Popeye resurrected: Wilco gets animated for 'Dawned on Me'
When Wilco's ace guitarist Nels Cline told The Times recently that his band leader, Jeff Tweedy, was a "collage artist," one who would resurrect "treasured items," Cline was talking pop structures. Yet he apparently could have been discussing an appreciation for vintage cartoons. In what's a rare proper music video from Wilco, which is in the midst of a three-night stand in Los Angeles this week, the band's "Dawned on Me" has been re-fashioned as a tale of love and jealously centered on Popeye the Sailor Man and his familiar cast of characters.
The cartoon, a collaboration between Wilco's label dBpm Records and Blow Me Down! King Features, was directed by designer-branding guru Darren Romanelli. Said to be the first hand-drawn Popeye cartoon since 1987, the clip sees the popular spinach-eating sailor trying to distract the love of his life, Olive Oyl, from failling for Wilco's Tweedy. The girl, of course, chooses the musician (sigh).
"Dawned on Me" is one of the more lighthearted songs on Wilco's new album, "The Whole Love," although lyrically it has a slightly dark undercurrent in its midsection. Amid brightly colored guitar and keyboard textures, what at first appears to be a bouncy number about calling a loved one is revealed to be something a little more sinister when it's made clear that the couple are no longer together.
But never mind all of that. There's a cartoon to watch:
-- Todd Martens
Image: Screenshot from Wilco's "Dawned on Me" video featuring Popeye and Wilco-branded spinach.