Tag Archive | Video Clip of The Week

Video Clip of The Week: The Voidz, “Permanent High School”


Hey what’s up? Does it feel like summer yet where you live? Here in NYC, not so much, but I can tell it’s on the way! After taking a couple of weeks off from this column, I was all ready-and-set to post a completely different band for this week’s Video Clip, but then I read about their stupid personal politics and was compelled to make an abrupt about face on that decision. And that’s too bad, because the song was excellent, but the lead singer sounded like a dick, and I just can’t even with that. Anyway, no loss to you, because look what I found instead? It’s this crazy great video for the tune “Permanent High School” from the Julian Casablancas-fronted band The Voidz!

Soundtracked by Casablancas‘ rather intoxicatingly druggy vocals, watching the video for “Permanent High School” feels like being dropped into a dream-in-progess.  As the band and its entourage load into a waiting van and head to the gig, two attractive female fans steal clothes from random dryers in a laundromat that is thoroughly bathed in glowing pink light. The now-well-dressed, obviously quite avid fans manage to outsmart club security and hustle their way into the show, squirming all the way to the front of stage, where the band is already in the midst of their set. And then . . . one of the ladies gets a little over zealous, shall we say. From there, it’s like the best night of your life, hanging with your best friend at a show by your favorite band! If these ladies look familiar to you, it’s because they are played models by Suki Waterhouse and Theodora Richards (daughter of Keith Richards). Pretty cool!

Aurally, “Permanent High School” (which has nothing to do with High School) is a sublime mix of psychedelia and garage rock, with probably the best lyrics that Casablancas has written in his entire career. “Permanent High School” can be found on The Voidz 2018 release, Virtue. Tristate area residents can catch The Voidz (and The Strokes) performing on May 31st and June 2nd, 2019 at New York’s Governor’s Ball Music Festival. Enjoy!

The Voidz Governors Ball

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Video Clip of The Week: Topless By Tops


I’m sorry to be week late to share this fun video in time for Easter (for reasons which will become obvious once you start watching), but better late than never. This week’s Video Clip comes from Montreal four-piece Tops, sharring a new video for a song from their recent archives. “Topless,” taken from their 2017 album Sugar at the Gate, captures lead-singer Jane Penny as she walks around Berlin at dusk. From quiet moments on her phone to a street orchestra of bunnies, Penny takes in the romance of the Berlin streets as she laments on missing her lover.

Speaking on the inspiration behind the video, Penny says:

“I really wanted to make a video for our song ‘Topless.’ It took a little longer than I anticipated (ehem, about a year longer) but it’s finally here for you. I ended up going for a walk in the neighbourhood where I’ve been living in Berlin, at dusk, and over several days we caught the nicest lighting we could find and some very strange bunnies on display at the local mall. There’s a romantic greyness to Berlin when the leaves are gone, I think the moodiness of the city at the end of winter compliments the song, and my mood that day, quite well. It’s getting harder to remember that feeling now that the leaves are out and the sun is shining, it’s nice to have this remind me.”

The video comes ahead of Tops‘ upcoming North American tour. Beginning May 13th, 2019 in Las Vegas, the group will play 16 shows across the U.S. with a stop in Mexico for Corona Capital Guadalajara Festival. Check out Tour Dates below. Enjoy!

5/9 – Ciudad de México, MX @ Galera
5/11 – Guadalajara, MX @ Corona Capital Guadalajara
5/13 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Bunkhouse Saloon
5/14 -Tuscon, AZ @ 191 Toole
5/16 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
5/17 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk
5/18 – Houston, TX @ Satellite Bar
5/20 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace
5/21 – Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolfe
5/23 – Santa Barbara, CA @ SoHo Music Club
5/25 – Santa Ana, CA @ La Santa
6/13 – Nashville, TN @ Exit / In
6/14 – Asheville, NC @ Mothlight
6/15 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade – Purgatory
6/17 – Jacksonville, FL @ 1904 Music Hall
6/18 – Tampa, FL @ Crowbar
6/19th – Orlando, FL @ Soundbar
6/20 – Miami, FL @ Perez Art Museum

Tops Band Photo By Marius Knieling
Tops Band Photo By Marius Knieling

Video Clip of The Week: WARGIRL, “How You Feel”

When a song instantly conjures a mental movie, on whose soundtrack it fits perfectly, from the very first time you can hear it, that song possesses a cinematic quality that’s been missing from music since the seventies. Just being serious. The transcendent power of the one-song soundtrack hit me as soon as I watched this week’s video clip, “How You Feel” from the southern California-based, mixed-gender sextet, WARGIRL. Blending sixties psychedelia together with seventies funk until it is oh, so smooth, “How You Feel” could have been lifted from a key scene in almost any early James Bond thriller, or perhaps something a bit more exotic, such as Mario Bava’s Danger: Diabolik. If reading that sentence doesn’t get you excited to hear this band, you are dead from the neck up and there is no hope for you. Visually, the accompanying video is a Mondrian-esque, color-block title sequence to that very same movie in your head. It’s two minutes and thirty-five seconds of pure, cinematic perfection.

