At a time when the reigning administration has zero regard for the environment: dismantling the EPA, selling off our public lands, aggressively polluting the water and air through the abolishing of regulations meant to protect the health of all citizens, and expediting the extinction of endangered species, this week’s anthemic Video Clip, “Last Lion of Albion” from Neko Case, is a call to action, in case you aren’t paying attention.
Brough to life visually in an animated clip by artist Laura Plansker, “Last Lion of Albion” is a requiem for the magnificent landscapes and creatures that have been erased from our planet by the effects of humans. Case explains, “I’m very honored and excited to debut this video by one of my very favorite artists. I’ve loved her work forever; she‘s so skilled at using handmade figures and props to create surreal worlds. Her work perfectly balances humor and darkness in a way that breaks my heart. Laura has a way of making something so artificial [feel] so very alive. The turning of the lion’s head to look at the sky, or its own reflection, makes me cry my eyes out. There is so much straight ahead compassion in Laura’s work, there’s no need to manipulate emotion of the viewer, it is the perfect balance. I’m so happy to share it here with you!“
“Last Lion of Albion” can be found on Case’s recently released album, Hell-On, which includes contributions from some three dozen guest performers, including k.d. Lang, Laura Veirs, Beth Ditto, and Robert Forster on backing vocals, Joey Burns of Calexico and Doug Gillard of Guided by Voices on guitars, and Barbara Gruska and Matt Chamberlain on drums. Enjoy!
Top Ten Things I Like About This Weeks’ Video Clip, “Telelelevision” By Super Whatevr
1. Superwhatevr are a band from Orange County, California, which is where I am also from. Represent.
2. This song is called “Telelelevision,” and watching Television is in my top three favorite things that I like to do! Yay!
3. On weekend mornings, we should get to watch cartoons, right? This clip is animated, so that’s like a cartoon. Win Close enough!
4. Musically, “Telelelevision” sounds like it could be a lost Pixies‘ song. I like The Pixies.
5. Also, back in the ’90s there was a one-hit wonder, post-Grunge band from California called The Flys, formed by a couple of brothers who were most famous for making sunglasses and surfing. I am pretty sure I interviewed them at one point. Anyway, their hit was called “Got You Where I want You,” and “Telelelevision” sort of reminds me of that song.
6. Pink is my favorite color, and this video features lots of pink, and various shades of pink, so I enjoy watching it, as it pleases my eyeballs.
7. The video was animated by Eat The Danger, who has done the videos for “Lisbon” by Wolf Alice and Courtney Barnett’s “Dead Fox.”
8. The fluid nature of the animation makes the video especially optimal for watching while you are high on any kind of even mildly psychedelic drug.
9. I like the part where the protagonist rides a big Rubber Duck.
10. “Telelelevision” can be found on Superwhatevr’s debut full-length, Never Nothing, out now via Hopeless Records. Enjoy!
Happy New Year and welcome to the first Video Clip of The Week for 2018, which we are getting back to with great enthusiasm after taking an extended break over the Christmas holidays. I hope everybody had a good one. This week’s Sunday Jam comes from LA progressive rockers Perfect Beings, who offer up a curious but engaging animated clip for their song, “Mysteries, Not Answers.”
Fitting snugly in the cerebral twilight time between consciousness and sleep, “Mysteries Not Answers” is a soothing, minor chord lullaby that recalls Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson at his best. Visually, the story of an anthropomorphic Fox who falls asleep in front of the TV and dreams himself into a state of suburban fugue strikes the perfect balance of amusement and disquiet.
“Mysteries, Not Answers” can be found on Perfect Beings’ third full length release, Vier — a double album which is split into 4 distinct compositions (so prog), due out via Inside Out/Sony Music on January 19th, 2018. Enjoy!
To many of us, Sunday morning means listening to the syndicated radio program, Breakfast with the Beatles, so it is appropriate to use this space to debut a new video by Dhani Harrison — the son of my favorite Beatle, George Harrison — whose song “All About Waiting” soundtracks an engaging, animated Sci-Fi mystery.
This fantstic-looking music video depicts a futuristic world, overly developed with machinery and computers, echoing Harrison’s contemplative lyrics “revolution, evolution, patience, revolution, evolution, wasted,” in a setting filled with scenes of both natural and human-influenced disasters impacting the landscape. The protagonist of the video, a DNA scientist, reaches an apparent point of opposition to her colleagues upon the realization that her efforts may be causing more harm than good, and then pursues an ill-fated attempt to bring her discovery to light with her colleagues and team leaders.
