ENJOY THE GENIUS 3: “Uncharted” Waters

Fresh out the box! Stop, look and watch! Ready yet? Get set…


(Man, I used to love that show when I was a kid. ’90s NICKELODEON FOR THE WIN!)

This installment of ENJOY THE GENIUS has been brought to you by a public access music show in Florida called The Uncharted Zone. And also by the letter Q because if Sesame Street isn’t going to show that letter some love, then I will.

Queens Of The Stone Age ALSO FOR THE WIN!

Queens Of The Stone Age ALSO FOR THE WIN!

Okay, so for the last installment of ENJOY THE GENIUS I spent a lot of time showing you some covers. This time I’m starting with yet another cover… only this time we’re not focusing on the music here. No, the ENJOY THE GENIUS factor comes from the music video, as it will for just about everything else in this post. You see, the song this band has chosen to cover is the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers classic “American Girl.” Now, I don’t know about you, but the first thing I think of whenever I listen to “American Girl” is almost always space travel!

“God, it’s so painful when something that’s so close/Is still so far out of reach!” You see, everybody? Tom Petty was clearly singing about the Moon! You know, because it’s close to us — astronomically speaking — and yet so far out of our reach that it would take a week of floating through space to get there.

This next video comes courtesy of the well-known religious activism group Green Screens For Jesus.

He’s singing in front of a green background — no wait, now he’s in the desert now there’s two of him for some reason and the background looks kind of watery now he’s rapping while floating in space. What is it with these videos and outer space? I mean, I like astronomy too, but I’m not about to let Jupiter make a cameo in every video I make, you know? Besides (and trust me on this), Jupiter doesn’t need that boost to his ego. He’s already the king of the Roman gods AND the biggest planet in the Solar System. The bastard sends me Facebook messages, like, every day. He likes to taunt me about how his gravity will “ABSOLOOTLY CRUSH U n0oBs on Earth n stuf” and how he’s got this huge red spot that’s the size of three Earths. I messaged him back explaining that here on Earth we call those “huge red spots” pimples and consider them ugly and embarrassing. That ought to shut him up for a while.

And now for the reason I’m making this post, the reason I even know that this show exists…

Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you’re all sitting down for this. There is no way you can possibly be prepared for the intense musical stylings of Stereogum Artist To Watch Mark Gormley.

This video is basically the embodiment of everything ENJOY THE GENIUS is about. I mean… they filmed some scenes for this video on a beach, yet they still had to use a green screen to get Mr. Gormley there. You’ve got a model smiling awkwardly at the camera like she doesn’t realize that it’s still rolling, then she’s walking around in a bikini somewhere for no reason, then it’s Mr. Gormley awkwardly shuffling his feet to and fro in front of a picture of a spooky forest as if he’s supposed to be walking through it, then you’ve got Mr. Gormley performing not too far away from the shooting site for the “American Girl” video up there after another brief scene of NASA stock footage…

Basically, these videos are kind of like a more expensive “public access TV” version of those “Make Your Own Music Video” booths you might see at arcades or amusement parks or something. It reminds me of that episode of Doug where Doug Funnie writes a secret song about Patti Mayonnaise and records it in a “Make Your Own Music Video” booth — banjo and all — only to get his tape mixed up with a video of Mr. Bone yodeling.

Hey, look at that — more ’90s Nickelodeon nostalgia! Truly, this post has come full circle. And with that, another edition of ENJOY THE GENIUS comes to a close.


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