Youth Lagoon - “Mute” (Music Video)
CT folks — Catch Youth Lagoon next Friday (5/8) at The Space in Hamden. Here’s the video for “Mute,” one of the better tracks on their dense new LP Wondrous Bughouse. More info below via Manic Productions:
The Youth Lagoon concert at The Space is only a week away and we’re really excited!!!
Due to popular demand, the show is now ALL AGES, so be sure to get your tickets if you haven’t already!
Video: The Thermals - “Born To Kill”
The Thermals just dropped a terrifically gruesome visual clip to accompany their latest single “Born To Kill.” The track itself is a barnstorming anthem that, at under 2 minutes in length, does a great job at recapturing the raucous energy of their first three releases, which has been absent to some degree on their more recent albums. Meanwhile, the video features footage of a bloodied and battered frontman Hutch Harris mouthing the rebellious lyrics while sustaining various forms of torture and romping around in the woods. At its best, The Thermals’ music succeeds in conveying violent energy and lyrical themes with a modicum of fun— even joy; this video succeeds in doing that as well.
Watch the video for “Born To Kill” above and preorder a copy of The Thermals’ new LP Desperate Ground via Saddle Creek Records. The new album drops April 16th.
Video: LVL UP - “Nightshade”
Some words from writer Andrew Sacher here:
“Last Friday (2/8) during the snow storm, I wandered into a Purchase College apartment (which the members attend/attended) to catch LVL UP packing in some kid’s living room, with about 90% of the crowd moshing and shouting the words. They’ll be taking that raucous live show on the road this month for a few Northeast dates, including one in Brooklyn on February 23 at Shea Stadium with Krill, Porches, Butter the Children, andHigh Pop. A list of all dates, which includes shows with Waxahatchee, Eternal Summers, Joyce Manor, and others, is below.”
LVL UP — 2013 Tour Dates
2/22/13 New Brunswick, NJ @ Cooler Ranch w/ The World is a Beautiful Place…
2/23/13 Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium w/ Krill, Porches, Butter the Children, High Pop
2/25/13 New Haven, CT @ Bethesda Lutheran Church w/ Joyce Manor, The World is a Beautiful Place…
4/6/13 Harrisonburg, VA @ MACROCK w/ Eternal Summers, Diarrhea Planet, Ava Luna, Waxahatchee
Video: Sidewalk Dave - “Cayenne”
Premiering on Lewis and his Blog today is the brand new music video from New Haven notable Sidewalk Dave, a garage rock artist and songsmith whose most recent record Hard On Romance clinched the #9 spot on my Top Albums of 2012 list. If you’re not familiar with this local folk hero yet, now is a great time to acquaint yourself.
“Cayenne” is an exemplary cut from Hard On Romance, a record that wrestles to a very enjoyable effect to find reconciliation between the primality of sex and the ‘civility’ of modern romance. That’s a professorial way of saying that it’s full of terrifically conflicted love songs, and “Cayenne” is no exception. Backed by an appropriately gritty full band, Sidewalk Dave (née Van Witt) strums and moans in 3/4 time, pining for the song’s titular lover one moment and quickly backing away from her the next. It’s the kind of frustrating emotional paradox — knowing that someone is bad for you but wanting him/her anyway — to which I’m sure many of us can relate.
The video itself is full of psychedelic colors and symbolically ripe floral imagery, and it fits in nicely with the other similarly abstract clips that Dave has dropped on his YouTube channel for the songs on Hard On Romance. It’s also worth pointing out that Dave made it specifically to be released on Valentine’s Day.
Watch the “Cayenne” video above and pick up Hard On Romance via The Telegraph Recording Company.
Video: Kendrick Lamar - “Backseat Freestyle”
The video that Kendrick just dropped for this Good Kid m.A.A.d. city highlight rules. Nothing else needs to be said.
Video: WHY? - “The Water You Walk”
Earlier this month, indie hip-hop outfit WHY? dropped a winter/Christmas-themed track called “The Water You Walk,” which will appear on a forthcoming 7” along with “Waterlines,” from this year’s rather muddled but occasionally good Mumps, Etc. This week, they dropped a video for the track as well, featuring some serene and beautiful winter-themed footage along with a creepy Santa Claus figure lurking ominously in the background.
Frustratingly, the track is actually better than a lot of the material on Mumps..., a record that I liked a lot initially but soon found myself growing tired of. The dream pop keys of “The Water You Walk,” along with its lurching snare rolls and ominous melody, make it a rather eerie standout amongst typically jovial Christmas songs.
