Before heading out on a nine-date U.S. tour with opening act Cracker, the Counting Crows shot a cinematic clip for "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby," the new single from the group's most recent LP, "This Desert Life," over the weekend.
The Crows originally had no plans to make a clip for the new single, as frontman Adam Duritz told MTV News from a Burbank film studio. "It's a really long song," Duritz said of the track, which clocks in at eight minutes. "I don't know if anyone will play a video for it, so we weren't going to make one."
A meeting with director Olivia D'Albis turned things around for the group. "She approached it like a film rather than like a video," Duritz recalled. "She really had an artistic vision of how to do it. Eight minutes seemed to be a bit lengthy for a video, but this idea was so beautiful, I changed my mind."
D'Albis approached the band with a 45-page storyboard outlining her concept, a part of which involved projecting stock film footage,
upside-down slides of 19th-century photographs, and slides of text phrases on the band's surroundings and on the bandmembers themselves. The shoot for the eight-minute clip lasted two days and required no pricey special effects.
"She's really thought it out," Duritz said of D'Albis, a first-time director. "It's not haphazard, and she's not throwing money at this thing. She's really artistically and directorally thought this out. The band's time on the set is less and more concentrated than I've ever spent.
"We're sometimes shooting 20 hours a day [for other videos]," he explained, "like 'Mr. Jones,' that was a lot of hours. 'Daylight Fading' was endless hours in the desert. This one has been pretty easy."
Another moment in the video will recall the band's last video, "Hanginaround." "There's a scene in a party at the house, and it's in this little kitchen, as all parties are," "and all of my roommates and a bunch of my best friends are in it," Duritz explained.
While the finished clip will remain largely true to D'Albis' original concept, Duritz had a small hand in consulting with the director. "I gave her some thoughts [on things which] I thought were pertinent parts of the song," he said, "and she took it all into account."
One of those pertinent parts was the final verse of the song, which begins, "We drove out to the desert just to lie down beneath this bowl of stars."
Duritz explained that while recording the album, "Me and a bunch of the guys in the band drove up to Joshua Tree [California] and played this concert up there in pioneer town on a whim.... We were just this little band composed of the guys from Cracker and some of the guys from the Counting Crows and after we played the gig, we stayed in the desert.
"When you're not sure in your life and you're not sure who you are," he continued, "go down to the desert and play some rock and roll. Essentially, that's who you are in the end. Everything else doesn't
matter for people like us."
The director projected an aerial image of the desert behind Duritz to illustrate the verse. "I don't think a video necessarily has to tell the story of the song," Duritz offered. "It just has to communicate the emotion of it. I think this is really going to do that."
The group hopes to take the completed, full-length video to film festivals and enter it as a short, Duritz said.
While D'Albis finishes up her work on the "Miss Potter's Lullaby" clip, the band will head back on the road for its second U.S. jaunt in support of "This Desert Life." The tour kicks off on May 17 in Omaha, Nebraska for nine dates with opening act Cracker, after which the California-based sextet will head off to Europe for a number of not-yet-finalied festival dates. The band will then have time for a quick breather before it begins its double tour alongside Live on July 28 in Bonner Springs, Kansas.
To see the Crows in the flesh, here's where to find them:
- 5/17 - Omaha, NE @ Omaha Civic Auditorium
- 5/19 - Moline, IL @ Mark Of The Quad Cities
- 5/20 - Madison, WI @ Dana County Expo Center
- 5/22 - Springfield, IL @ Prairie Capital Convention Center
- 5/23 - South Bend, IN @ Morris Performing Arts Center
- 5/25 - Fort Wayne, IN @ Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
- 5/26 - Toledo, OH @ Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre
- 5/28 - Kalamazoo, MI @ Wings Stadium
- 5/31 - East Lansing, MI @ Breslin Events Center
- 7/28 - Bonner Springs, KS @ Sandstone Amphitheatre
- 7/29 - Maryland Heights, MO @ Riverport Amphitheatre
- 7/31 - Noblesville, IN @ Deer Creek Music Center
- 8/2 - Clarkston, MI @ Pine Knob Music Theatre
- 8/3 - Clarkston, MI @ Pine Knob Music Theatre
- 8/5 - Tinley Park, IL @ New World Music Theatre
- 8/6 - Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center
- 8/8 - Columbus, OH @ Polaris Amphitheater
- 8/9 - Cuyahoga Falls, OH @
Blossom Music Center
- 8/11 - Camden, NJ @ Blockbuster - Sony Center
- 8/12 - Scranton, PA @ Montage Mountain
- 8/14 - Saratoga Springs, NY @ Performing Arts Center
- 8/16 - Mansfield, MA @ Tweeter Center
- 8/18 - Wantagh, NY @ Jones Beach
- 8/22 - Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
- 8/23 - Hartford, CT @ Meadows Music Theatre
- 8/26 - Hershey, PA @ Hersheypark Stadium
- 8/28 - Toronto, ON @ Molson Amphitheatre
- 8/29 - Montreal, QC @ Molson Centre
- 8/31 - Darien Center, NY @ Darien Lake Six Flags PAC
- 9/2 - Burgettstown, PA @ Star Lake
- 9/3 - Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post
- 9/12 - Milwaukee, WI @ Marcus Amphitheatre
- 9/13 - Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center
- 9/16 - Seattle, WA @ The Gorge
- 9/19 - Reno, NV @ Reno Hilton Amphitheatre
- 9/20 - Concord, CA @ Chronicle Pavilion @ Concord
- 9/23 - Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
- 9/25 - Los Angeles, CA @ TBA
- 9/26 - Los Angeles, CA @ TBA
- 9/29 - Chula Vista,
CA @ Coors Amphitheatre
- 9/30 - Irvine, CA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
- 10/2 - Phoenix, AZ @ Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavilion
- 10/3 - Las Vegas, NV @ Hard Rock Hotel - The Joint
- 10/5 - Englewood, CO @ Fiddler's Green
- 10/6 - Albequerque, NM @ Mesa Del Sol Amphitheatre
- 10/8 - Austin, TX @ South Park Meadows
- 10/10 - Dallas, TX @ Starplex Amphitheatre
- 10/11 - Woodlands, TX @ C.W. Mitchell Pavilion
- 10/13 - New Orleans, LA @ UNO Lakefront Arena
- 10/14 - Pelham, AL @ Oak Mountain Amphitheater
- 10/16 - Antioch, TN @ AmSouth Amphitheatre
- 10/17 - Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
- 10/21 - West Palm Beach, FL @ Mars Music Amphitheatre
- 10/22 - Orlando, FL @ TD Waterhouse Centre
- 10/24 - Charlotte, NC @ Blockbuster Pavilion
- 10/25 - Raleigh, NC @ Alltel Pavilion @ Walnut Creek