"Ladies and gentlemen... or, ladies and a couple gentlemen," Andrew McMahon said to a full room at New York's Angelika movie theater last night.
The mastermind behind Jack's Mannequin was quite aware of the female-dominant ratio of the audience, in attendance to witness all 11 music videos that accompany each of the tracks from the band's latest "People and Things," released today (Oct. 4).
Making a video component for every song on a record is nothing new; PJ Harvey very effectively did it for her "Let England Shake" earlier this year, for instance. But what is notable about Jack's Mannequin's endeavor is how McMahon hooked up with filmmakers he found on Vimeo, and the sheer number of them that were women. Two-thirds of the directors, in fact. And from "People and Things," many of said "people" were ladies, most notably muses "Amy, I" and "Amelia Jean" plus those unnamed in tracks like "Release Me." Jack's Mannequin brand of piano-led pop-rock -- like McMahon's former band Something Corporate -- has always appealed to the fairer sex (or whatever you call us).
So in a way, Jack's Mannequin has upped the ante on what it is to be for women, with thanks to women. And he's comfortable with that.
He was also happy to give the creative reins over to his short filmmakers, who individually put their spin on "People and Things" songs, though some common themes appeared in several clips. Like the titles from JM's first two albums (2008's "The Glass Passenger" and 2005's "Everything in Transit"), the man's music exhibits an obsession with the road, and videos like single "My Racing Thoughts" and "Platform Fire." Rope shows up for "Casting Lines" and "Release Me." The fulfillment of dreams occurs in "Hostage," animated shorts "Amy, I " and "People, Running." And in these, too, there's women of all shapes and sizes (and, occasionally, species), instead of the typical model-y type that graces so many pop videos today.
Sample some of the videos below.
"People and Things" is out today; the band's last "The Glass Passenger" made it to No. 8 on The Billboard 200.