Watch the video, which was directed by Erika Ochoa, above. The “Waterlines”/”The Water You Walk” 7” will be out at some point in the future on Anticon.
Video: Earl Sweatshirt - “Chum”
OFWGKTA’s Earl Sweatshirt dropped the video for his evocative, melancholy single “Chum” earlier today. Through a black and white filter, the 18-year old prodigy waxes poetic about his troubled childhood, his prolonged departure from the game, and the role that his affiliation with the Odd Future clan played in shaping him as an individual. He’s repenting for past sins, in a way, and the precarious tone of the dark clip corroborates that. It’s not an apology, but rather a bittersweet rumination on the past — exactly the way that any member of Odd Future should be ‘repenting,’ so to speak.
In more ways than just the black and white coloring, the “Chum” clip recalls Tyler, The Creator’s rather monumental video for “Yonkers” from last year. The “Yonkers” clip hasn’t aged particularly well, having been mired by the backlash against the collective that he leads, but its tone remains a singular one. In comparison to the “Chum” video, the “Yonkers” clip was similarly moody, but more brash; Earl, by contrast, goes for a more introspective approach, and appears more mature — although, perhaps, less interesting — because of it.
Watch the video above. “Chum” recently featured on my Monthly Mix for November, which I published a couple days ago. Give that a listen HERE.
Video: A.C. Newman - “I’m Not Talking”
Earlier today, New Pornographers’ frontman A.C. Newman dropped a video for “I’m Not Talking,” the first single from his new solo album Shut Down The Streets. From the faux-rustic album art to the gentle analog synths that pervade the record, Shut Down The Streets exudes a distinctly-1970s vibe, so it’s no surprise that the influence of that decade extended to this music video as well. In the 70’s talk show-styled clip, the typically affected Newman, dressed in a period appropriate suit, performs the lush, horn-laden song ironically with just his guitar. About halfway through the video, the talk show host appears to shed a tear before silently mouthing his words back to him. Somebody’s a secret New Pornos fan.
Watch the “I’m Not Talking” video above and pick up Shut Down The Streets via Matador Records.
Video: White Lung - “Glue”
Canadian punks White Lung just dropped a new video for “Glue,” a charging slice of pop-punk vitriol from their terrifically urgent 2012 album Sorry. I wasn’t too keen on “Bag,” the subject of the band’s previous video, but “Glue” is easily one of my favorite cuts from the album.
Although it lacks the neat concept of the “Bag” video, the grainy, VHS-style footage and DIY aesthetic of this clip aligns nicely with the grittiness of the track. However, while the lyrical subject matter of “Glue” is pretty harrowing and violent, the content of the video seems a lot more fun and lighthearted. They play into some tried-and-true punk video tropes here and there, but overall, the band seems to be enjoying themselves quite a bit. Both in tone and style, it’s actually not too disimilar to Title Fight’s recent video for “Secret Society,” which I loved.
Watch the “Glue” clip above and pick up Sorry from Deranged Records.
Video: Titus Andronicus - “In A Big City” (Official Music Video)
In the new clip for Titus Andronicus’ “In A Big City,” frontman Patrick Stickles bears his fresh and unfortunately shaven face all over a presumably large urban area. The footage is a little uncomfortable — it feels like he’s giving the viewer death glares for four minutes as he walks around parks, residential areas, and various municipalities.
If that sounds like your thing, give the video a view above. Visually, this video is just about as “of the earth” as their new album Local Business is sonically.
Video: The Mountain Goats - “Cry For Judas” (Official Music Video)
With Transcendental Youth, The Mountain Goats have delivered yet another extremely solid LP, following up 2011’s equally great All Eternals Deck. The new LP is spearheaded by “Cry For Judas,” a mariachi horn-laden anthem of a single that will grow on you quickly and never release its grasp. John Darnielle has gotten really good at writing songs like this.
Anyway, Darnielle & Co. recently dropped a music video for the single, featuring some beautiful footage and powerful cinematography. The visual themes and images of murder, blood, rats, and satanic worship should be familiar to any armchair analyzer of Darnielle’s lyrics, and they are manifested with just as much tact and grace in the clip as they are in Darnielle’s songs. Mountain Goats members Jon Wurster, Peter Hughes, and John Darnielle himself (above) star. Consider this one of my favorite music videos of the year so far.
Watch the “Cry For Judas” clip above and purchase Transcendental Youth from Merge Records.