You’ll have to watch the video — which was directed and animated by Adam Osgood, with additional illustrations from A. D’Amico and hand-drawn animation by Sarah Schmidt — to find out what happens next!
“All About Waiting” can be found on Harrison’s latest album, In Parallel, which is out now! Enjoy!
Few things fill me with a degree of ecstatic delight to rival that of finding an excellent animated clip for the weekly jam, because it brings us all closer to the gleeful vibe of the weekend-morning cartoons that many of us were addicted to as kids. Today, I invite you to enjoy a flight through space courtesy of the track “Talk to Me” from San Diego-by-way-of-South Africa electronic dance duo, GoldFish. Speaking about the track, This Song Is Sick offers that the group’s “unique style of house is apparent with a dance-driven approach making use of bouncing, deep basslines, jazzy and bright melodies with uplifting vocals while sax lines are thrown in perfectly.” “Talk to Me” is visualized by the familiar style of animator Mike Scott (Disney/ Nickoldeon/ Cartoon Brew).
“Talk to Me” can be found on the duo’s fifth studio album, Late Night People, which is out now via Armada Music. International tour dates for GoldFish are below. Enjoy their casino free spins!
Tour Dates for GoldFish Live:
Date Location Venue
SUN 10/8/17 Austin, TX Austin City Limits Festival
SAT 10/14/17 San Diego, CA The Music Box
SUN 10/15/17 Austin, TX Austin City Limits Festival
WED 10/18/17 BRISTOL UK Cirque du Soul
FRI 10/20/17 Amsterdam, Netherlands ADE at MELKWEG – Sold-Out
SUN 10/22/17 PARIS, FR Nouveau Casino
MON 10/23/17 NOTTINGHAM, UK Cirque du Soul
WED 10/25/17 Philadelphia, PA The Trocadero
THU 10/26/17 New York, NY PlayStation Theater
FRI 10/27/17 New York, NY Terminal 5
SAT 10/28/17 Boston, MA House of Blues
SUN 10/29/17 Live Oak, FL Hulaween
SAT 11/11/17 Sao Paulo, Brazil Music Motion Presents GoldFish
SAT 11/11/17 Itu, Brazil Anzu Club
WED 11/15/17 Praia Brava – Itajahi, Brazil Habbitat
FRI 11/17/17 Haras Manoel Leão, Brazil TBA
SAT 11/18/17 Belo Horizonte, Brazil Só Trak Boa
SUN 12/10/17 Capetown, South Africa Submerged w/ GoldFish
Welcome back, Earthlings. In this week’s Video Clip, The Shins draw on their finest influences of the ’80s British New Wave (see The Human League, Heaven 17, Gary Numan) with an enchanting stop-motion animated video for “Cherry Hearts.” The Stefano Bertelli-directed clip, made entirely out of folded paper here, takes place inside an amusement park, so enjoy the ride!
“Cherry Hearts” can be found on The Shins’ fifth album, Heartworms, which is available everywhere now via Aural Apothecary/Columbia Records. Check them out on tour (dates below) right now! Enjoy!
The Shins On Tour:
10/08 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
11/02 Washington, DC The Anthem
11/03 Brooklyn, NY Kings Theatre
11/04 Philadelphia, PA The Fillmore
11/05 Port Chester, NY Capitol Theatre
11/07 Detroit, MI The Fillmore Detroit
11/08 Columbus, OH Express Live! Indoor Pavilion
11/10 Dallas, TX House of Blues
11/11 Houston, TX House of Blues
11/12 McDade, TX Sound on Sound Music Festival
11/14 New Orleans, LA Civic Theatre
11/15 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
11/16 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore Charlotte
11/17 Atlanta, GA Coca Cola Roxy Theatre
11/19 Ciudad de Mexico, MX Corona Capital
11/30 Auckland, NZ Powerstation
12/04 St. Kilda, AU Palais Theatre
12/05 Brisbane, AU QPAC Concert Hall
12/08 Newtown, AU Enmore Theatre
12/12 Honolulu, HI The Republik
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!
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!
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.”
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.
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!