A brief history of Pirate Jenny’s Alien Mind music video

The Alien Mind Music video Pirate Jenny made more than 11 years ago in a Portland alleyway now feels nostalgic and vaguely prophetic.

In the fall of 2008 the economy had ground to a halt but we were still living off the residual energy of Portland’s 1990s creative boom that filled clubs such as The 1201, Ash Street Saloon, and Berbati’s Pan with strange original music by bands including our own “Pirate Jenny.”

A few months earlier I had begun mixing down a Garage Band demo that had become almost a joke in our family. An anthem about avoiding personal interaction, sung from the perspective of a paranoid Vulcan. The song was one of my typical autobiographical numbers, representing my innate shyness with a bit of my friend Matt’s Vulcan-esque personality thrown in.

Pirate Jenny singer Paul Iannotti heard the track and proposed a music video in which he would star and co-direct with bandmate John Morgan, a skilled cinematographer who would define the postmodern space camp look of the video.

With help from numerous extras played by friends and family members, the video was shot and edited in late summer, with the alien dance scenes recorded in Pirate Jenny’s basement studio in Kevin’s house.

I still love the vibe of this video — Paul did a fantastic job with the script and the acting as he portrays the Spock-like main character, running from signature collectors through parking lots and back alleys of S.E. and N.E. Portland. And John nailed it with his videography, editing, pulsating light effects, and lo-fi alien space craft.

I hope you enjoy this rare example of Pirate Jenny going off their pirate-themed rails for a little bit of alien-versus-human social distancing.


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