It’s hard to believe that MTV had once claimed “Video Killed the Radio Star,” before reality TV came along to have their revenge on MTV with shows like “Jersey Shore,” “Teen Mom” and “Catfish.”
With dreams of being a music video star on cable being dashed, another option arose: YouTube. Through the popular video-sharing website, independent artists have a direct route to get their music shorts out to fans.
Bakersfield rock quintet Art and The Resistance is on board, recently debuting its third music video, a cover of Chris Isaak's 1989 hit “Wicked Game.” Taken from the band’s album “From The Shadows,” the video is the group’s third short.
Keyboardist John Calanchini said producing an accompanying music video has helped the group expand its fanbase.
“Our music videos have been one of our biggest sources of new fans and outreach. Our first video 'No Coming Back' got us attention from musicians, DJs and listeners in places like the UK, Australia and Argentina.”
Lead vocalist Art Machuca said the group works on ideas before production begins. For “Wicked Game,” the group was filmed performing inside the main recording chamber inside Triple Seven Recording in Bakersfield.
Best known for its inclusion on the soundtrack to David Lynch's “Wild at Heart” a year after its original release by Isaak, “Wicked Game” has been covered by everyone from REM and SoCal indie band Giant Drag to Canadian alt rockers Three Days Grace. Even Chilean rock heroes La Ley translated the song to Spanish as “Sin Ti.”
“The concept behind this video was to capture the darker undertones of the original recording that Chris Isaak created,” said Calanchini, who surprisingly had never heard the song before until the group covered it.
"In a way that was liberating," he said. "I didn’t have to struggle to come up with something unique yet similar enough since I didn’t actually know what I was supposed to play.”
Shot and directed by Dstructive Filmz, the “Wicked Game” video is available at the group’s official YouTube page and facebook.com/artandtheresistance. You can also download their cover of “Wicked Game” at all digital outlets.
Another local artist using the power of video to enhance his virtual reach is rapper Josh Rowe, who performs under the name Truth Ali. For his track “Ali Spit The Blues,” a title spin on Billie Holiday’s “Lady Sings The Blues” jazz standard, Rowe took a similar intimate production approach filming inside the confines of a moving trolley in downtown San Diego at sunrise.
“We chose sunrise because A) there wouldn’t be a ton of people on the trolley, and B) I love that magic hour lighting," said Rowe. “A lot of people thought it was either San Fran or somewhere on the East Coast.”
Reminiscent of classic '90s hip-hop videos where urban landscapes complement lyrical themes, Rowe says director Michael Chemaly knew just how to bring his vision to life.
“My idea came from the old record 'Lady Sings the Blues,' but from a modern perspective. What better way of reflecting on the world than on a commute? The song concept itself was something that had to be on a trolley, and then Michael took it to another level.”
Currently on a promotional tour, Rowe plans to release an upcoming full-length release this year titled “#TruthAli” along with more music and videos posted at his website truthgotbars.com.
“We live in such a visual world now with social media that it’s a necessary thing,” he said.
Rudy Parris & The Buckaroos, 7 p.m. Friday, Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. 328-7560. Buckowens.com.
Singer-songwriter Rudy Parris can entertain in a range of musical genres but it’s his tribute to his heroes Buck Owens and Merle Haggard where Parris’ soul truly shines. A tireless performer known mostly from his appearance on "The Voice," the Visalia native is ready to shed that role and be the consummate frontman he was born to be with his residency debut with the world-famous Buckaroos. Highly recommended.
Hate Drugs, 3 p.m. Saturday, Jerry’s Pizza, 1817 Chester Ave. $20. 633-1000.
Before heading back on the road and the SXSW music festival in Austin, Hate Drugs is checking in to celebrate the release of its latest album, “Tsunami Soul I." The afternoon matinee show (3-6 p.m.) will be followed by an after-party at The Idea Hive downtown, giving fans a chance to chill with the band and ask them about their favorite tour snack foods. Also performing at Jerry’s is Wee Beasties. More information available at thehatedrugs.com.