Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird has been doing his own thing under-the-radar in various bands, collaborations, and solo efforts — across multiple genres — for two decades. He may not be a household name — unless you know him from his tenure with Squirrel Nut Zippers — but those who seek true ‘artistry’ in a music artist continue to pay attention to his prolific body of work. Today it is my pleasure to give Bird his inaugural exposure on The ‘Gig with the song “Manifest,” from his latest recording.
With playfully colorful animation by Andrea Nakhla, the video for “Manifest” is an ideal accompaniment to this somewhat wistful song that delivers an urgent call to action regarding not just defending, but actively saving our environment, wildlife and natural resources. There’s never been a better time than now to wake up and own your destiny, even if it means acknowledging that we’ve got our work cut out for us. “I’m interested in the idea that our enemies are what makes us whole,” Bird explains. The song’s lyrics are direct and risk-taking, cutting to the quick of what’s happening in our world. The message is that it’s not too late to turn things around.
With all of his many talents, at his core, Andrew Bird is a gifted storyteller whose turn of phrase and instrumental arrangements remind me of greats like Leonard Cohen and James Taylor. He is certainly a unique and welcome voice in today’s cultural climate. “Manifest” can be found on Andrew’s brand new album, My Finest Work Yet, out now on Loma Vista Recordings. Enjoy!
Hello and welcome to the rockin’ start of a brand new week! You know, I usually like to use this space for showcasing an indie or lesser-known band that doesn’t have major label backing behind it; but in the sprit of the weekend-morning cartoons of my long lost youth, an animated clip always gets preferential treatment. This week let’s all turn on to “Tranz” from Gorillaz, who are also making their debut on The’Gig. Marking the band’s first ever live performance video — and only live performance since 2010’s highly memorable MTV EMA performance — this visually eye-popping clip sees Gorillaz’ charismatic front man2D command the stage against a backdrop of mind-altering visuals. Joining him are bandmates Noodle and Russel Hobbs, with Gangreen Gang’s Ace on bass standing in for the temporarily incarcerated Murdoc Niccals. “Tranz” can be found on the band’s latest album, The Now Now, which is out. . . now. Tour dates starting in October are below. Enjoy!
On this fine Sunday morning in June, when we are just on the cusp of summer, The Worley Gig brings you the chill funk of Bay Area artist Garren Sean’s “Lift Off” and its accompanying animated video! Best described (if only by me) as Steely Dan meets Sly Stone, “Lift Off” is characteristically warm and upbeat, the perfect introduction to Garren’s guitar-driven sound. Raised on soul and R&B, Garren then discovered Classic Rock and 80s Funk, and went to mix the two influences, creating a refreshingly unique style. In a word: Sublime.
I also love how the artist distracts us momentarily from the song’s obvious sexual metaphor by sampling audio from the July 16, 1969 liftoff coverage of the legendary Apollo Eleven moon mission, manned by Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins! “Lift Off” can be found on Garren Sean’s eponymous debut album Garren, which promises a “sense of exploration, and is set for release this summer. Enjoy!
This week’s Video Clip tells the story of a Spaceman on a lonely mission, courtesy of the song “Wings” by Milwaukee-based folk band Field Report. I have been watching a lot of Space Adventure movies lately, such as Last Days on Mars and Europa Report — although this animated video tale has more of a Silent Running or Moon feel to it — and I love the way the sparse tune really drives the narrative of the video and keeps you engaged in the story.
“Wings” can be found on Field Report’s sophomore album, Marigolden, which was released November of 2014 on Partisan Records. Enjoy!
Sonny & The Sunsets’ Talent Night at the Ashram, the album from which the above clip, the mesmerizing, “Cheap Extensions” was culled, has a fascinating back story. To give you the Reader’s Digest Condensed version of that story, the record began as a film project in which each song was originally a short film that, when strung together, formed a feature-length movie. I enjoy the late night, Adult Swim vibe of the rough animation and also got hooked pretty quickly on this very fun tune that sounds like Tame Impala, only on slightly more effective drugs. The band’s press release claims that, “Talent Night at the Ashram is cinematic in its storytelling and kaleidoscopic in its mixing and merging of musical genres.” Sounds good to me.
Talent Night at the Ashram will be released on Polyvinyl Records on February 17th, 2015 on CD/LP/Cassette/ Digital. Vinyl will be 180 gram limited edition of 500 exclusive to the Polyvinyl webstore on light blue. There will also be an unlimited version on red vinyl. Preorder the format of your choice at This Link. Enjoy!
Created and directed by Provoke Films, the animated video for “Boo,” from Atlanta based solo project Moondy makes me wish this year’s Halloween wasn’t already behind us — because what a fitting soundtrack it would be! Part Industrial Dirge, part Psychobilly Rave Up, “Boo” follows a post-apocalyptic gladiator, who looks an awful lot like Trent Reznor, as he does battle against monsters and assorted zombies in the arena of an evil King. Feel the satisfaction as Trent kicks undead ass repeatedly until the only remaining opponent is the king himself. You’ll have to watch to find out what happens next.
“Boo” comes from the Moondy’s most recent album, Puffers, which was released on August 5th, 2014. Buy it at This Link! Enjoy!
This song reminds me of going to Prom if Prom had been a halfway decent memory for me. See how many pop culture icons you can spot in this lovely and whimsical video by The Griswolds for their very sweetly romantic and nostalgia inducing song, “Red Tuxedo.” Find out more about The Griswolds at their FaceBook page, found at This 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!