Hello and Happy Valentine’s Week — or as I like to call it, Valloween! If that doesn’t scare you, this weeks’ Video Clip just might! “Haunted” by LA Garage Rock legends The Sloths does double duty as a music video and a movie trailer, as the song also appears on the soundtrack to the independent horror film The Amityville Murders, which just hit theaters and VOD this past Friday! Coincidentally, Sloths’ frontman Tom McLoughlin is also a filmmaker, having directed more than 40 feature film and television projects, including Friday the 13th Pt. VI: Jason Lives (1986). Exciting!
Visually, “Haunted” features attention-grabbing footage from the movie intercut with newly-filmed scenes of the band playing live; but really, the song is doing most the heavy lifting here. If you love surf rock, but you also love The Cramps, “Haunted” is your kind of jam. The Amityville Murders‘ soundtrack features an additional Sloths-penned track, “Lust,” and both songs appear on The Sloths‘ 2015 debut album Back from the Grave, released by Lolipop / Burger Records. Catch The band live performing at SXSW in March! Enjoy!
A former Bedroom recording project-turned-live band, Jordan Corso is the singer/songwriter behind LA-based Cotillon. Cotillon’s press release / bio explains that the project was “originally intended to illustrate the difficulty of maintaining relationships in LA in the spirit of the french new wave,” which I find fascinating.
Aurally, “Before” blends the wistful, lo-fi California sound of a group like Kid Wave with the minor chord gloom of The Cure circa 1982’s Pornography. The video, written and directed by Laura-Lynn Petrick, seems to switch between shots of a young lady aboard the Staten Island (or similar) Ferry, and old home movies of Southern California or Florida (some place where they have palm trees) shot on color stock that has now started to turn pale pink and blue, because that is what old color film does. It sets an appropriate mood to accompany the music, which will have special appeal for goths, and people on the verge of nodding out. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Cotillon’s self-titled debut album was released by Burger Records on January 26th, 2015. Enjoy!
In a word: Smooth. Bart Devenport’s “Fuck Fame” harkens back fondly to the music of The Fixx, a band that was certainly one of the classier acts of the eighties new wave scene. And doesn’t Bart even look a little bit like The Fixx’s lead crooner Cy Curnin? I think so. I hear a little Paul Weller in there also. All good.
The story of “Fuck Fame” is a ridiculously tongue in cheek ode to the power of the almighty dollar with Bart, looking dapper in his Tuxedo, taking a trip to the supermarket with his “assistant,” where he laments that he never asked for Fame, but “We can talk about money.” Because, yeah. we can all relate, Bart. Later, the video switches to Black & White for Bart’s adventure in a swanky cocktail lounge where he appears to be the only patron. And then: Surprise ending (which I won’t spoil)!
“Fuck Fame” is taken from Bart’s latest CD, Physical World, which is out now on Lovemonk / Burger Records. Like him on FaceBook at This Link. Enjoy!
Was it easier to be a teenager in the ’50s, ’60s or even ’70s? I was a teenager during one of those decades and I’d say yes, yes it was easier. And you know why? Because life was just way fucking simpler. Back then, my worst problems were waiting for the latest Queen or Who album to be released so I could get a ride to the record store and buy it before any of my friends, coping with “Busy Signals” when making a phone call in the time before Call Waiting existed and dealing with my stupid parents. Teenagers today probably still have that last problem, but their lives are also infinitely complicated by needing to have the latest technological gadget that fits in your hand, which spawns endless problems in and of itself. Hand to God, you could not pay me to be a teenager in 2014. Ugh.
In this Black and White video for the garage rock rave up, “Teenager,” rock trio The Rich Hands lament about another universal issue — but one that is especially overwhelming to the teenage mind and body – falling in love. Interspersed with live action performance shots from this very fun band, you’ll see vintage (my guess, late 50s?) footage of teenagers dancing, going to movies, tailgating, dressing up for some kind of formal party and, in general, having fun without the obsessive need to look at their smart phones every 15 seconds. If there was any doubt that the featured footage is authentic, I am pretty sure I recognize a young Dick York (the original Darren on Bewitched) at the 18 second mark.
Recommended if you dig the music of The Ramones and Elvis Presley, The Rich Hands‘ new record, Out of My Head, is out May 6th on Burger and Fountain Records. Enjoy!
Sometimes, the only criteria for assessing “good music” is that the music sounds good. And this sounds really good to me. Sharing a common language is not necessary for a band’s music to cross over when it captures a splendid sense of wistfulness and melancholia the way Israeli rock trio Vaadat Charigim does on its video for the single “Odisea”; a marvelously dreamy sepia-toned journey of a young girl riding her bike through the mysteriously deserted streets of Tel Aviv on what could be any late Summer afternoon. A subtle, post-apocalyptic vibe develops as the video progresses, especially when you consider that Tel Aviv is the second most densely populated city in Israel. And while the final “money shot” is somewhat unnecessary, the clip’s brief red and blue highlights seem to indicate that you might see something slightly hidden if you popped on a pair of 3-D glasses. (Hey, why not try it if you have a pair laying around the house?)
While Vaadat Charigim is apparently being lumped into a “Shoe Gaze” category by rock critics, the music sounds to me to be too lush, to the point of being almost fugue-like, to fall firmly into that category. Vaadat Charigim remind me very much of another excellent Israeli band, Rockfour, who sing in English but still manage to maintain an identifying sonic vibe that indicates they aren’t from around these parts. The group’s no-doubt excellent debut album, The World Is Well Lost, was released on November 12th, 2013 via Burger Records (cassette), Warm Ratio (vinyl), and Israeli label ANOVA (CD/digital). Find out more about Vaadat Charigim at This Link. Enjoy!
Vaadat Charigim are a trio consisting of Juval Haring (guitar+vocals), Yuval Guttman (drums) and Dan Fabian Bloch (bass). Photo by Goni Riskin.