Video: Brendan Benson -- “Dear Life”
Directed by Brad Holland. From Dear Life, out now on Third Man.
Brendan Benson’s got a lot of cool gear in his home studio in Nashville. Which is a good thing during stay-at-home orders, right? Lots of fun toys to keep you busy.
The last time we checked in on Benson he was telling that it was good to be alive. And now he’s sharing a couple verses about people who are barely hanging on.
Some days, it comes over me
And I can barely breathe
All this fury pressing down on me
I don’t ever want to leave
It’s got me hanging on
To dear life
“There’s something about this record,” Benson says. “A friend of mine called it ‘life-affirming.’ I thought it was a joke at first but then realized, well, it’s about life and death for sure. I don’t know if that’s positive or optimistic or whatever, but that’s what’s going on with me.”
Brendan Benson: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: Erasure -- “Hey Now (Think I Got A Feeling)”
From The Neon, out August 21 on Mute.
Sometimes you need to take a break from the grind of the 24-hour bad news cycle and never-ending doomscrolling, and put everything bad out of your mind for a few minutes and dance. Or, if you aren’t able to physically get up and shake what the lord gave you, at least stop and listen to some dance music. And nobody makes dance music quite like Andy Bell and Vince Clarke who have been cranking out undeniable jams for 35 years.
Walk through the city singin’ hallelujah
Wish for a lover’s touch
Wore out the mirror, but it can see right through me
I gotta get the look
I’ll admit I haven’t followed their career too closely after their first twenty hits, but I did get the chance to see them live a couple years ago, and it was one of the most fun shows I’ve ever been to. So great. The next time they tour I may drop everything and follow them around like the Grateful Dead.
And now they’re back with a new album just when we need it most.
Erasure: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: Public Enemy -- “State Of The Union (STFU)”
Directed by David C. Snyder. From the forthcoming Nothing Is Quick in the Desert. Single out now.
Happy Juneteenth. And what better way to celebrate than a new Public Enemy song? Chuck and Flav, back together again, express their dissatisfaction with our orange fuhrer.
Vote this joke out or die tryin’
Many presidented, Nazi gestapo
It’s not what you think it’s what you follow
Run for them jewels, drink from that bottle
Another four years gonna gut y’all hollow
Yeah, tell it like it is!
And you can get a free download from PE’s website in exchange for your email address.
Public Enemy: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: Bully -- “Where To Start”
Directed by Alan Del Rio Ortiz and Alicia Bognanno. From Sugaregg, due August 21 on Sub Pop.
Alicia Bognanno isn’t having any of your shit.
Running your face through ice cold water
Quick sugar rush, blood in the shower
I read your mind through the flash in your eyes
There’s nowhere to go, out of reasons to try
The song has an unexpected origin story.
“I was listening to ‘Tubthumping’ by Chumbawamba and picking apart the melodic structure and sort of trying to mimic that,” Alicia Bognanno told Rolling Stone. “I’m not even joking; it still makes me laugh to think about. But let’s be real, that is undeniably a solid song.”
Is it though? Really?
Bognanno says her song “addresses the frustration that comes along with love having the ability to fully control your mood and mental state for better or worse. It was therapeutic to funnel some lightheartedness into what can be an otherwise draining state of mind.”
One thing we can say for sure is that you are never gonna keep her down.
Bully: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Continue reading New Bully: Where To Start
Video: Blitzen Trapper -- “Masonic Temple Microdose #1”
From Holy Smokes Future Jokes, due September 11, 2020 on Yep Roc.
“Let’s do the world a favor, yeah, let’s all go extinct.”
Can’t argue with that! In the meantime, though, we’re all going to have to keep on keeping on and there’s no better soundtrack to that the choogling groove of Blitzen Trapper.
Eric Earley says, “This song is about American apathy and the nihilism that emerges from the bogus idea that complete personal freedom should be man’s ultimate goal, when in fact man’s ultimate goal should be ecological balance, all things follow from this. Comedy and horror combine on this track, teenagers dropping acid in a masonic temple at the end of the empire, the American consumptive death-drive laid bare as a desire for extinction.”
Whatever you say, homie.
Blitzen Trapper: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Continue reading New Blitzen Trapper: Masonic Temple Microdose #1
Video: Margo Price -- “Letting Me Down”
Directed by Kimberly Stuckwisch. From That’s How Rumors Get Started, out July 10 on Loma Vista.
“Everybody’s lonely / Aw babe, just look around.”
That’s true. Look around. Why else would a bunch of otherwise sane people risk their health to go out to a bar and drink with people whose very breath might contain invisible droplets of a virus for which there is still no known treatment? It’s tough out there.
The film crew on this video, though, knows a thing or two about resposnsibility:
“We bought a cheap ’80s travel trailer with a bathroom, kitchen, and a propane powered refrigerator, so we wouldn’t have to go inside anywhere for food or bathrooms. We were able to abide by the 6-feet social distance CDC recommendation as we set up a remote head for the camera that we operated from a closet outside of the room. We wore masks the entire time and Margo supplied us with multiple bottles of hand sanitizer and spiked seltzers. We parked our RV in her driveway and worked solely out of there and the room we were filming in. We wanted to speak to what was going on at that moment, to a world that was/is shut down, to the fear we all feel, and to the hope of breaking free.”
Margo Price: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: The Rellies -- “Isabella Is Annoying”
Limited edition 7″ out July 24 on Damaged Goods.
The Rellies are a new band from Australia, featuring brothers Ryan (13, guitar) and Riley (11, bass) as well as Jarlath (11, drums) and Aiden (12, guitar). This is their debut single.
It’s about Isabella, says Riley. Isabella, apparently, is annoying. “A new girl came to our school. Eventually she starts bullying me and then I get her back in the form of a song.” And that’s how it’s done, kids.
It makes sense that this is coming out on Damaged Goods, home of Billy Childish, Holly Golightly, and lots of other snotty punks.
Hopefully, Isabella takes this song to heart and tries to be less annoying.
The Rellies: web.
Video: Bob Mould -- “American Crisis”
From Blue Hearts, out September 25 on Merge.
Holy shit, Bob Mould’s not fucking around. Nobody like an old punk to articulate existential rage!
Welcome back to American Crisis
No telling what the price is
Wake up every day to see a nation in flames
We click and we tweet and we spread these tales of blame
“‘American Crisis’ is a tale of two times,” says Mould. “Past Time and Present Time. The parallels between 1984 and 2020 are a bit scary for me: telegenic, charismatic leaders, praised and propped up by extreme Evangelicals, either ignoring an epidemic (HIV/AIDS) or being outright deceitful about a pandemic (COVID-19).” Telegenic? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. Reagan, maybe. But our current fuhrer is about as physically repulsive as a human can be.
“These fuckers tried to kill me once. They didn’t do it. They scared me. I didn’t do enough. Guess what? I’m back, and we’re back here again. And I’m not going to sit quietly this time and worry about alienating anyone.” Sock it to ’em, Mould!
Drummer Jon Wurster adds, “We cranked this out a couple months ago when everything was only slightly less fucked up. Proceeds go to @blackvisionscollective and @outfrontmn.”
This is exactly what we need right now. More, please!
Bob Mould: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: Weyes Blood -- “Wild Time”
Directed by Natalie Mering. From Titanic Rising, out now on Sub Pop.
“It’s a wild time to be alive.” You can’t argue with that!
The new video features Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering and a few of her friends frolicking naked in the woods and then getting freaky with some dayglo paint under a blacklight.
Mering says the video “was shot on 16mm pre-Pandemic, then edited together during isolation. Felt like the right time to let this video out into the world, seeing as we’re all getting saddled down by some pretty grim realities. This song is about yearning for wildness and Mother Nature in a time of chaos. It’s for sensitive people who worry about the fate of humanity and feel powerless to do anything about it.”
The song has a very strong Seventies Creepout vibe. Remember when Karen and Richard Carpenter ate a bunch of acid and spent a week locked up in the studio with Scott Walker? Yeah, me neither. But if that happened I bet the results would sound a lot like “Wild Time.”
Weyes Blood: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Continue reading New Weyes Blood video: Wild Time
Video: Courtney Marie Andrews -- “It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault”
Directed by V Haddad. From Old Flowers, due July 24 on Fat Possum.
This is the happiest sounding Courtney Marie Andrews song to date. The video is uplifting as well. The lyrics, on the other hand, are as sad as usual.
Feels like I’ve gone crazy
Like the women in my family usually do
We can’t seem to keep our heads on
Long enough to make it through
Hang in there, Courtney Marie Andrews! You can make it.
Courtney Marie Andrews: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.