Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Music Video Two-fer Tuesday: Stephen Chopek and Paul Taylor

Posted By on Tue, Dec 15, 2020 at 12:57 PM

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It's a very special Tuesday edition of Music Video Monday. Two of Memphis' finest musicians sent in videos for Music Video Monday marking big changes in their lives. Stephen Chopek and Paul Taylor are moving out of Memphis, at least for the time being. Since they're friends in real life, I decided to pay tribute to them together.

Chopek not only has a prolific recording career, he is also a one-man music video factory. The no-budget auteur has been Music Video Monday's most frequent feature, and his videos never fail to wow with their creativity. He's decamping to Atlanta to be with his family, so he made this video for his song "Unspoken Hopes" as a symbol of planting a new seed and hoping it grows. "There's only so long that you can ignore intuition," he says.  "Recurring ideas, plans, and dreams have a way of finding their way out the unconscious mind and into waking life. 'Unspoken Hopes' is about your inner voice manifesting itself into reality through repetition. This song deals with leaving 2020 behind and allowing our instincts to guide us into the future."

"Fun fact," says Chopek. "The very first gig I played after moving to Memphis in 2014 was drumming with Paul Taylor at the Blue Monkey." (See Alex Greene's record review here.)

Taylor is Memphis music royalty. He was the "T" in seminal Antenna punk band DDT, along with Cody and Luther Dickinson. Since then, he's had a an extensive solo career and been a trusted, in-demand sideman both in the studio and on stage. Trust me, the man plays literally everything better than you. He's leaving behind the Bluff City to head north, and he's nostalgic about the Midtown he leaves behind. He says his video for "So Long, Rembert" is "an homage to a special house on a special street; the end of a critical chapter, as my wife and I have relocated to Wisconsin for the time being. So many important things happened in my life in this house, so many things came together for me musically in this room, I can't help but feel sentimental and want to pay tribute to these four walls! This street, Rembert, right off Poplar Ave, has been home to everyone from Alex Chilton to Jeff Buckley. It’s been one of the last vestiges of bohemian midtown Memphis. Now, half the street is being torn down for condos and the MCA dorms are being replaced with a high rise. This music for me reflects the dismal yet hopeful nature of time moving forward! This video was made by literally screen recording while i slid my thumb to move the frames of a paused video to make my own homemade time lapse."

Paul and Stephen, we'll miss y'all. Don't be strangers. After all, everybody knows, once you're in the Memphis Music Mafia, it's for life. You'll always get pulled back in. 

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