Monthly Archives: June, 2012

Watch This Now: Motion City Soundtrack – “True Romance”

“You’re Chicken Little, I’m a monkey in the middle…”

Hey dudes! Will only be able to manage to sneak in a post a day this week, as I’m exceptionally busy. Really glad I have the chance to share this one with you guys, though – it’s the newie from Chicago pop-punk dudes Motion City Soundtrack, who we haven’t heard from since 2010’s My Dinosaur Life. The new album, Go, is a real treat; but the standout is easily the lead single, the adorable True Romance. Now I get to write about it! Happy happy, joy joy!

In this little adventure, an office worker is having a difficult time getting through the day. His coworker is chewing his ear off about mundane shit, and then his boss comes in out of nowhere to deliver a stack of paperwork that will probably make sure he misses lunch. What a drag! There’s only one thing for it people. “A backwards adventure?” Why yes, dear reader – exactly that! I loved this video for a variety of reasons, specifically that it reminded me of the amazing fan video of They Might Be GiantsCan’t Keep Johnny Down video from last year. It follows a similar theme before throwing in a helluva twist. All I’ll say is watch out for the tattooed babe – she ain’t what she seems!

FEATURED FRIDAYS: My Favourite Video – Jordan Wilson

Jordan Wilson is a Melbourne-based musician,
best known as one half of the band Georgia Fair.

His favourite video is Beyond Here Lies Nothin’ by Bob Dylan.

It’s more of a short film, really. It manages to haunt and excite all the senses in me at once. The blue tones that run through it complements the song. I alway imagine Bob himself as the main character.

I remember walking through a bar in North Carolina one night. The barmaid was a local girl – pretty, but looked as if she would have your balls if you looked at her sideways. Something caught my attention on the screen above the bar. It looked like pure erotic chaos. I didn’t realise at the time that the video matched the song that was booming out of the jukebox. Looked more like a film to me. Of course, Dylan, a song I hadn’t heard before, “Beyond Here Lies Nothin.” The couple on the screen were beating each other to a pulp. Got me thinking I should ask this bar girl in front of me for a drink. I never did, though.

Some years later I stumbled across that video again and wondered about that girl; wondered whether she was thinking the same thing as me. Either way, I didn’t pay for a drink that night.

Georgia Fair‘s album, All Through Winter, is out now.

They will be playing two headlining shows in Sydney and Melbourne this July. For more details, visit www.georgiafair.com.au

Watch This Now: The Toot Toot Toots – “Fool’s Gold”

“I was sleepin’ on the cold hard ground, I was a poor man…”

It’s Friday, friends – so let’s take ’em to church. Here’s one from The Toot Toot Toots, a growly Melbourne collective that I was relatively unfamiliar with up until quite recently. Could it possibly be because they’ve only done two music videos to date – including the one that you’re about to see? Whatever the case, I strongly suggest that you get amongst this, as there is a lot to be excited about with this swampy blues gang and their righteous new clip.

Part O Brother, Where Art Thou?, part creepy cult, the video follows a church of some kind happening in the middle of the forest, happened upon by two insanely good-looking ladies in long traditional gown. They’re converted instantly – and, really, can you blame them? It’s all a flurry of baptisms and gospel singing that errs heavily on the disturbed side, that still manages to be effortlessly pretty due to the picturesque regional Victorian location that the video was shot in. Shucks, y’all, I just think this is great. I hope you do too.

Watch This Now: Twin Shadow – “Five Seconds”

“You don’t believe in me, so how could you make me cry?”

Here’s a really interesting one. Twin Shadow, aka George Lewis Jr., is an artist I wasn’t really familiar with up until very recently. I’d heard a lot of great things about his new video, and its feature over on Music Video of the Day had piqued my interest. This definitely wasn’t what I was expecting, either musically or visually. Both are fantastic, though, and I’m really excited to share this one with you. It’s a high-concept visual feast, and one that I’m sure is going to take Lewis and his music to the next level.

The story, created by Lewis himself, revolves around a two-man bikie gang that live on the edge and are showing signs that they’re about to tip over. That said, they have a bond that’s unbreakable – if one is in trouble, the other will come to their aid no questions asked.Five Seconds revolves around such a scenario, that involves some very graphic and intense slow-mo violence. As I said, not what I was expecting at all – but I’m so glad it happened. It’s shot beautifully and is a wonderfully dark experiment.Best of all, the ending leaves it wide open for a sequel. Can’t wait!

