Black Lips build a surreal bridge between Lou Reed and the late televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker in the new video for their song “Get It on Time.”
The video was directed by David Black, who shot the clip on a mix of 16mm film and repurposed television equipment he bought from a studio that used to belong to Bakker. The video jumps between, and slowly blends, footage of the Black Lips performing “Get It on Time” as a group and a delightfully gauzy and melodramatic sequence in which saxophonist Zumi Rosow sings the simmering cut, which started as an unfinished Velvet Underground track.
“Zumi and I have been friends and collaborators since we were kids, and ‘Get It on Time’ seemed the perfect song to resurrect Tammy Faye’s studio,” Black said in a statement. “We paid homage to the legacy of the Velvets by shooting the rest of the video on 16mm film during a recording session at Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles. The video moves between two worlds of performance and document, ultimately blurring the boundary between the two.”
“Get It on Time” appears on the Black Lips’ latest album, Sing in a World That’s Falling Apart, which was released in January. The song, however, has been jumping around in drummer Oakley Munson’s head for nearly 20 years, ever since he first heard it at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh on a bootleg recording of the Velvet Underground practicing at the Factory. As Munson tells Rolling Stone, just as the song gets underway in the recording, Reed can be heard telling the band to stop.
“I’m certain if they had finished this it would be on the first album and cited by critics as a classic song by the band,” Munson says. “But it was thrown away and that made it mysterious to me. One night I decided to finish the song, with Lou Reed’s help. I went into an empty room, lit some candles, and wrote the first words down. Almost effortlessly these words that didn’t have anything to do with me came out. It only took a few minutes and I had the song. Even though I still don’t know what it’s about, it has the same mesmerizing sadness and Zumi’s singing is really iconic. I’m glad it’s done. It only took one pass in the studio and we had it.”
Black Lips recently kicked off a North American tour in support of Sing in a World That’s Falling Apart that wraps with two hometown shows in Atlanta March 13th and 14th at the Earl. They’ll also play a handful of SXSW shows in Austin, March 18th through 21st.