New Noel Gallagher video: It’s A Beautiful World

Video: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – “It’s A Beautiful World”

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – ‘It’s A Beautiful World’ (Official Video)

From Who Built The Moon? out now on Sour Mash/UMG.

In what’s sure to send his little brother off the rails, Noel Gallagher’s latest video features Charlotte Marionneau, his notorious scissors player, reading a book. Her book is not miked so I don’t think her page flipping is part of the performance, but her mere presence is guaranteed to drive Liam nuts.

Then again, it could be a sign that Noel is re-evaluating his attitude toward books. Of course, there’s no need to intellectualize it, right? As Noel has said:

“She’s French and she’s eccentric to say the least. I said to her, can you play the tambourine? She said, [adopts French accent] ‘I cannot play the tambourine.’ I said, ‘Oh right. Shaker?’ ‘Non. I can play the scissors.’ She brought them in and I was looking at my bass player going, if that’s not the greatest thing you’ve ever seen then tell me what is. A French bird in a cape playing the scissors? It doesn’t get any better than that does it?”

So now we’ve got a French bird in a chair reading a book.

And the song? It’s not as much of a banger as “Holy Mountain” but at least nobody’s going to say this one sounds like Ricky Martin.

Noel Gallagher: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

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New Juliana Hatfield video: A Little More Love

Video: Juliana Hatfield – “A Little More Love”

Juliana Hatfield – A Little More Love (Official Video)

From Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John, out April 13 on American Laundromat.

I was in elementary school when Grease came out and I had the soundtrack on vinyl and I’d play it on my parents’ hi-fi, the kind where you could stack records and the next one would drop down and start playing once the first one was done. I never did this with the Grease soundtrack because even at that age I realized the Sha Na Na stuff wasn’t worth my time. I was all about John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

I hated Rizzo for being so mean to Sandy. I hated her. Hated! In fact, I hated her so much that I took a permanent red marker and obliterated Stockard Channing’s face in all the photos in the gatefold of the album. Not only that, I took a pair of scissors and scratched the shit out of the grooves of “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” so the song could never be played. Looking back, that reaction seems a little extreme. Were my parents worried? If so, they never said anything.

Apparently, they also weren’t worried about their seven-year-old boy listening (repeatedly) to a song with lyrics such as “you know I ain’t braggin’ / it’s a real pussy wagon” and “you know I ain’t shittin’ / I’ll be gettin’ lots of tit in Greased Lightning.” The 70s, man. It was a different time.

I wonder if Juliana Hatfield felt the same way about Rizzo. She’s about my age and she just recorded a whole album of Olivia Newton-John covers, due April 13 on American Laundromat Records. If “A Little More Love” is any indication, I can’t wait to hear the rest of it.

Juliana Hatfield: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

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New Beck video: Fix Me

Video: Beck – “Fix Me”

From Colors, out now on Capitol.

I miss Cute Overload. Back after George W. Bush was re-elected I went into a deep funk and could no longer bring myself to look at the news. I was so disappointed in my fellow Americans for failing to see how inept and corrupt the Bush administration was. I turned to fuzzy little hamsters and ducklings and kittens to make me feel less hateful.

This might seem histrionic in light of our current political dumpster fire, but let’s not forget that Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, et al were evil motherfuckers and just because Dubya generally followed the norms of American democracy doesn’t make him any less of an incompetent ignoramus. In retrospect he seems like a nice fella, but he was an awful, awful president.

Beck knows what I’m talking about.

Mame, Riku, Gaku and Qoo are Instagram celebrities and they’re exactly what we need right now.

Set in the otherworldly hills of Yamagata, Japan, the video for “Fix Me” is a tender look into the world of Mame and her canine guardians, featuring scenes that oscillate from highly stylized and costumed tableaus to carefree games of frisbee and feasting on birthday cake.

Director Brook Linder commented on the unique experience of making the video: “There’s something really special happening in the mountains of Yamagata, and we were lucky enough to enter Mame’s world for two afternoons in November. That home is heaven on Earth. One of the dogs, Qoo, and I had a special connection — I think he’s my great-grandfather reincarnated… or something. He looked into my soul.”

Beck told The Sun that “Fix Me” is “about longing and wanting to be able to be yourself.” Sure okay, but sometimes I think I’d rather be Riku, Gaku or Qoo.

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

Number One Records: Havana

Video: Camila Cabello – “Havana” ft. Young Thug

Camila Cabello – Havana ft. Young Thug

From Camila, out now on SYCO/Epic.

I’ve been secretly hoping this song would go to #1 since New Year’s Eve when I first heard it “live” on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve ’18 with Ryan Seacrest.” Granted, I was loaded, but I just re-watched it on YouTube and I can confirm that my judgment was not impaired. It’s a cool song with a simple piano loop and other natural sounding instrumentation.

The video is pretty funny…the first time. And then you’re like, Do I really have to wait two-and-a-half minutes for the song to start? But whatever. Cabello is charismatic on screen and it’s fun to watch her dance.

“Havana” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart dated Jan. 27 with 44.9 million U.S. streams and 80,000 downloads sold in the week ending Jan. 18, as well as 131 million in radio audience in the week ending Jan. 21. It displaced Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” duet with Beyonce that sat at the top spot for six weeks. “Havana” has been on the Hot 100 for 23 weeks now, spending seven of those at No. 2.

Her album, Camila, also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week, too, with 119,000 equivalent album units, of which 65,000 were in traditional album sales. It’s pretty rare for an artist to top the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 concurrently, so that’s good timing.

