Category Archives: Shorties

New Coathangers video: Perfume

Video: The Coathangers – “Perfume” (Alternate Version)

The Coathangers – Perfume (Alternate Version)

From Nosebleed Weekend, out now on Suicide Squeeze.

Another cool song from Atlanta’s garage girl group, the Coathangers. “Summer stole the perfume from my eye.” I don’t know what that means but it sounds good. Float on!

The Coathangers: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Belle and Sebastian video: We Were Beautiful

Video: Belle and Sebastian – “We Were Beautiful”

Belle and Sebastian – We Were Beautiful

Single available now on Matador.

If you haven’t been paying attention to Belle and Sebastian for a while you might not know that they’ve been messing around with dance music lately. In 2014 they released the disco homage “The Party Line” as a preview single for Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, and it’s retained its position on my playlist of “songs to improve moods on long car rides” (along with “Uptown Funk” and “Get Lucky”) since then.

“We Were Beautiful” is more melancholy than “The Party Line” but it features the Glaswegian approximation of the “Funky Drummer” beat, so that’s pretty cool. It also has pedal steel and a mariachi trumpet! Far out.

Lyrically, it’s sad and nostalgic like all the best Belle and Sebastian songs.

We were beautiful before this went down
We were beautiful before the years came and turned it upside down
We were beautiful before we got wise

Stuart Murdoch creates a perfect little snapshot of a world “where the women are oblique and the boys are paper thin, ragged beards upon their chin.” It shares a similar perspective to the The’s “Jealous of Youth” with the narrator reminiscing of days with “nothing on except our boots” and being “intimate around the waist.”

So what is it that “went down” to ruin everything? Life, man. Wisdom makes you old and haggard. Sorry to spoil it for you, kids, but it’s the truth. Use sunscreen and take care of your teeth. The passing of time and all of its crimes is making me sad again.

Belle and Sebastian: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Belle and Sebastian video: We Were Beautiful

Number One Records: Bodak Yellow

Video: Cardi B – “Bodak Yellow”

Cardi B – Bodak Yellow [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

Poor Tay-Tay. She only spent three weeks at No. 1 with “Look What You Made Me Do” despite her best efforts at gaming the system.

Newcomer Cardi B kicks T-Swizz out of the top spot with “Bodak Yellow,” a profane jam about how tough and rich and hard-working she is. If you’re wondering why this is a big deal, Chris Molanphy breaks down the drama and Kristin Corry explains why it matters.

Essentially, it’s a David vs. Goliath story where David is an “Instagram celeb turned reality-show luminary turned rapper.” 2017, people. Hell of a time to be alive.

But “Bodak Yellow” is pretty fun. My favorite line is “I just arrove in a Rolls / I just came up in a Wraith.” I like arrove as the past tense of to arrive. Like drove is the past tense of to drive. Makes sense. Sounds good. Add it to the OED.

The song is a reference to “No Flockin” by Kodak Black. And in fact Dieuson Octave (Black’s given name) has a songwriter’s credit on “Bodak Yellow.”

Billboard‘s Gary Trust points out that Cardi B is the first solo female rapper to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart since Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” in 1998. She’s also “only the fifth female rapper ever to lead the Hot 100 at all.” That seems crazy.

“Bodak” had 46.4 million U.S. streams and 56,000 downloads in the week ending Sept. 21, and it had 62 million all-format audience radio impressions in the week ending Sept. 24.

Cardi B: twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading Number One Records: Bodak Yellow

New Amy O video: Lavender Night

Video: Amy O – “Lavender Night”

Amy O – Lavender Night (Official Video)

From Elastic, out now on Winspear.

“Lavender Night” starts off with a badass little riff and the harmonies remind me of Bananarama’s cover of “Venus.” Is that nuts? Anyway, it’s a cool song, and if you’re into dreamy vocals and muscular guitars you should check it out.

Amy says: “I wrote it after a little scare I had at the doctor with a mysterious lump. It’s about the constant (and often invisible) line of fragility that we walk upon in life, learning how to follow trails of light throughout difficult circumstances, and resisting the black hole-like vacuum of negative thought patterns.”

Amy O: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify.

New Neil Young video: Powderfinger

Video: Neil Young – “Powderfinger”

Neil Young – Powderfinger (video created by Black Balloon)

From Hitchhiker, out now on Reprise Records.

Hitchhiker is an incredible album, and I’m frankly shocked that Neil Young has let it out into the world. In Shakey, Jimmy McDonough revealed that Neil would sometimes hold back the “best” version of a song because it was “too real.” I could argue that these are the best versions of all these songs, and — recorded in one session in 1976 — this recording is as real as it gets. This is peak Neil.

In his memoir Super Deluxe, Neil wrote:

I spent the night there [Indigo Ranch Studios] with David [Briggs] and recorded nine solo acoustic songs, completing a tape I called Hitchhiker.

It was a complete piece, although I was pretty stony on it, and you can hear it in my performances. Dean Stockwell, my friend and a great actor who I later worked on Human Highway as a co-director, was with us that night, sitting in the room with me as I laid down all the songs in a row, pausing only for weed, beer, or coke. Briggs was in the control room, mixing live on his favorite console.

