Monthly Archives: August, 2010

Watch This Now: Darren Hanlon – “All These Things”

“I swore everything I say is true, on a first-edition copy of Peter Pan…”

Just throwing this one out there – Darren Hanlon has to be one of the nicest, most approachable and genuinely lovely people in Australian music. He’s wonderfully polite and charming  in person, he makes consistently good records – this year’s I Will Love You At All very much included – and always manages to put on a wonderful live show to accompany them. He’s also got a slew of adorable videos in his body of work, too, with the latest being this little stretch of the imagination bringing to life one of the many highlights of Darren’s latest album.

In what looks like a high school auditorium, Darren and his female counterpart – played by the lovely Heidi Barrett – move in perfect choreography as they turn the song’s call-and-response into a conversation. It’s a wonderfull low-budget affair, as the two transition from place to place with the use of nothing but simple props and painted backdrops. Though the whole thing will make you want to give both of them the biggest possible hug, my personal favourite scene in the video comes when the two make their way into a closet and come out in a winter wonderland, complete with earmuffs and scarves. And they slide across the hardwood floor as if they’re skating. Oh, the things this did to my heart. Heidi’s smile is infectious, as is Darren’s geeky enthusiasm for the dances. It’s just an insanely hard to dislike video – they’re just so darn lovely! Check this, and then the new album. Go go go.


Watch This Now: Maximum Balloon feat. Aku – “Tiger”

“We’re so hung up, like tiny pictures…”

With TV on the Radio now taking a bit of a break from one another, the band’s producer/guitarist/sole honky David Andrew Sitek has begun work on a solo record under the name Maximum Balloon. This track, along with its video, is our first taste of what’s to come – and it looks like we are in for a shitload of fun if this is any indication.

A funky, cracking pop tune high on horns and helium, this very cool video definitely takes the band name to its greatest literal extent – there is not a single frame of this video where balloons don’t make an appearance, and it’s a rush of joy to the senses to see it all unfurl. Come ON, dude! There’s dudes jumping through the air! There’s a Chinese dragon/tiger thingy that you see in the parades and stuff! There’s fucking balloons! EVERYWHERE! Us humans just don’t deal with such awesome on a regular basis. It’s overlooked and underappreciated. Whatever. Just giggle like a schoolgirl over this for me.

My Favourite Video: MC Lars

MC Lars is an American hip-hop musician, known for his satirical hits such as “Signing Emo” and “Download This Song”.
His latest album, This Gigantic Robot Kills, came out last year.
His favourite video is Smells Like Nirvana by “Weird Al” Yankovic.

My favorite music video is “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “Smells Like NIrvana”.  He recreated the Nirvana video flawlessly and even incorporated some of the original actors.  It’s a hilarious commentary on Generation X’s nihilism and still makes me laugh to this day.  “Weird Al” made me want to make music.

The Cringe – Double Feature: Eamon – “Fuck It (I Don’t Want You Back)” and Frankee – “F.U.R.B. (Fuck You Right Back)”

Normally lyrics would go here, but it’s the same fucking song, so w/e…

Welcome to a very special edition of The Cringe, as we take a look at one of the most bizarre moments in the history of 2000s pop. Two randoms released songs with the same beat, one after another, and were subsequently never heard of again. The first one to release was Eamon – who? Exactly. – with the song Fuck It (I Don’t Want You Back). Keeping in the history of pop trends of “it will sell if it swears in the chorus” (see: Little Lion Man), Eamon holds the Guiness World Record for the most swearing in a number one single (the word “fuck” is said 33 times, for the record). The video sees him being a bro-slash-hardass, arguing with bitches at restaurants, ignoring the pizza in front of him, rolling with his posse in a beige hoodie and slayin’ it in the studio like all good bros do. From recollection, he even overturns one of the tables at the restaurant out of pure frustation – evidently, the year 2004 was dealing with a man who does NOT fuck around. It carries on like this for basically the entire video – it’s generic, it’s self-indulgent and it’s ever so worthy of The Cringe.

