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Avant-Garde Rock Group CarbonWorks Collaborates With Illustrator David Plunkert In New Music Video “Training That Works"

CarbonWorks' “Training that Works” Single artwork

CarbonWorks' “Training that Works” Single artwork

CarbonWorks lead guitarist/composer Neal Barnard

CarbonWorks lead guitarist/composer Neal Barnard

Avant-garde rock group CarbonWorks has released “Training That Works,” their eye-catching music video, illustrated entirely by noted artist David Plunkert!

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, USA, October 28, 2022 / -- Today, avant-garde rock group CarbonWorks, led by guitarist/composer Neal Barnard, releases their eye-catching music video “Training That Works”! To create the video, Barnard partnered with conceptual illustrator and noted graphic designer David Plunkert, whose works have appeared in countless museums and on covers of magazines, most notably The New Yorker, and legendary music videos by They Might Be Giants. “Training that Works” is the first release from CarbonWorks’ upcoming album Vanishing Act out January 27, 2023.

The song was written by band member and guitarist Bob Gray in the early 1980s, while Gray and Barnard were involved in Pop Maru, an industrial new wave band hailing from Washington, DC. When asked about the inspiration behind the track, Gray says “I was listening to a song by the Talking Heads called ‘The Good Thing’ at the same time I was starting yet another soul-crushing job. An advert in a trade publication blurted out the headline “Training That Works!” to promote job skills training. It seemed like the perfect corporate expression of the banal but deeply positive and uplifting content of the Talking Heads lyric.”

The video by David Plunkert is reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times, a 1936 silent dark comedy that follows the lead character (Chaplin) as a factory worker who becomes completely overwhelmed by the machinery he’s forced to work with and the various mishaps that constantly follow him. The film shines a light on the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world.

Set in a factory, the “Training that Works” hero pulls levers and fuels his day with coffee, happily knowing that he has the training to make his factory job dreams come true.

Featuring Gray’s upbeat vocals with clear-as-glass guitar solos played by Barnard and drums by Mike Stetina, “Training That Works” seamlessly blends both pop and rock genres, while Plunkert’s collage-style illustrations add a disquieting element.

“Training That Works”, the latest release by alternative rock band CarbonWorks in collaboration with prolific artist David Plunkert is available now on all streaming platforms. Stay tuned for more information on the band's upcoming album Vanishing Act out early 2023.

More about Neal Barnard
Raised in North Dakota’s cattle country, Neal Barnard grew up studying piano and cello. Barnard started composing and recording songs in the 80s. With a penchant for the avant-garde, Neal constantly writes songs that defy any genre categorization. He chooses unconventional time meters as well, in order to “tilt the song ever so slightly and give you that little jolt between the ears,” as he puts it.

Barnard launched CarbonWorks at a 2016 event at New York’s Metrograph, hosted by Alec Baldwin and Maggie Q. Its line-up included singers from Italy, France, and the U.S., with rock and classical instrumentalists. While this is Barnard’s fourth album, following Pop Maru, Verdun, and CarbonWorks’ 2016 release, he is better known as a medical pioneer who formed the Physicians Committee in 1985 to rally for prevention, nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research. In 2006, funded by the National Institutes of Health, Barnard used a low-fat vegan diet to revolutionize the treatment of type 2 diabetes and has used similar approaches to skewer weight problems, women’s health issues, and other medical challenges. “In music or medicine, we have to look out of the box,” he says. Michael Friedman wrote in Psychology Today, “Neal Barnard has never been one to accept the status quo.”

Next year Barnard and his band CarbonWorks will release Vanishing Act, a 10-track experimental album featuring international vocalists and musicians.

Naika Cadet
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Avant-garde rock group CarbonWorks' "Training that Works” Music Video