Category Archives: Shorties

New Skating Polly video: Hollywood Factory

Video: Skating Polly – “Hollywood Factory”

Skating Polly – Hollywood Factory (Official Video)

Directed by Scott Stuckey. From The Make It All Show, due May 4 on El Camino.

Check out the kids in Skating Polly living out their success fantasies.

We’re bursting at the seams
Just think if we get lucky
And things are looking pretty great
Walking backwards through Hollywood factory

Skating Polly is a family band from Oklahoma made up of step-sisters Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse and brother/drummer Kurtis Mayo.

Kelli Mayo says, “We first wrote ‘Hollywood Factory’ after I filmed a pilot for a TV show and the possibility of it getting picked up was all I could think about for a while. The lyrics were meant to poke fun at the idea of going to Hollywood and selling out, or at least trying to sell out if Hollywood will have you. Anyway, it didn’t get picked up and we kinda swept the song under the rug with it, but right before we went in to record the album, we decided to work on it again, this time with Kurtis on board as our third member. We made the lyrics darker at some points and just more sarcastic overall. Despite the sarcasm, it’s probably the most poppy song on the record and the most cheerful one for sure!”

It’s super catchy.

Skating Polly: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Superchunk video: Erasure

Video: Superchunk – “Erasure”

Superchunk – Erasure (Official Music Video)

Directed by Whitey McConnaughy. From What a Time to Be Alive, out now on Merge Records.

“Erasure” features backing vocals from Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield and The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt, and it’s another punch in the gut from Superchunk.

Hate so graceless and so cavalier
We don’t just disappear
Shifting shapes you’re just an auctioneer
But we’re still here

Mac McCaughan says: “The song ‘Erasure’ is about the desire and attempt, on the part of the old white men currently running this country, to erase the experience, history, and existence of entire groups of people who don’t look or think like them. They want a straight white America which does not and has never existed, but they hope to make it so. When director Whitey McConnaughy heard the song and started thinking about video ideas, he heard another angle, which is also a theme of our album: Given today’s anxiety-inducing, creeping authoritarianism, how do we get through each day when we feel like we’re losing our minds?”

For real. How do we get through each day? The last couple of years have been absolutely brutal to anybody who pays attention and gives a shit. I’m not sure Superchunk has an answer, but listening to loud, defiant music seems to help for a little while…

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

New Snail Mail video: Heat Wave

Video: Snail Mail – “Heat Wave”

Snail Mail – "Heat Wave" (Official Video)

Directed by Brandon Herman. From Lush, out June 8 on Matador.

Lindsey Jordan is a teenager from the suburbs of Baltimore who took guitar lessons from Mary Timony. And now she’s signed to Matador.

“Heat Wave” is my favorite kind of breakup song. The kind where the narrator bitterly wishes happiness on the person who broke her heart.

And I hope whoever it is
Holds their breath around you
Cause I know I did

Jordan is a badass guitar player and songwriter and — if this video can be taken as evidence — an equally badass hockey player as well. She says, “I hadn’t actually been on skates since I quit the high school team junior year, so immediately jumping into shooting this was equal parts difficult and super fun.” That’s awesome. Of course, her junior year was only a couple years ago; she graduated from high school in 2017. With a 4.1 GPA!

Snail Mail: bandcamp, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Snail Mail video: Heat Wave

New Lower Leisure Class video: The Great American Witch Hunt

Video: The Lower Leisure Class – “The Great American Witch Hunt”

The Great American Witch Hunt

Single out now on Leppotone.

The Lower Leisure Class is a brand new band from Kalamazoo, Michigan. In fact, they are a supergroup of superstars from the fabled Leppotone roster of recording artists: Ron Casebeer and Karl Knack from the Sinatras, Chris Simons from King Tammy, and Nathan McLaughlin, Mark Peeters, and John Kasdorf from the Sleestacks.

