“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!
Ben Britton is an Australian musician,
best known as the vocalist and guitarist of the band Strangers.
His favourite video is Tonight, Tonight by the Smashing Pumpkins.
I was in year five when this album was released (around 11 years old). I used to think that Billy Corgan was some sort of supernatural being, like a vampire or a circus ringmaster after seeing this video. This song introduced me to “dark pop” songwriting and completely changed my view on music all together. The clip itself has a silent film style influence, which has always been disturbing yet interesting to me. The song, the look of Billy Corgan and the band, the artwork and this film clip has always seemed to fit together… almost like it was meant to be. It was an exciting time to be a young music lover. From a kid growing up in the 90s, I personally believe we haven’t seen a band make this much impact on a generation (except for Nirvana) since. Even now, as I watch it again. It’s timeless.
Strangers‘ new single, Persona Non Grata, is available now.
The band are currently in the middle of two residencies – every Wednesday at the Cherry Bar in Melbourne and every Thursday at the Lansdowne Hotel in Sydney. For more information, like the band on Facebook here.
“I’ve no-one to confide in, and I want you to be with us…”
Earlier today, we discussed the awesome team-up of David Byrne and St. Vincent. Keeping on that theme, I thought I’d alert you to another brilliant collaboration. In one corner, the noisy grunge dudes of Dinosaur Jr. They’ve just dropped a brand-new studio album entitled I Bet on Sky, far exceeding the normal anticipations that comes with a reunion. In the other corner: soon-to-be Australian visitor Tim Heidecker of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! fame. You’ve probably noted the T&E obsession with dads in the past, and now it all comes to great fruition: TIM HEIDECKER IS YOUR DAD!
Well, not your dad, specifically. He plays one in this great new video, in which his daughter starts work at the local supermarket and falls for one of the skate-rat wasters that also works there (think Breckin Meyer‘s character in Clueless). His face is blurred like the way you see on television for courtroom criminals, adding to the danger of his world and lifestyle. It’s an increasingly intense triangle between the three, which culminates in Heidecker losing his collective shit. It’s a really smart and well-paced video that does not waste any of the the five minutes given for the track. Heidecker really needs to do more of this sort of stuff – like, right now.
“He shakes his head, finally stands up, throws his hands up in the air…”
Can you believe it’s been ten years since Steve Burns, the original host of Blue’s Clues, left the show? Since then, he’s mostly been subjected to various death rumours – including a nasty one about how he got manic depression and killed himself. Thankfully, none of that is true – although, to be fair, not many people are aware of exactly what Steve did next. The truth is, he got with some dudes from The Flaming Lips and made an album – a pretty good one, too, called Songs for Dustmites.
There are two videos that exist for the album’s lead single, Mighty Little Man. Although the one with Steve himself featured is sweet enough, I’ve decided to share what’s known as the “Dancing Gabe” version. A wild bearded man – looking similar to E from Eels – is jamming the track on a discman, while also air-drumming and smoking away. I think I love this video because anyone who can honestly say they’ve never found themselves in a similar situation while listening to music in public is a goddamn fucking liar. There’s no other word for it. Get your air drum kit out and get rocking.
“Ruby lips above the water, blowing bubbles soft and fine…”
Can anyone tell me where the hell that week went? Sorry for the lack of posts last week, and thanks for your understanding. I assume you understand, and if you don’t? Well, I can hardly help that. Moving on: Holy shit, Neil Young has a new record out this year. He’s had a mix of interesting and bizarre tunes on his last few records – Fork in the Road, a concept record about his car; Le Noise, an album almost entirely solo on electric guitar – and now he’s taken an in-road even further into oddity by getting the latest line-up of Crazy Horse to record a bunch of standards from the American songbook with him. He’s also put together a bunch of videos to go with the songs, made up of grainy archival footage – and Clementine is his latest foray.
This clip starts off innocently enough, with a loving mother in the kitchen going outside to see her three daughters. It’s from here that things become increasingly bizarre – the mother is a professional knife-thrower, and she uses her three daughters as target practice. No shit! Even when you’re watching it with the full consideration that the woman was a pro and no-one was injured, it’s still absolutely terrifying stuff to watch. The little winces and cringes the kids give when the knives come this close is really something else. This is a really creative and interesting project for Young and the CH dudes, and I hope it bears similarly delicious fruit further down the line.
“Wispy whispers fill the cabinets, filled with tawny photographs…”
It’s been three years between drinks for shouty Nebraskans Cursive, who released one of the finer records of 2009 in Mama, I’m Swollen; additionally making for one of my favourite songs of the year in From the Hips. It was an all-round winner – hell, that’s the kind of band Cursive are. They’ve followed it up with a solid new album, I Am Gemini, and we’re now being treated to the first video from it, a collaboration with director Kevin Slack. It’s early days yet, with the clip barely a fortnight old, but I think I’m in the clear as naming this video as one of the band’s best clips to date – if not the.
Why? It’s simple: This House Alive is a headfuck. It’s a mindtrip. It’s not a friendly video. It deals with some very dark, harsh themes mixed in with juvenile delinquency and a cold attitude. At the same time, however, it’s shot beautifully, with some really pristine forest locations adding depth to the the video’s context. Normally, this would be a clip that I over-analyse to buggery – particularly when it comes to the plot. This time, however, I really feel like This House Alive is a video that speaks for itself. See if you agree.
“I hit the sidewalk, and this is how it starts….”
