Plunderbund describes their own video as “a towering testament to both world-class, epic procrastination and to negligent self-care.”
Based in La Jolla, Plunderbund (defined in the dictionary as “a league of commercial, political, or financial interests that exploits the public”) is a power trio playing alternative and power pop tunes, often with a sarcastic and comedic bent. “We like to present our songs as upbeat, danceable, melodic pop rock,” says singer-guitarist Daniel Westrick. “That way, you’re totally taken by surprise when you realize just how dark some of the lyrics really are. It’s sneaky, you almost don’t notice.”
In addition to performing occasional driveway livestreams, Westrick and Plunderbund drummer-singer Mike Reedy recently guested on a new album by Claire Walding, and he worked on more of their imaginative, shoestring-budget videos, for which they’ve become known.
“New Age Parody” kicks off the hilarity with its opening line “Come out of that basement, ’cause way down there, you’ll lose your hair,” following up with a rising chorus of Beatlesque harmonies that, though somewhat crudely recorded, clearly show a love and command of the sort of pop psychedelia trafficked by likeminded, and far more well-funded, ensembles such as Tears For Fears and XTC.
Their 2019 video for “Matter of Fact,” according to Westrick, “Humorously explores our country’s difficult relationship with reality…. We would have liked to have included a few models in lingerie for that.”
The band just released a new video follow-up to “Matter of Fact” called “Home,” which was started in July 2019 and is described by Westrick as “a towering testament both to world-class, epic procrastination and to negligent self-care.” “Home” is built around a Foghat-style blues riff, with their female bassist-singer Lisa Brackmann confessing how she “overstay[s] my welcome and never make the bed,” building up a nice head of steam until going off the rails with a surprisingly scorching guitar solo.
“The songs are both from our 2019 EP,” says Westrick. “After the ‘Matter of Fact’ video was released, I was all pumped up and wanted to do another one quickly. I planned to shoot scenes in Slab City near the Salton Sea and didn’t want to wait, so we went out in 115 degree heat in July. My wife nearly passed out helping us. So I guess my inspiration kind of got melted from the heat. The footage sat on the shelf until almost exactly a year later, when we shot more scenes at Fiesta Island. Then more procrastination until now. Lisa Brackmann, our bass player and the star of 'Home' is leaving San Diego next month, so I wanted to get this done before then.”
“We shot a lot of it at the East Jesus art colony in Slab City. We compensated them for allowing us to shoot by giving them a bottle of whiskey and a bag of ice. Because it was so hot, only two caretakers were holding down the fort.”
The video is now online and can be played from this webpage, but some of their plans to promote it have been thwarted by automated robotic sentries. “After I posted the video, I tried to place a Facebook ad, but it was rejected because of political content.”
“From what I can tell, Facebook algorithms are reading the slogans on the wall of old TVs at East Jesus and finding them controversial.”