Casebeer tells me they just finished mixing their album, which will be released digitally and on vinyl this summer, but “The Great American Witch Hunt” will not be on it. This is a one-off single. The album features great songs and “tons of vocal harmonies.” I can’t wait to hear it.

I’ve known these guys for more than half my life. Many of the highlights of my college years were soundtracked by their earlier bands. I spent a lot of sweaty nights at Club Soda with Xes on the back of my hands, having my mind blown by how good they are. I haven’t had the chance to see the Lower Leisure Class live yet, but I have no doubt that they’re still capable of blowing minds.

Together we’ll remember
just who we used to be.
History has made up her mind

The Lower Leisure Class: web, twitter, fb, bandcamp.

Continue reading New Lower Leisure Class video: The Great American Witch Hunt

50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 9

Rolling Stone issue #9 had a cover date of April 27, 1968. 24 pages. 35 cents.

Features: “Beatles Battle the Blue Meanies” (a synopsis of the Yellow Submarine plot, no byline); “Clapton Busted!” (the March 20 arrest of Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Richie Furay, and Jim Messina on marijuana charges in Topanga Canyon, no byline); and a big article about the workers’ strike at radio stations KMPX and KPPC written by Jerrold Greenberg and a new guy named Ben Fong-Torres.

More: “Tragedy Comes to Frank Zappa: ‘They Called Us Entertainment'” by Sue Clark; a Blood, Sweat & Tears profile by Jann Wenner; a poem by M.G. Stephens (“softer the breasts small & touchable”); a piece about an impostor Moby Grape put together by a former manager (“A Tale of Two Grapes,” no byline); the second part of Wenner’s Mike Bloomfield interview; and a profile of Traffic by Al Kooper.

One of my favorite things about reading these old issues is when they get the facts wrong. The writers were probably misled by publicists or they misinterpreted something. For example, in the Yellow Submarine piece, the uncredited author claimed that the Beatles “have lent their own voices for the characters.” They didn’t. The article also claims that “You Know My Name, Look Up the Number” was one of the four new songs written for the film. That song wouldn’t be finished for another year. Regardless, it’s fun to imagine being a Beatle fan reading this and wondering about this unreleased song for two whole years before eventually hearing it on the b-side of “Let It Be.”

Columns: Jon Landau on The Notorious Byrd Brothers; Ralph Gleason gave some advice to bands on how to avoid getting ripped off by your manager and record label; Thomas Albright on the Beat Generation; Wenner used his “John J. Rock” gossip column to make bitchy comments about Cheetah magazine and the band Blue Cheer.

Continue reading 50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 9

New Courtney Barnett video: City Looks Pretty

Video: Courtney Barnett – “City Looks Pretty”

Courtney Barnett – City Looks Pretty

From Tell Me How You Really Feel, out on May 18 on Milk, Marathon Artists and Mom+Pop.

Courtney Barnett is a treasure. “City Looks Pretty” is the third single from her upcoming album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, and this one is as great as the previous two.

The city looks pretty when you been indoors
For 23 days I’ve ignored all your phone calls.
Everyone’s waiting when you get back home
They don’t know where you been, why you gone so long.

Kim Deal has a funny quote about Barnett in the recent Mojo magazine: “I’m suspicious of her. She seems so casual and relaxed, but she gets so much done and she’s always doing something. There’s no way she can be so relaxed, right? […] I feel like there’s an element of obsessive-compulsive disorder to her lyrics that is really compelling to me.”

Courtney Barnett: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Lou Barlow video: Love Intervene

Video: Lou Barlow – “Love Intervene”

Lou Barlow – Love Intervene (Official Video)

From the Love Intervene b/w Don’t Like Changes 7-inch, out now on Joyful Noise.

Many, many years ago Johnny Loftus made me a Sebadoh mix because — for whatever reason — I had totally skipped them over at the time. I had always liked Lou Barlow’s songs on the Dinosaur Jr. albums, but I just never followed the thread. Listening to Johnny’s mix I realized what I’d been missing. Lou Barlow is a really good songwriter! And Jason Loewenstein is good too! (Plus he’s a Jason who goes by “Jake” which is exotic and cool.)