Young the Giant‘s relationship with singles thus far has been anachronistic and weird. 2011 saw the band have a huge radio hit in Cough Syrup – a song they’ve had since 2008, when they were known as The Jakes. They’ve now followed that up with Apartment, a song that was not only already a single back in 2010, but already had a video made for its UK release. Exactly why they’ve gone this route is anyone’s guess, but if it means they keep putting out videos that are as good as this, they can release music from their first cassette demo for all I care.
A birthday is being celebrated here, with some friends waking up a mate before dragging him outside to a van full of his bestfriends as they go to take a roadtrip. The driving and location sequences are beautifully shot, using a mix of HD and click-and-shoot camera work to bring a somewhat old-fashioned feel to these parts of the video. Interspersed with this is footage of vocalist Sameer Gadhia, lying down in the dirt and apathetically miming along to the lyrics. It presents a great contrast from the blissful endless-summer vibe that the other footage gives, and will leave you guess up until near the end exactly how the two are connected. You’re probably thinking that it’s going to end badly, but I can assure that, without any spoilers, it’s a happy ending. Well, I think so at least.
Brent DeBoer is an American musician, best known as the drummer of
The Dandy Warhols and the lead singer/guitarist of Australian-based band Immigrant Union.
He has chosen three of his favourite videos: Gay Bar by Electric Six, Black Mags by The Cool Kids and Rock the Casbah by The Clash.
I like the song alright, but this video just goes the extra mile. I remember after first meeting Dick Valentine, Courtney Taylor-Taylor and I went back to the bus and looked up Electric 6 and watched this video. We were rolling around on the floor punching each other trying not to die laughing. Dick Valentine is one of the smartest people I have ever met, and this video gives viewers a small glimpse of his brilliance.
I am a big fan of hip hop music, and this song just does something for me. The studio production is phenomenal. I love the lyrics. I used to ride a chrome GT Dyno with black mags when I was a kid, so that might have something to do with it. The black and white is beautiful, and the peaceful nature of the video is unusual for the genre. The animation on the bridge and in other places are subtle and so trippy. Check out the chick he picks up on his bike. She is so cool. I also love how he uses a beeper and the pay phone. God, I love this video.
Obviously, the song is one of the best of all time. It is flawless in every way. Everyone knows that. But have a look at the video for it. What you see are maybe the four coolest people to ever walk the earth. I have been in a few videos in my day, and let me tell you: it is very hard to fake like you are playing a song and not look like a total idiot. These guys pull it off so nicely. They are all wearing such detailed and wonderful clothes. I love watching Paul Simonon pace toward the camera. The look on his face. What a rock god. The mini movie throughout the video is nice to watch, but it is really just a cutaway from the band. When I was a kid, this was one of the first videos I saw on MTV as they played it over and over all day long. I could not take my eyes off of these people. What a band.
I did meet Joe Strummer one time, at a festival in England. He looked like a familiar face, but way different in person; and I didn’t know it was Joe until later. We just talked about the festival and he asked when my band was going on stage etc…. I have never forgiven myself for not recognising my hero as he stood talking to me. It’s probably for the best. I might have made a total ass out of myself.
Immigrant Union‘s new single, “Up in Smoke / Oregon,” is out now and can be streamed via Soundcloud here.
The Dandy Warhols‘ new album, This Machine, is set for release on April 24th. The lead single, “Well They’re Gone,” can be streamed via Soundcloud here.
“My mate Bill Gates says it, the President of the United States says it…”
2003 was a confusing and disappointing year for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Sure, they got to headline Homebake and released their 12th studio album Nocturama – but there were consequences. The album pretty much tanked, and founding member Blixa Bargeld left the band not too long after it was all finished. Thankfully, there was one great thing to come out of the Bad Seeds circa Nocturama. And you, dear friends, are about to watch it.
Babe, I’m on Fire is about as anti-single as anything that the Bad Seeds have ever done. It’s 14 minutes long, it features extensive organ solos and the lyrics centre almost entirely around a myriad of people saying the titular phrase. Why they decided it was a good idea to release it is anyone’s guess, but this video will make you forever grateful that they did. For a band with such a brooding manner and a noted lack of humour, it’s worth seeing the entire band at their absolute silliest. Raiding the costume drawer, the Bad Seeds dress up as every single character depicted in the song, from Nick’s “wife with the furniture” to “the doomed homosexual with the persistent cough.” Perhaps this wildness was the place where the idea of Grinderman began to bloom, who knows?
Whatever the case, this is easily amongst Cave’s best videos, if only just to see him as a skinny, cross-dressing nutjob for a minute or fourteen.
“Laugh at the life that’s inside of you, send in shadows under the trees…”
Here’s something new from Paul Weller. If that’s an unfamiliar name, perhaps you’ve heard of The Jam – one of the most influential rock bands in U.K. history. Although The Jam is long gone, Weller is still doing somereally cool and really interesting stuff, as found on his eleventh solo album Sonik Kicks, which was released just a couple of days ago. Thankfully, it’s as interesting visually as it is sonically, as this great new video for Dragonfly proves.
I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is no: I don’t just like the video for the tits. Oh yeah, there’s quite a few nipple shots here. Not the selling point. It’s art, doofus! The women used in the video have a myriad of artworks and designs projected onto their bare skin across the film, which might sound like a boring premise at first, but it actually gets gradually more interesting as the video progresses, especially as the imagery begins to reflect the nature of the song and its lyrics. This might be a controversial clip, but I’ve warmed to it really quickly. Who knows, maybe you’ll do the same.