Tag Archive | Video Clip of The Week

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.

Advertisements

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

Video Clip of The Week: “Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In” By Tragedy


If you get 20 seconds into this week’s awesome Video Clip and suspect that you may be watching an outtake from This is Spinal Tap, you are not to blame. The tristate area band Tragedy started out as a heavy metal tribute to the Bee Gees, but they have now expanded their repertoire to include a wider variety of classic pop acts, and that’s just good news for everyone. Today we feature the video for Tragedy’s metalized performance of “Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In,” a song from the legendary Broadway musical Hair, which was popularized in a 1969 single release by The 5th Dimension. Wikipedia confirms that this song, which is actually a medley of two songs from the play,  was one of the most popular songs of 1969 worldwide, but the lyrical message of “Aquarius” — about welcoming an age of love, light, and humanity — is more important at this moment than maybe ever before in our lifetimes.

Visually, this video is a straight-up, fully stylized band performance intercut with a few thematically appropriate cosmic visual effects and a brief modern dance interlude featuring a pair of blonde babes, to keep it very theatrical and visually engaging throughout. And as much as I wish that the drummer would put on a shirt, I respect the fact that he is fully immersed in his art. Aurally, Tragedy stay faithful to the song’s original arrangement while rocking hard enough to crack a skull. Even the most devoted head bangers will give the horns up on this one.

“Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In” is part of the just-release album Tragedy Goes to the Movies, featuring metal-injected takes on music from cinema classics such as Grease, 007 Skyfall, Hair, and Star Wars: Return of The Jedi, which can be procured at This Link.  The Tragedy Goes To The Movies World Tour kicked off on February 22nd, 2019, for stops in the UK, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Germany and all across the US. Consult the Google for tour dates! Enjoy!

Tragedy Band

Video Clip of The Week: The Sloths, “Haunted”


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 Sloths2015 debut album Back from the Grave, released by Lolipop / Burger Records. Catch The band live performing at SXSW in March! Enjoy!

The Sloths Band

Video Clip of The Week: Pretty Vicious, “These Four Walls”


If you look back over the Video Clip of The Week entries that have graced this space so far in 2019, you could almost make a case for arguing that The Rock is making some kind of a low-focus comeback. I’m not one to get my hopes up or anything, but let’s assume that this is officially the case with the band featured in this weeks’ clip: Welsh grunge-revivalists (and —  I’m just guessing here —  Sex Pistols fans), Pretty Vicious. The tune is “These Four Walls,” and I’m just going to lay all of my cards on the table right now and say that this song is arguably one of the most contagious anthems of youthful rebellion since the original band called Alice Cooper announced that, “Schools Out Forever, Bitches” — or something like that.

There are those who will claim that knowing how to actually sing and play your instruments is overrated, and not a requirement for making good music, but those people are idiots. Pretty Vicious are not ashamed to have chops up the ass, starting with singer Brad Griffiths’ robust snarl that recalls Billy Joe Armstrong as channeled through 999’s Nick Cash — old school! Is it likely that Griffiths even knows who Nick Cash is? Hell no, but the you’re feelin’ it, who gives a shit? Wait for the bridge, where guitarist Tom McCarthy pulls out Slash-worthy leads that are just insane. Driving the engine is drummer Elliot Jones, whose adrenalized, machine gun cadence is so fucking punchy and precise, it will knock you right on your ass. And then there’s “I Am A Fucking Rock Star” bassist Jarvis Morgan (he’s the adorable, pouty blond seen in the photo below), who reminds me fondly of my immortal teenage punk rock crush, which, considering that individual went on to become one of most legendary figures in American punk rock history, can only be seen as a good thing. Because I know how to call them.

Visually, “These Four Walls” is a fast paced, performance-heavy clip, effectively capturing the kinetic live energy of Pretty Vicious on stage, while also peppering the action with documentary-style footage of the band cavorting in NYC’s Times Square. Rock action, urban sleaze, decadence, youth — OMG what a great band!

With appearances at huge UK-based summer rock festivals (Reading and Leeds) already under their not-quite-21-year-old belts, Pretty Vicious are certainly poised to give Greta Van Fleet a run for the money! “These Four Walls” will be available on the band’s  highly anticipated debut album due out on Big Machine/John Varvatos Records later this year. Enjoy!

Pretty Vicious Band

Video Clip of The Week: Cyclone Static, “Company Man”


In this barren musical wasteland of conveyor-belt acts that is all but completely devoid of anything even resembling Rock ‘n’ Roll, I’ve become so uninterested in what the pop charts have to offer that I never even considered the wildly nostalgic potential pull of a band that is willing to revisit the grunge rock era. And then I heard this week’s video clip, which is “Company Man” from New Jersey power-rock trio, Cyclone Static. And this was a reminder to me to never, ever underestimate the pure joy that comes from music that does not sound like it came from a can. Cyclone Static are not magical Wizards. They are not from Outer Space. They are simply three guys who love music, and it shows.

Cyclone Static manage to make it look easy as they harness the grunge rock power of both Alice in Chains, owing to vocalist/guitarist James Salerno’s ability to channel the late, great Layne Staley, and Nirvana. “Company Man” shows off this band’s melodic-punk prowess in a song armed with sharp power-pop hooks galore, anchored by Salerno’s buzzsaw guitar, bassist Danny Patierno fiercely holding down the bottom end, and hard-hitting drummer Jonathan LeVine who is, as they say, ‘in the pocket’ at all times. Rock Lives!

Visually, “Company Man” delivers vibrant, clip-art based animation informed by today’s street art sensibitlies with a deep bow to surrealism and comic book art. Perhaps LeVine’s background as a respected NYC Gallerist had something to do with that. “Company Man” can be found on Cyclone Static’s upcoming debut album, From Scratch, due out on February 8th, 2019 via 400 Mint Records. You can order your copy now at This Link! Enjoy!

Cyclone Static Band

Video Clip of The Week: Swervedriver, “Spiked Flower”


‘Transcendent’ is not a world that I find myself using very often these days when talking about modern music, if I talk about it at all. I looked at the Billboard charts a couple months ago for the first time in probably a decade — just being serious — and when I realized that every band or artist in the top 20 or so positions on that chart was either someone I’ve never heard of, or someone I am familiar enough with to have a strong distaste for their songs, I knew l’d made the right decision to abandon rock journalism and start writing about art and food. Because I would rather listen to The Beatles or Led Zeppelin for one hundred million billion years than any of the boring, shitty, derivative, eardrum excoriating garbage that ‘the kids’ are downloading for 15 minutes. Fuck the kids.

Of course, it’s not that everything sucks, but the really good stuff is now back in the underground, and this is why it takes me a week to uncover even one song worth featuring in this column. Fortunately, hard work pays off. This week’s clip, “Spiked Flower,” comes to us from the band Swervedriver, who were being pitched to me when you were in diapers: when I was cranking out CD reviews and long-form interviews with top musicians at a pretty steady clip. How are they still around, and how do they still sound so fucking good? “Spiked Flower” is song that’s transcendence distilled, and I don’t even feel compelled to defend it beyond offering that it sounds like if Husker Du had a baby with the Jesus and Mary Chain. Sometimes the only quality that good music has to have to is that it sounds good“Spiked Flower” can be found on Swervedriver’s upcoming album, Future Ruins — earning bonus points for featuring Coney Island’s iconic Parachute Drop and Thunderbolt roller coaster on its cover — which will be released on January 25th, 2019 on Dangerbird Records. Enjoy!

future ruins hi-res cover