Anyway, that’s how I got into Lou Barlow’s stuff. And now he’s a got a new song. And because he’s old school punk rock, he’s releasing it as a seven-inch like a decent human being.

Lou Barlow: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Lou Barlow video: Love Intervene

Turn the Beat Around

Although disco has had an ignominious departure from the mainstream in the U.S., in other parts of the world, where people still like to dance and like to drive really small cars, disco (although the music is more like EDM than the Bee Gees) still exits.

At the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany, an exhibition sponsored by smart, the small car brand of Mercedes, is currently running: “Night Fever. Designing Club Culture 1960—Today.”

It is curated by designer Konstantin Grcic. Grcic was given the opportunity to transform a smart EQ fortwo into what’s described as the “smart mobile disco.”

The small car has been retrofitted so that there is a lifting platform that accommodates a DJ booth and the requisite equipment. In order to accommodate this it was necessary to basically gut the interior in order to provide space for lifting equipment.

In addition to which, there is a fog machine located behind the radiator grille (think about the irony of this: many cars have fog lights in that vicinity so as to be able to see through the fog; this car produces it). There are LED headlamps and a stroboscope to provide the necessary dance-floor lighting. The wheels and the underbody are backlighted to add a bit more color to the undertaking.

As the head of smart brand, Dr. Annette Winkler, explained, “The smart mobile disco is a great symbol of the smart brand’s links with club culture—a scene that draws people together, forges bonds and brings joy. The many different facets of club culture all embrace a departure from given norms, a different way of looking at things and the courage to try out something new. This is what links the club culture with smart. Visionary thinking and a passion to keep questioning the status quo encapsulate smart’s aims and its essential attitude.”

Talk like that makes me want to (1) dance and (2) buy a smart.

Unfortunately, or not, the smart mobile disco is a one-off, so you won’t find that trim package at your local smart dealer.

Continue reading Turn the Beat Around

New Courtney Marie Andrews video: Took You Up

Video: Courtney Marie Andrews – “Took You Up”

Courtney Marie Andrews – Took You Up

From May Your Kindness Remain, out now on Fat Possum.

Is it the journey or the destination?
Is this love or is this addiction?
Circumstances are meant to be
What does that say about you and me?

Courtney Marie Andrews has a way of setting up a story, doesn’t she? Who is this couple? We immediately want to know more.

Andrews talked to the Independent about writing “Took You Up.”

Yeah there’s definitely vignettes of personal experiences – there are little snippets of imagery throughout the whole song. I think I’ve definitely experienced pieces of that especially the frozen dinners and laundry piles line. I’ve lived a lot with either people letting me stay on their couches and I’ve also rented hotels and lived on the road for a few years now – not really living this grand lifestyle but also trying to make ends meet. There’s also bits of depression in those lines but I think the hope and the light is that you have somebody you love surrounding that theme. It’s a song where you feel like the only thing you have is that person – everything else is suffering: your pocketbook, where you live…there’s nothing except for that person. But sometimes that person is sad and love is sad as well.

There’s a lot of sadness on May Your Kindness Remain. But sometimes sad songs just make you feel better.

Courtney Marie Andrews: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Hear Prince’s original recording of “Nothing Compares 2 U”

When I was in high school I had a wrestling coach who was famous for saying, “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.” Which is to say, repeated behavior in itself doesn’t make for improvement. You must have repeated excellent execution to really make any improvement. It was that execution burrowing into your muscle memory that allowed you to be creative on the mat and surprise your opponent.

Prince – Nothing Compares 2 U [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Watching these clips from Prince’s rehearsals in the summer of 1984, overdubbed with his original recording of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” remind is all that in addition to having truly magical talent, Prince worked hard as fuck. Every spin and jump and mic-play he brought with spontaneity to his live show was meticulously practiced–in high heels no less! I could watch this clip on repeat every day for the rest of my life and start a new religion.

Via The Current.

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