Watch This Now: MC Lars – “Flow Like Poe”

“Flow like Poe, I’m going hard on that tetrameter…”

I kinda dropped off the radar with MC Lars for awhile there. As much as I loved his 2009 album This Gigantic Robot Kills, I hadn’t heard anything more about what happened from there. Apparently, I’ve got a bit of work to do – there’s been a slew of stuff released between then and now, including his latest experiment entitled The Edgar Allen Poe EP. Any Lars fan could tell you one of his most-loved tracks is The Raven, a hip-hop retelling of one of Poe’s best-known poems. He’s now expanded on his love of EAP in some new tracks, including this one with a delightfully low-budget video.

Complete with fake moustache and a stuffed toy raven, Lars shows us that even though poetry has always been somewhat uncool (you probably groaned studying it in English classes, amirite?), there’s a great connection to hip-hop that can’t be ignored. Add in a sample of Pachebel’s Canon in D and a tinny club beat and you’ve got a very entertaining look at connecting the dots. Lars clearly had a lot of fun with this one – I particularly love the generic gangster dudes and the varying close-ups of the poetry-induced booty-shaking. Now you just KNOW your next sonnet is gonna get you laid.

Old Favourites: Squarepusher – “Come On My Selector”

There’s an extensive history of nightmarish videos going with heavier dance tracks, from The Prodigy‘s acid trip of Smack My Bitch Up to Aphex Twin’s eternally creepy Come to Daddy video way back when. I’ll never say a bad word about either, but really: Where’s the Squarepusher love? Despite this being one of the most genuinely terrifying videos I’ve ever seen, it remains an underrated enigma of a filmclip. Hardly anyone I know has any love for this clip – and that’s just plain old crazy talk to yours truly.

Set in a child’s mental institution in Japan, a jailbreak is hatched with a little girl and her dog. Her plan is simple: Get one of the guards and turn them into her dog using a brain-switcher. Yeah, this mental institution happens to have a brain-switching device for some reason. I don’t know. Don’t question it. What unfurls is a blood-pumping race of psychopathic proportions, which matches up to every last glitch and tweak that the song presents. It’s quite a feat, making the video even more involving and terrifying than it already was. Have to warn you all, though, this can and will give little ones nightmares, so if you have kids or are one then please put them or yourselves away. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Watch This Now: Best Coast – “The Only Place”

“We’ve got the ocean, got the babes, got the sun, we got the waves…”

Did you forget who Best Coast were? If you did, how? Do you have short-term memory loss? What the shit? Regardless, the band themselves are understanding. They’ve done an entire video to help you with your struggle. Hey, it quite literally helps them get their name out there, and you get to jam the lovely title track to their new album while the process is taking place. How about that? That’s something everyone can enjoy, right?

In their first video since the Drew Barrymore-directed Our Deal, Bethany Cosetino and Bobb Bruno have a pretty simple agenda. They tag their name on a stack of shit and then trash it. What shit, you ask? There’s bikes, drums, guitars, coffee mugs, burgers, old TVs…it’s the weirdest garage sale ever, my friends. Of course, with the song itself being an ode to California lurve, the obligatory shots of the highway and the beach are thrown in. Gosh, they’re pretty, though; that’s one thing you can’t take away from scenery like that. It’s overused for a reason – it’s shit like that that’ll make you want to pack your bags and go for broke. I’m also pretty stoked that there’s a brief scene in which Bruno is wearing a Dune Rats shirt. That means you made it, guys! Woohoo!

Watch This Now: Fiona Apple – “Every Single Night”

“These ideas of mine percolate the mind, trickle down the spine…”

It’s a pretty good sign that the first video Fiona Apple has done in roughly six years begins with a shot of her, waifish and exhausted, staring straight into the camera with those ridiculously big eyes… with an octopus on top of her head. It’s never acknowledged, it just sits there, doing its thing. Yes, friends, Fiona Apple is still completely crazy – and don’t you just love her for it? The eccentric Apple has been out of the game for a long time following the release of her third album, Extraordinary Machine, back in 2005, with only rare glimpses back into the music world happening between then and now. Thankfully, it was all very much worth the extended wait.

