All posts by Derek Phillips

New Orville Peck video: Turn To Hate

Video: Orville Peck -- “Turn To Hate”

Orville Peck - Turn To Hate [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Directed by Orville Peck and Carlos Santolalla. From Pony, out now on Sub Pop.

There’s been a spate of videos with dudes in masks of late, which I guess makes sense in the era of Trump and Brexit. We all have a little something to be ashamed of and perhaps a compulsion to hide from our responsibilities. Sub Pop crooner Orville Peck takes it one further by also masking his influences and genres, and it works like a charm. And maybe it’s not about hiding at all?

Peck recently told The 405, “Masks actually expose a lot—and in this case—allows people to connect way more with me than If I wasn’t wearing the mask. Wearing it lets me stay honest and not hold anything back, if that makes sense. If anything my masks are actually way more exposing than anything.”

Read any other review of his work and you hear a lot of Outlaw Country acts bandied about as musical references, which I guess is true, but I hear something else entirely. What I hear is a Bret Easton Ellis soundtrack. Not the Huey Lewis variety, but one that would play in an indie production of one of his books. There’s a bit of Big Country and Love and Rockets and The The and a whole heaping of Wall of Voodoo. While mining the 80s is in fashion these days, Peck has tapped a new vein. It’ll be interesting to see what else pans out.

Orville Peck: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Peter Doherty video: Who’s Been Having You Over

Video: Peter Doherty & The Puta Madres -- “Who’s Been Having You Over”

Peter Doherty & The Puta Madres - Who's Been Having You Over (Official Video)

Directed by Roger Sargent. From Peter Doherty & the Puta Madres, due April 26 on Strap Originals.

There was a time not too long ago I was sure we were going to lose Pete Doherty. Every picture looked like it was likely to be his last. So I am not only really happy that he’s still with us, but seems healthier and maybe--just maybe--happier than he’s looked in years. He and his fellow Libertines bought a seaside hotel to move into, Monkees-style, as a sort of creative commune/workspace/real estate investment. Yes, things are looking up for Pete.

But the rest of the world is fucked. While the United States elected an unrepentant fraud and liar to the highest office in the land, Britain voted to leave the European Union but now can’t figure out how. Pete’s life of chaos seems to have been excised from his bruised body and unleashed upon the rest of us. And he has something to say about it, which plays to Pete Doherty’s greatest strength: the dude is a great lyricist.

In “Who’s Been Having You Over,” Pete takes a swipe at phonies: phony rockers and, seemingly, phony radicals. Let’s face it, protest and radicalism have always been susceptible to being co-opted by the mainstream and--God forbid--the Establishment. So Pete gets out ahead of it.

You’re so rock ‘n’ roll
My, you’re so rock ‘n’ roll
Oh but the rhyme that it took
To fill the right hook
You need a miracle
A crow bar and a miracle

And to put a fine point on it:

Who’s been having you over?
Yeah, who’s been tucking you up?
Shaking you down?
Who’s been having you over?
The world once was flat, the world got round

We’ve been had, gang. But at least we can look good while we’re getting ground into the dust. If we’re smart, we’ll buy up the one thing we can’t make more of and might just become a vanishing commodity: seaside property.

Peter Doherty: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Midnight Caller Episode 5

He was a spaz. So bad that he once slapped a teacher right across the face. We couldn’t believe it. The whole class froze for a moment. And then sped up very fast like an old film projector breaking loose from a jam. There was David, running around the room while we lost our minds, screaming like chimps until Mrs. Oatman caught him and threw him in the bathroom where he tore it up until he went quiet. Nervously, she opened the door to check on him and he was out like a shot and running down the street; running home again.

David was a year older than us but in the same grade. He had a frenetic energy that fueled kids and exhausted adults. He came by it naturally. His dad, Dave Sr., would scream from the sidelines of our baseball games. “Run, you pollack! Run!” We couldn’t believe he called him that, his own son. But the more we laughed, the more the veins in his neck bulged. “Run you pollack! Run!”

While Sr was screaming, Jr was whispering. It was a creepy habit he’d picked up that summer. He’d heard it on the radio and thought it was hilarious to come up behind you, quiet as a black cat, and whisper in your ear: “Be quiet, big boys don’t cry. Big boys don’t cry.” We were in 4th grade and despite our recently acquired trucker mouths, we were not big boys. The act of one of our classmates whispering that in our ears was unnerving and he knew it. That’s why he did it. He was a year older, after all.

It was also the summer of the Atlanta child murders and even though we were 1200 miles away, we were enthralled with horrified fascination. They were our age, some of them. And they kept disappearing. One after another. Sometimes found, sometimes not.

“He’s gonna get us,” Dave would cackle as we raced back to our houses when the street lights came on. “He’s gonna get us!”

It didn’t matter how many times we explained that Georgia was a 12 hour drive away and that he seemed to target black kids, Dave would talk about how he was going to get us. There were countless ways he was going to get us too. In our beds, in our garages, reaching up to pull us down just before we reached the top stair. He was there and he was going to get us. Dave talked about this non-stop. HE was in every conversation, every drawing, everywhere. Dave talked and talked and talked about him.

Until one day Dave disappeared, and we never saw him again.

Songs featured:

“One of These Nights” by Eagles

“Angelina” by Daystar

“I’m Not in Love” by 10 CC

New Cass McCombs video: Sleeping Volcanoes

Video: Cass McCombs -- “Sleeping Volcanoes”

Cass McCombs - "Sleeping Volcanoes"

From Tip of the Sphere, out now on Anti-.

