Monthly Archives: July, 2011

Watch This Now: Stonefield – “Black Water Rising”

“This is no good for you, my friend…”

The Findlay siblings are here to kick arse and drink chocolate milk – and they’re fresh out of milk. As Stonefield, they have had an amazing year playing gigs all across the country, including a spot at none other than Glastonbury not too long ago. For a band so young, it’s absolutely mental stuff, and I couldn’t be happier for them. They’re now on the cusp of releasing a double-A-side single – vintage, right? – and have gone with this Zeppelinesque rocker for the video.

In contrast to the bright atmospherics of their first video, Through the Clover, this clip is considerably darker, still maintaining a sinister cool about it. I love the trippy effects they use, mixed in with a variety of blurs and close-ups on vocalist/drummer Amy. The way this is shot has a great use of simple black and white, and the mix of performance shots with the sinister-looking cutaways is well-balanced. This is more or less exactly the kind of thing you can tell they wanted out of this, and who are we to question it? Keep on rockin’, Findlays.

Old Favourites: Amy Winehouse – “Back to Black”

“We only said goodbye with words, I died a hundred times…”

Well, this certainly isn’t the way I wanted to bring back my blog after a week of slack posting. This is the news that completely shook the foundations of the entertainment industry over the weekend. The news that so many thought they saw coming, yet which still shocked everyone when it was announced. I’m not going to act like I knew her personally, and I’m not going to condone her actions as an addict. What I am going to do, is show you what Amy Winehouse meant to me.

To me, it was never about what you saw in the tabloids or on TMZ or whatever else have you that truly defined what she was about. It was the music – plain and simple, the music. Not watching her get sloshed at a gig and trying to fight some random in the crowd – I’m talking Frank, I’m talking Back to Black, I’m talking all of these great songs and classic singles. That voice – that timeless, shattering voice. That’s what I’m never going to forget. It’s meant so much to me over the years, and will continue to do so for so many more. At times when everyone I knew was against her, I stood up for her. Whenever she was dismissed as talentless, I would vehemently disagree. Fuck, I still will, there’s no argument about it.

I’ve chosen Back in Black over the obvious choices like her cover of Valerie or, of course, Rehab, for a few reasons. First and foremost, I’ve always loved this video – it’s always been a dark and very confronting visual metaphor for heartbreak and the ultimate demise of love. I also feel that the video now takes on a significantly larger impact now – and if you’ve never seen it before, then you’ll know exactly what I mean when you see it. Above all, it’s just a downright classic song, and it’s all come together in a beautiful, beautiful mess.

I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore yesterday. I haven’t been this shaken by a musician’s death since Michael Jackson. I want this blog entry to serve as a release of all that grieving and energy, though. This is my acceptance. This is me starting to celebrate the music that was left behind. This is me remembering everything Amy Winehouse gave me. I don’t expect you to understand – I don’t even expect you to care. All I ask is that you listen.

Old Favourites: Ben Lee – “Cigarettes Will Kill You”

“You love to watch me bake, you serve me up with cake and that’s your big mistake…”

I don’t know why exactly I thought of this one, but something must have triggered it – maybe trying to recall my earliest memories of music videos? Here’s a video that has distinctively stuck with me from the very minute that I first saw it as a child of seven, maybe eight. He might be seen as beyond naff now, but no-one will ever be able to tarnish the memory of Ben Lee being the coolest dude I had ever come across at the time.

This comes in the late nineties, where our hero has just released his third solo album at the ripe old age of twenty. Along with hanging out with cool people like the Beastie Boys and Sean Lennon, Lee was branching out into an extravagant, artsy style of video-making. Check out the full body paint, the confronting street-walking and the various weirdness that makes up the video. It’s pretty much entrancing from start to finish, and certainly did wonders in capturing my imagination. I’ll always love Ben for this.

Watch This Now: TV on the Radio – “Caffienated Consciousness”

“So fused are we, to the cause of light…”

Another weird and wacky video from the brilliant TV on the Radio that comes as a bittersweet surprise. On one level, this is an outstanding clip with a low budget but a wild, outlandish imagination – they haven’t done a video this trippy since Golden Age back in 2008. On another level, however, it’s heartbreaking to think this will be the last ever video to star former bassist Gerard Smith, who tragically lost his battle to cancer only a week or so after Nine Types of Light came out. He might have been an enigma, but he was still an integral part of the band’s sound. Still, it’s not healthy to dwell to much on the negative – let’s use this video to celebrate just what an amazing musician Gerard was!

Watch This Now: Paramore – “Monster”

“And we started drowning, not like we’d sink any farther…”

Paramore is still a band. Yep, even in the face of the controversial departure of the Farro brothers, the band have stuck to their guns and continued on. Major kudos to them – especially for getting new material out there in such a limited time. Monster is their first post-Farro material, as well as being the lead single from the Transformers: Dark of the Moon soundtrack.

