Monthly Archives: May, 2012

FEATURED FRIDAYS – My Favourite Video: Patience Hodgson

Patience Hodgson is a Brisbane-based musican and podcaster.

She is best known as the lead singer of The Grates, as well as the co-host
of the podcasts The Minutes and You’re Welcome with Mel Buttle.

Her favourite video is No Sleep by DZ Deathrays.

These guys are from Brisbane. I also am from Brisbane. Don’t let our shared geography convince you I am bias, it’s purely a matter of taste, my love – and I think this is the most exciting song to come out of Australia in ages! So please watch and enjoy.

Patience can be heard on her two podcasts every week. You can subscribe here and here.

Old Favourites: The Dead Weather – “Treat Me Like Your Mother”

“Stand up like a man, you better learn to shake hands…”

The Dead Weather, ey? Why now? Well, with both Jack White and Allison Mosshart in the news recently, I figured I’d throw the two together and pay a bit of tribute to this fucking cool video. What have these two been up to? Well, Allison and her day job The Kills got to open for Metallica in France. Fucking cool of Metallica to do that. Naturally, the fuckwits didn’t take kindly to it. Which made it all the more awesome. Meanwhile, Jack White has been trying for a world record – most metaphors in a single concert. His first go was apparently not too good, but he’s going to try again at his next gig. I hope he nails it.

Anyways, this is a very simple premise for a video, in which our heroes walk away from one another in a big, desolate field. They load up their guns and walk back shooting the absolute fuck out of one another. Just another day at the office, really. It’s such a destructive, primitive concept that it couldn’t just be pulled off by anyone. These two make it work so well, bringing layers where you might have initially thought there was absolutely nothing. Is it yet another metaphor for a destructive relationship? Is  it the conflict between the left and right brain? What does it mean that Jack is still standing after taking all those shots to the chest? More to the point, do you even care? It’s Jack White with a gun! What more do you want?

Watch This Now: Royal Headache – “Girls”

“I wait, oh she waits, does she wait for me?”

To see a band rise from nothing into something truly remarkable is something I almost always find really inspiring – especially if I’ve been a witness to it. Seeing Royal Headache go from in-stores and house shows to sell-out gigs and international demand is truly satisfying – this is a band that deserves every last cent of their success both here and abroad. To celebrate their amazing run this past 12 months or so, they’ve put out a very cool clip for Girls, originally from their self-titled seven-inch and re-recorded for their self-titeld debut album. Yeah, not big on names, this lot. And I prefer the seven-inch version, but that’s neither here nor there.

With the 95 seconds or so the band has to work with, they’ve slapped together a bunch of tour and party footage – mostly the band being silly buggers while out on the open road. And there’s not a damn thing wrong with that, thanks all the same. I also don’t know if it’s an effect or they actually used Super 8, but the whole thing just looks awesome. Very boho-chic, he said as he stroked his pretentious mustache. I totally recognise one of the girls in this video, too; that one with the glasses and the curly brown hair. I saw her at a bunch of gigs and was all “wow, she’s really pretty” and, naturally, didn’t do a damn thing about it. Classic me. Wait, what? Why are you still here? Go watch the damn video already.

Watch This Now: Neil Young and Crazy Horse – “Clementine”

“Ruby lips above the water, blowing bubbles soft and fine…”

Can anyone tell me where the hell that week went? Sorry for the lack of posts last week, and thanks for your understanding. I assume you understand, and if you don’t? Well, I can hardly help that. Moving on: Holy shit, Neil Young has a new record out this year. He’s had a mix of interesting and bizarre tunes on his last few records – Fork in the Road, a concept record about his car; Le Noise, an album almost entirely solo on electric guitar – and now he’s taken an in-road even further into oddity by getting the latest line-up of Crazy Horse to record a bunch of standards from the American songbook with him. He’s also put together a bunch of videos to go with the songs, made up of grainy archival footage – and Clementine is his latest foray.

This clip starts off innocently enough, with a loving mother in the kitchen going outside to see her three daughters. It’s from here that things become increasingly bizarre – the mother is a professional knife-thrower, and she uses her three daughters as target practice. No shit! Even when you’re watching it with the full consideration that the woman was a pro and no-one was injured, it’s still absolutely terrifying stuff to watch. The little winces and cringes the kids give when the knives come this close is really something else. This is a really creative and interesting project for Young and the CH dudes, and I hope it bears similarly delicious fruit further down the line.