Now, the urban legend was that Eamon’s ex – the one who the song is addressed to – heard the song and decided she had a right of reply before she launched her own singing career. We now know that the story was bullshit and it completely backfired on Frankee – she had to pay royalties to Eamon for sampling Fuck It. As her song topped the charts, he earned double the hit money off one song. Fucking genius! The song, entitled F.U.R.B. (Fuck You Right Back) was released by Frankee in a matter of months after Fuck It sold a fucktillion copies and bought Eamon an island in French Micronesia*. The accompanying video saw Frankee throwing shit out of her window, giggling in her underpants, and dancing on a boardwalk with a hat. Oh, and going to the club. IN BLACK AND WHITE. Essentially, this comes off as “yeah, I have an incredibly high opinion of myself and my looks – BUT I HAVE FEELINGS TOO, MAN!” Deep shit, man, totally. Like Eamon, she also enjoys rolling with a posse, tearing up photos and generally wearing clothes that were acceptable in 2004 but would now be looked at with an air of “what the fuck were you thinking”. Bright pink plastic heels are the order of the day – classy! Like Paris Hilton or some shit! Take THAT, beige hoodie!

In conclusion, this never should have happened and I’m sorry you had to experience this. As well as experience the videos below. Which you’re going to do now.

Fuck It:


* = may be false. **

** = is false.

Old Favourites: Promoe – “These Walls Don’t Lie”

“But now, fifty thousand chariots singin’ the chorus…”

Promoe came into my life around 2004, which was a very interesting and formative year for me. I more or less flipped when I discovered this, as it was my first exposure to international hip-hop that wasn’t from the United States or New Zealand – at the time, I didn’t even know shit like that existed. So there was that occupying my mind, but at the same time the visuals – ie. this video – was also a total eye-opener. The bizarre colour schemes, the adventures of that one little spray can and the fact that there is SO much going on in this video make it one of my all-time favourites. Honestly, it’s remarkable just how much the directors of this video were able to squeeze into four minutes. When you’re not following the spray can’s dance moves around the subways and streets, take a look at the various places Promoe and DJ Large end up, as well as the graphics reflecting some of the particular lyrics – on a patriotic note, some kangaroos appear in the background when Australia is mentioned in the lyrics. Classic. Admittedly, Promoe isn’t really an artist I come back to very often in the course of my listening, but “These Walls Don’t Lie” is one of those things that I’ll never ever forget.

Watch This Now: Jonsi – “Animal Arithmetic”

“Riding bikes, making out, elephants swimming down…”

I didn’t think much of Go, the debut solo album from Sigur Ros singer Jonsi, when I first heard it. I can’t quite put my finger on why – perhaps I had just expected something a little less familiar and I struggled to enjoy it as much as I could have. Interesting, after coming across this video for the new single from the record, Animal Arithmetic, I decided to listen to Go again and enjoyed it thoroughly. Does it speak volumes of my ignorance, or volumes of how cool this video is? Judge for yourself.

With the song working along a spliced, twisted percussion beat, it’s stunning to watch someone drumming along to the song with what Wayne Campbell may refer to as an “extreme close-up” going across hi-hats and snares with lightning-quick transition – my compliments to the editing team! It’s a video of goodwill, a love of life and bright, sparkly colour. Childlike? A little – but it’s this kind of wide-eyed innocence that reminds you why you loved Jonsi and Sigur so much to begin with. One of the more visually engaging videos of the year, Jonsi has done a great job with this one.

Watch This Now: Tenielle – “Better Than Leaving”

“I’m riding on a fast train in the opposite direction of my place…”

For some strange reason, I remember the first time I saw this video more vividly than any other video I’ve seen this year. It was after seeing the Magic Numbers at the Metro in Sydney, and getting back to my mate’s place at some ungodly hour. We threw on rage, and most of the videos were hilariously bad. If you’ve ever done an all-nighter with the show, or at least tried to, you’ll know the old rule of “one more bad video and I’m going to bed”. We were just about ready to pack it in – until Tenielle (full name: Tenielle Nada Musulin) came on. She came, we saw, she conquered.

This is a dreamy, gorgeous video for a lovely piece of pop-oriented country music – more Lisa Mitchell than Waylon Jennings, if you will. In turn, the video is adorably summery and visually stunning. Whether it’s as simple as riding a bike or walking along the street, it feels like Tenielle is in some kind of breezy utopia as she does it. The fact she’s absolutely gorgeous – both in her flowery dress and in her sleek black formal gown – also played no small part in me falling in love with everything about this video. What can you say, really? It’s simple, it’s cute and it’s like a big hug tellng you that everything’s gonna be okay. Thank you, Tenielle – this is just lovely.

