“I get no regard, no dinner invitations, no Get Well cards…”
I dunno about you lot, but we’ve already been treated to some pretty great Australian albums this year, ranging from the new Drones record to the Safe Hands debut and back around again. Way to go, first quarter! A record that I’m almost certain is about to join said ranks is Moving Out of Eden, the long-awaited sophomore from The Snowdroppers. Them boys have clearly been up to no good if their last video, the necromancing White Dress, was anything to go by. This time, however, it’s personal.
I dunno, is it? I just thought that sounded cool. What we do get is a minimal, shocking and exceedingly dark video starring the four Snowies lads, all of which apart from frontman Johnny Wishbone end up wielding pistols. The thing I dig the most about this clip is just how mysterious it is. We don’t ever quite cotton on as to where the guys are, what lingers outside and just what has brought them there. No words are spoken, just Johnny singin’ the blues. It ends in tragedy. It’s bleak, confronting and entirely watchable. Those crazy cats. See what you make of it all.
“Tonight I sang a song, a prayer if you will…”
Hullo! Sorry about the lack of posting. Life just gets in the way, y’know? Also, band/artists: Wanna calm it down with the videos for a bit? Had to wade through a tonne. Loving it, of course, but this is a one-man operation we got going on! I’m not Supervideoman! Well, not yet, at least. Anyway, handing in my late pass to gush about one Natasha Khan, whom you’ll know – and hopefully love as much as I do – as Bat for Lashes.
Amazingly enough, we’ve never featured one of her clips on here before, which is quite odd given that What’s a Girl to Do is probably one of my absolute favourite clips of the 2000s. I mean, have you seen that thing lately? Shit is well magical. On the topic of magical, Nat’s clip for Lillies, the opener from her lovely LP from last year, The Haunted Man, sees her team up with director Peter Sluszka and a handful of weird and wonderful creatures. They remind me a lot of Where the Wild Things Are, and the mystic wonder that came with that particular story. Khan’s interactions with the creatures are nothing short of adorable. I also love the animation and the production work, which manages to truly encapsulate the dynamics and the shifts within the song itself. I dunno, I just think it’s a little lovely. Don’t you?
“When I see myself reflect on you, I know what I was meant to do…”
Would anyone be so kind as to tell me exactly what the fuck happened to Semi Precious Weapons? Before we go any further, you need to know three separate things. The first, of course, is who the hell Semi Precious Weapons are. They are – or at least were – a glam-rock band from the States, specialising in big, dumb riffs and bi-curious lyrics that resulted in two patchy but overall quite fun albums, We Love You and You Love You. Secondly, you should know that I’ve liked these guys from the very second I saw them, opening for Lady Gaga on her Monster Ball tour a few years back. Yes, they were ridiculous, but they played the part well and they had great fun with it. Thirdly: I try not to let personality or ego get in the way of a good song or a good album. Arseholes have made good music for ages, and that’s not going to change.
You got all that? Okay, great. Let’s go. This is a fucking awful song and a fucking awful video. I hated both with a vengeance. Any degree of liveliness or character has been thrown out of the window with this dull, thudding, greyscale piece of slow-jam glitter turd. They haven’t even progressed or developed their sound in this attempt to ditch their guitars for synths – there is no way a band played on this. We’re back to SPW being the vehicle for Justin Tranter, the band’s frontperson and figurehead – literally, there is a photo shoot of the band where the other three members are wearing masks of Justin’s face. Creepy.
The video, set mostly out in the desert, sees the SPW crew rock up and build a house out of essentially nothing. It’s based around aren’t-we-clever preening and sunset shots, and it’s basically the visual equivalent of ipecac. It really is a lot to stomach – especially as you struggle to figure out exactly what they’re going for here. Is it literally an expression of their delusions of grandeur – wanting a big-city life but living in the slums? Are they attempting to connect with “lesser” beings? I just… I dunno, dude. It’s going to take an absolute shitting miracle for their upcoming third album to not be the worst thing ever if this is what we have to go by.
“You made the whole world want to dance, you bought yourself a second chance…”
Well, tonight’s the night. After fifteen years of being a fan, I’m finally going to see Garbage live. At a fucking casino of all places. Weird? Unbelievably. Still, it’s happening, so I may as well deal with it on my own terms. In the mean time, I’d thought I’d do some recollection regarding this here band. I’ve been on board since their 1998 album Version 2.0, when I was simply a young pop afficionado paying close attention to the charts. They’ve obviously come to mean a lot more to me than other chart-busters of the time – anyone remember K-Ci and JoJo? What about B*Witched? Yeah, didn’t think so.
Anyway, I think – at least, from a video perspective – that this one here was my most vivid memory of Garbage growing up. I’d have been eleven or maybe twelve at the time of its release, and I can still remember every last part. The invisible band, jamming out on keyboards and guitars. Shirley Manson, as alluring as ever, even when there is literally none of her there. The gender-bending strip tease towards the end has always stuck with me, even if I am admittedly just a sucker for toilet gags. Sure, it’s all a bit naff now. But I’ll be damned if this wasn’t just the perfect lure into the beautifulgarbage record – especially at my tender age. Now, let’s see if they can still rip it live. Report to follow!
“There is a pool and we must go, it’s just something we need to do…”
Gosh, don’t you just love them Cub Scouts? It still blows my mind that I’m blogging about little Tim Nelson so many years after the fact – see either of my previous posts about CS – and with his crew of baby-faced bandmates, he really is going from strength to strength. Looks like we’ll finally be getting an album from this Brisvegan cats this year, and this new single is more than enough to tide me over until I’ve got an LP in my sweaty little palms.
