Tag Archive | Animated

Video Clip of The Week: Steelism, “Eno Nothing”


It’s always an extra-special treat when I can find an animated clip for the weekly Sunday Jam, because it brings the whole concept that much closer to a ‘Weekend Morning Cartoon’ vibe, which I secretly live for. You’re Welcome.

Today we have an instrumental clip with the enigmatic title “Eno Nothing,” from Nashville’s Steelism — a group comprised of core-members Jeremy Fetzer (guitar) and Spencer Cullum (pedal steel player). “Eno Nothing” kicks off with our fearless duo leaving the house, embarking on an existential journey, and getting beamed aboard a drone-like craft. After stopping at an inter-galactic gas station to fuel-up, they visit many, many strange planets where they encounter such creatures as a gigantic purple tortoise, a Cthulhu and one of the benevolent aliens from Star Trek (I think). Later, they drop in on avant-garde composer and bonafide music legend Brian Eno, before ending up back where they started. Musically, “Eno Nothing” is The Toadies meets Steely Dan. Trust me on this one. It’s like Flight of The Conchords are writing the soundtrack to an imaginary sci-fi/fantasy flick!

“Eno Nothing” can be found on Steelism’s sophomore album, Ism, released in June via the band’s own imprint, Intoxicating Sounds (distributed by Thirty Tigers). Ism marks the first time the band brings featured vocalists into their instrumental canon, with guest appearances from Tristen, Ruby Amanfu, Andrew Combs and Jessie Baylin. Enjoy!

Steelism Album Cover

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Video Clip of The Week: Amy O, “History Walking”


Happy 4th of July Weekend, Bitches! Today we have a real ‘Fire Cracker’ of a video clip for you: singer-songwriter Amy O’s high energy tune, “History Walking,” visualized by our favorite thing, an animated video! Yay! Amy offers that “History Walking” is about getting stuck in ruts with the people you love and have known for years, the comfort and frustration of long term relationships, getting lost in the banality of life and not always being able to access gratitude. It’s also about getting confused in your own timeline by letting the past affect your present and the present cloud your perception of the future. Basically, my personal understanding of the theory of relativity as explained by a pop song. Excellent!

Backed by an excellent power-pop band,  Amy O’s wildly contagious sound has been described as tightly coiled indie-pop music indebted to Sleater-Kinney and The Roches, Helium and Laura Nyro, defined by unruly guitars, excitable vocals, rambunctious performances, and supremely hyperactive hooks.

Visually, the vibrant abstract animation, courtesy of BrainTwins, is a splash of pop-psychedelia at its finest!

“History Walking” is the third single from Amy’s forthcoming LP, Elastic – out on Winspear on August 4th, 2017. Enjoy!

Amy O Elastic Album Art

Recommended Viewing: The Stolen Lyric

Stolen Lyric Cast

If you’ve been around long enough, you might remember a genre of extremely clever novelty records — super popular during the ’70s  —   that parodied current events and news stories with fake interviews made up of audio clips taken from charting pop songs. Those early mash-up records were lots of fun, and if you miss them, and wonder why somebody hasn’t picked up on that idea for a long-form project, then a new animated film called The Stolen Lyric is going to really turn you on.

Directed by Chase Peter Garrettson, The Stolen Lyric is an animated retelling of the Robin Hood fable, set in the rock music world, and taking on  corporate greed as its chief nemesis.  While the film’s plot and episodic structure  closely follow Howard Pyle’s 1883 novel, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, in The Stolen Lyric, Robin H is the lead singer of a rock band called The Merry, whose members include Tucker (Friar Tuck), LJ (Little John) and Will Scarlet (Will Scarlet). What makes The Stolen Lyric absolutely groundbreaking is how the film’s dialogue is based exclusively on 555 song fragments from 129 different iconic recording artists. Imagine listening to a mind-blowing, deep-catalog mix CD that was created by a pop music audiophile with a ten second attention span, and that might give you an idea of the sweet nostalgic ride that is The Stolen Lyric.

Here are just a few of the artists whose songs you’ll hear in The Stolen Lyric:

The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, The Who, Television, Sex Pistols, Ramones, Simon and Garfunkel, Jethro Tull, Queen, The Doors, Iggy Pop, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Weezer, Radiohead, Outkast, Beastie Boys, Beach Boys, Elton John, Janet Jackson, Peter Frampton, Jefferson Airplane, Alice in Chains, Joy Division, Fiona Apple, Nine Inch Nails,  Buzzcocks and MGMT.

I must admit that I was very surprised to recognize a few song clips from the hyper-litigious Metallica, so perhaps the filmmakers are biding their time until the lawsuits start to flow in from that camp.