Old Favourites: The Pharcyde – “Drop”

“I jet propel at a rate that complice their mental state, as I invade their masquerade…”

My discovery of The Pharcyde came somewhat in a reverse order. If you’re familiar with the Beastie Boys track Intergalactic, you’d probably remember the line “Beastie Boys are known to let the beat…mmmmmmmmmmmmm drrrrrroooooooooooooopppppp!” Right? Right. So I finally found out where that was sourced from when I heard this song for the first time. As you might have guessed where I’m going with this – having the video for Drop go in reverse was even more of a warped introduction. That said, I wouldn’t have it any other way – this is a classic video.

Before videos like The Scientist made it popular, director Spike Jonze was one of the first video directors to experiment with reverse footage. Essentially, the group had to learn how to mime the song backwards while they were moving forwards. Watching them attempt to perform it would have been absolutely bizarre, but once Jonze worked his magic it all began to make perfect sense. It’s innovative, it’s extraordinary and considering too many hip-hop videos have fallen ill to guns, bitches and bling, it’s a strong reminder of what a great hip-hop video can be. One love.

Watch This Now: Arcade Fire – “Ready to Start”

Okay, so there’s not actually this many people in Arcade Fire – it’s a mirror shot.
Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if this many turned up on stage. Would you?

“And if I was yours – but I’m not…”

Someone’s been very, very naughty and uploaded the new Arcade Fire music video before it was actually supposed to be released – it’s unlisted on YouTube and by the time you read this it could well have been taken down. For now, though, the new video for Ready to Start from their (like-you-expected-it-to-not-be-)awesome new record The Suburbs, is a must watch. If you’ve seen Arcade Fire live before, it will be a reminder of how good they were. If you haven’t, it serves as a reminder that you must. As soon as humanly possible.

Essentially, it’s a performance video meets a montage video with lots of people packed into a room watching AF do their thang onstage. Win Butler thrashes about, while his wife Regine (can’t remember the spelling of her last name and I’m writing this all in one go, so no Google for me) plays along on the drums – oh, and the eight or so other people in the band rock out, too. In terms of concept, it’s somewhat similar to Kasabian‘s recent video for Underdog, but with two things separating it. 1: Arcade Fire are good; and 2: there’s none of the “look at us laughing backstage and huddling before we go on to play a stadium”, pat-on-the-back bullshit. It’s raw, straight up and looks fantastic in black and white with heavier grey tones. Nothing big and high-concept like some of the tracks suggest (maybe one for the title track later?), but this is more than worth your time if you’re a fan of this style of video. And of AF, of course – and who isn’t?

Watch This Now: Katy Perry – “Teenage Dream”

“You think I’m pretty without any makeup on, you think I’m funny when I tell the punchine wrong…”

Katy Perry has gotten herself to quite the sweet position in pop culture, with numerous number ones, a fiancee almost as famous as her in Russell Brand and a likable, freewheeling personality that comes across in both her interviews and music videos – she doesn’t take herself too seriously and she doesn’t attempt to act smarter than she is. In short, I like Katy a fair deal – which is why I fear for what may happen next to her on account of this video. I predict conservative groups and “concerned” parents going on a witch hunt after they see this in the flesh – literally.

As the song itself suggests, the video is about being young, dumb and in love – it’s a California dreaming fantasy without the candyland of the California Gurls video. Gorgously shot throughout Santa Barbara (Perry’s hometown, no less), you see Perry cruising the highway, partying with friends, going to the beach at night and canoodling around with the man of her dreams, played by one Josh Kloss. The cinematography here is absolutely stunning, with a slight touch of graininess giving the entire thing a feeling of a time now long passed – that might sound a little weird, but try watching the beach and car scenes in particular and see if I’m right or not. The scene I’m most concerned about, however, probably won’t make it onto morning TV – Perry and her boytoy creep into a hotel room and get bizzay. None of this clothing shit, either – we’re talking dresses being ripped off and lots of sweaty male muscliness. Oh god yes. It’s all a part of the concept, but my main concern is parents banding together to ban Katy Perry or some shit – coz, y’know, sex in pop music is SUCH a foreign concept and they NEVER listened or saw anything like it when they grew up. FFS!

Whatever happens, this is one of the best videos Katy has done and, come what may, she’s got my support. Enjoy!

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