Tag Archive | Video

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

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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: 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: Dandy Warhols, “Be Alright”

Happy New Year, Bitches — and welcome to the first Video Clip of the Week for 2019! It’s going to be a great year for some-extra cool songs and clips, I promise. It’s good to be back, though I admit that I am still a little woozy from the Holidaze. For the first three or four days after I returned from a fabulous Christmas vacation in Southern California, I felt like I was completely hungover with jet lag. And during that necessary reintegration into the New York City atmosphere, I had an unusually high number of vivid, hallucinatory dreams that seemed to segue loosely from one to another and another, which left me foggy and disoriented upon wakening, but nevertheless kept me wildly entertained. Dreaming is free.

And it is this desirable feeling of existing in a dream-like state that sealed the deal for me when choosing this week’s clip, which is called “Be Alright” from the Dandy Warhols — a band that managed to cling tenaciously to their major label record deal longer than I think anyone imagined possible. Kudos! Starring actress Jessica Paré, who played Megan Draper on Mad Men, and featuring cameos by all band members plus an assorted mix of their extended entourage, “Be Alright”  opens on a scene of Paré seated alone in a dimly-lit restaurant and symbolically squeezing the last drop of wine from the bottle before before she saunters off to the bar for more champagne, and then proceeds to journey from room to room, encountering  a formal dinner party, concert, photo shoot, and a recording session. Or something like that. Imagine if David Lynch directed an alt-rock version of Alice in Wonderland.

It turns out that the clip was shot entirely in one location, which is a a ten thousand square foot building purchased by the Dandy Warhols back in 2002 in what was then industrial NW Portland. The Odditorium, as it is now known, is the band’s headquarters, recording studio, and hang out for them and all their friends and fellow artists. The video was written and conceived by the award winning creative mind of Kevin Moyer, who explains, “I’ve been there many times and it is such a cool and ethereal place, full of psychedelia and gothic touches and auras. It just makes your head spin trying to take all of it in as you walk through the unique rock n roll space. What better way [to capture the essence of this music] than to use a head spinning media format to take the viewer on a magical journey through the Dandy Warhols‘ own space and sound, with the new single ‘Be Alright’ making things exactly that along the way.” Well said!

“Be Alright” can be found on the band’s new album, Why You So Crazy, due out on January 25th, 2019 on Dine Alone Records. Preorder the album via their Pledge Music campaign, and receive extra goodies, at This Link! Enjoy!

Dandy Warhols

Video Clip of The Week: Elton John, “Step Into Christmas”

Back in the ’70s and ’80s, when Rock & Roll was still chart-topping genre rather than something that people over age 40 get nostalgic about, popular bands doing Christmas-themed songs was a thing that I enjoyed. While many of my holiday favorites fall into the pop-ballad category — the gloriously maudlin “Merry Christmas, Darling” by The Carpenters, or Emerson Lake and Palmer’s appropriately stoic “I Believe in Father Christmas” spring instantly to mind — there are a few modern standards that truly rock out. Which brings us to this week’s Video Clip, Elton John’s “Step Into Christmas” — a song that John recorded with his original band in 1973! You probably weren’t even born yet.

This extremely rare performance footage was originally broadcast in 1973 as part of The Gilbert O’Sullivan Show. After its original broadcast, the footage was lost in the ITV archives and has only recently been unearthed. Featuring Elton alongside his classic band line up of Davey JohnstoneDee Murray (RIP) and Nigel Olsson (with a rare cameo appearance from Bernie Taupin on percussion) in all of their Glam Rock glory, the clip has not been seen since it was first aired.  The “Step Into Christmas” single originally charted at No. 24 in the UK single charts, and  reached a peak chart position of No. 11 again in 2017. As you can hear, the song simply refuses to date.

“Step Into Christmas” is available now as a three track digital EP featuring both the original single and its  B-side of “Ho! Ho! Ho! (Who’d Be A Turkey At Christmas)”,  plus the audio performance from the Gilbert O’Sullivan Show. Enjoy!

Video Clip of The Week: Westerman, “Outside Sublime”


Adult Contemporary Electronica: Yes, it Exists. This week’s Video Clip comes from Westerman, an artist who’s flown under my radar until the link to his latest single, “Outside Sublime,” arrived in my email box. Lucky me, lucky you!

With a penchant for creating songs that explore and interrogate the nature of personal connection, Westerman’s new visual is a soothing, ethereal look at the fantasy world one escapes to when opening up to another person. Aurally, “Outside Sublime” is not just easy listening, it’s completely effortless. This is the soothing break your mind needs after a long weekend spent holiday shopping and hanging out with your family, trust me.

Director Beatrix Blaise shared a creative insight on how the video for “Outside Sublime” came together: “When I first heard it, I instantly imagined glistening watery scenes, fireflies and some sense of harmonious escape. Out of that came a kind of visceral world, where each thing in it was trying to mirror a human softness and duality.”

“Outside Sublime” can be found on Westerman’s just-released Ark EP, out now on Blue Flowers. Enjoy!

Westerman