I was actually worried that the video for this would suffer the same fate of their Decode video, which was also the lead single of the first Twilight film. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I mean – cheesy band footage mixed with shots of Robert Pattinson brooding about the place. Thankfully, we can report that there is no sign of Shia LaDouche anywhere in this video! Surprisingly, they’ve stepped up their game and mixed a confronting performance video with some Michael Bay-esque imagery – yes, that’s codeword for “shit gets blown the fuck up.” It’s not quite clear what exactly the three of them are running from – but guessing about it is half the fun, isn’t it? A very well-shot video with some cool ideas – it’s good to have them back.

Watch This If You Dare: Rebecca Black – “My Moment”

“I hope you are happy, ’cause I’m about to blow up…”

Oh, Rebecca. My dear, sweet young Rebecca. My Moment? You had your moment – turn up as a novelty every now and then, maybe star in a few more Katy Perry videos if the time felt right. Your moment could have involved getting back to your normal life, before the whole Ark Music thing made you infamous. Anything, really – except this. I really didn’t want to bore it up you, but I mean…really? This? At the very fucking least, Friday was enjoyable on an ironic level. There’s nothing for this. It’s not hilariously bad, so-bad-it’s-good…hell, it’s not even catchy. And as for the video, young lady, what a mess!

This honestly looks as though the production team have thought long and hard about which of the biggest cliches of pop videos they should use, before snapping and saying “Fuck it, we’ll use them all.” Jamming with a band when there are no instruments apart from keyboards and a drum machine? Check! Dance studio? Check! Paparazzi shooting for no reason whatsoever? Check! Wind machine? Motherfucking CHECK. The whole thing feels even more contrived than Friday – if that was humanly possible to begin with. I really don’t want to stay mad at Rebecca – I follow her on Twitter, after all, and she seems like a lovely girl. This, however, is a shit sandwich. The moment’s gone.

Watch This Now: Phrase feat. Davey Lane – “Apart”

“A penny for your thoughts, your thoughts are always on my mind…”

One of the most critically underrated acts in Australian music, in my humble opinion, is Phrase. Dude has been on the grind for years, releasing consistently good singles and a couple of grea albums. He’s back on the trailblaze following a bit of a break last year, and has brought along an unlikely partner-in-crime – You Am I guitarist Davey Lane! The pair both star in this video, but it’s Phrase’s friendship with another unlikely character that is the driving force behind this awesome new clip taken from his upcoming third album, Babylon.

Phrase’s best mate is…a pinata. Nope, you haven’t misread, it’s a goddamn pinata. A bit of a smartarse one, too, that old mate Phrase has to keep bailing out of situations. There’s only one way to solve it – and like fuck I’m telling you how it ends! Much like Phrase’s fantastic video for Spaceship a few years back, there’s a great imagination to be found within this video, creating something extraordinary simply by changing up a few of the ordinary factors. A must-see.

Yes, We’ve Got An Email!

Children of the revoluuuutiooonnnnn!
Y,WGAV! is moving up in the world and has just gotten itself its very own email account. How about that?
You! Do you have a video? Yeah? Wanna share? Got some ideas? Hell, just want to troll me?

Do it here.

Let’s make the magic happen!

Old Favourites: Hoodoo Gurus – “What’s My Scene?”

“Where’s my Juliet, baby? Is it maybe my Midsummer Night’s Dream?”

Here’s a blast from the past for you, spurred on by some late-night watching of Music MAX and watching their top fifty classic Aussie rock videos. It got me thinking about mine, and if pressed I’d probably have to put this one from the Hoodoo Gurus up near the top. It’s hard to remember exactly where I first saw it, but Lord knows it was many moons ago. I do have a distinct recollection of seeing it listed on video jukeboxes everywhere growing up, whether that was at the bowling alley or wherever my family had decided to go for dinner that evening, even at the pub I was once taken to as a little’un – no recollection of what I was doing there, but there you are. My policy was simple: If I couldn’t have Metallica‘s Unforgiven II, then this would have to suffice.

Not that this was anything to do with second best – I absolutely loved this video. The mixing and matching through split screens was something I’d seen done by my old mates The Wiggles earlier on, but after finding out this video predated that I felt a little gipped! It’s a very fun video, unashamedly 80s in nature and quite cheeky – something the band were more or less notorious for from a video perspective. Look out for the priest, the cowboy and Dave Faulkner‘s mullet to end all mullets – pure class!

Watch This Now: Owl Eyes – “Raiders”

“I’ll give it all that I have to give…”

It was interesting to do a Google Images search for Brooke Addamo to get the picture you see above. She’s certainly come a long way since her time as a naive teen on Idol, having evolved into a unique pop artist with a strong, textured voice – but she’s also developed from a purely creative perspective. Following on from the dark, strangely sexy video of Faces late last year comes an intriguing adventure centred around the title track of her new EP, Raiders.

For this clip, Addamo appears to have gone for a mix of a gypsy queen and Xena: Warrior Princess, dancing and singing around a bizarre alternative universe that expands from barren tennis courts to mystic rivers. She carries a bow and arrow, but exactly what she needs to protect herself from won’t be initially clear. Maybe it even won’t be by the end of it, who knows? It’s all about how you interpret it – but it’s a beautifully shot and well-paced video all the same. Top work, Addamo.

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