Comprised of guitarist Matt Wignall, lead singer Samantha Park, bassist Tamara Raye, keyboardist Enya Preston, and dual percussionists Erick Diego Nieto and Jeff Suri, the various members’ diverse backgrounds allow WARGIRL to effortlessly cross and combine genres. I know it’s often said, but WARGIRL truly is a band that sounds like no other, and that’s a very good thing. “How You Feel” can be found on WARGIRL’s self-titled debut album, which is due out on April 19th, 2019! Enjoy!

Wargirl Album Cover Art

Video Clip of The Week: Andrew Bird, “Manifest”


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!

Andrew Bird CD Cover

Video Clip of The Week: Band Of Skulls, “We’re Alive”


I can’t believe it’s been five whole years since UK Rock Duo Band Of Skulls made an appearance in this space; and yet, it is so. Needless to say, they’re back with a vengeance with this week’s video clip for “We’re Alive.” While this anthemic song ushers in a poppier sound for Band of Skulls, the heavy baselines, rich vocals and hooks galore haven’t gone anywhere. Shot entirely in tones of red and black, the video not only looks great, it also has an intriguing message.

As the band — comprised of Russell Marsden (guitar, vocals) and Emma Richardson (bass, vocals) — explains, the video is the second installment of a trilogy that began with “Cool Your Battles” (released in February), “using the same central characters who are losing themselves to the music. The song is life affirming, cutting through the mundaneness of modern life to proclaim ‘We’re Alive.’” Director Nate Camponi adds that he “wanted the video for ‘We’re Alive’ to be a vision of a surreal cult, built from this crazy cross section of characters, all dancing in sync. Where did these characters end up after they raved together at the end of ‘Cool Your Battles’?  Well, they ended up getting seduced into following this strange Guru character, who hypnotizes them with a bizarre dance. Ultimately, it’s a tongue-in-cheek study of power and brainwashing, and how we’ve seen countless historical figures stand up and assume total control. It’s a deep concept but hopefully it’s still lighthearted enough to get your foot tapping.” Mission accomplished!

“We’re Alive” appears on the band’s fifth album, Love Is All You Love (produced by Richard X), which is set for release April 12th, 2019 via So Recordings. Enjoy!

Band of Skulls 2019 Photo
Band of Skulls!

Video Clip of The Week: Jeff Whalen, “Alien Lanes”


Hey, did you remember to set your clocks forward by one hour last night / this morning for Daylight Saving Time? If not, do that right after you watch this week’s video clip, Jeff Whalen’s “Alien Lanes,” which is all kinds of awesome. To get as obscure-yet-specific as possible, “Alien Lanes” reminds me sonically of the ultra-sublime, bubblegum power pop by one of those late ‘60s/ early ‘70s Saturday Morning Kids’ Show bands, such as The Banana Splits or The Bugaloos. If you know what I’m talking about, great. If you don’t, it doesn’t matter. Everybody knows that I only write this column for myself! If I had to reference a real band that existed outside of TV, perhaps the Bay City Rollers, The Records, Jellyfish, or even the music made by Jeff Whalen’s former band, Tsar, can serve as an appropriate comparison. My point is that it sounds like nothing else you’re hearing right now, and that can only be good thing. As an aside, I was a big fan of Tsar back in the day, and here is a photo of me at a Banksy exhibit wearing one of their T-shirts.

Gail in a Tsar T Shirt

Visually, “Alien Lanes” is, in fact, a Saturday Morning Kids’ Show co-starring an Army Guy who does a mean David Byrne impression (watch for it), a Sexy Witch, and Dracula, all having a fun, otherworldly adventure with Jeff, who I am now in love with. “Alien Lanes” can be found on Jeff’s just-released, very-first-ever solo album, 10 More Rock Super Hits. Enjoy!

Jeff Whalen
I Love Him.

Video Clip of The Week: Danko Jones, “Dance Dance Dance”

 

I have no problem admitting that I am almost always disappointed in any act that relies on the presence of dancers on stage with them in order to perform. This includes all urban acts and pop solo-singers, who are the absolute worst offenders. I enjoy dancing as much as the next person, but if you need dancers jumping and humping all around you to make your music palatable, then just give up now because I am already over it.  Now that my rant is out of the way, let me tell you that this week’s video, which is Danko Jones“Dance Dance Dance”, is not like any other dance-centric music video with that you’ll see. Because “Dance Dance Dance” is not about the band playing with dancers; it is about a group of women dancing to the music because they are feeling it. And that is very different. Amir Chamdin, an award-winning Swedish filmmaker who has previously directed videos for take-no-prisoners headbangers like Ghost and The Hellacopters, shot “Dance Dance Dance” this past January in Stockholm, and created something truly unique by combining two vastly different art forms – Danko Jones‘ signature style of fist-pumping rock with an incredible, single-take dancehall-inspired clip. Watch these three ladies tear it up and tell me it doesn’t take you back to the days of dancing in your bedroom to your favorite rock albums back when rock albums were still made. If you’re not that old, ask your parents what it was like. “Dance Dance Dance” can be found on Danko Jones‘ upcoming new album, A Rock Supreme, due for release on April 26, 2019. Enjoy!

A Rock Supreme