VIDEOS OF THE DAY: First up is the ultimate hip hop point of view vacation video by Def Manic; and I mean this bro in the most complimentary way. Peejay Svoboda the editor has mad story telling skills and moves the picture nicely to the lyrics of “Thank You”. Sahara Beck’s singing is pretty in-between Def Manic’ emo-emmininen-esque raps – he speaks some truths and we dig it and it’s the song that gives rise to this film and not the other way around. The scenery is Thailand so every shot just looks amasolutely beautiful by default. It’s funny too without being too brass it looks like this kid got something classy going on from up in Serbia, New York (USA). From the album D.R.A.W. (Do Right And Win) avail on iTunes Single – Stalk him Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud
WATCH: “THANK YOU” BY DEF MANIC FEATURING: SAHARA BECK
Ok people, the funniest, funky and most hilariously serious mustache video award goes to Bootleg Rascal and their brand of unique dub-glactic trance with their tune “OH I KNOW”. Except one of them has a beard and they rock music playing actual rock implementation instruments but other than that this single is straight-up solid. This video is also filmed incredibly well and the ad libbing is laugh out loud pee-pee hysterical – so win-win. Being that I am part Mexican I can say these spanish looking dudes are the puerto rican power (you know by ween) that hold the lock-n-groove of Sublime with the nice manly bits of fish bonin’ danceability. The joke though is that they are actually from hard-on’s land of Sydney/Gold Coast of Australia and the singer is named Carlos so whatever. A sense of humor is what is missing in so many video, and music reviews I guess (Scruggs*), that we get these days, our number one complaint is that bands take themselves way too fucking serious and stretch the cool factor like a exploding cigar trick gone limp. Nobody likes that. (Did I use enough dick jokes in this paragraph?) Anyway, directed by Bootleg Rascal & Danielle Payne,
Filmed and edited by Danielle Payne. Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud
WATCH: “OH I KNOW” BY RASCAL BOOTLEG
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ok now that ides of March are here it’s time to check out Freddy Fudd Pucker originally from Dunedin, New Zealand who brings a subtle americana dark masked feel to this tune “Blood Diamond Mind”. Via Monkey Records
WATCH: “BLOOD DIAMOND MIND” BY FREDDY FUDD PUCKER
Check out this trippy trio called Little Death Machine with their new video single “Pale” which reminds us of PJ Harvey and soundscapes you might expect to find on 4AD. Lots of quick cuts shot on black with couple nicely dressed ladies in dresses and somebody spray painting some shit in the background. Simple video and evokes the song nicely. Via Glasstone records. Band Website | Twitter
ok death cab for cutie fans you will dig this band from Canada called We Are The City. The trio already have a “buzz” but we really think their sound is unique and video really evokes their tune “Kind David” extremely well. Maybe because we are partial to the idea we/I am/are the king of our domain in our head. The drumming is off kilter and the guitar rhythms are tight like something off of hit liquor by Shudder to Think. Production and editing wise this is best video in this batch. Very much their own sound borrowing nicely from influences and just being. This song is from their sophomore release called — Violent. Band website | Twitter
WATCH – “KIND DAVID” BY WE ARE THE CITY
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VIDEO OF THE DAY: We like these guys from South Bend Indiana with their very fun video created with a couple large stocking puppets by Elizabeth Powell Wislar from CCC.INC that share utterly bizarre likeness to them. We also love the back-drop of old analog looking television gear they shot the band’s performance in front of. There is a storyline too which is rare in most videos we see around here these day. They get an A-Plus for location scouting for “Shiny Destination” which is one side of a very good indie “pop” 7″ just released with Triple Eye Industries out of Milwaukee. Their sound is geared for fans of The Wedding Present and some Brit pop akin to Pete and The Pirates but in an american decadent style that is head bopping to the point where you might knock off your ski-cap or hipster eyewear. Joshua Wayne Hensley (guitarist/singer) tells a sincere tale of hope and placebos. The flip side is a track called “Ladder” which is reminiscent of The Pernice Brothers and The Posies. The Rutebega’s music is good like waffles, bacon and syrup because it is filling and tasteful. Band Website | Bandcamp
12: I Got You MP3 Performed by The Connells, Originally written by Tim Finn from New Zealand from the Split Enz.