Because the film immediately immerses you in a familiar auditory environment, the action can be a bit fuzzy at first, so here’s an outline of major plot points:

Originally, The Merry included  a fifth member, Sherriff (The Sheriff of Nottingham) who, pre-fortune and fame, become disillusioned with a lack of commercial success, and quit the band to take a music business office job. Years later, the guys discover that Sheriff (who is now a wealthy corporate exective) has stolen a lyric from one of The Merry’s songs — “Time to Trade in Your Bike in for the Ride of Your Life” — and sold it for use in a car commercial. In their quest to get their owed-royalties from Sheriff, the story of The Merry unfolds in a series of flashbacks, and we see that Sheriff is also now with Rob’s former girlfriend who, for some reason isn’t named Marion, but Lorraine, as referenced in the lyrics to Lou Reed’s “Wild Child.”

stolen-lyric-band-cash

Here’s a bit of interesting trivia on the film: The characters in The Stolen Lyric were designed to look like hybrids of the traditional characters and modern-day rock personalities, with Rob’s look inspired by Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys, LJ’s look inspired by Joshua Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, Will Scarlet’s look inspired by David Bowie, Tucker’s look inspired by Jonathan Davis of Korn, and Sheriff’s look inspired by Nick Valensi of The Strokes.

I think that the most fun you can have with The Stolen Lyric  is to watch it with group of your best record-collecting-music-nerd friends (adding lots of alcohol into the mix) and see who gets stumped the most when trying to identify the more obscure songs and artists. You could even make a drinking game out of it! Very fun! Although there are scattered swear words throughout (which most kids already know if they have ever ridden the subway in NYC, or own records by even one rap artist), and one fairly tame sex scene, I would say the film is age-appropriate viewing for mature 13 year-olds and up. It would absolutely be a terrific way to introduce kids to a top-shelf and somewhat eclectic collection of classic tunes that they are never going to hear anywhere else.

I watched The Stolen Lyric twice and enjoyed even more the second time.

The Stolen Lyric can be viewed on Amazon Prime.

stolen-lyric-robin-hood

Video Clip of The Week: Cheena, “Lost My Way”



If you’ve spent most of this past week sobbing hysterically and digging deep to find a reason not to slit your wrists, having lost all faith in 50% of humanity, then you might  be ready to surrender your abused senses to a video that takes zero effort to appreciate, because it is rendered via the highly accessible medium of Claymation — just like Gumby! Yay! In the wildly engaging (and acid hangover-friendly) video for “Lost My Way” from NYC Garage Rock quintet, Cheena, we follow the psychedelic urban adventures of a tiny yellow pooch who looks quite like Mr. Bill’s dog Spot. Guest stars include a gang of mischievous serpents, a helpful cactus, and a ghost. Oh Boy!

Aurally, “Lost My Way” is mildly spooky, classic 60s-era fuzz-tone punk. What’s not to like?  “Lost My Way” can be found lurking on Cheena’s debut album, Spend The Night With, which was released in August on Sacred Bones Records. Enjoy!

Cheena Band
Cheena: The Band!

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Video Clip of The Week: James, “Dear John”

Isn’t it fun to discover that a band you loved for a brief period of time, maybe decades ago, is still together and recording songs that are pretty darn good? I love it when that happens. For example, we sure did go crazy go for the the British band James and their fun song, “Laid” (circa 1993, wow, such a long time ago) which was about having great sex at a time when sex was something we were enjoying quite a bit as well. “This Bed is on Fy-yah!” – Yeah, baby! And guess what? James is back with the official video for their new single “Dear John.” The stunning electro-ballad — which is about finding it hard to end relationships — is taken from the band’s current and critically acclaimed studio album titled Girl At The End Of The World, which is out now!

James Dear John Video Still
Still from “Dear John”

Directed by the award-winning animation director Péter Vácz, this beautiful, Tim Burton-esque video blends stop-motion with 2D and 3D animation to craft two deceptively real characters venturing into a mystical forest. James‘ front-man and chief lyricist, Tim Booth explains that the song was, inspired by the age of long term relationships being finished by a text. “A ‘Dear John letter’ was a letter a soldier received at the front from their loved one saying she’d finished with him,” he continues. “James have written songs that get played at weddings and funerals. Now we have made one for your divorce!”

“Dear John” premieres hot on the heels of James‘ storming set at Glastonbury, where the band officially opened the festival a couple of weekends ago, cutting a ribbon with Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis. Woo! Next up: The band will embark on a European festival tour, with dates in Spain, Greece and Portugal, and a co-headline slot at the OnBlackheath Festival in London on September 11th, 2016. Enjoy!

