See Video at This Link Because it won’t embed on my site! Aargh!
Here’s another example of a band successfully going back in time in order to appear forward thinking, as Canadian noise rockers Weed make use of VHS Cassette-quality technology for the visually disquieting clip accompanying a decidedly brilliant post-apocalyptic tune they call “Gun Shy.” While this is possibly the most deliberately lo-fi recording I’ve heard in years that did not involve Guided By Voices, I find what Pitchfork described as the “familiar yet wonderfully warped sound of a mix tape that had been decaying in the glove compartment of an abandoned car since 1991″ to be an odd combination of exhilarating and comforting. I believe the aesthetic is what we used to affectionately refer to as “Punk Rock” before that phrase ceased to have any meaning in a modern context. Also, the singer’s vocals remind me of Wire Train (Google them).
Although Weed have been around for a decade, this track comes off of what is, surprisingly, the band’s debut album, Deserve. Find out more about the World of Weed by visiting their awesome website and blogThis Link. Enjoy!
Two Words: Toy Robot! At a time when absolutely nothing original is happening in Music, NY based synth pop/rock quartet Jolly have miraculously delivered the most original DIY music video I’ve seen in 30 years! Created by the band themselves with only a cardboard box, construction paper and the aforementioned toy robot, “Lucky” is the fourth video from the album The Audio Guide To Happiness ll, out now on InsideOut Music. This crazy cool video features a cameo appearance by famed drummer Mike Portnoy (ex- (Dream Theater), who can be seen in the clip driving a Puppy Nursery van, and sporting his numerous tatts and blue beard. Mike Portnoy!
Sound-wise, Jolly lives up to its name with this upbeat, ridiculously melodic and hook-laden tune that for some reason reminds me of what Living Color might have sounded like if they had hit it big in the early ’80s. Also, tell me you don’t hear a little Faith No More in the mix, because I know you do. Furthermore: Lead Singer kind of Hot. Jolly is currently on tour in the US with plans to release new material in 2014. Find out more about Jolly and its very fun music at Jolly Band Dot Com. Enjoy!
Street Artist turned fine artist and designer KAWS (Brian Donnelly) is the subject of the above video feature created by Mass Appeal (a digital content channel platform). Kaws is ‘caus-ing” a bit of a commotion just recently with his design for the MTV Awards stage and a concurrent exhibit at Mary Boone Gallery in Manhattan, but this video focuses on what is his largest installation to date, now on exhibit at the historic Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
This exhibit at PAFA says so much about the evolution of street art to fine art, as KAWS, speaks about hosting the biggest exhibit of his career in one of the oldest museums in the US. At PAFA, his modern sculptures, paintings, and designs are displayed in installations around other famous artworks from the 18th and 19th centuries – creating a distinct view of how far art culture has come. In this fun video, KAWS discusses his approach to the installation, how the project came to be, how he worked with the space and the materials he used.
KAWS at PAFA will be on Exhibit Through January 5th, 2014, while his Sculpture at the Building’s Facade will be on Display Into August of 2014. Find Out More About the Exhibit, and Get Museum Hours and Information, at This Link.
Ever since The Beatles crossed the pond in the early ’60s, the UK has been a fertile breeding ground for innovative rock music. Dinosaur Pile Up is Rock/Pop UK-based band I just heard about and they impress me as being pretty groovy. While their press compares DPU’s music to “an early New Found Glory,” I can’t really speak to that, since New Found Glory is one of those bands that’s completely flown under my radar. So, you be the judge on that score.
This frenetically edited, performance clip-based video (shot in luxurious black and white) is for the song, “Peninsula”– the first single from the band’s just-released EP of that same name. Drawing from my deep well of classic influences, I’d say Dinosaur Pile Up capture the short and sweet, hit-and-run songcraft of The Buzzcocks or Husker Du while harnessing those adhesive, razor sharp guitar riffs that the early ’90s wave of Grunge bands took to the bank. And that’s a winning combination any way you look at it.
Dinosaur Pile Up’s full length album, Nature Nurture will hit the US in early 2014. Enjoy!