Watch This Now: Dappled Cities – “Run with the Wind”

“We walk around in circles starry eyed, for all the boys and girls alike…”

Hi, how are you, good weekend, etc. Let’s skip the formalites, kids – we’ve got some damn videos to watch! First cab of the rank is a clip I’ve been meaning to check out for ages but am now finally getting around to – the new jam from eternally-cool Sydney dudes Dappled Cites. They’ve been away for yonks, but thanks to some pretty high-profile supports for TV on the Radio and Death Cab for Cutie they’re back on the comeback trail. This right here is lifted from their as-yet-untitled new record – and it looks like we’re in for a scorcher if this is anything to go by.

The racetrack has decreased in popularity quite a bit for music videos lately – maybe it’s because the last Aussie one, End of Fashion’s O Yeah, made it all seem so daggy? Whatever the case, Dappled have put together a peculiar quest for kicks from a young, blonde Laura Marling lookalike with their own niche area of quirky art-school conceptuality – and all within the surrounds of motorcross. Shiny, shiny bikes and all other kinds of cool shit. You know what’s up. I like the warped slow-motion, which seemingly locks up to the music – it makes the whole thing feel like a complete trip, and adds a cool effect to an already weird video. See what you think.

FEATURED FRIDAYS – My Favourite Video: Sui Zhen

Sui Zhen is a Melbourne-based singer-songwriter,
who performs both solo and as a part of duo Fox + Sui.

She has picked five of her favourite videos: Colours and Soul by Dunkelziffer,
Amanaemonesia by Chairlift, You Changed Me by Sean Nicholas Savage,
Udi Baba Udi Baba by Asha Bhosle and Hawaii Bombay by Mecano.

Somewhere between Can, Liquid Liquid (for their Cavern clip) and Tom Tom Club (for their Genius of Love clip) sits Dunkelziffer. It’s happy and percussive space reggae that could please any adult and child alike. I aspire to make videos like this – expressive, colourful and ultimately satisfying. It’s the kind of labour intensive art that appeals to me – stop-motion animation with crayon, cubist figures and dope music – the kind of song to bring in the dawn.

A more contemporary video here, featuring green lycra, excellent dance moves, beautiful colour grading and classic 80’s synth pop. It’s from Brooklyn band Chairlift, who’ve continued a vibrant and tastefully psychedelic-karaoke aesthetic since their previous release with the data-moshed Evident Utensil. I’m mainly into the execution of their ideas. It’s supreme. Caroline Polachek is a babe and her subtly slick ponytail and self-choreographed ‘adult-contemporary dance suggestions’ blow my mind.

Oh yeah, and there’s amazing hand-drawn stop-motion animation too. Pfft. Too good.

Sean Nicholas Savage has my heart with this coupling of a true ‘romance’ song and wonderfully simple yet somehow still creepy video. His long stares and offbeat mannerisms are ever perplexing – and he has these wonky teeth that peek out with such good timing. I love the reference to David Byrne with the over-sized suit – not sure if intentional, but it works perfectly for this awkward character. The ‘wo wo wo’ intro and outro reminds me of Cantonese singing. This guy breaks. My. Heart.

No-one slides and sighs like Asha Bhosle (though the the deeper toned and huskier Asha Puthli comes close). This video has everything you could EVER WANT in a music video. TICK.

Lastly, I point you to this little number. I feel it’s closest to where Fox & Sui are heading at the moment out of all the above clips. Lo-budget VHS home-movie, Faux-exotica, bird sounds – the kind of magic that could only come from a Spanish-new-wave pop-rock band of the 80’s. Watch how the men turn to her for the ‘sighs’ in the chorus and her cheeky seductive lovemaking to the camera. Class act.

Sui’s debut album,Two Seas, is out now. 

Sui will be going on tour from the 30th of May onwards. For dates and venues, head to Sui’s official Facebook page.

Watch This If You Dare: Anchored feat. Snoop Dogg – “Throwin’ Down”

Usually, it’s good that an artist/song/album/whatever can be provocative to the point where one openly starts asking questions. Curiousity is often a wonderful thing, as you’ll know if you’re a longtime reader. Sometimes, though, it just doesn’t add up; and one might end up asking questions for all the wrong reasons. Here is a list of questions related to this video that I will now attempt to answer.

  1. Who the fuck are Anchored?
  2. What the hell is going on here?
  3. What year is it?
  4. What the fuck is Snoop Dogg doing?

Tough questions, but someone’s got to ask them.

Let’s take a look and see what we can make sense of.

