VIDEO PREMIERE: Star Parks Suffer Fools with 70s Throwback Humor in Catchy Pop Anthem “Oh Boredom (Schmaltz City, USA)”

Star Parks is hard to pin down. Since the release of their 2016 debut Don’t Dwell, the band has grown into a 7 piece mini-orchestra, a far throw from its beginnings as a solo act of the group’s principal songwriter, Andy Bianculli. Touring France and Ireland as a solo artist in early 2016, Bianculli caught the attention of Dublin based label, Paper Trail Records when a mutual friend heard the then unreleased album and passed it along to Jack Rainey and Dan Finnegan at Paper Trail. In April of 2016, the band released their first single “Theoretical Girls,” a somber ballad of unrequited love and disrupted fates. It was featured prominently on playlists as one of the best indie and undiscovered singles of the year.

Their sophomore album The New Sounds of Late Capitalism was completed in June of 2019. Recorded again with Reisch, now located in Lockhart, Texas, it is a record about alienation, dissatisfaction and postmodernism. “I found an old Concord reel to reel in my parent’s attic in New York and when I played the tape it was my father as a 12 year old boy recording the The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show off the television” explains Bianculli. “There are so many layers to that discovery that affected me and made me contemplate my place in time, my family, America, culture and music.” “To me it was like discovering the spark that gave man fire, in that it is a first hand account of a moment that propelled me and the whole world in a different direction.” “I knew I wanted to write about moments like that, that had promise but inevitably lead to disappointment.”

​Producer and engineer Danny Reisch (Shearwater, Other Lives) played a pivotal role in helping the band shape the sound of the new album, which at its heart was an attempt to reproduce a time where studios could employ dozens of musicians and keep orchestras on hand. Without such resources, the band developed what they called “Burt Bacharach on a budget”. The band cites exotica legends Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman as major influences as well as Ethiopian organist Hailu Mergia, Van Dyke Parks, Kevin Ayers and Alice Coltrane.

Today Glide is excited to premiere the band’s new music video for their song “Oh Boredom (Schmaltz City, USA),” which was directed by Vanessa Pla, a filmmaker who currently resides in Austin, Texas and works both in Texas and California. The song itself is a morsel of exuberant and funky indie pop, reminiscent of Dr. Dog and Neon India but with a brighter, more vibrant and danceable tempo. Brassy flourishes and orchestral grooves give the sound a sense of soaring coolness, and it’s hard not to be swept away in the infectious vocals. The video echoes the song’s theme of “having to suffer fools” with its bombastic, glossy, and darkly humorous portrayal of an oddball 70s party alongside a coming-of-age family story. Ultimately, the song is a comment on our obsession with social media and the video provides a perfect visual. 

Andy Bianculli of Star Parks describes the inspiration and process behind the video:

Oh Boredom is about having to suffer fools so I wanted to make a video that had some bit of fakery in it. We set it in the 70s primarily because the clothes are cooler but also because I imagine trying to make your life seem more interesting isn’t just a thing that the internet did to everyone. And that was the intention. To imagine how someone would illicit envy when all they had was an old slide projector or a super 8.

It wasn’t really meant to be funny but then everyone that got involved was very funny, especially Avery Moore, who’s an actual comedian and it kind of turned into a romp and all the ideas went from kind of cynical and judgmental to very light. Which I think is better. When one funny person is in a room, everyone tries to match that energy. It was also the first time people had been able to get together in a large group for a long time so it didn’t really make sense to make a morbid hit piece on internet culture.

The format also allowed us to make all these DIY B-movie props like spaceships made out of old speakers and I think my original idea was to make a Loch Ness monster out of papier-mâché and go swim in town lake, but I think it was still pretty cold at that point and we cut it.
Mackenzie McMahon who did all the production design was brilliant and transformed my whole house into a 70s dream and I’ve just left it like that. Really everyone that worked on it was amazing especially the kid, Milo Coy, who had just done a Richard Linklater film but I’ve known his dad for years and he just happened to walk up to my table at a coffeeshop while Vanessa Pla (Director) and I were discussing the production. He was a real champ, even though I had to explain who Elvis was to him.

Video director Vanessa Pla adds her own take on how it all came together:

Andy Bianculli came to me with his song, and the intention of commenting on our generation’s obsession with instagram and social media. I took it to heart, because it’s something I struggle with navigating. As artists we tend to lean on social media as a crutch for self-promotion- especially during the pandemic when it was harder to connect to the community. I think it’s important to hold on to your integrity when sharing your world with everyone else. Your life is meant to inspire others. And of course, nothing beats living in the moment and not worrying about having to capture it all.

I really loved Andy’s dream of a family spending way too much time trying to impress their friends at a party. I got immediate Matilda vibes, and imagined the family without Matilda. Humor snuck it’s way in, as it usually does if you are working with Andy and Avery. I highly recommend catching Avery Moore’s live comedy act. She was incredible to work with, and I would say the same thing for everyone involved. We really had an amazing ensemble of cast and crew. I met Milo, working on Linklater’s latest film, and it was such a treat to work with him again in this capacity. He is a very talented kid, and took direction very well. I can’t wait to see him do more. My roommates and friends were the perfect party guests- I said a lot of weird things to get those reactions, and I’m grateful there was no judgment there. Zach and Mackenzie really elevated the vision and it is always such a pleasure to work with them, as well as all of the superheroes we had on our team.

Also random site note-I had a bet that the entire crew would be speaking in a New York Italian accent by the end of the shoot, and it only took a few hours for my assistant camerawoman to sound like Joe Pesci. But that’s what happens when you’re around Andy. It’s contagious.

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