Monthly Archives: September, 2013

Watch This Now: Brendan Maclean – “Winner”

“You haven’t got my awkward silence, or my three ways of acting…”

I believe in Brendan Maclean. The same way Cher believes in life after love, or the way Harvey Dent believes in Harvey Dent. I’m sure I’ve explained our history far more eloquently and in far greater detail in one of the several other times he’s appeared here. All you need to know is that he’s back, on the attack, with a fellow Mac – Paul Mac, that is; who was also behind February’s Stupid. The guys behind that video have returned as well, namely directors Brian Fairbairn and Karl Eccleston. To top it all off, this too is a single-shot video… yep, just like Stupid.

You might think I’m being back-handed here, but I’m actually quite excited that B-Mac has started properly carving his niche into this grandiose style of buzzing pop; with some truly awesome visuals to accompany it. As soon as you realise that we’re in the midst of a “backwards” video, more and more questions begin to arise – namely, how did Brendan end up in his underwear? What is he doing on a race track? Why is there glitter all over the field? Patience, young grasshopper. All will be revealed once we retrace our steps… well, most will be revealed, at least. Given this video focuses squarely on Maclean, it’s up to him and him alone to keep you entertained and intrigued for the entire runtime. In that regard: Sir, you’re a winner in our books.

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Watch This Now: Elton John – “Home Again”

“In the old part of Valencia, on the coast of Spain…”

Here’s a lovely one I’ve been meaning to get around to. The inimitable Sir Elton John has just put out what I think may be his best solo album in years, a concept album of sorts entitled The Diving BoardIt’s a stark, intimate and very honest album, one that I didn’t think I’d ever hear out of Sir Elton these days. I mean, the guy can basically live off royalties from his countless hits. He doesn’t have to work another day of his life. And yet he’s still got such a creative streak into his sixties, which is something that really has to be respected.

This is a video from August that I’ve been meaning to share with you guys for quite some time, and I figured now was as good a time as ever to share it given that Reginald played this song at the Emmys on Sunday in tribute to Liberace. As the song delves into a well-travelled character longing for what once was, a middle-aged man sits alone. The decision is made in his mind, and we follow him all the way back to the very beginning. This not only happens mentally, but physically as well. It will make sense once it all properly unfurls. The locations used are quite stunning, and the narrative is so involving and stirring – I think EJ knew exactly what to do with this song when it came to a video treatment. A perfect reflection of one of this album’s true standouts.

Watch This Now: The National – “Graceless”

“Just let me hear your voice, just let me listen…”

Has it really been that long? Fuck, I’m sorry, guys. I seriously do not know where the time has gone. I’ve been so busy with all kinds of stuff that I don’t even know where to begin. Has it really been nearly a month? Good lord. Well, there’s a lot of lost time to make up for. May as well dive right in. We’ve got another video from The National to talk about, a band that are definitely no strangers to this part of town. The thing I like the most about this band when it comes to their videos is that they often go completely against the grain from their very own music. Often sombre, pensive and dark within their music, they like to lighten the mood somewhat visually. This can range from making Kristen Schaal the POTUS or doing a shot-for-shot remake of an obscure Russian rock video. Or, y’know, getting wasted in suits.

What, you thought that last part was a joke? Have you seen Graceless yet? The band have dedicated all four-and-a-half minutes of the song’s video to the simplest pleasures in life – bombing in the pool, going down the backyard slippery slide and playing baseball using beer cans. Because why the hell not? They’d have to be the most commercially viable band in indie rock, surely. Take advantage of that! A bit of rock & roll excess from time to time never hurt anybody. Well, nobody making brooding baroque rock, anyway. The whole thing just looks like it was so much fun to make. It’s hard not to be taken by the charm of the clip – it’s like the opposite of seeing the clown crying. I dunno, the accountant laughing? Something like that. Raise your tinnies for The National.

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