New Father John Misty video: Date Night

Video: Father John Misty – “Date Night”

Father John Misty – "Date Night" [Official Music Video]

Directed by Chad VanGaalen. From God’s Favorite Customer, out now on Sub Pop.

This video from Strand of Oaks freaked me the fuck out when we posted it last year. In the best possible way, of course. But freaky just the same. To say animator Chad VanGaalen has a way with imagery is to say it’s crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide, unless you put one grunch (but the eggplant) over there.

“Date Night” is my favorite track off of Father John Misty’s new album, God’s Favorite Customer. It’s two and a half minutes of free association mumbo jumbo that turns me on. The accompanying video is just as kooky and two times more colorful. There’s a cat licking its butthole.

I love the acoustic guitar tone and the “woo hoos” that make it sound as if this were done in three takes, max. It’s not over-thought. It’s not slick. But it’s such a great little stew of the things I love about FJM that it gives me hope that he hasn’t completely lost his humor. Or his mojo.

Father John Misty: web, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Soccer Mommy video: Scorpio Rising

Video: Soccer Mommy – “Scorpio Rising”

Soccer Mommy – Scorpio Rising

Directed by Jonny Look. From Clean, out now on Fat Possum.

Sophie Allison told Consequence of Sound that “Scorpio Rising” is “the climax of the record. It’s this huge moment where I realize that while I’ve been trying to be cool and detached, I’ve become attached — and now I’m about to lose everything because I’m pretending to be something I’m not.”

Now you want to start
With someone not so far
Oh she’s bubbly and sweet like a Coca-Cola
I watch from my drink as you look her over

I like the way this song starts out quiet and atmospheric for the first verse before she realizes that her relationship has fallen apart. And then it gets more and more loud and dissonant as she sees what she’s lost.

Soccer Mommy: bandcamp, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Jack White video: Corporation

Video: Jack White – “Corporation”

Jack White – Corporation (Official Video)

Directed by Jodeb. From Boarding House Reach, out now on Third Man.

We all know Jack White is from Detroit. It’s an elemental part of his whole persona and that city’s musical past is a crucial element to influencing his music. That influence has largely focused on a sliver of Detroit’s musical heritage: the screaming power of garage rock and proto-punk. Yes, The Stooges and The MC5 loom large in White’s record collection.

What’s always amazed me though is the fact that Iggy and Sonic Smith and the Asheton brothers and Rob Tyner were bellying up to the same bars and scuffing up the same stages as George Clinton and Fuzzy Haskins and Eddie Hazel around the same time. Detroit’s racial strife in the streets of the late 60s and early 70s is much better documented than what was going on inside The Grande Ballroom, and that’s too bad. Imagine what it was like to see such a diverse set of musical influencers emerging at the same time from different directions? Here we have the prime ingredients of Punk and Hip Hop percolating in the midwest as the politics of unrest were driving everyone mad. And did I mention Motown or Bob Seger?

And so it’s great to hear Jack White tapping into some of the funkier influences in “The Corporation.” I don’t claim to know what is going on in this video beyond White acknowledging that he has multiple facets to his personality, and that extends to his music. I hope he settles into this character for a bit and gets the kids to dance.

Jack White: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Bully video: Guess There

Video: Bully – “Guess There”

Bully – Guess There [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Directed by Aleia Murawski and Samuel Copeland. From Losing, out now on Sub Pop.

On the weekends
I’ve been taking it easy
No, I swear it’s my choice

“Guess There” is a grungy breakup song, but the video is about a happy little snail going about its business, shooting some hoops, playing with its hamster, and enjoying some videogames. That is, at least until the snail starts imagining what life would be like with a snail partner and snail baby.

Well, I guess there could be something I’m missing

And after that the snail is just sad and lonely and depressed. No happy ending for you, bubba.

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

Continue reading New Bully video: Guess There

New Del the Funky Homosapien video: Help

Video: Del + Amp Live – “Help” (ft. Adult Karate)

Del + Amp Live "Help" feat. Adult Karate

Directed by Anthony Cole. From Gate 13, out now on IOT Records.

