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Sleater-Kinney and Jeff Tweedy Join Courtney Barnett in her “Elevator Operator” Video

Courtney Barnett is the kind of rock star you would like to see with her own quirky IFC comedy someday, and her music video for “Elevator Operator” feels like a pretty good audition.

Speaking of rock stars with their own quirky IFC comedy series, Carrie Brownstein, with the rest of Sleater-Kinney, begin this music video with a very Portlandia-esque take on “Who’s On First” as the band struggles very hard to read a map in a park. From here we see Barnett running through a wide shot of the grassy scene, late for her job as the titular elevator operator for an especially weird, mystical, strangely inhabited building. After stealing a half-eaten banana from Jeff Tweedy, who appears to be in the midst of a heated chess match with his son, Barnett stops on each floor of a building, which open to reveal a vampire, weird blue people that look like Mystique, nuns, a serene beach setting, a dude bowling a bowling ball straight at her feet, and some other very strange shit that makes me want to visit this particular building.

When our beloved, deadpan elevator attendant reaches the roof, she surveys the gloomy scene with her two bandmates before picking up her axes and performing the rest of the song a la rooftop Beatles. Given the mixture of stream of consciousness witticisms and ripping guitar fuzz that comprise Courtney Barnett’s brand of rock stardom, this music video nails all the weird idiosyncrasies of her persona. Hopefully this means we get to see her on Portlandia this year.

Image: Milk! Records


Matt Grosinger is the music editor for Nerdist and still listens to Courtney Barnett’s originals EPs quite a bit.

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