Here, the Cubbies have teamed up yet again with the Slink It Up crew, as well as a team of gorgeous synchronized swimmers. In their best vintage trunks, the Scouts head to the titular pool themseves to go head-to-head with the pros – and, for what it’s worth, they don’t do too badly! I particularly love watching Tim and bassist Zoe Davis near the beginning, as they lie parallel to one another and trade lines. It’s simple, but ever so sweet. As with pretty much all of their videos thus far, you’re guaranteed a smile with this clip. And hey, if you’re in Sydney this weekend, they’re playing Sunday arvo at the Metro Theatre Lair with Millions. I’m hoping to pop in for a bit of a dance post-Title Fight and pre-Neil Young, so let’s see how that works out!
“Not so cute anymore, now that you’re pushing thirty…”
For my money, A Joyful Noise was one of 2012’s most underrated albums. It certainly didn’t have a “Heavy Cross” or a “Standing in the Way…” among its tracks, but that doesn’t take away from its great songwriting, top-notch production and the fact that Perfect World remains one of their greatest-ever songs. With this in mind, I really hope people give A Joyful Noise a second chance – especially after seeing this very funny clip.
The song itself is a takedown of slacker girls and dodgy housemates, so it’s only fitting that Beth Ditto is as sardonic and bitchy as ever in the clip. Taking on a myriad of jobs, with all the wigs and costumes one could ask for, Ditto tears through the workforce with ease. Whether she’s working the phones, pulling teeth or literally just hitting a piece of wood with a hammer, there’s nothing that Beth can’t do! Sassy and sharp, Get a Job is easily one of the best clips the band have put their name to. What’s that? You haven’t seen it? Well, shit, son, get to work!
“And I couldn’t wait for the time, when I found a heart like mine…”
I don’t think I’ll be offending anyone – least of all the man in question – when I say that Kevin Mitchell (aka Bob Evans) isn’t really cool anymore. He’s a thirtysomething dad who preoccupies himself with sunny acoustic pop, now onto his fourth album under the moniker. Rather than attempt to relive his glory days of the nineties – back in the Jebediah days, where no-one could understand a damn word the kid said – he’s embracing his dagginess. And I couldn’t love him more because of it!
You’ve already seen some of his rosy-cheeked sweetness in clips like Nowhere Without You and Friend, and now you get to see Kev and friends go on a super-cool beach party adventure. Yeah, a bit like the Hey Geronimo one from last year. Much like Carbon Affair, this one also takes a turn when unexpected company rocks up – in this instance, it’s none other than Tim Rogers, who’s here to steal the show and Bob’s hapless date. Will he get away with it? Does our little Bobby have a chance against the guy who wrote Berlin fucken Chair? Guess you’ll have to take 4 minutes of your time to find out, won’t you?
“Shit’s going down, like Rodney King’s swimming lessons…”
You see this here, kids? This picture you see above you is proof alone – to me, at least – that we shouldn’t have been so hasty in collectively dismissing Odd Future. I dunno, there’s just something so wonderfully ridiculous about that photo with your mate and mine Donald Trump that I find so absurd and endearing. I mean, pretty much everyone collectively stopped caring in 2012, but was The OF Tape Vol. 2 that bad? It at least had a handful of great clips that we featured last year – Rella, Oldie and Sam (is Dead). Plus, I still count Frank Ocean as an OF member; and he certifiably killed 2012.
My point is that I have no idea where the group stand now. All I can say is that I’m still on board – especially when it comes to 2013’s promising new albums. Apart from the new Earl Sweatshirt record, we’re also going to get the follow-up to Tyler, the Creator‘s 2011 break-out Goblin, which was easily one of my favourite records of that year. As a means of re-introduction, the video for Domo 23 is as ridiculous as anything the OF crew have ever done. Tyler finds himself in a makeshift wrestling ring with Domo Genesis as his opponent and Earl as the referee. It’s full of slapstick, some gross-out segments and the seemingly obligatory hip-hop thing of including a snippet of another new song at the end. But of course, my horse! I dunno; if you didn’t like them before then you’ll probably hate this yet again – but I still think there’s some greatness left in the Golf Wang collective. Wait and see.
“These building tops, they connect the whole block…”
Feeling refreshed and excited after a week off, so let’s plow through some new releases. Up first this week, I’ve got a new clip from an adorable duo who have more brilliant clips than you’ve had hot dinners – hell, one of their videos literally contained a hot dinner; the food-fight party that was Yea Yeah. Since then they’ve become zombies, stripped in public, jammed in a taxi and played some seriously tricked-out basketball. You’d think after all the effort they’ve been putting in – just recently releasing a new album, Lightning, going on tour with blink-182 and planning their third Australian visit for the Groovin’ the Moo festival – they’d need a bit of a rest.
That’s what brings us to today’s visual delights – Matt and Kim in bed. N’aww, isn’t that sweet? Of course, the serenity doesn’t last long. It turns out that our favourite indie-pop couple are restless sleepers. So much so, they find themselves tossing and turning at the exact same time – yep, I think we may well be looking at the first-ever case of synchronised sleeping. What a world we live in, huh? Next time you feel like a nap, might I suggest throwing in a sneaky dance routine for good measure. If It’s Alright is anything to go by, you’ll be looking fabulous real quick like. I’ll be practicing my routine and saving it for their show in Sydney at the Oxford Art Factory on May 1st. Did I mention that tickets are on sale now? I did, didn’t I. Good good.