“Time is disgraceful, we’re all just watching these days fall apart…”
He’s back! It’s been awhile since we heard from Paul Banks, the vocalist of Interpol and the artist formerly known as Julian Plenti. These days, he’s playing under his own name, and has just released his second solo album, imaginatively titled Banks. Banks has been a part of some truly great music videos in the past, among them 2005’s Evil clip (think: creepy puppet) and 2007’s The Heinrich Maneuver (think: super-slow-mo tragedy). In this instance, however, Banks has moved away from the bleakness of his former videography and opted for something a little more light-hearted.
At the beginning of the video, it simply appears that Banks is taking his two young children to school. It’s not long, however, until we find that Paul is going back to school himself, Billy Madison style. He’s tormented and bullied by the other kids, who all appear to be having a blast in this clip. Ultimately, however, you’ll see PB securing his revenge in one of the ultimate elementary/primary school showdowns. For a guy who’s often seen as humourless, Young Again is a pretty funny video. I guess some rockstars can soften up in their older age. The album’s not bad, too!
“If I was Eddie Vedder, I bet you’d like me better…”
Nah, screw this. Just because I have a couple of mates who’ve played with this kid (hi, Dave and Rohan!) and he’s apparently a nice kid, doesn’t mean he’s getting off scot-free. He’s already been a nuisance with his Pink-aping Good Night and his obnoxious covers of songs by 30 Seconds to Mars and Aerosmith, and now he’s moving on to bigger and far, far worse things. It’s time for his second album, the hideously titled Beautiful Nightmare – and, of course, it’s time for another stupid single and video.
I’m furious by the first 30 seconds of this video, as Mastin does a shitty attempt and being… an accountant? An office worker? What? He’s seventeen. I’m not even sure he’d be legally allowed to do anything like that. He infuriates me further with his faux-American accent – check out his phrasing on the word “douchebag” in the second verse – and his poorly-executed job of trying to convince people that he knows who Eddie Vedder is. Nice try, pup! The whole thing is majorly irritating, and not even clever enough to pass as satire. While we’re here, I can’t get over how distracting the gap in his teeth is. Petty? Sure. But I’m a cunt. Hell, that’s why I’m picking on a teenage boy. I just find stuff like this to be vapid, annoying bullshit. I’d prefer if it stopped, and stopped forthwith. Thanks in advance!
“Money money money, yes yes yes, Zef Side represent, you’re fucking with the best…”
You didn’t think we were going to skip on this shit, did you? Surely not! Y,WGAV! has been Zef as fuck since the start of the year – need I remind you that the band’s insanely terrifying/awesome video for I Fink U Freeky was the first new video we blogged about this year? Things are slowly winding down on the promo cycle for Ten$ion, the crew’s second studio album, so this may well be the last thing we see from the group before a new LP is started upon. Still, what a way to go out!
In the video for Fatty Boom Boom, a tour guide is showing a very famous pop star, who’s never mentioned by name but one that you’ve probably seen here before, around South Africa. After her car is hijacked, the pop star wonders through the dangerous back-streets, while the colourful Antwoord crew jam out the song. It’s a lot more playful than the Freeky video, which is quite dark and intense. Those sort of moments are mostly fleeting, focusing on a bright colour scheme and some hilarious skit moments. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say something comes out of someone’s private parts that isn’t supposed to come out of there at all. NSFW or the squeamish. Everyone else, please form an orderly line and twerk until you’ve put your back out.
“I’m trying to keep my cool, but you’re looking so good…”
In 2010, I fell in love. With three different women. At the exact same time. I knew them only as The Lady Garden at the time, the three impeccably dressed and perfectly-harmonised backing vocalists of Clare Bowditch and the New Slang. It wasn’t until later on that I discovered my triple-threat crush to have another collective name – Aluka. The magic in their voices continues to flourish in their original material, and now they even have a gorgeous little video to go along with their new single. Perfection!
Keep My Cool was directed by Alice Glenn, who is no stranger to having her work featured on the blog. Her video with Otouto, the No Lights No Lycra collaboration W. Hilliar, was one of my favourite videos of 2010, placing at number 26 in my top 30. Here, she brings a jittery, aerobic style of choreography to Aluka, bringing a sweetness and charm to their song, mixed in with some great editing work and some very cute dresses. Can’t pick a fave among the three, and thus my triple-crush continues. Wanna get a smoothie sometime, you guys? I’m not mental, and I have an extensive knowledge of beards and indie rock from 2004. Surely that’s incentive…
“We used to be closer than this, is it something you miss?”
How have we not talked about The xx before? As cliched as all the hype has been around their follow-up to 2010’s xx record, I have to say that I have been mightily impressed with Coexist, the band’s second album that dropped earlier this year. It’s a perfect late-night listen, a perfect bliss-out listen and a perfect record to fall asleep to. Not that it’s boring, of course – it just happens to have a certain mystique and quietness to it that lures me into dream.
