Cass McCombs | 01/13/14

Image: Cass McCombs Brighter video still

Cass McCombs "Brighter!" featuring a tour-de-force vocal performance by the late Karen Black, is one of the highlights from McCombs's latest album, Big Wheel And Others, and the video directed by the iconic actress and singer's surviving husband, director Stephen Eckelberry, is a moving tribute to her unique legacy.  Eckelberry explains:

"Cass McCombs emailed me in late November 2013 and asked if I would create a music video for 'Brighter!' - the song he recorded with Karen in December 2012 - using classic clips from her movies.  It struck me as an opportunity to explore a theme that interests me - the relationship of film and memory. We watch a movie and the images from that movie become part of our memory stream.  

My own memories of Karen are intertwined with memories of her in films - it gets messier for me since I directed several movies she was in - which memory is stronger; Karen during the making the film or what ended up on screen?  An image came to me: Cass himself becoming a screen for the projection of images of Karen - as if his memories of her were playing themselves out over his body.  

I found a clip I had shot with my iPhone when Cass was over at our house rehearsing the song with Karen, and I combined that with clips of her movies, some iconic, some more obscure, and I weaved in footage of fire, sparks, burning . . .   The song does seem to deal with hell, or is it the hell of fame?" 

Black, who passed away on August 8th, 2013 after battling ampullary cancer, had a long and storied career filled with accolades, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in Five Easy Pieces and a Grammy nomination for her contributions to the soundtrack for the Robert Altman-directed Nashville.  "Brighter!" was the second collaboration between McCombs and Black, the first being her hauntingly memorable contributions to "Dreams-Come-True-Girl," a track on McCombs's 2009 album, Catacombs.

Watch both videos below.

Cass McCombs and his band featuring Jon Shaw (bass), Daniel Iead (guitar), Daniel Allaire (drums) is currently on tour in Europe. Find all dates here:

01-13 London, UK - Queen Elizabeth Hall
01-16 Lisbon, PT - Teatro Maria Matos
01-17 Aveiro City, PT - Teatro Aveirense
01-18 VN Famalicao, PT - Casa de Artes
01-19 Santiago, ES - Salon Teatro de Santiago
01-20 Madrid, ES - El Sol
01-21 Cadiz, ES - Edificio
01-23 Barcelona, ES - La Sala (2) Apolo
01-24 Bordeaux, FR - Bordeaux Rocks        
01-25 Rouen, FR - Le 106  
01-26 Paris, FR - MoFo Festival @ Mains D'Ouevres
01-30 Melbourne, AU - Northcote Social Club
01-31 Brisbane RNA, AU - Laneway
02-01 Melbourne, AU - Laneway
02-02 Sydney, AU - Laneway
02-06 Sydney, AU - Oxford Art Factory
02-07 Adelaide, AU - Laneway
02-08 Fremantle, AU - Laneway
07-17-20 Southwold, Suffolk, UK - Latitude Festival