13: Homosapien MP3 Performed by Big Dipper, originally written by Pete Shelley from The Buzzcocks.
WATCH WALL OF VOODOO – “MEXICAN RADIO”
14: Mexican Radio MP3 by Polvo, originally written and performed by Wall Of Voodoo. The original one for this was one of better MTV videos back in the day. Also song is full of hooks. So there is that.
15: Antmusic MP3 Performed by Hypnolovewheel, originally by Adam and The Ants.
16: Don’t You Want Me Baby MP3 Performed by Chia Pet who were a Kokopop band one of Kramer from Shimmy Disc off-shoot labels. This song was originally by Human League.
17: Hero Worship MP3 Performed by Permanent Green Light, Originally written by Ricky Helston Wilson (RIP 1953-1985) from The B-52’s.
18: Girl U Want MP3 Performed by Superchunk, originally written by Casale and Mothersbaugh from Devo.
VIDEO OF DAY / SINGLES: Meet Me in Orbit’s music is created out of analog synthesizers, vintage gear and decent knowledge of what is possible with soundscapes. This dream-synth duo (Yea I know we rag on duo’s around here a lot but mostly regarding a band that is just a drummer and guitar player and too lazy to find a third member to play the fucking bass.) Anyway, these San Francisco based guys Jared Brannan and Brandon Bews will release their debut EP, called Traveller on April 7, 2015 via Sky Council Recordings. If you are fan of grandaddy, trip hop and old sounding keyboard tones then you might dig them. Due website
VIDEOS: Here’s a bunch of recent videos from bands from new jersey that we like for one reason or another.
Check out the latest Video for the song “NJHC” off the album Givin’ Up On Free Jazz by the love-able rockers The Everymen. You probably could write this song if you wanted too but you might have to be a pretty good googler to make the lyrics work. I’m proud when I see such Jersey pride. You can buy their album at www.ernestjenning.com | facebook them
WATCH: THE EVERYMEN- “NJHC”
WATCH: SCREAMING FEMALES – “HOPELESS”
Produced and Directed by Lance Bangs and Edited by Pete Larsen. We like this song. I think these two ladies from these first two bands could be sisters. It’s as close to pixie-like song as it gets for The Screaming Females. Catch them on tour! Jim from Cool Dad Music does a nice and goes into a lot of detail song for song reviewing their new recordRose Mountain – Visit the official Don Giovanni Records website space for music: http://dongiovannirecords.com/
WATCH: DENTIST – BIRD IN A CAGE
New video directed by City Gardens ex-bouncer turned videographer our pal Mr. Jim Norton. Takes the band to the snowy lanscape of new jersey. Singer shows off her pearly whites and comes-off very angelic. The tune is is vert pop-alt. The vibe is good in this song. The other songs on their record are faster, punkier, surfier and just as sweet. Get their latest on bandcamp page.
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SINGLE REVIEW: For months I have been uninspired to click a single fucking link. You could say even 1,000s of them have been ignored. Obsessed with changing my reality to live in the now but every once in awhile I dare to see what others have dreamed-up and take a break from my bullshit; and so I discovered the band Why We Run from Sydney, Australia. They had the promise of something visually unique. Their video for their debut single “Comfortable Lie” Directed by Tim Gibbs; who is a rock video pioneer having worked with the likes of John fucking Lennon, Dire Straits, Motorhead, Billy Bragg, and XTC. Gibbs has taken the pin-hole camera obscura photographic technic and made something visually stunning. Inspired by this dream-scape song presented to him by the band and paired it with an idea that grew from his sleep flat. The unique part is he took this mobile and made them do actions in slow-mo in the back of a truck. Now the music stands all on it’s own so If you are fan of radiohead and a little bit of depeche mode mixed with eno’esque ear candy; then this song will speak to your hazy state. The melody is hypnotic like a pendulum swinging in front of your eyes. This will lift your soul up in the right place as you dream big along with me. I looped this song a few times and at every turn the rem chase was sweet. This is more than your normal video of the day. This is driving art musically and pushing imagery with a simple idea and turning you upside down with great care and patience. Here’s the Band’s Facebook | Twitter
WATCH VIDEO: Why We Run – Comfortable Lie
Single Produced/mixed by Wayne Connolly (The Paper Kites, Cloud Control, Boy and Bear).
