Ribbon-dancing gimps, rollerskating ghosts, burlesque dancers and mariachi musicians frolic through downtown Los Angeles in Moby's latest music video, and somehow all the wackiness leaves you feeling a little better about the world.
In the video, Moby and Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips dress up as mariachi musicians carrying a guitar and accordion. The pair prance around downtown LA, playing Pied Piper to any weirdo who wants to follow them to the promised land: a Maypole party at the top of a skyscraper (Oh you've never heard of it? It's probably too underground for you...). The video ends bathed in sunlight, with Moby handing out hugs for everyone.
The sunny ending is quite a contrast to how Moby described the filming process for other parts of the music video (via Los Angeles magazine):
We shot in a really filthy alley with rats and poop and then this leather clad gimp jumps out from behind a dumpster. If I woke up with the plague, I wouldn’t be surprised.
The musician/dj/architecture aficionado reached out to Coyne, a longtime friend, to record the song "The Perfect Life" and then put out a casting call on Facebook asking for an "S&M gimp rhythmic gymnast," "2 obese bearded bikers in red speedos" and "a drunk king: guy with beard age 35-50," reports Rolling Stone magazine. As the music video above shows, Angelenos managed to deliver on most of Moby's weird requests.
Check out Los Angeles magazine for more of Moby's explanation of the music video plot. Below, enjoy a short teaser of the video Moby released shortly after filming wrapped.
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Led Zeppelin, 'Ramble On'
I remember riding in the car with my mom when I was 7 or 8 years old and this song came on the radio and the DJ said, “Is there anything better than Led Zeppelin on a perfect summer day?” To which I’d answer, “No, there really isn’t anything better than Led Zeppelin on a perfect summer day.”
Public Enemy, 'Fight the Power'
I moved back to NYC (I was born there, but grew up in Connecticut) in 1988, and the summer I moved back this song was heard everywhere. Every bar, every car, every night club, every boombox. Maybe because of that, and on some Pavlovian level, I always think of this song as a quintessential summer song.
Massive Attack, 'Protection'
In 1995 I had an idyllic summer in Berlin, and this song was the recurring soundtrack. I remember lying in bed with my then-girlfriend, and the apartment we were staying in had big, open windows, and it was amazingly warm for Berlin, and this song has never sounded more perfect.
The Style Council, 'Long Hot Summer'
An obvious choice, maybe, but I reserve the right to be obvious. And sometimes obvious choices (like orange juice for breakfast) are the best ones.
The Gun Club, 'Mother of Earth'
The Gun Club’s album Miami is one of the best records ever made, and this song always conjures up images of a hot, dry, dusty Texas summer where nothing moves, and the air is unbelievably hot and still.
The Verve, 'Bittersweet Symphony'
In 2000 I was spending a lot of time in the UK, playing festivals and concerts, and somehow the weather in the UK was amazing (which, sadly, isn’t often the case). I remember hearing this song over and over again at Glastonbury (in the car park, at Joe Strummer’s camp, on boomboxes, etc.), and it just seemed like the most perfect song for that perfect summer.
Led Zeppelin, 'Going to California'
Once again, “is there anything better than Led Zeppelin on a perfect summer day?” Once again, “no, there isn’t.”
The Doors, 'The Crystal Ship'
I remember going on a date in L.A. years ago. It was the middle of summer, we drove up to Mulholland, sat in her pickup overlooking the valley, and this song came on the radio. It felt like gravity weakened. Everything on the planet started floating out to space a little bit.
The Strokes, 'Is This It'
wandering around New York City at 5:30 a.m on a summer morning after a long night out, and you hear this song as the sun is coming up, I can almost guarantee it will make perfect sense to you, and you will be happy.
The Doors, 'L.A. Woman'
Eh, what the hell, another Doors song. I reserve the right to be repetitive. L.A. is a weird city, it’s my new home, and it’s always kind of summer here. This is a perfect song about the baffling strangeness and disconcerting beauty of L.A.