Confession: the primary reason I started this Video Clip of the Week series several months back is because I needed an excuse to force myself to write about new music. Pop music has reached an absolute nadir to the point where I’m 1000 times more excited to write about Food these day than I am to even listen to any new band. And that’s just a shame.
So, nobody was more surprised than me to discover a new group comprised of seasoned musicians who, rather than harnessing a retread, have dug deeply into their roots to unearth a vibrant-yet-comfortingly-retro sound. Minor Alps is the collaborative vision of Juliana Hatfield and Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws; two songwriting-based, music industry veterans who helped to blaze the trail for what became Alternative Rock Music back when Nirvana was still in its infancy. This week’s featured Video Clip is the duo’s “I Don’t Know What To Do With My Hands,” the latest single off their debut album, Get There (just released October 29th, 2013 on Barsuk Records).
With a refreshing and understated, artsy video directed by Animator/Musician Clyde Petersen“I Don’t Know What To Do With My Hands” is a remarkably strong track that harkens back to a time before American Idol, Emo and Autotune ruined 99.9% of all pop music. Caws’ guitar playing is as original and compelling as anything on a 90s-era Bob Mould record, while the 20 intervening years since Hatfield fronted The Blake Babies has allowed her vocals to mature into a rich and sweet aural nectar with just enough bite in it to favorably recall The B52s’ Cindy Wilson.
Minor Alps will be on tour across the US during the month of November. Enjoy!
Comprised of Melanie Krahmer on drums and vocals and Rich Libutti on guitar, Sirsy is a Rock & Roll force to be reckoned with! Their new video for the awesome song “Cannonball” is lots of fun in that it was shot entirely at live shows by fans using cell phones! I mean, I hate cell phones, but…Cleverness! I totally love Melanie’s smoky, sassy powerhouse of a voice that I would compare favorably to groundbreaking female rock vocalists like Brenda Lee and Dusty Springfield, but also modern soul singers like Duffy. And High Fives all around to Sirsy for being able to put so much swing into this tune with only drums and guitar — what a couple of badasses. “Cannonball”– from the CD Coming Into Frame (on Funzalo Records) is Super Groovy! Sirsy will be releasing a new EP with a new single and some live material in early December, 2013! Enjoy!
Well now. There isn’t much I don’t love about this simultaneously frightening and compelling, and all-together intriguingly atmospheric video for “The Holy Ghost” from Destruction Unit. I mean, you’ve got your deep and apparent influences from the likes heavy aural gloom masters Killing Joke and Bauhaus (check and check) and the drummer — who, by the way, is a total badass on the kit — gets serious bonus points for wearing a Brian Jonestown Massacre T-Shirt. I love this band! “Holy Ghost” is the brand new single from Destruction Unit’s latest CD, Deep Trip, on Sacred Bones Records. The band is currently on tour in Europe. Enjoy!
I love 80s Dance Music as much as anyone, but something I enjoy just slightly more than that is looking at actor Alexander Skarsgard in various states of undress. Cut Copy’s new video for their awesome song, “Free Your Mind” satisfies in both of those categories. In this video, Skarsgard plays an enigmatic spiritual leader, based in a beautiful paradise retreat, who’s guiding a group of followers to ‘free their minds’ in various ways. I love that Cut Copy turn out a transcendent groove while actually remembering to do the song. It is even worth enduring Skarsgard’s bad wig to see him flaunt his shirtless, smoking hot body in a pair of tighty whities. “Free Your Mind” is the title song to Cut Copy’s fourth album, due out November 5th, 2013 on Loma Vista/Modular Records. Enjoy!
Imagine, if you will, the third season of AMC’s The Killing as soundtracked by bands like Alphaville and A-ha. Imagine it! This mysterious, but highly engaging video for Metropolis America’s “A Stolen Heart in a Stolen Car” is short on dead teenage prostitutes and sullen, chain smoking detectives but manages to capture a kind of noir, what-the-hell-is-going-on vibe with its not inconsiderably complex storyline, while the music conjures favorable memories of “Take On Me” and “Forever Young.” So, all good. Find out more about Metropolis America at This Link. Enjoy!