Monday Morning Smile: "Cookie-Tin Banjo" - Benjamin Scheuer and Escapist Papers

I've previously featured "The Lion," a delightfully-animated video from Benjamin Scheuer and his band Escapist Papers, as a "Monday Morning Smile."

Now I'm featuring "Cookie-Tin Banjo," a delightfully-animated video from Benjamin Scheuer and his band Escapist Papers, as a "Monday Morning Smile."  The song is a tender ballad featuring delicate fret work on the guitar, and the animation (directed by Peter Baynton based on illustrations by Nicholas Stevenson) is of a different, fuzzier style, but the upshot -- an achingly lovely portrait of fathers and families -- is the same.  In fact, in its celebration of music through the generations, it's even more apropos for this site.

Benjamin Scheuer and Escapist Papers - "Cookie-Tin Banjo" [Vimeo]

Video: "Tiny Little Car" - Johnny Bregar

It's been a little since we've had some new music from Johnny Bregar (the last being 2012's My Neighborhood) but thankfully the dry spell will soon be coming to an end.  The Seattle-based Bregar will release a new album this fall loosely tied to the theme of imagination, and he's getting a super-early start on videos for the album.  He's just released a video for "Tiny Little Car," and the visuals from Blue's Clues animator Seth Zeichner are cute.

I don't recommend letting your dog drive just so you can play the guitar in the back seat, I don't care how tiny and/or little your car is.

Johnny Bregar - "Tiny Little Car" [YouTube]

Monday Morning Smile: "Wayne the Stegosaurus"

I love this idea.  Motionpoems is a Minnesota-based non-profit that essentially facilitates music videos for poetry.  Now, it's not quite Tawny Kitaen rocking out to John Ashbery, but the results, featuring hand-picked poems and video artists, are intriguing to see.

Most of the poems are geared for adults, but one of the most recent, "Wayne the Stegosaurus," is for readers of all ages.  It's a poem by well-known children's poet Kenn Nesbitt, and the animation is from Jeffrey Dates and Aran Quinn.  I mean, if you don't want to watch after seeing the still below, then you are not a poetry or dinosaur fan.

Video: "November First (Jump, Run, Shake)" - Eric Herman


Normally with a video subtitled "Jump, Run, Shake," you might think that it's one of those "active" songs encouraging everyone to be fit.  But one listen to "November First (Jump, Run, Shake)," the first single off Eric Herman's forthcoming Party Animal CD, and you'll realize that maybe the kid just needs to take the edge off a wee bit.  (The animations from Majed Maaroufi capture the sugar rush quite nicely, thanks.)

Eric Herman - "November First (Jump, Run, Shake)" [YouTube]

Monday Morning Smile: "Dog" - Nat Johnson

If I didn't already have a sparkly and cheerful video lined up last Monday morning, I totally would have posted this video from British singer Nat Johnson.  It's for the song "Dog" from Johnson's forthcoming album Neighbour of the Year, and if this doesn't end up on the inevitable tweaking/re-release of Putumayo's Animal Playground, then somebody (could be them, could be me) isn't doing their job right.  The gentle folk tune nails the desire for pet companionship, as do Fettle Animation's felt-ish drawings.  (And if you can't wait for the album, buy the single here or on iTunes.)

Nat Johnson - "Dog" [YouTube] (h/t: Lori Henriques)

Video: "A Walk Around the Block" - Bill Harley

Bill Harley's ode to spinners of tales (and cookies), "A Walk Around the Block," from his album The Best Candy in the Whole World.  The illustrations from Laura Dowling make for a nice mix of retro and fanciful, an appropriate accompaniment for Harley's gentle tune.

Bill Harley - "A Walk Around the Block" [YouTube]