Ben Harper Takes Western Trip For New Video

Alt-singer-songwriter Ben Harper is currently in the midst of his extended North American tour, and he recently took time out to shoot a video for "Burn To Shine," the first single and title track from his new album.

Ben Harper and his Innocent Criminals backing band shot the video at Broadway Stages in Long Island City, New York with co-directors Lance Acord and J.P. Plunier. Plunier has produced all four of Harper's studio albums, dating back to his 1994 debut, "Welcome To The Cruel World."

Acord is best known for his cinematography work in such films as "Buffalo 66," R.E.M.'s 1996 tour documentary "Road Movie," and the new Spike Jonze flick, "Being John Malkovich."

A publicist for Virgin Records' video department told MTV News that there was a surreal Western theme running through Harper's new clip, a concept suggested in part by the "Burn To Shine" album cover. For the clip, Harper and the Innocent Criminals were filmed against a green screen and are said to be the

only non-computer generated elements in the video.

The "Burn To Shine" clip is actually the second video Harper has completed to help promote the LP; an earlier video was filmed for "Please Bleed" with director Patric Hoelck and has been indefinitely shelved.

The new video is expected to begin airing next month. Meanwhile, Harper will continue on with his tour, which plays a two-night stand at the Metropolis in Montreal on October 30 and 31.