Monthly Archives: July, 2012

Watch This Now: Chicks Who Love Guns – “Shin Okubo”

“So don’t waste my time, ’cause my time is money…”

There don’t appear to be many fencesitters when it comes to Chicks Who Love Guns. I’ve got some friends who think they’re one of the best live bands in Australia; while I have other who think they’re more concerned with what they wear than how they play. They’re a very divisive, confrontational act – but, I have to say, they haven’t quite done anything to piss me off that royally just yet. In fact, quite the opposite – I’ve found their live shows to be very impressive, and this new video to be a very cool effort for such a relatively low budget.

I think I like Shin Okubo especially because it’s a pastiche of styles that I’m quite into – the colour inversion reminds me of Crowded House‘s Saturday Sun, while the warping of pixels recalls that very trippy Chairlift video from a couple of years back. Of course, neither of those videos featured the entire band in kimonos and full geisha do-up, smoking and skating as if they were in their street clothes. I’m not entirely sure of the connection between the geisha thing and the song, but I’m sure there’s a deeper meaning going on there. Anyways, I got nothin’ against these kids – but, of course, it’s up to you, dear reader. What do you make of all this?

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Watch This Now: Briggs – “Rather Be Dead”

“I’m important, I’m tellin’ ya, kind of a big deal…”

If you hadn’t already picked up by the fact he’s built like a rugby player and has a voice you could probably hear unamplified from one street away, Briggs doesn’t really fit in with the current mould of skinny, drawling bogans that are racing up the charts and representing Australia’s hip-hop scene in the worst way. Just for the record, that’s exactly why I find him so interesting – Briggs is clearly a fan of the art form, and just loves hip-hop for what it is. Zero fucks are given about trends or keeping up with any of his peers – it’s all about the music. With that said, there’s no rule stating that the man is not allowed to have a bit of fun.

Rather Be Dead sees Briggs letting his hair down – well, a wig, at least – and having a laugh with a series of quite peculiar characters. It’s not every day you get to see the Grim Reaper, Rolf Harris, Kevin Rudd and a midget police officer all in the same place, after all. There’s no ego or braggodocio to be found in these here parts, just a stack of laughs and some simple, cartoon-y fun. No rules, no trend-hopping, no “street cred” or whatever the fuck else – just a guy doing what he does and having a whale of a time with it. Make sure you check him out when he comes through New South Wales this week as the opening act for the Hilltop Hoods. Now that’s gonna be a helluva show.

Watch This Now: March of the Real Fly – “You Should Be Real”

“Three faces, all in time, I am leaving this time…”

Here’s a cute kickstart for your week: Meet March of the Real Fly. A relatively new name, these Blue Mountains have been making all kinds of ruckus with their creative DIY attitude (total budget of their first EP: two dollars) and entertaining live presence. Having seen them last year opening for Loon Lake (and even taking a brief stint on tambourine for their set), I can affirm that these kids are worth watching – but hell, don’t take my word for it. Why not take a couple of minutes to check out their latest video?

Hearing a version of this song that doesn’t sound like it’s being played through AM radio speakers will be an odd transition to anyone who heard the original, but it’s a feeling that will gently and quickly pass. Here, the four Real Fly kids get creative with little more than coloured backdrops and some props; including keyboards, rubber chickens and two-minute noodles. There’s also a brief animated sequence, but I’m not going to tell you the specifics on that one – you’ll have to watch for yourself! What I can tell you is that these guys obviously had a stack of fun putting this one together, and if there isn’t anything here that doesn’t at least give you the gentlest crack of a smile, then you must hate Mondays more than Bob Geldof and Garfield combined. Good luck with that.

Watch This Now: Childish Gambino – “Fire Fly”

“Now I’m Fire Fly like a burning kite, and you’s a fake fuck like a Fleshlight…”

I’m still reeling from amazement/excitement that Donald Glover – aka Childish Gambino – is finally coming to Australia. It’s going to be pretty special, I know that much. For now, though, Donald has ever so kindly released the third video from his Camp album from last year (and not long after he dropped his new Royalty mixtape) and kept my hysteria levels peaking juuuust long enough to last until January.