I always look forward to annual “best of” music list that begin popping up every year when the cold weather arrives. It is fascinating who thinks what is the hottest fucking music out there each year. Two thousand fourteen is no different.
And since I am kneeling in the musical confessional booth, I must fess up I am constantly stuck somewhere between 1982-1999 when it comes to my musical listening, but somehow, in some miraculous way I do manage to stumble across “new bands” worth listening to, though few and far between.
Some 2014 results make sense (the new Hold Steady and Tom Petty) while others don’t (am I the only one who doesn’t understand the big deal behind The War Against Drugs or Sun Kil Moon?). And some are just plain fucking bullshit (the new U2 #1 Rolling Stone? How much is the band paying you to make such a claim??). And don’t even get me started on the Foo Fighter’s, Sonic Highways…except that is basically a bunch of medicore, over-produced shit….see what you made me did now??
Anyways, fuck it…here it goes…my best of 2014 (in no particular order)….ta da!!
1. The Temples – Sun Structures : some of the best psych-pop out of the UK in years per Johnny Marr, Noel Gallagher and now me. If the opening tracks “Shelter Song” or “Sun Structures” doesn’t make your booty move then you are just lame. They are also, importantly, one of the coolest look bands on the planet.
2. Interpol – El Pintor: after 2010’s disastrously forgettable self-titled album, the NYC post-punk darlings are back in full form. While Kessler’s guitar playing gets a little tedious at times, El Pintor is still a great bunch of tunes that blend in well with earlier material. They too are one of the coolest looking (and best dressed bands) on the planet. Yes, I like cool looking bands.
3. Overlake - Sighs: said it all right heremonths back. Still in super heavy rotation in my life. The track “Our Sky” is one of the best songs ever written with a breakdown bridge starting at the 2:05 mark that will knock you on your ass.
4. The Gaslight Anthem – Get Hurt: Read this. Probably their weakest album, but that is what is what makes it so endearingly intriguing. The song “Dark Places” shatters my heart every time, especially after a couple of glasses of wine.
5. Life Eaters – Self Titled: Confession? I only heard this debut record from this Jersey City group for the first time mere days ago, but it has been kicking me in the nuts ever since. An extremely strong effort from start to finish. The track “Man Pain”, is just absolutely killer. If you don’t like it then guess what…yup, you lame.
6. The Hold Steady – Dream Teeth: A “typical” and “safe” Hold Steady album, but if you dip beneath the surface you will find a solid effort with all the stories, drugs, hardcore matinees and Jesus Christ references still intact. At first listen, I was disappointed but the tracks grew on me tremendously to the point of becoming one of the year’s best. I must admit I find the overall recording very weak (lacking ball crushing “umph” of 2008’s Stay Positive…so much guitar punch)but just listen beyond that….songs “Spinners” and “Big Cig” are two of many standout tracks.
I always enjoyed this short trailer for Dream Teeth , it captures the full essence of the album….
7. Miss Ohio – Whippoorwill Road:“delivering a perfect blend of power pop melody and guitar rock grit, with 5 songs that will no doubt make my personal best of 2014 release list” as I previously stated here and here and here! and guess what, it did! Besides they re-recorded my favorite song from them (“KGB”) so that is all that fucking matters…well unless they re-record “Picture Show…” (hint hint)….here is a funny video for another great gem off the record, “Bobby Fischer…”
8. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye: Tom and his heartbreaking team started a bar brawl, kicking everyone’s ass with this garage punk instant classic.
9. Big Ups – Eighteen Hours of Static: This Brooklyn-based band plays punk/noise rock that torpedoes Fucked Up right out of the tub. I hear me some Fugazi…Descendants? Maybe even some Slint….may I dare mention later Black Flag or even Flipper? Their sounds is something so familiar that I still can’t define it and that is why they fucking rock and can’t stop listening to this album. If you don’t like the 2 opening tracks (“Body Parts” and “Goes Black”) then you are….guess?
