Portugal. The Man’s new song, “Who’s Gonna Stop Me,” released on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, feels like an unexpected surprise, especially when you learn the song features "Weird Al" Yankovic. In the video, Yankovic plays a sort of shapeshifting coyote, a trickster in many Indigenous cultures of western North America.
“To us ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic has always been a figure of playful boundary-breaking. His work makes us take less seriously, the things that we take so seriously, like what’s cool, or what’s trendy,” the band wrote on the song description. “‘Weird Al’ Yankovic' has been an inspiration for Portugal. The Man since their inception until now.”
But of course, the collaboration goes beyond ‘Weird Al’ and includes indigenous artists, friends, and organizations in an effort “to explore the possibilities of collaboration in this new time.”
The video, directed by Aaron Brown and Josué Rivas, features Acosia Red Elk—a world champion jingle dancer, creator of powwow yoga, and a member of the Umatilla Tribe. In between scenes of ‘Weird Al’ sneaking into a home near the Tongva Territory in Los Angeles, and the band lighting a fire in Chinook and Cowlitz territory, Red Elk walks through a boarded-up downtown Portland and dances in front of a graffitied Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse.
“Working on this video was all about the process for me, being able to collaborate and make something with Portugal. The Man, ‘Weird Al’, and our Indigenous relatives was healing,” Rivas said in a statement. “We are in a moment in need of weaving, collaboration, and building bridges. We are all future ancestors and when [we] make things together, we are powerful. Tlazocamati.”
Coinciding with the release and Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the P.T.M. Foundation released a new limited-run T-shirt. Proceeds from the shirt will be split between the Navajo Clean Water Project (to which the band has recently donated $20,000) and addressing the water crisis the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs is experiencing.
Today is #IndigenousPeoplesDay and to celebrate we just launched a new t-shirt fundraiser!— PTM Foundation (@PTMFoundation) October 12, 2020
100% of proceeds from these shirts will be split between @DigDeepH2O’s Navajo Clean Water Project and addressing the water crisis the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.@PortugalTheMan pic.twitter.com/0FihCw789N
Also on the T-shirt front, the P.T.M Foundation recently launched a new shirt, designed in collaboration with Rivas, to support the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition’s “We Love You” campaign, which supports Indigenous Elders who survived the Indian boarding school system.