My brand sparkly new music video was officially released last week via the fabulous Minnesota-based radio station 89.3 The Current’s Local Current Blog. Cheribum is the 2nd song on my new album Holy Bones which was released just two little months ago, early March 2015. I wanna share the video with you here in this blog as well as talk a little bit about the process of making it.
The Current blogger Andrea Swensson says:
Duluth singer-songwriter Mary Bue takes a somewhat unsettling concept from the tarot deck—the child angels, a.k.a. “cherubs,” who keep a record of your love life history—and turns it into a rom-com in her new video for “Cheribum.”
The idea for Cheribum did indeed come from a tarot card reading excursion. I was cruising the Duluth skywalk past Lady Ocalat’s Emporium, a store for mystical, beautiful things like crystals, herbs, teas, jewels and books on astrology, wellness, healing. There was a special (I think this was around Valentine’s Day) for a discounted “Angel Card” reading – similar to the tarot, but these tap into “angelic presence” for insight. I went for it as I’m a sucker for tarot and divination — not to forecast my future but more to get the creative juices flowing & the wheels turning about life and to gain some new perspective (however fantastical) into my moment in time. Harmless inspiration seeking! The woman who procured the Angel Card reading was dressed very “angelically,” in a white, lacy, velvety gown with flowing curly brown hair and rosy red cheeks.
The only card I remember being pulled involved cherubs or cherubim ( and that would be the correct spelling – more on that in a second). The reader gal said that in the context of this reading these cherubs know allllll about your romantic past, down to your thoughts, deeds, desires. This kind of freaked me out as I thought about all those love letters and misadventures in my dating history … I spun a little tale about it and wrote the shortest song I’ve ever written – also the most pop-punk song that’s come to pass in my repertoire.
In the video, very literal to the song lyrics to Cheribum, I toss out some love letters in a dumpster. Then, this sculpted angel comes along and pesters me with the letters throughout the morning’s scenes – on the street, walking to the coffee shop, trying to read the paper … this little cherub is a PEST, reminding me of my romantic blunders. I named this cherub “Cheribum” – like the French saying “mon cherie amour” (my sweet love) PLUS the slang “bum” / jerkface / asshole. Catch my drift?
I worked with filmmaker/director Matt Eckholm (check out his reel here) who, amazingly, simply reached out to me on twitter – totally out of the ether – and inquired if I had made a music video for my new album. We had a dialogue about it which moved to the telephone and then deeper email discussions to outline our plan. This contact with Matt really did come out of nowhere but came at just the right time. I was willing to trust Matt and his work ethic after watching his sample reel and hearing that he has already completed a full length feature film (and I don’t think he’s even 25 years old!). I am also grateful to say that I raised more than my proposed goal on my last Kickstarter fundraising campaign (thanks to my amazing backers!) and reached my first stretch goal to fund a music video. The stars lined up for this thing to get going.
In mid-February, I got my ass up at 4 am, got the coffee going and greeted my make up artist Eve Gauthier from Face By Eve, an old friend who was willing to come do my face at the crack of dawn.
All dolled up, I went to one of my favorite haunts The Coffee Shop NE in northeast Minneapolis (where we were to do half of the filming) and met up with Matt and his team – assistant director Billy Straub and Ben Curry (who did lighting and provided comic relief). I had asked the owners of the cafe for their permission to film and we worked out a date and time that wouldn’t disturb their patrons too much. We got some curious looks from the regulars, but made it happen. One of my dear friends Leslie Bruns-Frahlich and her daughter Tiki guest-starred in the video, looking all adorable as usual.
As for filming, it took a number of takes for me to “act natural” PLUS Cheribum was to be sculpted by a local artist added in to the music video later using stop motion animation. I had to pretend to be pestered by Cheribum imagining that she will be where that stick would be, flailing around behind me. The experience at Coffee Shop NE was sweet – highly recommend you getting your daily americano there or shooting your next music video 🙂
After a few more locations (the dumpster behind the cafe, Central Ave for some street shots), we determined that we had enough footage and the gents were on their way to edit and work with the animation of Cheribum.
On the business side of things, I wanted to release the video “officially” so sent it out to The Current for their “Friday Five” Minnesota music video picks and Ms. Swensson graciously picked it. Some people choose to have public performances/showings to celebrate their music video releases and/or do a bunch of preview snippets to entice people and build excitement. I wanted to release it ASAP and felt that The Current‘s generous publicity was damn fancy for my first go at an “Official Music Video Release.” Just figuring it out as I go along …
This video – like the song – is short, sweet and simple – in contrast to my catalogue of melancholy singer-songwriter ballads. I truly hope you enjoy it and if you do, please share it with your friends on social media or email and subscribe to my youtube channel! More videos to come.
Thanks for reading about “Cheribum” and how it came to be! I appreciate your support!