Alternatively, you can catch the tasty flava of Story of the Running Wolf in the remixes they’ve been doing at the behest of various bands on the LA Scene including an upcoming remix for Fitz and The Tantrums.

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