This is perhaps the most succinct snapshot of mainstream American culture in 2007. The Top 12 finalists from American Idol, dressed as hippies and breakdancers, sing a snappy little version of Modest Mouse’s “Float On” in a commercial for—who else?—Ford Motor Co.
Absolutely perfect. This spot has it all. In just 44 seconds, they manage to co-opt and emasculate (at least) three generations of anti-Establishment counterculture: hippies, hip-hop, and indie rock. Welcome to the future! And you thought postmodernism was played out…
Last year, just before Google bought YouTube, Warner Music announced a deal with YouTube to provide videos in exchange for a slice of the advertising revenue.
I had complete forgotten about this until I was looking for video links for Neil Young’s Massey release and stumbled across a couple uploaded by a YouTube user by the name of warnerbrosrecords who has uploaded all kinds of great shit in the past month (as well as a bunch of plain old shit).
For example, I found three old school Wilco videos for “I Must Be High” and “Box Full of Letters” off their underrated debut, A.M., and “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” off Being There. I wonder if freely sharing these videos will encourage people to buy some albums. What a concept!
Continue reading Warner Videos on YouTube, including Wilco
And now the conclusion of our four-part documentary on Chicago’s the Chamber Strings.
With singer-songwriter Kevin Junior out of the picture, the remaining Strings form their own group, San Tropez, but find they lack the drive and ambition that made the Strings one of Chicago’s fastest rising and critically acclaimed bands of the new millennium. Emerging from addiction and homelessness, Junior makes his way back to Chicago to reassemble his band. Initial rehearsals and writing sessions go well and things seem to be back on track until one particularly tense band disagreement devolves into violence. Despondent and in disarray, Junior slinks off to New Orleans, the perfect choice for a recovering addict!
Continue reading GLONO Video: The Chamber Strings (Part 4 of 4)
Chapter three picks up with Chamber Strings front man Kevin Junior suddenly without a band but with a heroin problem. Years spent bouncing from Chicago to Akron, Ohio, to Los Angeles, to Berlin to London take their toll and Junior faces the End. Along the way he passes a cast of characters from homeless poets to Nikki Sudden, in whom he finds a kindered spirit and sometime drug partner.
Hear excerpts of Kevin Junior performing several new, unrecorded Chamber Strings songs.
Continue reading GLONO Video: The Chamber Strings (Part 3 of 4)
Video Made the Radio Star by GLONO alum Nate Seltenrich. Nate tells us, “This is a cover story I wrote, published today in the East Bay Express, about an Oakland pop-rock band that took a path to success unlike any other in the history of the music biz.
“Maldroid has built itself on music videos, catalyzed by winning Best Video in the YouTube Underground video contest last November. Founder and lead singer (and art school dropout) Ryan Divine started animating the comic book-style video that won the contest—a take on a-ha’s “Take On Me”—in October 2004, before he had a band to perform it (Maldroid didn’t come together until March ’06), and before YouTube itself even existed.”
As seen on Good Morning America!
Continue reading Maldroid and YouTube Redefine Paying Dues
Video for “No Pussy Blues” by Nick Cave’s new band, Grinderman. Single released February 19, 2007 on Mute. Debut album due April 10, 2007 on Anti. Sounds like Nick’s been listening to some Blues Explosion. Great video. Makes you wish the house parties you went to were this cool.
Continue reading Nick Cave video – No Pussy Blues
YouTube: Stream the new Of Montreal video for “Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse” (MP3) from Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? due January 23 on Polyvinyl. So that’s what they spent all their Outback Steakhouse money on: theatrical sets!
Continue reading New Of Montreal video: Heimdalsgate
The second act of a three-part documentary on Chicago’s rock and roll tragedy, the Chamber Strings.
Act Two starts off with the band meeting with producer Thom Monaghan (Pernice Bros.) to record their follow-up, A Month of Sundays, which singer Kevin Junior described as “Dusty in Memphis meets All Things Must Pass.” More touring on the critical success of the album found the band reaching out to new audiences and building a fan base from Chicago to New York to San Francisco to…Boise. The band felt that they were on the verge.
“And then everything unraveled.”
Continue reading GLONO Video: The Chamber Strings (Part 2 of 4)
Around the turn of the last century, Chicago singer-songwriter Kevin Junior finally got all that he wanted: a critically acclaimed debut album, sold out shows, and big time label interest. The Chamber Strings were Chicago’s Next Big Thing with a timeless sound, enigmatic front man, and a catalog of the catchiest songs this side of Chrissie Hynde.
As you might guess, things don’t go exactly as planned for Junior and what started months ago with a strange request for a ride back to Chicago from New Orleans ends with the reunited band and another Glorious Noise video feature directed by Whiskey Bender’s John Boston.
Part One of our three-part documentary details the formation of the band and the recording and release of their first album, Gospel Morning.
Continue reading GLONO Video: The Chamber Strings (Part 1 of 4)
The Top 56 Music Videos of 2006 – Watch them all on YouTube, or download higher quality versions individually, in groups of 10, or all at once (1.36 GB) via bittorrent. Very nicely done.
Who needs MTV? Not us, when we’ve got Shots Ring Out gathering up the best music videos on the web.
The Top 5:
1) Muse – Knights of Cydonia (Joseph Kahn)
2) the Mountain Goats – Woke Up New (Rian Johnson)
3) Sean Lennon – Friendly Fire (Michele Civetta)
4) The Teddybears – Cobrastyle (Ace Norton)
5) Jeremy Warmsley – Dirty Blue Jeans (Ben Rollason)