Okay, let’s get the hyperbole out of the way, and move on to the business at hand. The trio have just teamed up with a creative endeavour inventively titled The Creatives Project, which has brought the first official video from Coexist for the track Chained. The track seems to be documenting the demise of a relationship and a lack of intimacy with the perspectives of both people involved. Exactly what having all three band members jumping into water in super-slow-motion has to do with the song is anyone’s guess, but the two themes manage to merge together quite impressively. The locations are breathtaking, and that sense of being lost in the water alone (for the most part, at least) gives a great resonance to refrains like “we used to be closer than this.” One for the lovers.
“We bet that parties are rebel, you know it’s not the same if they’re not…”
Catch-up time for Y,WGAV! continues – hell, will we EVER be up to date? Who knows. All I can tell you is that DZ Deathrays are back in action. Since releasing their debut LP, Bloodstreams, the boys have been tearing up stages here and abroad with some world-class hype following their every move. They also released one of the best Aussie clips of the year, the Call Me Al parody of No Sleep, starring the one and only Arj Barker. How the hell do you follow up such an ingenious slice of madness?
One simple word: Dogs. Yep, they were one of the many highlights of the No Sleep video, galloping past in the final moments. Here, they return in a much more prominent form – the video for Cops/Capacity centres itself around two crooked cops that also happen to be canines. They harrass women, they smash up cars and they get stoned with criminals. I’m not going to lie to you – it’s pretty badass. The production/direction team of the Hayes Brothers have done a bang-up job, following these two evil dog-cops around Brooklyn and creating something perfectly-paced and darkly humourous, fitting the whole dealio perfectly. Now, can we please get these fuckers back to Oz for a show or two? That stage isn’t going to dive off itself, y’know.
“Said your love is known, I’m standing up on it…”
The album cycle for Bon Iver, Bon Iver, the wildly successful second studio album for Justin Vernon, aka – you guessed it – Bon Iver, is nearly complete. We’ve seen a helluva lot go on in that time – sell-out world tours, Grammy wins, Saturday Night Live parodies and a young lady by the name of Birdy taking one of Vernon’s tracks and becoming an adult-contemporary sensation on the back of it. For the intents and purposes of this blog, it’s also absolutely worth mentioning that the album also gave us some truly fantastic videos, including Calgary, Towers and Holocene – the last of those three even cracking my top 10 in the top 30 best videos of 2011! So, how does it all end for BI,BI? There’s one more video.
It’s for the last song on the album, a gorgeous late-night easy-listen with glassy synths and a sax solo. In other words, it’s quite a stretch away from what had been established about Bon Iver’s sound. In turn, the video for Beth/Rest sees Vernon and co. move away significantly from previous video efforts. In fact, I’d wager that this is unlike any other video that you’ll see this year. It’s a gorgeously bright parallel universe, full of blinding light and onesies that turn up out of nowhere and then are never seen again. It’s like a mix of an alien movie, that Harvest Moon game and arthouse cinema. Am I mad in that I genuinely want to know what the fuck is going on in this video? Does it matter? It’s fantastic, regardless.
“I found that comment quite funny, ROFLMAO…”
Gotta be honest, I’ve wanted to write about these dudes for awhile. What can I tell you about the seemingly-unstoppable force of positivity and pop-rock that is Milhouse? They’ve had a decidedly killer year, putting on show-stopping sets at Black Wire Records, opening for The Smith Street Band in Sydney and playing the Poison City Weekender back in September. Although they’re pushing a new EP, Thrillhouse, at the moment, their debut video is for a track from last year’s Everything’s Coming Up… as part of a competition the band won through triple j Unearthed.
Teaming up with a crew over at NIDA, the trio got to bring their tongue-in-cheek frustrations with teen-speak to life as they literally headed back to school. Although the band’s (exceptionally handsome and mega-cool) bassist, Dave Drayton, confessed to me that they didn’t think they were much chop at acting, it’s this that makes the video all the more adorable. Drayton, guitarist/vocalist Tom Elder and drummer Chris Costin are three high-school kids who are sitting an exam. Everyone else is trying to learn, but Costin is busy day-dreaming the entire exam away. These dream sequences, admittedly, are pretty damn awesome – hey, they beat sitting any boring old exam, right? A huge congrats to all involved with this one – a fantastic initiative from Unearthed and just another feather in the super-posi cap of Milhouse! Won’t be long until these guys are the big wheels down at the cracker factory, just you wait…
“The tiding is high and moving into town, I hope it doesn’t take you…”
What you know about recurring themes? Earlier today, we had Justin Bieber rocking a pool party like no-one’s business. Now, it’s Hey Geronimo‘s turn to party – and we’re headed to the beach. For those of you playing at home, Hey Geronimo are from Brisvegas. I know their drummer, Tony, from his other band The Boat People. The rest are unfamiliar faces, but have also done their time in Brissie bands; coming together to keep the party going. And why not? Carbon Affair is, for lack of a more perfect term, fuckin’ radical. I see it having no trouble in scaling to the top of the year’s best tracks.
As for the video, the band decide to throw a hugely cheesy beach party out of boredom. You seem to think you know where it’s going for the first minute or two – silly dancing, various hijinks, etc etc etc. Then, it goes grey – literally. It takes an absurdist twist that makes me like the video and song even more. How about that? Oh, what’s that? You want to know what happens? Jesus shit. Watch it for yourself!