In a recent radio interview, Neil explains why it wasn’t released at the time:

Back then when we played this record for business folks, the reaction was that it was not a real record, but a collection of demos. I was advised to record the songs with a band, but the Hitchhicker versions are the true originals, recorded earlier than any versions you may have ever heard, and I always knew the original album would find its place and surface. That time is now.

I can’t imagine that there’s anything left in the archives as great as this, but I would love to be surprised. So bring it on, Neil! The time is now!

Neil Young: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Black Lips video: Crystal Night

Video: Black Lips – “Crystal Night”

Black Lips – Crystal Night (official video)

From Satan’s graffiti or God’s art? out now on Vice Records. Produced by Sean Lennon.

Weird. It’s a dopey 50s love song pastiche, and also…it’s set during the event that kicked off the Holocaust, Kristallnacht. In the video, our protagonist gets kicked out of the prom by security (in brown shirts, of course) for spiking the punch. Ultimately, he’s thrown in the trunk of a BMW and driven away. If this is a reference to the historical “Night of Broken Glass” in 1938 when thousands of Jewish businesses, homes, and synagogues were ransacked and destroyed by nazis, it’s pretty tasteless. Tens of thousands of Jews were arrested within 24 hours and the Black Lips are joking about emptying your flask into the punch bowl?

We never said goodbye
Now you’re sent to die
On crystal night

It’d be pretty easy to argue that the Lips are trivializing the horrific pogrom against Jews for the sake of a goofy little ditty. And I’m guessing they might suggest that it’s only rock and roll and we should all lighten up. Part of what I love about this band is their snottiness and general DGAF attitude, so this is not necessarily “off brand” for them. (I suppose they did something similar with Hurricane Katrina ten years ago.) But this is pretty fucking odd.

Black Lips: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Video: Black Lips – “O Katrina!”

Black Lips – Katrina – Vice Records

From Good Bad Not Evil, on Vice Records, 2007.

New Sheryl Crow video: Roller Skate

Video: Sheryl Crow – “Roller Skate”

Sheryl Crow – Roller Skate (Official Music Video)

From Be Myself, out now on Warner Bros.

It’s cool to see Sheryl Crow skating around the da Vinci Horse (by sculptor Nina Akamu) at Meijer Gardens in my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. In fact, all the scenes in the video where Crow is wearing the black “Grateful” tanktop were shot at Meijer Gardens where she played a sold-out show in July.

I haven’t paid much attention to Sheryl Crow for a long time, but this song sounds pretty good. Certainly can’t argue with the message.

I don’t want competition
So put your phone away
Let’s roller skate

Of course if you’re going to sing about roller skating, it’s hard not to think about Melanie’s “Brand New Key.”

Update: Looks like the video has been yanked from YouTube, possibly because it may have used unlicensed footage from “The Funk Phenomena.” Boo.

Update #2: Video’s back online. Must’ve figured out whatever needed to be figured out. 9/28/2017.

Via @pauljendrasiak.

Sheryl Crow: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

* * *

Video: The Dollyrots – “Brand New Key”

The Dollyrots – Brand New Key

New Starcrawler video: Let Her Be

Video: Starcrawler – “Let Her Be”

Starcrawler – Let Her Be

From their debut album on Rough Trade, produced by Ryan Adams, due in 2018.

Hey, what a surprise! Ryan Adams didn’t make this band of delinquent teenagers sound like Corey Hart or Creed! Nope, they sound like the Stooges like they should.

Previously.

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

New Beck video: Up All Night

Video: Beck – “Up All Night”

Beck – Up All Night

From Colors, out October 13 on Capitol Records.

Speaking of Beck, hooray, he’s fun again!

This is the third song released from Colors (after “Dear Life” and “Wow”) and all three have been upbeat. While I love some melancholy Beck — my all-time favorite Beck album is One Foot in the Grave — I think he can pull off the dancey jams more convincingly these days than the Gordon Lightfoot numbers. His voice and personality are more suited to bangers than bummers.

“Up All Night” is a grown man’s plea to get back to the good life, shaking booty, making sweet love all the night. “See the colors and all the kids going home / Night is crawling up to the day” but Beck just wants to “stay up all night with you.” The video’s great, too, with a teenaged superhero/transformer rescuing a boy from the worst (or best?) party ever.

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

Continue reading New Beck video: Up All Night

New Diet Cig video: Harvard

Video: Diet Cig – “Harvard”

Diet Cig – Harvard (Official Music Video)

From the 2015 Over Easy EP on Father/Daughter Records. Available on vinyl for the first time now.

I love this video in which a couple of conspiratorial tweens rebel against their pushy soccer moms who try to make them care about sports. The fact that the sport in question is roller derby makes it even funnier.

And the lyrics are awesome:

You never wanted to date a college girl
Well, I hope you got something out of that deal
Or made your parents proud
I bet she’s not as loud
[…]
Fuck your Ivy League sweater
You know I was better

Alex Luciano told Pigeons and Planes about the origin of the song:

It sounds like he dumped me for a college girl, but I dumped him and then he went on to date a Harvard girl and was trying to be like “Oh, well I’m really cool” about it and I was like “You know what? Fuck you, I bet she’s boring.” He was really boring and I was like “Nobody is surprised that you’re dating a girl at an ivy league school. Isn’t that just great.” I don’t know, it was just me being pissed off that he thought he was doing better.

Perfect. I love this band.

Diet Cig: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.