Del the Funky Homosapien was hurt pretty bad earlier this month when he fell off the stage while performing with the Gorillaz in Denmark. He posted a message to Twitter on July 12 saying he was getting better and then released a video for the second single from Gate 13, his collaboration with producer Amp Live.

“Help” features a chorus sung by Adult Karate and opera vocals by Andrea Blunt.

“More than any other song on the album, Help was the song that we wanted to make sure had the biggest impact in terms of message. So its visual interpretation was important. The Help video represents the struggle that many people are having right now with differentiating between an act and reality. A young Del in 2018 quickly grows into his present self and we are seeing the journey he has to take in discovering who he is. The final destination is his big awakening.”

And yet the video omits the second verse of the song. What’s up with that? The second verse is good as the first with the intricate and unconventional rhyming that Del is known for.

They get the foot in the door, I’ma slam it shut
Tryin’ to break their ankle, thank you, don’t try to cut
You stay in line, you wait in line
Take a number, be patient, don’t blame the line
Don’t blame the game, ain’t nothin’ wrong with the game

That’s right, people. The rules have changed in 2018: Don’t hate the game, anymore. Hate the player.

And watch out for the edge of the stage! That first step is a doozy.

Del + Amp Live: web.

Del the Funky Homosapien: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Amp Live: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Del the Funky Homosapien video: Help

New Starcrawler video: Chicken Woman

Video: Starcrawler – “Chicken Woman”

Starcrawler – Chicken Woman

Directed by Gilbert Trejo. From Starcrawler, out now on Rough Trade Records.

The kids in Starcrawler still seem like a bunch of delinquent teenagers, and therein lies their charm. Who knows what they’re like in real life, but they clearly get a kick out of dabbling in the macabre.

Arrow de Wilde told Vulture that “Chicken Woman” is about “a Chinatown fixture who pushes her poultry in a shopping cart to the nearby slaughterhouse.”

The video, however, is a fun little homage to Charles Manson and how to have a good time on a desert ranch. Tar, feathers, chains, cages, dolls, and knives all play important roles.

Be careful out there when you’re picking up hitchhikers, gang!

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

The Importance of Artifact

The reports of the existence of the “last” Blockbuster store in Bend, Oregon, is treated as though here is something that is completely quaint and old-timey: “Yes, son, way back when we used to go to a store and rent movies on discs. And sometimes we actually bought them!”

And on the subject of buying discs, while Best Buy, which had been the #1 music retailer, had announced that it was going to stop selling CDs, it has modified that. It will continue to but with a greatly minimized selection; there will probably be more selection of Keurig coffees.

In this era of downloading and streaming, the notion of buying physical artifacts like discs is becoming increasingly unthinkable.

While vinyl discs are making something of a comeback, you rarely hear any arguments about the fidelity of the sound as being a reason for this occurrence. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that many of the purchasers of vinyl probably have some crappy Crosley record player upon which the latest novelty is played. Sure, there are audiophiles who have never given up the grooves, but they’re becoming like philatelists in the age of email, which has then given way to texting.

But a question that seems to go unasked is who benefits from this? And I would argue that it is the purveyors of the digitally based music (or video) products.

Continue reading The Importance of Artifact

New Gogol Bordello video: Seekers and Finders (ft. Regina Spektor)

Video: Gogol Bordello (Feat. Regina Spektor) – Seekers & Finders

Gogol Bordello (Feat. Regina Spektor) – Seekers & Finders – Official Video

Directed by Nate Pommer. From Seekers & Finders, out now on Cooking Vinyl.

Eugene Hütz and Regina Spektor are two of the most charismatic performers working today. If you’ve seen them in concert you know you can’t take your eyes off them. And now they’ve made a video for the song they recorded together.

Director Nate Pommer says, “The live footage was shot at The Fonda Theater on March 5th, 2018; an especially epic bonanza-tronic show featuring the transcendent Regina Spektor. Footage of the performance was combined with a series of curated images related to Alchemy, Hermeticism, and esoteric knowledge. The message is open to interpretation, but we can agree that understanding ‘The Ultimate Truth’ requires a set of tools more powerful than reason or intellect.”

I don’t know anything about the ultimate truth, but I know I would’ve like to have been at the Fonda Theater on March 5!

