Yesterday Ben Folds Five, in conjunction with Nerdist and the Fraggles, released the video for “Do It Anyway,” the first single from their new and apparently much-anticipated album The Sound of the Life of the Mind, and it’s awesome. It’s just awesome.
Let’s just run down a quick list of why this is awesome:
1. Fraggles. Duh. Obvious #1.
2. Specifically Uncle Traveling Matt. Or, as you may know him, Tarzan from Survivor: ONE WORLD!
3. Rob Corddry, doing general Rob Corddry things (the smarmier the better).
4. A pretty rocking Ben Folds Five song. In fact, it’s so good that we’ve been forced to reassess our whole perception of Ben Folds Five. Thanks to his service as a judge on the Sing-Off, Ben Folds had already endeared himself to us as perhaps the one and only genuinely polite, affable and respectful judge among all reality competitions. But that was specific to his personality and gratitude, his completely unironic earnestness and enthusiasm. It did nothing to make us think of “Brick” as anything other than an okay song that we periodically remember is about abortion which VH1 used to play every morning just before or just after the video for Sheryl Crow’s “Strong Enough,” a song we much preferred. Nor did his positivity and humor suggest to us that we should go back and give Forever and Amen a listen, that perhaps when we surmised that Ben Folds Five was for the other guys, we were mistaken. No, we just grew to really like the guy. However, this video completely calls into question everything we thought we knew about Ben Folds Five. Perhaps we had them wrong all along.
5. Ben Folds screaming and screaming well. On par with any of our favorite emo singers (is this the first song that could be accurately categorized as screamo jazz? Did Ben Folds Five just birth an entirely new musical genre? Maybe they did just change rock & roll)
6. Also: the “Angry Young Man“-esque opening piano riff (and who is Ben Folds but a less Jewy, less angry Billy Joel, anyway?).
7. The bassist (who Wikipedia and legions of adoring Ben Folds Five fans tell us is named Robert Sledge) seems like a pretty fun guy. He’s getting really into it! Bonus points for the tie and short-sleeve plaid shirt combo. We should check to see if he hosts Attack of the Show.
8. The bass line at 2:55 is pretty rad. Michael Anthony would be proud.
9. There’s no harm in Anna Kendrick (especially we’re talking about something other than Pitch Perfect).
10. We like the song’s carpe diem, caution to the wind, fuck it message. It’s like a modern-day “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”
11. And finally, because they absolutely had to do it, because we were just dying for it, the Fraggle Rock theme!