Ben Folds Five have a new album The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind (ImaVeePee Records/Sony Music) out today. They did a music video with FRAGGLE ROCK for the track “Do It Anyway.” Not a fan of Ben Folds but whenever bands rock out with the Muppets and The Fraggles, I’m okay with that.
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A production of Nerdist Industries, the video features the Fraggles, stars of The Jim Henson Company’s perennial fan-favorite “Fraggle Rock.” Ben Folds, along with returning band mates Robert Sledge and Darren Jessee, are joined by Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober, Red and Uncle Traveling Matt. Also making cameo appearances are Academy Award-nominated actress Anna Kendrick (“Up in the Air”), comedian Rob Corddry (“Children’s Hospital”) and Nerdist Industries’ Founder and Chief Creative Officer Chris Hardwick.
Hardwick describes how this cluster of awesomeness happened:
“In a meeting with Lisa [Henson, CEO, The Jim Henson Company], she casually said, ‘Next year is the 30th anniversary of ‘Fraggle Rock.’ Would you want to do anything with the Fraggles?’ ‘WHAT THE [expletive]?? That’s an OPTION?!’ I loudly replied. I think I scared her a little. I knew Ben had a new album releasing in September so I threw his name out. Lisa said ‘that would be amazing’ without hesitation. It was beautifully serendipitous. It seemed like a no-brainer to me, but I still cautiously pitched it to Ben, not really knowing his relationship with the show. I think I just spit words out, ‘YOU. VIDEO. FRAGGLES. ME PAY FOR!'”
Folds was VERY interested, it turns out, and had the perfect song in mind. “When Ben sent me ‘Do it Anyway,’ I knew within the first five seconds that the song was perfect-the bouncy piano… the dancing bass …it actually sounded like it was intentionally written for the Fraggles. I can never fully express the amount of nerdy joy that I felt on set seeing Red Fraggle jump around on Ben’s piano,” said Hardwick. “And the fact that I was able to weasel my way into the video was a dream come true.”
Formed in 1994, Ben Folds Five changed the course of indie rock in the mid-1990s before amicably parting ways in 2000 to pursue different artistic ventures. Now, after twelve years, the indie pop trio has returned to bring their unique pop sensibility to both Fraggle Rock and the Nerdist Channel.
Red Fraggle said, “We had a great adventure in Outer Space! Ben, Robert and Darren love music as much as Fraggles do, so we had lots of fun. It would be wonderful to have them come play more music in the caves with us, but I am not sure they can fit through the hole in the floor!”
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