J Mascis‘s emotional confessions are subtle, as Grayson Haver Currin observes in his Wondering Sound review of the Dinosaur Jr. leader’s new solo album, Tied to a Star. On the breezy, acoustic-based “Every Morning,” Mascis’s quiet voice doesn’t have to contend with much howling electric guitar — though he tears off a few tidy solos between verses — but he’s laconic enough to sabotage any attempt to make a more conventional music video based around the song’s lyrics. (“Every morning makes it hard on me,” goes the bittersweet chorus. “Then it hits me this is the life I lead.”)
Kudos to video director Danny Jelinek, then, for coming up with an amusing narrative that actually adds meaning to the themes of the track. Jelinek previously oversaw Best Coast‘s tennis-themed “This Lonely Morning” lyric video, and here he portrays Mascis as the leader of an over-the-top hippie cult. As with Mascis in the song, the cult members’ lives, presumably, involve weary-yet-grateful acceptance of the things they cannot change each sunrise. And then there’s Portlandia/Late Night with Seth Meyer co-star/bandleader Fred Armisen, whose character changes everything, and draws a further contrast between Mascis’s quiet introspection and the insidiously hippie-descended cult of Silicon Valley, i.e. the 55th state.