Image: Cass McCombs Press

Ahead of his headline performance at Queen Elizabeth Hall tonight in the framework of his latest UK tour, today appears the second of four videos to appear this month from Cass McCombs, and this one's something special.  

Featuring a tour-de-force vocal performance by the late Karen Black,Brighter!’ is one of the highlights of McCombs's latest album, Big Wheel And Others, and the video directed by the iconic actress and singer's surviving husband, director Stephen Eckelberry, is a moving tribute to her unique legacy. Eckelberry explains:

“Cass McCombs emailed me in late November 2013 and asked if I would create a music video for ‘Brighter!’ - the song he recorded with Karen in December 2012 - using classic clips from her movies.  It struck me as an opportunity to explore a theme that interests me - the relationship of film and memory. We watch a movie and the images from that movie become part of our memory stream.”


My own memories of Karen are intertwined with memories of her in films - it gets messier for me since I directed several movies she was in - which memory is stronger; Karen during making the film or what ended up on screen?  An image came to me: Cass himself becoming a screen for the projection of images of Karen - as if his memories of her were playing themselves out over his body.


I found a clip I had shot with my iPhone when Cass was over at our house rehearsing the song with Karen, and I combined that with clips of her movies, some iconic, some more obscure, and I weaved in footage of fire, sparks, burning...  The song does seem to deal with hell, or is it the hell of fame?”

Black, who passed away on August 8th, 2013 after battling ampullary cancer, had a long and storied career filled with accolades, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in Five Easy Pieces and a Grammy nomination for her contributions to the soundtrack for the Robert Altman-directed Nashville. ‘Brighter!’ was the second collaboration between McCombs and Black, the first being her hauntingly memorable contributions to "Dreams-Come-True-Girl," a standout track on McCombs's 2009 album, Catacombs.

Cass McCombs and his band are currently on tour, wrapping up a successful UK and Ireland tonight with a headline show at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.  The remaining dates take them across Europe to Australia and are available below.

Tour dates:

13.01 Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

16.01 Teatro Maria Matos Lisbon, Portugal

17.01 Teatro Aveirense Aveiro City, Portugal

18.01 Casa de Artes VN Famalicao, Portugal

19.01 Salon Teatro de Santiago Santiago, Spain

20.01 El Sol Madrid, Spain

21.01 Edificio Cadiz, Spain

23 .01 La Sala (2) Apolo,   Barcelona, Spain

24 .01 Bordeaux Rocks,  Bordeaux, France

25.01 Le 106, Rouen, France

26 .01 MoFo Festival @ Mains D'Ouevres, Paris, France

30.01 Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, Australia

31.01 Laneway Brisbane RNA, Australia

1.02 Laneway Melbourne, Australia

2.02 Laneway Sydney, Australia

6 .02 Oxford Art Factory Sydney, Australia

7.02 Laneway Adelaide, Australia

8.02 Laneway Fremantle, Australia

17 - 20.07 Latitude Festival Suffolk

You can purchase 'Big Wheel And Others via all good record stores, iTunes<> and the Domino Mart<>.