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Watch: tUnE-yArDs’ video for “Water Fountain” is a Nickelodeon show on acid

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    As a child reared on Gerbert, Beakman’s World, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, Reading Rainbow, and occasionally The Magic School Bus, I enjoy my educational kids shows with loads of color and just a panache of quirk. tUnE-yArDs’ Merrill Garbus seems to agree with that particular educational approach, presenting her own brightly-colored kids show in the video for “Water Fountain”.

    Looking like a psychedelic Miss Frizzle, Garbus’ lessons include a potato-obsessed scientist, 8-bit cartoons (it’s called LSD, kiddies; look it up when you’re older), something that resembles a demonic version of My Pet Monster, not-so-scary ghosts, a human-dog-chef hybrid (think Emeril Lagssse + Barf from Spaceballs), and plenty of dancing. If I ever have kids, they’re only ever watching this program. Oh, and maybe future episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba featuring Arcade Fire.

    In a statement, director Joel Kefali described his inspiration:

    “When Merrill approached me wanting to make a video with a Pee-Wee’s Playhouse vibe I had to say yes. I’d had plenty of ideas for a kid’s show that had been waiting to see the light of day. I didn’t want to make a straight homage piece; there are moments of nostalgia in there but the video is our own modern, manic, collage of a kids show. Like many great kids shows I wanted to cram in as many ideas as possible and sneak in the occasional wink to the art world, contemporary and historic. The musical dynamic of “Water Fountain” lends itself perfectly to the concept and I think this video is best viewed while consuming a big bowl of cereal. Then again, what isn’t?

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    “Water Fountain” is off tUnE-yArDs’ new album Nikki Nack, due out May 6th via 4AD Records (pre-orders are ongoing). For more sounds, check out “Wait For A Minute”.

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