Man, what a great song. It’s not easy to write serious music that still has elements of whimsy and surprise, especially when you’re maybe mired in the daily drama overload of life in Americ-a-lago.

The video for “Sleeping Volcanoes” is just as strange and engaging as the song itself. The one take-away I get, and it’s a lesson I should never forget for even a moment, is that we need to get out in the woods more. All of us. As often as possible.

Cass McCombs: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Luther Russell – Medium Cool

We get a lot of press material at GLONO. Like…a LOT. Back in the days before press kits went digital, Jake and I would get hollered at by the postal workers where our PO Box was in Chicago because they’d have to haul out all these overflow bins full of CDs, band photos and one-sheets. I am embarrassed to say we had to just dump a lot of that stuff. [I sold a ton of them on half.com – Jake.] We simply didn’t have the capacity to get through it all. Especially the really cliched press releases.

My least favorite press release trope is where someone tries to describe a band as “If [Well known, well respected artist A] and [Well respected, but somewhat obscure artist B] got together in [Exotic locale, hip town, or fictional setting] and had a love baby!”

I get it, it’s hard to come up with creative ways to describe a sound that will still resonate with the reader–it’s kinda the whole point of this site. But sometimes, I just wish they’d be straight and say, “Yeah, these guys sound like Badfinger.” I guarantee I would listen to that record.

And so I’ll tell it to you straight: This new Luther Russell album sounds like Big Star. It does. And I fucking love it. And why shouldn’t he have a bit of a Big Star thing going on? We all LOVE Big Star and Russell currently collaborates with Jody Stephens in Those Pretty Wrongs.

Continue reading Luther Russell – Medium Cool

New King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard video: Cyboogie

Video: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard -- “Cyboogie”

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Cyboogie (Official Video)

Video by Jason Galea. Single out now on Flightless.

Jake and I often talk about the lack of fun in indie rock. I mean…just look around at all the beard stroking and head nodding going on and you can just tell these folks can’t dance.

Our friends in King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard cannot be accused of taking themselves too seriously. No, these kids have decided to don motorcycle helmets and climb into a synth patch board to crank out nearly seven minutes of old school electro fuzz. It may not be a meat helmet, but Goddamnit, they’re having fun!

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Mekons video: Lawrence of California

Video: Mekons -- “Lawrence of California”

Mekons "Lawrence of California" (Official Music Video)

From Deserted, out on Bloodshot/Sin Records.

If I’m being honest--and really, there’s no other point in doing this--this song and video are boring. That’s hard for me to say because I love that Mekons are still doing their thing, but this just isn’t…my thing.

Mekons: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Strand of Oaks video: Weird Ways

Video: Strand of Oaks -- “Weird Ways”

Strand of Oaks - Weird Ways

From Eraserland, out March 22 on Dead Oceans.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in recording studios over the years. Some professional, some home studios and some just comprised of a 4-track and some SM57 microphones. I’ve spent even more time in rehearsal studios, all of which makes me an amateur but enthusiastic gearhead. I love seeing what gear other bands use and how they mic their kits or where they position their amps in a live room. I’ve spent way too much of my life tracking down studio footage and snap shots of The Beatles recording. It’s kinda my thing.

So the new video from Strand of Oaks is totally my thing. Here we see the band working up the melodic, guitar-crashing sound machine of their latest single in what looks like every recording studio in Portland, Oregon. It made me feel creative and also a little homesick, which is why I listen to music in the first place.

Strand of Oaks: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New American Football video: Silhouettes

Video: American Football -- “Silhouettes”

American Football - Silhouettes [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

Directed by Shawn Brackbill. From American Football, due March 22 on Polyvinyl.

I just recently moved to Michigan from Oregon, where I lived for almost ten years. It’s still my favorite place in the world. It’s a place of incredible natural beauty and Oregonians love to get out in it. Subsequently, people are always getting lost in this beauty. Literally. I can’t tell you how many people get lost in the woods just surrounding the metro-Portland area. It’s a lot.

I don’t know where the video for American Football’s “Silhouettes” was shot, but maybe it was Oregon. It starts with what appears to be our hero asleep in the woods. Time-lapse photography tells me he’s been there a while and when he wakes up, he seems to wander a bit before finding his girl, who maybe is also lost in the woods. I’m glad they found each other, but it makes me wonder how they ended up there in the first place.

In some other shots they don’t seem to be the outdoors-type. They primarily spend their days hanging out in their apartment and then riding elevators and looking pensively from balconies or couches in business parks. Maybe the boredom of their temp jobs drives them to the woods? I can understand that.

At least they have some pleasant soundtrack music to their lives. A bit like Death Cab for Cutie, which also reminds me of the Pacific Northwest. So…win?

American Football: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New American Football video: Silhouettes

New Gary Clark Jr video: This Land

Video: Gary Clark Jr -- “This Land”

Gary Clark Jr - This Land [Official Music Video]

Directed by Savanah Leaf. From This Land, due March 1 on Warner Bros.

They say turbulent times create great art, and Gary Clark Jr. has had enough of this shit. Filmed in Clark’s hometown of Austin, Texas, the video is just as striking and powerful as the chorus to this song that takes steady aim at Trump’s America. This one pulls no punches, either. There aren’t any subtle digs at the Scammer in Chief. No, this is a frontal assault on Trump and the ugliness his presidency has surfaced.

I’ll let the video do the rest of the talking…

Gary Clark Jr: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.