James Album Cover Art

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Video Clip of The Week: Solids, “Blank Stare”



Regardless of how great a song is, I really need a video to grab my attention visually within a few seconds, or it’s not going to get in this here column. “Blank Stare,” by a band called Solids, won me over with its first images of tiny red and yellow houses, contrasted against a blindingly blue lake and an aggressively orange mountain range, which made my eyes almost start watering just from the sheer brightness of the colors. Because, acid.

Despite having a name that reminds me of milk (don’t ask) Solids are possessed of a sound that is just so wildly appealing on many levels: like Husker Du and Guided By Voices had a baby whose favorite was band was Bleach-era Nirvana. Or something. Surely I do not have to break it down any more than that, unless you are a bit of a simpleton, which is something I would never accuse you of being. And did I mention that the clip is animated? That’s always fun on a Sunday morning, amiright?

“Blank Stare” can be found on the band’s recently released EP, Else (out on Topshelf and Dine Alone Records) which has been called “a melancholic deconstruction of  ’90s slacker ethos, that also charts Solids’ transition into a wider and more experimental sound, borrowing strands from Dinosaur Jr., Hum and Unwound and coiling them into an anxious, alienated sound that’s all their own. The final product is a snapshot in 19 minutes of a band that’s traveled 5000 miles, having chained itself to the road in search of inspiration.” Enjoy!

Soilds Band

TOUR DATES

04.29.16 – Victoriaville, QC @ Salle des Scouts
04.30.16 – Chicoutimi, QC @ Sous Bois
05.05.16 – Boston, MA @ O’Briens *
05.06.16 – Brooklyn, NY @ Palisades *
05.07.16 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie *
05.08.16 – Washington, DC @ Songbyrd *
05.09.16 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Black Forge *
05.10.16 – Columbus, OH @ Big Room Bar *
05.11.16 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean *
05.12.16 – Lansing, MI @ Mac’s Bar *
05.13.16 – Toronto, ON @ Smiling Buddha *
05.14.16 – Montréal, QC @ Ritz PBD *
05.25.16 – Oviedo, SP @ Lata de Zinc
05.26.16 – Donosti, SP @ Dabadaba
05.27.16 – Madrid, SP @ Get Mad Festival
05.28.16 – Barcelona, SP @ La [2] de Apolo
05.30.16 – Heerlen, NL @ Nieuwe Nor %
05.31.16 – Rotterdam, NL @ Rotown %
06.01.16 – Groningen, NL @ Vera %
06.03.16 – Bordeaux, FR @ El Chicho
06.04.16 – Poitiers, FR @ Less Playboy Is More Cowboy
06.06.16 – London, UK @ The Old Blue Last @
06.07.16 – Sheffield, UK @ The Picture House @
06.08.16 – Brighton, UK @ The Hope @
06.09.16 – Oberhausen, DE @ Druckluft
06.10.16 – Leipzeig, DE @ Zoro
06.12.16 – Darmstadt, DE @ Ottinger Villa
06.13.16 – Prague, CZ @ Cafe V Lese
07.08.16 – Halifax, NS @ Grid Lock Festival
07.09.16 – Halifax, NS @ Grid Lock Festival
07.11.16 – Moncton, NB @ Plan B $
07.12.16 – Charlottetown, PEI @ Baba’s $
07.13.16 – Sackville, NS @ Thunder & Lightning $
07.14.16 – Fredericton, NB @ ReNeu Boutique $
07.15.16 – Québec, QC @ L’Anti, Festival d’été de Québec
08.13.16 – Atlanta, GA @ Wrecking Ball Festival

Video Clip of The Week: Carroll, “Bad Water”



What’s worse than waking up on the Sunday morning where we’ve turned the clocks back an hour for the switch to Daylight Saving Time? Is there any form of torture quite as cruel to the human body and mind? No me gusta. This week, to make up for the travesty that is Eastern Daylight Time, we are presenting a lovely dream pop tune to lull you into consciousness, “Bad Water” — which sweet aural and visual bliss — by the psychedelically-inclined rock quartet, Carroll.

Directed by Lila Burns, the video for “Bad Water” creates a uniquely colorful and trippy universe that serves as a visual complement to the song. Weaving shapes and images perfectly match the track’s jangly guitars and woozy laid-back sound. And the unusual color palette of green orange and blue, with cream and black is very baroque, and also quite quite tropical!

Carroll Bad Water Still

“Bad Water” comes off of Carroll’s self-titled debut, which was released last year via Entertainment One Music. The hypnotic LP is a fusion of many influences: dream-psych, surfy reverb, post-punk echoes, and piercing vocals that meld to create Carroll’s distinct sound.  The band delivers a magnetic exploration that is directed by musicianship and style, making Carroll as thoughtful as it is fun!

If you happen to be down in  Austin, TX this week for SXSW, you can check out Carroll at Tap Room at The Market on March 16th! Enjoy!

Carroll Band