Regina Spektor might have known how to make a great video out of limited supply last week, but Fiona goes one better. All she needs are some light bulbs, a minotaur mask, a hotel bed and a handful of giant bugs. That’s probably worth mentioning, by the way: Paris – or, at least, Apple’s version of Paris – is overrun with giant snails and squids. Why not? She’s too busy to notice, of course. Who could blame her? There’s things to do, like be puppeteered in a pond full of crocodiles, carry a human brain inside a handbag, sing emphatically into a fishtank and snuggle up next to the dude in the minotaur mask. Busy times indeed, friends. A gorgeously weird clip that will hopefully serve as a positive light leading into the fourth record, The Idler Wheel. It just leaked, by the way. I won’t link it, but you might want to get on that.

Watch This Now: Azealia Banks – “Liquorice”

“Lotta scrilla to make, and the dick don’t fuck up any scrillac for Banks…”

Y’know that scene in the first Shrek movie where Shrek and Donkey see that puppet show welcoming them to DuLoc? They stand there, jaw agape at the bizarreness of what they just saw. Then, eventually, Donkey speaks: “Wow…LET’S DO THAT AGAIN!” That, in a nutshell, is my relationship with the hot new thing on the block, Azealia Banks. When 212 dropped, I couldn’t make head nor tail of what was going on. All I knew is that I needed more. Her set at Coachella sealed the deal for me: this kid is the bomb diggity.

Her latest clip is a similar “what-the-hell-did-I-just-watch” shindig, but it’s so remarkably watchable that you’ll be past the point of caring by the time Azealia grabs a hotdog and faux-seductively squeezes the ketchup and mustard off the top of it. Oh yeah, and there’s a very loose Western theme in the whole thing – horse-riding, gun-slinging etc. No relation to the music whatsoever, but hey – isn’t that in itself pop videos at their absolute finest? The aesthetic manages to work quite well with the track, with plenty of nonsense action bound to keep you entertained. This is an act well worth getting behind – and I’m hoping and praying that shit gets real when she comes to Australia next month for Splendour in the Grass. Shake your arse and watch yo’self, boys and girls.

FEATURED FRIDAYS: Takin’ 5 – We Play Endlessly

They’re one of the most revered post-rock bands on the planet and they’ve just released a floaty, gorgeous new album called Valtari. On top of that, yesterday they were announced for the second annual Harvest Festival this November alongside former Featured Friday act Beck, Ben Folds Five, Grizzly Bear and a stack of other awesome acts – how about that? We have decided to celebrate by looking at 5 of the band’s best videos. There’s soccer, there’s little kids, there’s cold weather and there’s old people – and we’re only just getting started.

5. Gobbeldigook

Do you really need an essay on this one? Naked! Running! La la la la! Go go go!

4. Svefn-g-englar

A wondrous, joyful experiment in which the band employed a dance company made up entirely of people with Down’s Syndrome. What they do over nearly ten minutes is so inspired and wonderful to watch. The love and the passion for this artform is truly conveyed, and it comes straight from the heart. It wouldn’t work any other way – with any other song, any other singer, any other dancers. Believe.

3. Glosoli

A great adventure in a bizarre alternate universe populated almost entirely by children. I really love how the video builds up in accordance with the song, leading to that spine-tingling crescendo. It’s cinematic in scope, breathtaking in location and wholly rewarding as an audio-visual experience.

2. viðrar vel til loftárása

Set entirely in slow motion, this is a romantic tragedy laced with hope that has absolutely no dialogue across its seven minute running time. It doesn’t have to – you know the old addage “actions speak louder than words” as well as I do.  With an openly gay frontman in Jonsi, it felt like it was only a matter of time before this was addressed in the band’s videos. It’s done so beautifully – a young boy, out of touch with the world around him, plays with dolls and falls in love with a boy that rescues said dolls after they’re viciously thrown away by a homophobic father. Let it captivate you.

1. Hoppipolla

As wonderful as all of these clips are, I think I always find myself coming back to this gorgeous sepia daydream of senior citizens causing chaos in ther neighbourhood. It’s not sweepingly epic or emotional, but it’s just a simple release of bliss that has resonated so much with me ever since I first saw it when I was fourteen. The glee in their faces is just priceless. I can always associate it with this song; and that itself will always bring a smile to my face. What more could you ask for?

%d bloggers like this: