Video: Björk – “Blissing Me”
From Utopia, out November 24 on One Little Indian.
Bjork sure is a funny little fairy, isn’t she? Look at her flitting around all ethereally while singing about “excess texting” and “sending each other mp3s.” You have to love her. She might look like an anime princess but don’t let that distract you from what is ultimately a beautiful love song about “two music nerds obsessing” and “falling in love to a song.” Dreamy!
Makeup by Hungry.
Bjork: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Continue reading New Bjork video: Blissing Me
Video: YUNGBLUD – “I Love You, Will You Marry Me”
Single out now on Locomotion/Geffen.
I heard this on satellite radio this weekend and of course I found it irresistible. My first inclination, of course, judging solely on the spelling and stylization of the name YUNGBLUD was to change the channel before I even got the chance to hear it. We all have our implicit biases and this is (one of) mine.
Turns out the young blood is indeed a teenager named Dominic Harrison from Northern England (Doncaster in Yorkshire) and the NME has seen “the future” in him. If that’s the case then the future sounds an awful lot like the Arctic Monkeys. Which is fine. The Arctic Monkeys used to be a really fun band before they started taking themselves so seriously.
Yungblud: fb, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: Starcrawler – “I Love LA”
From Starcrawler, out January 19 on Rough Trade.
I hate L.A. I hate what the city does to the people who move there. I hate the type of people who choose to move there. I hate Los Angeles’ clichéd idea of “rock and roll” with all the dudes with tattoos and eyeliner and spiky black hair. You know exactly what I mean. It’s gross.
It’s always been gross. If you think this Harvey Weinstein business is anything new, then you should look into Louis B. Mayer and the shit that was perpetrated on the likes of Shirley Temple and Judy Garland. Read The Day of the Locust by Nathaniel West.
But maybe if you grow up there it’s different. Starcrawler doesn’t look like the cliché. They look like a bunch of delinquent teenagers. The band formed in 2015 when 18-year-old lead vocalist Arrow de Wilde met guitarist Henri Cash at their Echo Park high school. Their debut album was recorded by Ryan Adams on analog tape at his Pax-Am studio in Hollywood.
This video was directed by Arrow’s mom, Autumn de Wilde.
Starcrawler: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: Escape-ism – “Walking in the Dark”
From Introduction to Escape-ism, out now on Merge.
Escape-ism is Ian Svenonius. I first heard him way back in 1999 when downloading songs from the Internet was brand new and Svenonius had a band called the Make Up. I probably read something about them in a Greil Marcus column on Salon and then navigated over to listen.com to see if they had any free MP3s available. A couple of those songs ended up on mix discs I made for pals over the next couple of years. That’s how it worked back then, bubba.
Fast forward to the summer of 2016 when I went to see the Black Lips at a local club and an unknown (to me) band called Chain + the Gang opened up for them. The singer was none other than Ian Svenonius and they blew me away with their minimalist, soulful punk rock.
And now Svenonius has a new project, Escape-ism, and a new album on Merge. I’m sure in his mind there are major differences between all his bands, but I dunno. The same raw coolness that caught my attention almost 20 years ago is still in effect today.
Escape-ism: bandcamp, fb, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: Dream Wife – “Let’s Make Out”
From Dream Wife, out January 26 on Lucky Number.
Meet me by the car
Cause it’s not parked very far
We’re spending time
And we’re wasting our youth
I like Rakel Mjöll’s phrasing, how she crams a bunch of words into the end of each line in the verse. And the video is way more fun than any formal dance I ever attended. Then again, my prom was held in an era when teenagers were taught that sex could kill you and it was a girl’s responsibility to fend off a boy’s natural impulses. Seems like kids are having a better time of it these days.
London-based and British/Icelandic-born Dream Wife explains the video: “Let’s Make Out is a lighthearted celebration of sexuality. Women are and have a right to be sexual beings. The video is silly, hedonistic and really fun. There is no shame in sexuality, there is no shame in fun. But remember; consent is key.”
