While home in Michigan over Christmas break, I had the pleasure of catching up with one of my best college pals, Paul and his lovely girlfriend, Nicole. They were excited to tell me about a video they had been working on in Phoenix called "The Giraffe Dance." Paul (aka PAWL) wrote the song on a summer day in Chicago in 2007, then shelved it knowing he'd bust it out someday when the time was right. "It kind of fell out of the sky," explained Pawl. "A lot of my friends were writing very dark and depressing-sounding music so I wanted to write something that anyone could enjoy, forget their inhibitions, and just laugh and dance because it's the most ridiculous song you've ever heard."
It certainly is, and that is one of the many reasons why I adore it (and its equally ridic video).
Michael Cline, a director/producer/editor who specializes in creative commercial video production in Phoenix, heard about the song and approached Pawl to make a video. Pawl "forced people to sing," and had some friends play guitar, bass, flute, and trumpet. They called on almost everyone they knew in Phoenix to be in the video (my favorite being Doug, their friend who has a lot of energy and stars as the giraffe).
Pawl & friends shot the video over three weekends on essentially no budget. A great deal of it was shot at the First Friday Art Walk in Central Phoenix, where the giraffe was "a spectacle." Women were reportedly attempting to take the giraffe home, dancing with him, and slapping his cute giraffe butt. People wanted their kids' picture taken with the giraffe. A legit breakdancing troupe invited the giraffe into their circle, where he was well-received.
"We hope this video inspires people to smile, laugh, and get off their butt and dance," Pawl said. "Especially in this time of [economic] doom and gloom, it's important to remember we can have happy moments with friends and animals when we get together."
Good luck not getting this song stuck in your head - it's been in mine for days!
Pawl has independently released four solo albums and has collaborated with many groups over the past few years such as The Giveaway, Northpilot, RIFIFI, Blue Ribbon Glee Club (an amazing 25+ member a capella punk rock group out of Chicgao), and Cutta/Chris Blount (Chicago-based hip hop artist). He is currently is working on a six-song EP of pop songs, and an EP of more minimal downbeat songs. Both are due out in Fall 2010.
More of Pawl's music here: www.myspace.com/pkiddy
Fun Giraffe Song gear can be found here: http://www.cafepress.com/giraffedance
For questions/comments/production inquiries regarding the video, email the director, Michael Cline: firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. My very favorite google image search for giraffe: