Monthly Archives: August, 2012

Watch This Now: The Flaming Lips and Amanda Palmer – “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”

“I felt your heart so close to mine, and I knew our joy would fill the earth…”

Well, here’s something. As a music video geek, it always exhilarates me when I see that the art of the music video is still something worth investing debate, discussion and reaction into. And so it was, when The Flaming Lips dropped a well and truly messed up video for their collaboration with Erykah Badu, a cover of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. You probably missed it, but Badu herself fiercely cracked the shits with the band, claiming it offended her. It’s all out on the interwebs anyway, I can’t add anything to the debate either way. All I know is that I love the Flips for not letting it deter them one bit.

Exit Badu, enter Amanda Fucking Palmer. Already on the campaign trail for her first studio album in four years, Theatre is Evil, AFP happily takes over on vocals and nudity for this video clip. It’s a slew of slow-mo shots of the band doing weird shit like hit fake fur with wire cables and twirl around bits of silver. Amanda, meanwhile, flounders about in the bath. It is, as one should surely expect by now, completely and utterly fucking insane. That’s why it’s such an entertaining prospect, though – I really could never expect anything less from either camp involved. See what you make of it. Smile a little.

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Watch This Now: Minus the Bear – “Steel and Blood”

“Two become one, the confiding of a car crash…”

God, it’s good to have Minus the Bear back. They’ll always have their detractors, but I still find them to be one of the most engaging and exciting rock bands of the indie persuasion going right now. Hyperbole? Just listen to them, man – they manage to cram more ideas into one song than most bands can fit into an entire discog. Truly! Anyways, I’ll stop my oozing of lurve for this lot and talk shop: MtB have a new record. It’s called Infinity Overhead. It’s really good. They’ve made a video for the first song on the album. It, too, is really good.

Let’s take a closer look – here, on the Steel and Blood video, the band depict an intense relationship based on lust, danger and the occasional criminal activity. Not exactly Bonnie and Clyde, but it’s dark enough to lure you into the larger plot going on. The footage of the two delinquent kids is mixed in with footage of a rich elderly man making his way about the day – I originally thought this might have been a flashback, but it manages to blend into quite a violent and bizarre finale. See what you make of it – although somewhat confusing, I still found it kind of beautiful.

Watch This Now: Animal Collective – “Today’s Supernatural”

“Listen to me now, and stay in the red zone of pain…”

Yes, mate! Welcome to the week. Hey, Monday wa not so bad, guys! I won a double pass to see Moonrise Kingdom, my Gotye ticket came in the mail, I went to see Something for Kate AND I get to write about how bitching the new Animal Collective video is! Choice, yo. In case you haven’t been paying attention, the boys are back with their first album in three years entitled Centipede Hz. All four members are back on board for this release, and it’s going to be… well, weird. It’s always weird. But it’s going to be awesome, too. Guaranteed. Especially if this is anything to go by.

Chinese Dragon having a fit! Now that we have your attention, here’s the new video for Today’s Supernatural. This Danny Perez-directed effort sees a twisted spiral of bizarre, seemingly unrelated events eventually fall into unfathomable depths of madness. Hey look, there’s a keyboard with human organs covering it! Fab! Is that Avey Tare in a clown suit with full facepaint? You’re damn right it is. I… I don’t know what to think anymore. All you need to know is that this is tripped out as fuck – and it’s awesome. Like, 10 awesome.

FEATURED FRIDAYS – My Favourite Video: Trash McSweeney

Trash McSweeney is an Australian musician,
best known as the vocalist, guitarist and songwriter of The Red Paintings.

He has picked two of his favourite videos: Jorga by Bjork and
Three Dimensions by Something for K
ate.

This song has been such a massive influence on my life and the string direction in many TRP songs. So much feeling and power. The digital graphics in this video flows well with the song for me. I love the story of this video, the beginning of the world’s continents in a past time on planet earth. That is Bjork’s gift, I feel – to make epic sounding music about huge changes and epic stories with such simple and beautiful instrumentals and melodies. I can never get enough of that Icelandic sound.

Easily my most favourite Aussie band. I think Paul Dempsey could out do any artist just on his lyrics alone. Oh, and a pleasure to see Clint Hyman smash it out on drums.  I picked this one as I always admired the metaphors and symbolism Paul uses in his videos that relate to his songs. This being a stylistic little video with enough charm to take out Metallica.  Excited to see these guys are back after 6 years with a new album. Bring it on.

The Red Paintings are on tour in Australia throughout September. For a full list of dates, visit the band’s official website – www.theredpaintings.com

Watch This Now: Aimee Mann – “Charmer”

“That’s a wall that you cannot scale, so you’re forced to burrow under…”

Full admission: I’m a 90s kid, but I’m not THAT much of a 90s kid. Thus, the whole Aimee Mann thing passed me by at its peak. That said, I’ve really come to enjoy her work recently, particularly in the field of comedy with her episode of Portlandia and her improv work with Paul F. Tompkins. It’s great to see a musician that not only has a sense of humour, but a particularly sharp one, too.

So naturally, I was excited to hear about a new video from Mann, working with director Tom Scharpling, for the title track of her new album – which, for legal reasons, I definitely have not heard and will not hear until it is officially released. Here, she vents about the frustrations of the grind that comes with touring. Solving her problems – or at least attempting to – she buys a robot replicate of herself (played by Laura Linney) to do a bunch of things that she doesn’t feel like doing. Naturally, it goes sour – but it’s very quickly paced and really entertainingly done. Who knows? Maybe comedy was a true calling for Aimee – she could have been a killer sketch comic in another life, I think. If I recall correctly, Aimee was last out her with Ben Lee about 2 years ago? Let’s get her back out again! I’ll gladly attend – even if it’s her robot version.

Watch This Now: Drunk Mums – “Rubbing Your Gums”

“You’re walking in, trying to act lazy…”

Holy shit. I’m still not entirely sure of what I just saw. I don’t know whether to be laughing hysterically, throwing up or crying in the corner. This right here is quite possibly the trashiest, most demented and wildly inappropriate video I’ve seen all year – and, considering the kind of crazy shit that ends up on my desk every day, this is no small feat. The band is Drunk Mums, a quartet of self-described “rock & roll yobbos” from Melbourne. Although I was previously unfamiliar with them, this is definitely an act I’m going to be keeping an eye on from here on in.

Our story begins in a messy bedroom, clearly after a massive night out. The anti-hero then awakes – and at this point it’s probably worth mentioning that HE IS A BAT WITH A DICK FOR A FACE. A GIANT, PLASTIC, INFLATABLE DICK FOR A FUCKING FACE.If you’re not completely and wholeheartedly sold from this point in, I guess there’s no luring you back in… unless, perhaps, I let you know that HIS GIRLFRIEND HAS A VAGINA FOR A FACE. SERIOUSLY. What follows is about on par with Smack My Bitch Up in terms of drunken naughtiness, and it absurdly ends with none of it resolved. I guess that was the point? Whatever the case, do NOT watch this around children – or, of course, if you are one yourself.

Watch This Now: Redd Kross – “Stay Away From Downtown”

“Birds of prey, they see everything, they’re coming to get you…”

Back in April, I had the pleasure of watching the legendary Redd Kross play live. Not only play live, but play their fucking brilliant Born Innocent LP in full – and hell it was some fun. This is a band with more energy than bands half their age – there’s just so much love for what they do, it’s unshakable. That’s been translated into their brand-new album, Researching the Blues, and now they’re bringing that energy to their music videos.

Stay Away From Downtown is just your standard “band playing in front of a screen” video. Oh, except one thing – they’ve all got facepaint on, a la KISS or a black metal band – and it’s never once alluded to or mentioned. It’s as if they’ve done the entire video and then noticed they’re dressed up like that. The little things in this clip get to me, too – who’s the girl just casually watching in the background? Is that Steve McDonald standing with two girls on the screen that have the exact same make-up as the band? Was that… was that a crucifix? A red cross, if you will? Guys, I don’t think I’m going to sleep until I’ve figured out what the fuck is going on here. Go enjoy the video while I try and make some more sense of it. Losing battle? Yeah, maybe. I regret nothing!

Watch This Now: Sensorites – “Fool”

“I’ve got songs to write, gigs to play, gods to smite…”

Gooooooood morning! Got something a tad cute for you today, starring a little band from across the pond called Sensorites. They’re a couple of charming English lads with a couple of releases under their belt and a charming, rootsy take on vintage pop. This here is their latest single, and they’ve gone with a very simple but sweetly effective music video, in collaboration with Off the Record Productions, to promote it. As good an idea as any, I say!

Here, the band’s lead singer, Nathan Kirkham, finds himself in bed with a model – hey, what rockstar doesn’t these days? She’s clearly trying to get him interested (and huge credit to the entire band for showing great restraint here), but Nathan’s much more focused on jamming on the song with his bandmates, who also inexplicably end up in his bed. It’s very low-budget fun here, revolving mostly around the bedroom and the band’s antics surrounding it. Very cheeky, very cute and very charming. Check this lot out. I feel like ruffling their hair and buying them a beer. Maybe you might, too!

Watch This Now: Gotye – “Save Me”

“All the dead ends and disappointments were fading from your memory…”

This does my heart good. The success of Gotye, all tall poppy syndrom aside, is wholly inspiring and so incredibly well-deserved. He’s one of the biggest stars in the world now, but is still constantly creating and making great art. The slew of videos that have come out in support of Making Mirrors are a reflection of that – it’s no secret that the Somebody video was/is kind of a big deal, taking out the top spot in our top 30 videos of 2011 countdown and getting nearly 300 million views on YouTube. Although this is a more understated effort – as well as a more understated song, really – it’s still quite a beautiful effort, for one of the best tracks from the album.

For Save Me, Wally de Backer has teamed up with animator extraordinaire Peter Lowey, who was last seen on this site with Art vs. Science‘s great video for With Thoughts video. In it, an animated Wally (presumably) begins as little more than wires and atoms. Over the time of the video, he slowly evolves and develops, growing more of his anatomy slowly but surely. He is growing into a fully-formed human. But something is still missing. It’s a painfully accurate reflection of the song’s ideas and emotions, gorgeously drawn and meticulously created. I think Lowey did an absolutely wonderful job with this – and if that’s the last we hear of Making Mirrors, then it’s a wonderful note to end on.

Watch This Now: Tom Waits – “Hell Broke Luce”

“Now I’m home, and I’m blind, and I’m broke – what is next?”

Holy FUCK. Old mate Tom Waits has been teasing something new for awhile through a series of photos and cryptic messages, and now it’s finally here: the video for one of my favourite songs of last year, Hell Broke Luce. There was already a fairly impressive fan video up online which was comprised entirely of footage from the film Apocalypse Now, which suited the song’s terrifying death march pretty perfectly. Although there’s no war footage here, Waits still manages to bring a delightfully sinister feel to the video – as he’s bound to do with every clip he’s in, really.

What can I say? The man just has a fucking terrifying presence. He looks like he could kill you by looking at you sideways with no reservations about it whatsoever. Here’s, he’s dragging along a goddamn house with his bare hands through desert and other scary territory. It’s dark, mostly sepia, and it’s fucking brilliantly animated.  There’s marching skeletons and Tom himself dancing with a giant spoon and a toy gun. It’s weird, it’s wonderful, it’s twisted – it’s Tom Waits. You either love the shit out of it or you don’t. That’s all.

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