Dream Wife: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: Werewolf Diskdrive – “Beepers & Beepers”
From Werewolf Diskdrive, out now on Werewolf Diskdrive.
This is stupid but it’s good. There’s apparently a backstory about finding a hard drive in dumpster, but who cares? Just listen. If you dug Beck’s Mellow Gold-era b-sides, you’ll appreciate “Beepers & Beepers.”
Werewolf Diskdrive is the new project from Say Hi (To Your Mom)’s Eric Elbogen. The album has “just been released worldwide digitally (and on hand-burned artisanal compact disc).” Reminds me a bit — not musically — of our experience of receiving Deepgrave min og dog’s CD-R in the old P.O. box back in 2003. I hope more bands produce “hand-burned artisanal compact discs.” Way cooler than the godforsaken cassette revival.
Werewolf Diskdrive: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: Pussy Riot – “Police State”
From the Nice Life Winter ’18 playlist, out December 8 on Nice Life.
The always subtle Pussy Riot is back with another video denouncing the police state. It’s a cute pop song with a catchy chorus and sarcastic lyrics. Chloe Sevigny plays a law-enforcement officer in the video and forces children to watch videos of Trump and Putin while smashing their toys with her riot control baton.
No problems in paradise, we locked them up
We all have to sacrifice, it won’t be long
Shut the borders, perfect order, sons and daughters
Drink the Kool Aid, it’s the new way, do what I say
In case you miss the point, Pussy Riot released a big statement (below).
Pussy Riot: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Continue reading New Pussy Riot video: Police State
Video: Bonnie Prince Billy – “Treasure Map”
From the Benefit Record for the Southern Poverty Law Center, available now.
Will Oldham is a creepy mother fucker. I won’t at all be surprised to find out that he’s a time traveling folky/murderer who dips in and out of various decades singing about who knows what but creeping us all out just the same. And that’s why I love him: He confuses me to no end. He’s like a living David Lynch film.
In “Treasure Map” we hear Oldham’s voice over video of some woman wandering around a mountain forest, but I don’t know why. It’s probably because I am not as smart as I was when I was younger and enjoyed Lynch. I still enjoy Bonnie Prince Billy even if I have no idea why.
I’m so confused.
Bonnie Prince Billy: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: Bully – “Feel The Same”
From Losing, out now on Sub Pop.
Remember what I was saying about Nirvana-influenced new bands that don’t suck? Well, here’s another one, also on Sub Pop.
Sittin’ in the basement
Saw you in my sleep last night
Wish you were home
In just two minutes Bully gets their point across. No matter what they do, they feel the same.
The video was directed by Lazy Mom, who make freaky food-centric photography and animation. The album, Losing, was engineered and mixed by lead-singer Alicia Bognanno at Electrical Audio in Chicago.
Bully: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: MGMT – “Little Dark Age”
From Little Dark Age, due 2018 on Columbia Records.
One of the reasons I love MGMT is because their music makes me feel young. That’s what good pop music does, right? It makes you tap into those long buried feelings of excitement and anticipation–for what, you don’t even know–and yes, even anxiety.
When I was 14 I had my first job at a hot dog joint in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I was a busboy and dishwasher and had to have a special work permit signed by my parents to work there before I was 15. But we are midwestern and a good work ethic is instilled young so getting the signature was no problem. I spent early Saturdays and Sundays delivering scalding hot silverware out to the bins, fresh from the dishwasher I also ran. I’d skip off to the freezer on occasion to steal pickles and sliced turkey prepped for the lunch crowd. I’d also steal looks at the waitresses who were maybe a year or two older than me.
I did this all with a soundtrack blasting through my Walkman made up of mixtapes from friends. The song that most represents this time for me is “Bring on the Dancing Horses” by Echo and the Bunnymen. It was the kind of pop song that evokes those feelings described above. It made me a little sad, but also a bit excited that there were melodies out there that could confuse and confound in the best ways.
This MGMT video reminds me of Echo and the Bunnymen.
MGMT: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.