10. Johnny Marr – Playland : Because it’s Johnny FUCKING Marr, yo……duh.
11. Real Estate – Atlas: A hearty blend of hypnotic, mellow, reverby poppy rock from Brooklyn, Atlas picks up where 2011’s Days paused. A perfect background soundtrack for those long drives, house cleanings or annual best of writings.
12. Thurston Moore – The Best Day: Back to his true form from 2013’s quasi-metal project, Chelsea Light Moving, The Best Day is his 4th solo effort and 1st since his highly visible divorce from Kim Gordon. This album is very East Village, very “safe” (read: Sonic Youth) and very wonderful. Moore continues to rock out in his own alternately tuned, droning , cool cat, hipster, subdued Neil Young kind of way. “Forevermore” and album title track are just 2 of many treats found here. Besides, its Thurston fucking Moore…duh.
13. We Were Promised Jetpacks- Unravelling: These Scots quickly remind us why 2009’s These Four Walls and 2011’s In The Pit of the Stomach are constantly listened to over and over as they continue to carry the post punk meets indie pop torch with this latest release. Saw these cats live at NYC’s Webster Hall a few weeks back and they blew everyone away. Tracks “Safety in Numbers” and “Peaks and Troughs” are just two of many great songs.
14. Eastern Anchors-Dragging Your Axe Behind: I know I said a random list, but I also did save the best news for last. Set to be released later this month, if 2012’s Drunken Arts And Pure Science have you begging for more and if you thought the first single “Above Your Station” off their latest EP kicked ass, wait until you hear the other 6 songs. Oh boy……strap on in and wear a cup kiddies….
This is our obligatory Xmas song post. We like this time of year where we get to dig into our emails and find the best new Christmas songs for 2014. Hope you enjoy!
The Church do “XMAS”. Their sound can never be mistaken for another.
This season a nice compilation of rarities and standards called All Is Bright, is an exclusive playlist of newly-recorded holiday songs on Amazon with music by some of our favorite gals Liz Phair, Lucinda Williams, Beth Orton and Yoko Ono & Flaming Lips doing a wonderful version of “Happy Xmas (War is Over)”
Disclaimer: I am 46 years old and I very rarely listen to new music and I avoid leaving my home as much as possible. This means that much of what I’m aware of comes through my Facebook feed, which everyone knows is designed to make you keep scrolling, so I’m becoming less intelligent and my world is shrinking. If the reader feels my top ten things reflect myopia, tunnel vision, or the ramblings of an old man with his head up his ass, I’m sure you’re right. So here goes:
1) Terrifying cop videos.
This is where the facebook newsfeed/feedback loop really kicks in for me. I don’t intend to start discussing the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases BUT there’s a reason why Spike Lee filmed a fictional version of the murder of Eric Garner back in 1989 in his classic “Do The Right Thing”. Back in 1989, you’d have to live in the world Spike Lee lived in to be aware that cops killing black men when it wasn’t necessary “was a thing”. So most everyone has seen the Eric Garner video but my Facebook feed (again, niche marketed to me, and I have all these anti-American pinko “friends” posting this shit all the time) has been coughing up countless videos of cops acting fucked up, and bullying and threatening, using undue force, threatening people at gunpoint inappropriately and behaving as evil machines rather than people. It used to be the case that if you were a very consistently meek and unnoticeable person you’d never be aware that cops could do such things. Here’s one of my personal favorites that resulted in a relatively “happy ending”.:
So now the squares gotta face it: cops are no less scary than the “criminal element” they purport to protect you from. Many of us have known this all our lives. So I think this trend of filming cops acting like Nazi Stormtroopers and posting it online is good for society. There is starting to be more of a real dialogue, and this is an example of how the new surveillance culture cutsboth ways.
DOWNLOAD: Bring the Noise MP3 by Public Enemy from It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
2) Delightful animal videos.