1. From what I can gather, Anchored are a Texan band of douchelords with shitty facial hair, shitty tattoos and shitty music. They list their interests as “eeting new fans and friends, drinking, playin’ music and havin’ a good time!” Wouldn’t be surprised if “lynching niggers” was on that list, too. They released their debut album in January.

2. Well, they seem to have gone for the hard-partyin’ redneck style of video, where everyone rocks out for the camera and gets drunk. Typical trailer trash bullshit, really. Not sure what the obsession is with the moonshine, but hey.

3. I know, right? They’ve ripped this shit basically straight out of 2005, where bands like Buckcherry, Hinder and Papa Roach reigned supreme with this tacky horseshit. Wouldn’t be surprised if they all had the stars and stripes tattooed on them, or at least the phrase “DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS.” The rent-a-crowd are pretty pathetic, too.

4. Hone$tly, I have no idea what $noop think$ he’$ doing or who he’$ trying to impre$$. The rea$on why he would do $omething like thi$ i$ beyond me. It’$ probably $taring me right in the face, too. $illy me.

Goddammit. I hate everything. Fuck this shit.

Watch This Now: Dan Mangan – “About As Helpful As You Can Be Without Being Any Help At All”

“I was thrown in a boat, cast out to sea, friendly with waves, there were sharks below…”

Is that… is that Dan bloody Mangan? Again? What is this, your sixth time here? We must really like you, Dan. Not many other people get that kind of love around these parts. There must be something in the water over in your magical Canada land, right? Whatever it is, keep it up. The glory run of videos from the Oh Fortune record continues here, for the album opener and potentially one of my favourite Mangan tracks. This one requires a bit more imagination than the previous clip for Post-War Blues – and yet, that’s not quite the deterrent that you think it is. In fact, it can make this video all the more exciting.

Mangan is at the centre of the clip, surrounded by a wondrous and peculiar forest. He is seemingly the leader of a tribe of strange painted faces who follow his commands – which, naturally, involve confetti and sky lanterns. It’s simultaneously wonderful and unnerving, in the sense that there’s a sense of ecstasy and joy to the gathering and the colour and whatnot; but what are they all doing there? Who’s behind this? And just what does it all mean? Enter your imagination, stage left. It will know what to do. It makes this video what it is. I think I know what’s going on, but maybe your idea will be entirely different…

Old Favourites: Bob Dylan – “Subterranean Homesick Blues”

“The man in the coonskin cap by the big pen wants eleven dollar bills….”

Time for a bit of On This Day trivia, starring the legendary Bob Dylan. OTD in 1965, Dylan inadvertedly created the first proper music video as an artform by filming an introductory segment to the Don’t Look Back doco, which documented his 1965 tour of the U.K. With some hand-written cue-cards and a cameo from friend and mentor Allen Ginsberg, the foundations for what would become the music video some decade or so later were laid down. Accidental genius – is there any better kind?

Done with one camera and little thought process, the video basically revolves around Dylan apathetically running through his cards, which themselves are often littered with puns or non-sequitors (my favourite is the one that reads WHAT? towards the end). It’s such a basic idea; and yet, it was executed brilliantly – as with most things Dylan was doing in the sixties. Everyone from INXS to Anti-Flag have jacked Subterranean’s swag over the years, but nothing comes close to the simple wonders of this clip. Mix up the medicine and enjoy.

Watch This Now: Maxïmo Park – “Hips and Lips”

“You’re a puzzle to me, and you always will be…”

If you ask me – and, if you’re reading this blog, you clearly have – there are few bands of the post-punk revival of the mid-2000s that were/are more underrated than Maxïmo Park. This is a band that had a string of remarkable singles attached to three solid albums, and yet they were never revered or held in the same light as The Libertines or Franz Ferdinand or whomever have you. Still, they still have a solid fan-base around the world – not a big one, but large enough to substantiate an excited blogger getting really, really keen for their new album The National Health. Big enough, too, to include a couple of obsessive fans.

Once such fanatic is portrayed here by This is England star Thomas Turgoose, who sits at his computer in his bedroom; which also serves as his shrine to Maxïmo. The video is styled as a “gift” to the band – a DIY, webcam-shot music video featuring a mini-trampoline, a Rubix cube and band members represented by cardboard cutouts of their face… attached to sex dolls. Does it get any weirder than that? I’m glad you asked. It does. I won’t give it away, but there is one particularly wonderful cameo from a Maxïmo member. Lordy lord, next month can’t come quickly enough. More Maxïmo! More!

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