BB Video: "The People Tree," David Byrne / NASA Project

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Boing Boing Video is proud to present the world-premiere of a new video with David Byrne from the forthcoming music documentary N.A.S.A. (Myspace Link), with art by Marcel Dzama and animation by Syd Garon. The track is "The People Tree," and also features the musical stylings of Chali 2na, Gift Of Gab & Z-Trip. We've been watching this one take shape, musically and visually, for months, and I'm so excited to be blogging this today.

Mr. Byrne, who is currently on tour supporting his collaboration with Brian Eno, "Everything That Happens," tells Boing Boing from the road:

Since I wrote a tune and some words for Mr Clean's track various layers of meaning have been added- not the least of which is Marcel's animated video. Having first seen his work at a show by the Royal Art Lodge collective I wondered if there might be something in the water up there in Winnipeg. Here is the voice of God speaking through an old Oak tree- which seems perfectly right...and it complements the song perfectly, as do the ghosty spermy spirits at one point. anyway, I'm flattered and thrilled that this all happened- I never would have dreamed it, but now I do
And Syd Garon, who animated and directed this beautiful gem of a video, says:
Lance Accord had an old roll of film he left out in the sun for 5 years, he shot the film for us then we aged it pretty good as per Marcel's request. I dragged it up and down the street several times, walked all over it and then let the cat bite it for while. Then we took it to a transfer house called New Hat in Santa Monica. They have a million dollar film transfer machine that had some awesome technology that made most of the scratches disappear. Doh! So we took it back into the parking lot, drove a car over it, threw some water on it and spliced it up a bit. The transfer guy cut his million dollar color correcting finger in the process and like trooper he poured the blood on the film
The debut album by N.A.S.A., "The Spirit of Apollo" was released today as well. The N.A.S.A. film project is one arm of the album, which has many different components.

Credits: © 2008 Spectrophonic Sound under license to Anti- Records. "The People Tree" (Featuring David Byrne, Chali 2na, Gift Of Gab & Z-Trip). Art by Marcel Dzama. Directed and Animated: Syd Garon and Johannes Gamble. Producer: Susan Applegate. Production Company: Squeak E. Clean. Transfer House : New Hat. Film: Lance Accord. Telecine Artist and Blood Donor: Adolfo Martinelli. Photoshop: Jeremy Kaller and Jennifer Fujikawa.

Below: More work from Marcel Dzama.


  1. Man I cannot wait to get out of work and check this out! Chali 2Na + Gift of Gab?! On a track with David Byrne and DJ Z-Trip!?! On bbTV???!!

    Sweeeeeet bonus.

  2. absolutely loved it! when a video is done right, it’s sooo nice. loved the animation and artwork, not to mention the song :)

  3. Good song! and the Marcel Dzamation is great. The Dzama Bernardi Collection has been my favorite art book for some time. Very cool.

  4. I went to Art School w/ Marcel and the rest of the Art Lodge gang here in Winnipeg, and I can say that their visual style has had a reverberating effect on Artists in this city. Add to this unique vision of the world the films of Guy Maddin, and you can see that YES, there IS something in the water here.

  5. Amazon currently has an N.A.S.A track, “Money (feat. David Byrne, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge & Z-Trip)” as a free download, DRM-free MP3.

    It’s currently at the bottom of their “Special Deals” page at this monstrosity of an URL:, or you can try for a direct link here:

  6. Dzama’s basically the best — no one’s got as much artistic command of root beer as he does.

    Oh, and this David Byrne fellow sounds like he’s got a promising career in music ahead of him, as well.

  7. The water in Winnipeg comes from Ontario, and there /is/ something in it. For such a little-big city with the funny name, Winnipeg has a real, honest-to-goodness, vibrant and wild arts scene that rivals more famous centres.

    All that winter seems to breed the highest sort of weirdness.

  8. I’ve been loving the NASA tracks that are getting high rotation on the radio in my part of the world – really, really enjoyable.

    And the list of collaborators is awesome – Tom Waits, MIA, Byrne, Karen O.

    This is the most worthwhile project from Squeak E Clean since he did the music for the Adidas comercial a few years back (i’ve not been a fan since he borked the production on YYY’s “Show Your Bones” – in my opinion, anyway.)

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