When I clicked over onto the vid, the top comment was “Definitely directed by Abed.” Though I initially just thought there was just a cute reference to Community thrown in there, I’m seriously starting to see what that user was talking about. Fire Fly is part sci-fi, part 80s fight scene and part Troy and Abed’s Dreamatorium. In other words, it’s pretty awesome. Although, unusually, Donald himself doesn’t star in the clip, we still follow the journey of a very good-looking black gent who appears to be working on a spaceship of some sort. Pretty cool, right? It gets cooler as the story progresses, becoming an exciting adventure of decidedly dark and dangerous proportions. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. A clever idea that I hope will get revisited in another video sometime. Why not?

Watch This Now: Micachu and the Shapes – “Never”

Here’s something fittingly mental to get you through the “hump day.” Micachu and the Shapes have just released a new video. No, wait, two! Four! Six! How about FIFTEEN? No shit, kids – these fearless freaks have just made a video for every single song on their second studio album, entitled Never. In collaboration with director Chloe Hayward, all three of the Shapes – vocalist Mica Levi, keyboardist Raisa Khan and drummer Marc Pell – star either collectively or individually in each of these dashing displays of complete oddness.

It’s worth mentioning that this seems to have all been done probably in the same day – none of the three change their main outfits throughout, and it all seems to have been done through the magic of green-screen. I can’t even begin to think where they came up with some of these ideas, but I’m definitely not complaining. I love the knee-jerk dance on Easy, Raisa arguing with a dog in Low Dogg and the phone conversation that knowingly refers to the call-and-response chorus of OK. There’s just so much clever work being done here – I can’t believe that they actually went through with it. These guys continue to amaze and inspire me. I can’t wait until they’re back in Australia. For now, though, enjoy Never in its audio-visual entirety.

Watch This Now: Seaway – “Sabrina the Teenage Bitch”

“Make up your mind, stop fucking with mine…”

Here’s something short and sweet from an adorable new pop-punk band straight outta Oakville, which I believe is in Ontario, Canada. Was pointed in their general direction by the lovely people over at Dying Scene – who you should totally check out once you’re done with this site – and quickly grabbed a copy of their debut EP which dropped last year. This is their first foray into the world of music videos, and I gotta say that it’s great to have them on board!

Let’s get this out of the way first – yes, this very closely follows the tried-and-tested pop-punk video format that can basically be summed up in three words: “PARTY OVER HEEEEERRRE!” Yep, the Seaway kids sure know how to throw a pool bash. There’s babes with their band sticker on their arses, a buff black dude busting out every word in a sing-along, a shed for seven minutes in heaven and a bunch of very good-looking boys and girls that look even better in high-definition (go on, try it!) It’s very goofy, but there is plenty of fun to be had in the song’s 150-second run. Keep it simple, stupid! Really enjoyed this one – probably just a little bit more than I should, but who cares? I’d love to get the lowdown on what else is happening in Canadian pop-punk. Who’s my hook-up in that regard? Anyone? Food for thought, anyway. Get to stagediving, y’all!

Watch This Now: Pet Shop Boys – “Winner”

“I’ve been a loser, paid my dues, I fought my way up from the ground…”

Although not as high-profile as they used to be, it’s heartening to know that the Pet Shop Boys are still around and releasing new material with at least some level of consistency. Elysium, their eleventh album and first in three years, is set for release this September and the duo have just dropped the first single from it. The song is nice enough, with some of Neil Tennant‘s typically laconic vocal delivery and some pretty arrangements. It’s the video, however, that manages to send this one into an entirely new stratosphere. This is unquestionably their best video since 2006’s brilliant collaboration with Matt Lucas and David Walliams, I’m with Stupid.

Set in a roller derby in the UK, the video focuses specifically on a team known as the London Rollergirls. After introducing some of the key players, we’re introduced to their newest recruit, Dirty Diana. DD is slightly different to the rest of her teammates, in that she was not born a woman and is still going through the gender reassignment phase. Rather than feel alienated within the group, however, she comes to thrive. It’s what she is passionate about and it’s where she feels welcome. I can’t quite detail how many times this video made me smile so much that my face hurt. It’s sweet and inspirational – and, at a time when Olympic fever is set to take over, it takes a lot for those words to mean something, as opposed to just being tacked on phrases. I fucking adore this video. I may, in fact, have a new front-runner for VOTY. We’ll see, but for now I can’t emphasise just how much I loved this clip. Those Boys have still got the magic.