Gogol Bordello: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Regina Spektor: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

When KISS rocked Cadillac, Michigan

Every single thing about this article from FOTO magazine is amazing: “When KISS Rocked Cadillac – KISS was on the cusp of superstardom when a small, conservative town in northern Michigan invited the band to visit. The rest is rock history.”

It sounds like a Hollywood screenwriter’s fantasy: a small-town high-school football team turns around a losing season, inspired by the music of wildly theatrical rock and rollers from New York. The team contacts the group with an unlikely ask: Would they consider visiting, so the town can say thanks? The band, on the cusp of superstardom, agrees — resulting in one of the most improbable, wholesome, heartwarming stories in rock history. But this was no movie: the year was 1975; the town was Cadillac, Michigan; and the band was KISS. Here, after unearthing never-seen photos from the event, FOTO celebrates an unrepeatable pop-culture moment, and speaks with a man who helped make it happen.

Cadillac is a small town (population: 10,000) in the middle of rural northern Michigan. As a kid we would drive through it on our way “up north” to nicer places like Petoskey or Mackinac island. The expressway ended right before you got to Cadillac so we’d often stop at the Dairy Queen or the Big Boy. We’d gawk at the sign for a place called Stopless Topless. But in 2001 MDOT extended the expressway all the way up to Manton and since then there hasn’t been any reason to stop in Cadillac.

But back in 1974 Cadillac High’s assistant football coach played the team KISS music in the locker room to inspire the team. They went on to have a winning season and the coach wrote to KISS to thank them. So the next year when KISS was on their Alive! Tour they were invited to participate in the homecoming parade and receive the key to the city.

This isn’t a new story. And there was a lot of local press around it in 2015 for the 40th anniversary. But FOTO has found a trove of previously unpublished photos taken by Irish music journalist Fin Costello, and they’re unbelievably awesome. See for yourself.

And then check out some of the previous coverage and photos, because it’s all great.

“When KISS Visited Cadillac High School in 1975” by Lou Blouin (Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine, October 2015).

“Gene Simmons on 1975 Cadillac High School concert and parade: ‘It was almost as if we landed on Planet KISS'” by John Gonzalez (MLive, September 29, 2015) with an equally great gallery of 23 photos that were given to Coach Neff by KISS in 1975 with permission to use with no restrictions.

“Cadillac’s connection with Kiss endures 40 years later” by John Hogan (Detroit Free Press, October 8, 2015).

“KISS does a high school Homecoming” by Danny Arruda (ESPN, March 1, 2010) with a bunch of great photos, including some in color.

Jim Neff’s Cadillac KISStory

Cadillac KISStory Tour!

And check out a great video, below, featuring archival footage from 1975 as well as some interviews from 2010 with Gene, Paul, the coach, a couple football players, and the head cheerleader, who has a story that shouldn’t surprise anybody.

Continue reading When KISS rocked Cadillac, Michigan

50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 14

Rolling Stone issue #14 had a cover date of July 20, 1968. 24 pages. 35 cents. Cover photo of Frank Zappa by Barry Wolman.

Features: The Rolling Stone Interview with Frank Zappa by Jerry Hopkins; “Dionne Warwick Makes New Plans: Movie and a Gospel Album” by Sue C. Clark; “A Friendly Tribute for Ramblin’ [Jack Elliott] Charles Adnopoz” by Barry Gifford; “Rock Musicals: The Hippies Are from Time Magazine” by Tom Phillips; Richie Havens by Steve Glazier.

News: Apple on Capitol; Stones Studio Fire; Jazz Guitarist Wes Montgomery Dies; Beatles To Do Three LP-Set?; Clapton Acquitted on Dope Charges; Stones Do Film with Goddard; Beatle George Visits Los Angeles.

Columns: Jon Landau on what’s wrong with Rock “Art” (“Most rock and roll musicians are banal, amateurish and insipidly stupid when they try to express their philosophy of life in the context of popular music.”); Perspectives by Ralph J. Gleason (“San Francisco and the Stars”); the John J. Rock column was guest-written by Arthur Hoppe (“Sir Walter Raleigh’s Historic Mistake”).

Continue reading 50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 14

Rock and roll can change your life.