No one has time to click on every one of them but my personal experience is they always make me happy and are the perfect antidote to the aforementioned terrifying cop videos. Here’s a recent favorite:
Seriously you grumpy punks, John Houlihan from Live from the Barrage went to town on this NY exclusive FB Meme with some 800 group members. Think WFMU meets Howard Stern and that is what their Friday night podcast is like. The meme might be better but it’s the podcast is our favorite of the low-brow.
Correction: Kurt Gottschalk started the group but Houli invited us but he still gets credit for making it a thing – plus we think the podcast is the tits (yea we just said that). Not everything needs to be linear. -Ed
4) Matthew McConaughey
McConaughey is gonna have a hard time beating 2014 for his own personal best year. He’s a big muscular guy who was sooooo skinny in the AIDS movie and he’s an easy going southern party guy who portrayed an absolutely convincing functional alcoholic nihilistic genius ex-cop on the coolest new cable show. Alright, alright alright!
5) True Detective
This is my kind of TV. The coolest weirdest most intense artsy fartsy television show since Twin Peaks. This show actually caused me to start posting shit on Facebook, my theories about it and insights and whatnot. Slippery fucking slope.
6) Breaking Bad
Vince Gilligan and his posse really did this right. As of now, I believe Breaking Bad is the most perfect cable long form storytelling multiple season television show ever made. They never made a bad move and ended it in a way that was utterly satisfying. Best series ending since that HBO show about the family that ran a funeral home.
7) Tom Petty “Hypnotic Eye”
Maybe there are new people playing this kind of seriously deeply righteous tradational guitar driven rock and roll and I’m oblivious to it, please refer back to my disclaimer. If you haven’t dug into this and have ever liked Tom Petty in your life, listen to the whole thing for free right now. Mike Campbell dominates this album, more than usual, even. This album makes this year’s Black Keys album sound like Taylor Swift. And I like the Black Keys and have no problem with T.S. either.
8) Prince “ART OFFICIAL AGE”
Sort of the same deal as with Petty. Pick whatever the last time a Prince album totally blew you away and I’ll tell you this is his best thing since that album. For me it’s his best since the “unpronounceable symbol” album that opened with “My Name Is Prince”. And I sucked up the one hundred or so albums he made between that one and this one. For me what makes this album great is it just reeks and oozes of everything that has made Prince the greatest singular talent on Earth for the entirety of his recording career. Underrated.
9) Nick Cave
Nick Cave may well be the most consistently right on the money “cool” artist ever. The album he put out this year, “Push the Sky Away” is great as usual but live he’s proving to be the new Bowie as far as I’m concerned. Specifically, he has a surplus of the quality of poise that Bowie has, which is an exceedingly rare trait among rock and roll frontmen, even the greatest of which tend to be organ grinder monkeys (the Jagger/Tyler tradition). At the same time, much of his greatness is expressed through the group mind of the amazingly powerful and sensitive and idiosyncratic Bad Seeds. Bowie in his best eras had a similar thing going, where the band gets Bowie’s intention/vibe and fucking runs with it and jams the shit out of it. You want dynamics? There’s no greater range of moods, rhythms and volumes than a Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds concert. I was fortunate to catch their show last summer at Prospect Park in Brooklyn. A truly magical night. Here’s an audience filmed thing from that. Dig the reaching hands and think about the end of the Ziggy Stardust concert film:
10) Scott Walker and Sunn 0))) “Soused”
I’m a long time Scott Walker fan but this was the one release I heard this year that blew my mind by not sounding like anything else I ever heard, yet hooking me in with the traditional elements of a beautiful voice, great melodies and instrumental hooks. If you’re curious you should read Tim Sommer’s piece on this, I agree with every word he says, but I’m not smarticulate (my neologism) enough to cough up this level of analysis:
And here’s the”single”:
2014? Could have been worse. 2015 holds some promise. I have total faith that “Better Call Saul” will deliver the goods at the very high standard of quality we’ve come to expect from Vince Gilligan and company. Also, my favorite fresh and current band, Radiohead, is working on a new album, so 2015 may well be a Radiohead year. My new year’s resolution is to tweet. Have a happy.