Watch This If You Dare: Angels & Airwaves – “Surrender”

“The kids still move to a steady beat, even if it’s bombs landing at their feet…”

Full disclosure: The guy writing what you’re reading right now used to be obsessed with Angels & Airwaves. And we’re not just talking an “oh, those guys are pretty cool” teenage phase. We are fucking well talking obsessed, sir. Some people within my social media community didn’t know me by any other name than Valkyrie Missile, which  is the first song on the band’s debut, 2006’s We Don’t Need to Whisper. I cried when I didn’t get to see them live when I was sixteen. Every logo I drew was theirs, every MSN status was a lyric of theirs, every drawing I did in my sketch book was to do with them in one way or another. They spoke to me profoundly and, to this day, inexplicably. I could not tell you for the life of me why I loved them so much. My best guess is that they just spoke to me when nothing else could.

Full disclosure: This video is a fucking piece of shit. Taken from their latest effort, Love Part II, not only is the song a direct rip-off of both blink-182‘s songs Down and Always, it also freely rips off the band’s own track, The Adventure. Speaking of stale, who the fuck is making videos about Occupy Wall Street anymore? That shit is done, guys. AVA wouldn’t be more out of date if they made a video of them all planking while wearing Kony 2012 shirts. Keep the fuck up, Tom. Sure, you might have aged well physically, but this is such a brattish and immature style of “epic” video. Writing “revolution” on your hand doesn’t mean SHIT. Diddly fucking SHIT. Do you understand me? Sweet Jesus. There’s so much glossy “we’re gonna take over the world” bullshit in this video – it’s even worse than the faux-anarchic blink clip for Up All Night from last year. My heroes are falling. Goddammit.

Watch This Now: The Gaslight Anthem – “Handwritten”

“I can understand, you need a minute to breathe, to sew up the seams after all this defeat…”

I’m not ashamed to admit that I can be a bit late to the party sometimes – and such is certainly the case with The Gaslight Anthem. Despite praise ranging from “the band you need to hear right now” all the way up to “America’s greatest working rock band,” I only really started listening to the band beyond a couple of songs this year, coinciding with the release of the band’s fourth record, Handwritten. Better late than never of course – and, from what I understand, there’s never been a better time than right now to be a Gaslight fan. The album is fantastic, and this video for the album’s title track makes things even better.

A young rock band plays to a young audience. A couple in love attend the show and buy the band’s album. The girl gives it to the boy as a present, leaving a note on the sleeve. We never see the band again, but we see where the LP in question goes – the owners, the lives of the people it touches. Music lives and breathes in its physical form, particularly vinyl. As much of a supporter that I am of filesharing and p2p, there is something quite remarkable about the sentiment that can come with holding your music. It adds character, if anything else – and the attachment you can have to it can be quite magical. I think the main point of the video, though, is really that music means something. It means so many things to so many different people. You and I are very, very fortunate to have it in our lives.

Watch This Now: Kimbra – “Two Way Street”

“We’re coming close to our fame, they’ll put a star beside our names…”

Okay, we’re all friends here, right? We’ve all come to know each other pretty well in the two years since I started up this blog, yeah? Great. Well, I’ve got to be honest – sometimes, I just post videos because I’m madly in love with the artist making them. Not to say that those videos are bad, not at all. It’s just that I push them to the front of the queue in order for everyone else to be swooning as much as me. It’s vain, it’s dumb and I don’t expect you to understand. It’s just what I do. So, now you know. On a completely unrelated matter, let’s talk about Kimbra. Yes, that Kimbra. For about the fifth time.

With her debut album Vows being released in the US (albeit with a disappointing tracklist), the campaign trail has been rebooted and this pretty little clip for one of her longest-serving live favourites is sure to get her global audience falling for her gorgeous tunes and unfathomably stunning looks. Yeah, it’s all part of the package. It’s pop music, whadaya expect? Kimbra still manages to wow me with her costumes and style every damn time. She goes for the Disney Princess look here – specifically thinking Snow White – and it adds to the sweet-natured exploration and adventure through both a forest and what looks like a mansion.

“Hey David, you didn’t pay much attention, did you?”

SHUT UP, INNER MONOLOGUE! I LOVE KIMBRA AND WE WILL BE MARRIED ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN AND YOU WON’T BE INVITED!

…I mean, hope you like the video!

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