Milwaukee’s collective music video game is strong these days. In the last year alone, local artists have given their music visual representation in a series of impressive, ambitious just plain inventive ways including animation, manipulating individual frames, expertly interweaving public domain footage, and re-enacting an ABBA music video shot-for-shot. Though you have to love the direction in which locally-made music videos are going, some songs just seem to be built for a stripped down and refreshingly basic visual pairing that’s devoid of any plot, theme or special effects. If ever there was a song that warrants a single-camera, one-take approach, it’s Jack Tell’s “My Name Is Jack.”
The singer of Animals In Human Attire and Lousy Trouts—both of whom are on indefinite hiatus at the moment—started his sojourn into a solo project with the aptly-named Solo back in January. In spring, he packed up his guitar and toured a fair amount of the Midwest and beyond on a motorcycle, even recording a Daytrotter session that’s soon to be released. Now, Tell wants to make his presence known to a wider audience with his even-more-on-the-nose “teaser” track called “My Name Is Jack.” The sonic salutation will be part of Tell’s next solo release, which the singer-songwriter expects to come out early next year.
Tell says the video was shot “in a secret location close to Bay View” by Cheston Van Huss of Effigy Media. The concept is simple: Tell sits atop a pile of rubble. He plays a song. He sings. The end. The barren, exposed setting of graffiti-tagged concrete bouting with Mother Nature for supremacy in the secluded segment of the city brings the listener’s focus to the troubadour’s harnessed and vastly-improved voice, and his technical guitar capabilities—complete with fretboard tapping and Kaki King-like use of the instrument for percussion. By the time the live take ends, it’d be hard to imagine the video being captured any other way.
Jack Tell will play a free show at Yield Bar on Thursday, July 9 at p.m. before hitting the road with Zach Steiner for a two-week Midwest and east coast tour.