The Tropics: A Video Revue

…See what we did there?  Come on, it’s a Friday, we’re allowed to make dad jokes.  And what better way to spend your Friday pretending to get work done then by watching some music videos.  Today we submit to you, the procrastinating reader, a catalog of one of our favorite up-and-coming bands from one of our favorite music-producing cities.  That city is, of course, San Francisco and the band is the Tropics.  So come along as we look at some feel-good bookends to some “whaaa?” videos.

Feel Good Bookend I: Childhood Nostalgia

As adults (and parents), “Sleepless” has a whole different connotation, but as kids it can be an night of sheer joy with your friends.  To watch a video full of the things we did to stay awake – paper fortune teller, Connect Four, making calls on our see-through phones with their archaic cords, ordering pizza, and watching music videos – doubled down on the feel-good and grooving indie soul.  I give the video 8 out of 10 pizza slices.

Whaaa? Video I: An Homage To Whom?

Some of us could probably file this under “childhood nostalgia,” too.  But watching this remake of 1991’s black and white “Good Vibrations” video, you realize that Mark Whalberg was just as ridiculous then as he is running away from giant robots explosions.  “Fireproof” boasts similar grooving bass lines and guitar licks; Claire George certainly can hit more notes than Marky Mark could and can do bicep curls with cinder blocks too. Advantage: The Tropics, but an interesting choice of videos to pay tribute to.  I give it 3 out of 5 Gold Chains.

Whaaa? Video II: Whitewashed Dionysian Food-fest

All Kubrick-esque imagery aside, “Sons and Daughters” is hands-down my favorite track from the Wind House EP.  The dark guitar progressions and tom attacks on drums set a sinister tone are starkly contrasted by the bleached backdrop of ice cream suits and eggshell-white eye masks.  Color starts popping at the 2:18 mark and hit OK Go proportions with so much food dye and cake by the 3:30 mark that I feel the need to take a shower.

I would love to have heard this video pitch: OK, you’re going to dress up like extras from one of the stranger episodes of “Party Down” and spend one take singing into the camera wearing achromatic war paint.  Then, we’re going sit you down in an ivory room with those aforementioned ice-cream suits.  Next, we’ll give you an array of angel foods that have vibrant innards as well as some food coloring.  Just have fun with it.  I give it 9 out of 10 “Eyes Wide Shut” masks.

Feel Good Bookend II: The City

How quickly the pendulum swings.  With “Take You Home,” the Tropics go all 70s soul with their sound again and feature some 70s color saturation to their live set footage combined with cut scenes of San Francisco’s vibrancy.  If nothing else, the feel-good vibes from the song and the footage make me pine for the Pacific Ocean, MUNI rides, and the most restaurants per capita in the United States.  I give it 5 out of 5 Airline Tickets to SFO.

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