Video: WHY? - “Strawberries” (Official Music Video)
With the possible exception of the previously-covered single “Sod In The Seed,” “Strawberries” is easily the most immediate and accessible track on WHY?’s new LP Mumps, Etc. While most of Mumps finds Yoni Wolf & Co. discovering new ways to explore their hip-hop roots, “Strawberries” harks back to such melodic classics as “Fatalist Palmistry” and “Rubber Traits.” It’s got everything you could want out of a WHY? song, from its catchy chorus hook to a line about somebody’s mom smoking weed and listening to A Prairie Home Companion. It also bears one of the album’s most impactful singular lines: “The shit I’ve said to high school counselors haunts me.” If that isn’t a classic Yoni Wolf truism, I’m not sure what is.
The WHY? crew recently dropped a video for this song, which follows the “Sod In The Seed” clip. Like that video, the “Strawberries” clip features footage of Yoni Wolf leading a pack of eager WHY? fans doing some ridiculous antics. This video takes place in some sort of flamboyant parade with costumed marchers, cyclists, and a giant float featuring the Mumps, Etc. album art. Check it out above.
Mumps, Etc. is out October 2nd on Anticon.
Video: Cat Power - “Cherokee” (Official Music Video)
Desert roadside music videos seem to be in this year. Like Grimes’ recent “Genesis” clip, Cat Power’s new video for the Sun opener “Cherokee” takes place on a sun-scorched desert landscape, although the latter video is not quite as bizarre as the former. Directed by Chan Marshall herself, the “Cherokee” clip is cinematic and relatively light-hearted, despite being rooted in dystopian subject matter. It’s not terribly well-made, nor is it particularly captivating, but there is something appealing about witnessing Marshall loosen up and engage herself.
In that respect, this video is very much like Sun, an unusual and fascinating album that sounds utterly unlike anything Cat Power has done before. With revved up tempos, no-bullshit lyrics, and a sonic palette that flirts heavily with synths, drum machines, and electric guitar, the typically-lethargic Marshall sounds more urgent than ever on this LP. However, when listening to Sun, it’s easy to confuse Marshall’s free-spiritedness and newfound penchant for experimentation with actual musical quality. Nevertheless, I think that there is still something worth loving at Sun’s core. With its electronic undercurrents and surprisingly driving rhythm, the independent anthem “Cherokee” is one song that keeps me intrigued by this album, even as I question its legitimacy.
Watch the “Cherokee” clip above and pick up Sun today on Matador.
Video: Frank Ocean - “Pyramids” (Official Music Video)
Visually, this brand new clip for Frank Ocean’s channel ORANGE highlight “Pyramids” is every bit as grandiose, theatrical, and epic as the potential song of the year candidate itself. Grab some popcorn and watch it above.
Video: David Byrne & St. Vincent - “Who” (Official Music Video)
I have a tendency to be cynical when it comes to collaborations between high-profile musicians. All too often, it seems, the appeal of super-groups and super-duos is only surface-level. Sure, as a music nerd, it’s cool to think about Spoon’s Britt Daniel and Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner making music together, but that doesn’t make their new band Divine Fits anything more than a less interesting sonic conglomerate of both their previous/better bands’ styles. Nevertheless, every once in a while, two great musicians come together and create music excellent enough to transcend the short term, surface level appeal of their collaboration. David Byrne’s recent collaborative LP with St. Vincent is one such example.
“Who” is the lead single from the album, entitled Love This Giant, and it has appropriately received the music video treatment. Whereas some tracks on the record find one artist dominating the creative process more than the other, “Who” feels like a truly even collaboration between these two delightfully obtuse pop musicians. Byrne takes the lead in the verses, bouncing melodies off the bopping horns and stuttering bass and employing some harmonies that sound straight out of a Talking Heads song. St. Vincent’s Annie Clark, in her subtle but deceptively confident manner, delivers a fantastically unpredictable earworm of a hook in the chorus. Together, they produce a terrific contrast between the more melodic side of Talking Heads and the brasher, darker side of St. Vincent’s best material.
Collaborations like this should invigorate both artists and push them to challenge themselves and each other, and that’s exactly the feeling I get from this song and from Love This Giant as a whole. Almost as importantly, collaborations should be a fun experience for all parties involved, and the amount of fun that these two must have had while working together comes through very clearly in this video. Byrne stalks around in time to the beat, evoking Thom Yorke in Radiohead’s “Lotus Flower” video, while Clark sings and manages to still look incredibly alluring while lying in the middle of a paved road.
Watch the “Who” video above, and pick up Love This Giant from 4AD HERE.