Camila Cabello: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

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New Lucy Dacus video: Addictions

Video: Lucy Dacus – “Addictions”

Lucy Dacus – "Addictions" (Official Music Video)

From Historian, out March 2 on Matador.

“Can you imagine what it’s like to be here with you now?” Lucy Dacus’ voice makes you want to imagine. She sounds cool, but you can tell she cares.

By the time “Addictions” gets to its first hook (“Now I’m awake at 2am / Without a cause to draw you in”) it’s got you. It builds and builds, adding horns and crunchy guitars, and then it ends. Leaving you wanting more.

Lucy Dacus: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

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New Jack White video: Connected By Love

Video: Jack White – “Connected By Love”

Jack White – Connected By Love

From Boarding House Reach, due March 23 on Third Man Records. Single out now.

One of my favorite heckles happened during a performance in Milwaukee. Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls was playing a loud, sweaty show shortly after the 9/11 attacks and paused to deliver a monologue on how we’re all brothers and sisters who should try to find what we have in common with each other instead of trying to tear each other down. As he paused to lift his saggy snap-brim hat and wipe his sweaty brow, someone in the crowd yelled out, “Play ‘Trash,’ hippy!”

It was the perfect heckle. It not only reminded us who it was preaching these platitudes with some good old-fashoioned Midwestern comeuppance, but it broke the self-aware tension that suffocated us all in those early post-9/11 days. It was a bit of obnoxious normalcy.

And so I am tempted to yell at Jack White today with the release of his new single and video, “Connected By Love,” but I just can’t. On the surface, it’s another hippy dippy tagline. But the video and the song are sincere, and in this suffocating era of post-truth Trump-ism, a little sincerity is a breath of fresh air. It’s also a good jam.

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

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50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Jann Wenner, Beatles Fanboy

I’ve been reading Sticky Fingers, Joe Hagan’s new Jann Wenner biography and it’s really fascinating. One of the things that has surprised me was how DIY those first several issues of Rolling Stone were. It really was a bunch of volunteers hustling to pull those 24 pages together. Granted, some of those volunteers might not have realized they were volunteering until they never got paid, but still. DIY.

It’s also interesting to read how provincial toward San Francisco bands Wenner was, balanced only by his fanaticism toward the Beatles and the Stones. Looking back at those early issues it’s not surprising that many of the ads were local. Television station KQED took out full page ads. So did Bill Graham, promoting shows at the Fillmore.

Local record stores advertised too, including one called “Music 5 is Alive” at 887 Market Street, who in issue #4 boasted a “Special Price on the New Beatles LP.” Although their ad doesn’t specify the price it does include a psychedelic illustration that I’d never seen before.*

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New Flint Eastwood video: Monster

Video: Flint Eastwood – “Monster”

Flint Eastwood – Monster (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

From Broke Royalty, out now on Neon Gold.

Flint Eastwood is a stupid name but this is a pretty cool song. The name might be better if they were actually from Flint (or maybe not) but they’re from Detroit. They used to be a band but now it’s just Jax Anderson. She records in an old church in Corktown.

When I hear you speak
All the words that keep on haunting me
When I hear you speak
I’m missing you here with me
But it’s gonna be alright

She told Billboard, “I wrote the song ‘Monster’ about the dark nights that took place after the passing of my mom & the moment I discovered that things would eventually be okay again.”

It’s good to be reminded that we’ll be alright.

Flint Eastwood: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Car Seat Headrest video: Nervous Young Inhumans

Video: Car Seat Headrest – “Nervous Young Inhumans”

Car Seat Headrest – "Nervous Young Inhumans"

From Twin Fantasy (2017 version), out February 16 on Matador.

I didn’t discover Car Seat Headrest until Teens of Denial started showing up on everybody’s “best of 2016” year-end lists. Everybody was right: that’s a really great album. Its high points (“Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales,” “Fill in the Blank,” Connect the Dots”) rank up there with anything released that year.

I heard that the main guy, Will Toledo, had self-recorded and self-released tons of stuff before he got signed to Matador, but I never dug into it. There’s always plenty of other stuff to listen to, so I just never got around it.

And now it looks like instead of writing new material, Toledo is going back and re-recording his lo-fi early stuff. Seems kinda weird for a 25 year old kid to want to look backwards like that, but he says, “It was never a finished work, and it wasn’t until last year that I figured out how to finish it.” So there you go.

Matador plans to reissue a re-mastered version of the original 2011 Twin Fantasy sometime later this year.

Car Seat Headrest: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

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New Ruby Boots video: Don’t Talk About It

Video: Ruby Boots – “Don’t Talk About It”

Ruby Boots – Don't Talk About It

From Don’t Talk About It, out February 9 on Bloodshot.

“Don’t Talk About It” starts off as an easy, breezy country song about leaving things unsaid (“these constant reminders don’t do nobody no good”) but eventually builds up a wall of sound (complete with orchestra chimes!) that might fit right in on Dusty in Memphis. Or maybe not. This is definitely more country than soul.

Still, you can’t really pigeonhole Ruby Boots since her previous single, “It’s So Cruel,” kinda sounds like T. Rex. She’s from Australia so who knows…everything’s upside down there.

The video, starring Shalane Connors as the daughter, shows what would happen if an uptight suburban family could cut loose and let their freak flag fly.

Her album release show will be held in Chicago at the Hideout — the best bar in Chicago, and quite possibly the world — on February 9.

Ruby Boots: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

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