Mo Troper Teams Up With Tim and Eric’s David Liebe Hart for “Dictator Out of Work” Music Video (KEXP Premiere)

Local Music, KEXP Premiere
Dusty Henry

Last year Portland songwriter Mo Troper released the excellent Exposure & Response, a record packed with decadent power-pop hooks and decadent musical arrangements. But more than just being a collection of songs where nearly each one can get rotation in my subconscious for months), Troper weaves narratives and parables with a cast of delightfully obtuse characters that would give a Daniel Clowes’ graphic novel a run for its money. “Dictator Out Of Work” maybe epitomizes this the most on the record, with Troper sarcastically lamenting the downfall of a demagogue while showcasing his own melodic ingenuity. Now with the music video for “Dictator Out of Work,” we get an abstract visualization of the eccentric cast Troper encapsulates in his music – complete with Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show, Great Job!’s own puppeteer and alien enthusiast David Liebe Hart.

The video feels like a daydream with Troper donning a Western shirt, embracing a Hank Williams-meets-Robert Pollard aesthetic. The hazy blue and purple room itself looks like a blissful cross between heaven and the set of a department store portrait studio. Troper’s joined by a backing complete with drums, guitar, horns, strings, and of course Hart. Hart does little more than lip sync backing vocals and shake sleigh bells, but his presence in this veritable Infinity War of musicians helps encapsulate the myriad influences Troper reflects in his own music and witty lyricism. It’s a blending of the classic looks of pop rock mashed with Troper’s own nuanced sense of humor.

Watch the video below.

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