Singer-songwriter, visual artist and entrepreneur Beard Bates — he of the formidable croon, even more formidable facial hair and his own line of grooming products — will release his album “The World Is Blown” on Nov. 9. While the music does not hew to one style, Bates’ songs largely orbit his fascination with the tragicomedy that is life itself. Take the fact that he begins and ends his video for the new single “Joyous Season” in a body bag for what you will.
The song, recorded at Joe Cardamone’s Valley Recording Studio with members of the Icarus Line backing Bates, is a hymn to the end times, and how we whistle past the graveyard on the way there. “It touches on elements of human decadence: carnal desires, greed, self-gratification and belligerent survivalism in the face of the storied history we have written for ourselves,” Bates says. “Despite the nature of our ‘nature,’ we nonetheless continue to live and thrive in the only ways we know how. Even at an ‘end of days,’ man would work to find means to revel in his condition — overlooking negatives, humans will forever find ways to make any season a ‘Joyous Season,’ at least part of the time.
“Humans inherently desire to convene, socialize and party. Life itself can feel sloppy and rickety, hardly punctual and seemingly insane, yet in the face of life’s madness and shortcomings, humans on the whole will make the best of the situation. Thus, the final reason for living is to continually live the ‘Joyous Season.’ … However, it’s debatable whether this inherent desire is ultimately a positive or negative for both ourselves and the world.”
So … party on?
The video, directed by Bates and filmed by Lourdes Vondrion, features snippets of the “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound” night at Harvard & Stone, where Bates occasionally guests with the house band led by Johnny Travis Jr. The night is a long-running hang for L.A.’s honky-tonk crowd, and it can be a place where sloppy meets rickety and goes home joyous.
||| Watch: The video for “Joyous Season”
||| Also: Watch the videos for “Dominoes in Fire” and “The Netherworld of Love”
||| Previously: “Lions Sheep Birds”