Abby Travis' LIGHTNING SQUARED music video, directed by Ursula Hitler
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Uploaded on Nov 22, 2011
First coming into the public eye as the 16-year-old bass player in the garagey Lovedolls, featured in the renowned Desperate Teenage Lovedolls and its sequel, Lovedolls Superstar, L.A.-born-and-raised Abby Travis went on to become a much-favored session player/singer with Elastica and Beck at Lollapalooza '95, then with an eclectic array including Exene Cervenka, Michael Penn, KMFDM, the Bangles, Butthole Surfer Gibby Haynes, Dee Dee Ramone, Vanessa Paradis and Spinal Tap; recent gigs include bass playing with The Eagles of Death Metal and Masters of Reality. She has appeared in several indie films, including Shadow Hours, Weathermen '69 and The Book of Manson, and makes frequent appearances in theater roles; her musical catalogue was adapted for the 2009 drag queen musical Little Black Veil in Los Angeles.
Mainly, though, Abby Travis makes great records (including the critically hailed 2001 Cutthroat Standards & Black Pop and '06's Glittermouth) that combine her fearsome vocal and bass chops in heavy-rocking and artfully crafted pop scenarios, with an affection for Weillish cabaret and a decidedly glittery, glam-rocky joy. Her new single, the Prince-inspired "Lightning Squared," is a '50s rockabilly-er choicely spiked with ? and the Mysterians organ.
The video for "Lightning Squared" is a cartoon horror romance directed by Ursula Hitler, a writer/artist/transvestite adventurer based in Los Angeles. Perhaps best known as the creator of the web series "Inside Ursula Hitler's Head" (featuring the adventures of Sweetie and Mr. Meany, the cartoon party girl and the nasty old man who live inside Ursula's head,) Ursula has also published comics and her writing has been widely featured in various venues. She has been active in the Los Angeles rock and drag scene for over a decade.
Ursula has made dozens of Sweetie and Mr. Meany cartoons using the popular animation program Xtranormal, but this is her first film using her own drawings. The animation for "Lightning Squared" was created using Videospin, an obsolete video editing program that was not actually designed to be used for animation. Ursula invented a simple but effective animation technique she's dubbed Videospinimation, in which she uses the program's title superimposition features to painstakingly animate frame by frame. The results have a crude, fun energy somewhat reminiscent of Terry Gilliam's cut-out animation for Monty Python.
"I've been a huge fan of Abby for years," Ursula says, "all the way back to the days of her performances at the legendary Club Makeup in the late '90s. When she approached me to make a video for LIGHTNING SQUARED, I was absolutely honored and I gave it everything I had."
Learn more about the music of Abby Travis at www.AbbyTravis.com, and explore Ursula Hitler's strange cartoon world at www.UrsulaHitler.com.
Music copyright Abby Travis and BMI.
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