It’s just a few more days until D.A. Stern releases his new EP People Named Ben, which is out on July 16. Today, we’re premiering the new video for a song from that EP, “I Look At Every Face (Cindy).” The humorous video stars D.A. Stern as a well-meaning but extremely awkward suitor who comes up with a tasty method for winning over his future partner, played by Mikki Hernandez. Also appearing in the video is Dom Costabile, an actor who has appeared on Tim Heidecker’s Office Hours show who also co-directed the video with Andrew Narvaez.
While the video is hilarious and may very well introduce you to the concept of Spaghetti Shakers, the real star here is the song. “I Look At Every Face (Cindy)” is a nugget of summery alternative pop, blending Brian Wilson-esque orchestral elements and saccharine-sweet pop hooks.
Stern’s character is dapper but slightly dorky, riding his bike through residential LA streets before arriving at the park to meet his prim and proper date. It’s there that he busts out the spaghetti – Hernandez delicately consumes the pasta in a cup while Stern dives right in, getting sauce all over the place. After being rejected, he returns to his home which is apparently also a laboratory, where he makes a life-altering version of the Spaghetti Shaker. He gets a second chance with his date, who is thoroughly exhilarated by his transformation. In the end, the new cups ‘o spaghetti completely transform Stern, his date and the nosey neighbor, played by Costabile. If you’re impressed with the food products in the video, be sure to call the Spaghetti Shakers hotline at 818-938-8843.
“My co-producer, Andrew Lappin (L’Rain, Chromeo), and I thought this song would be well-suited for full-on Beach Boys harmonies,” said Stern. “We enlisted close friend and brilliant musician, Erik Gundel (Gemma), to make the arrangements and a few other pals in LA, including Bart Davenport, to sing the parts. Lyrically, the song explores the feeling certain places give you when they have strong emotional associations with somebody in your life.”
People Named Ben is the second release following Stern’s 2018 full-length Aloha Hola, which was released on revered noise pop label Slumberland Records. In 2020, he released Mmxxtape, a record that featured appearances by Colleen Green, Fat Tony and more. He was raised in New Jersey and spent his formative years in the New York City music scene along with his band Sanctuaries. He also worked in production and engineering, recording music with artists like Cat Power, Kathleen Hannah, James Murphy and the Beastie Boys’ Ad Rock and Mike D.
Photo Credit: Graham Ohmer