Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen - Like I Used To (Official Video)
Directed by Kimberly Stuckwisch. Single out now on Jagjaguwar.
Phil Spector is dead. Long live the Wall of Sound.
Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen are no strangers to large-scale, cinematic soundscapes that connect emotionally. It makes sense that they would collaborate. And the results do not disappoint.
Sleepin’ in late like I used to
Crossing my fingers like I used to
Waiting inside like I used to
Avoiding big crowds like I used to.
It’s easy to read everything these days in light of quarantines and pandemics, or maybe — just maybe — isolation and fear and longing have always ripe subjects for lyrics. Anyway, hopefully someday sooner than later we’ll all be getting back to doing things a little more like we used to.
DEE SNIDER - I Gotta Rock (Again) (Official Video) | Napalm Records
Directed by Paul McGuire. From Leave A Scar, due July 30 on Napalm.
I am a little hesitant to post this because I add every song I put up on GLONO to a playlist that I listen to fairly regularly, and well…I’m not convinced that I’m ever going to want to listen to this again. I wish it was good. I really wanted it to be good. But man, it’s just not.
I like Dee Snider. He seems like a great guy. I saw him at Riot Fest a few years ago and it was a really fun set in the middle of a hot, sunny day.
I’ve sort of felt bad ever since I tweeted a nasty comment about his cover of “Cabaret” and he actually RT-ed it. “You can’t please everyone! lol!” Made me question the whole practice of tagging celebrities. Like, do you really want them to see this? Why are you posting mean stuff at all? Choose the targets of your vitriol carefully. Don’t be a dick.
Because Twisted Sister changed my life. I’ve told this story before, but one day when I was 12 or 13 my mom asked me to make my bed or do my homework or something like that, and I started thrashing around my room screaming “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” My mom had earlier seen me watching that video on MTV and did not approve. At all. Convinced that my defiance was a direct result of my access to deviance like that (garbage in, garbage out), she called up the cable company and told them she no longer wanted MTV in her house. Much to my horror, the cable company disconnected that one channel. It wasn’t even just scrambled, like HBO. Nope channel “I (22)” was blacked out. All the way. I wanted my MTV but it was gone.
Thirty years later, I experienced one of the greatest parenting moments of my life when I introduced my 9 year old son to the “I Wanna Rock” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It” videos. They’re still great and I’m happy to report they still have the same effect on kids today as they did back then. Pure, unadulterated joy.
I wanted this new song to provide even a fraction of that joy. But it doesn’t.
Directed by Marin Leong. From Home Video, out June 25 on Matador.
In the summer of ’07 Lucy Dacus was twelve years old. “VBS” tells the story of going to a sleepover church camp where she meets and ultimately falls for another camper. This other camper is one of those beautifully damaged, tragic characters that that seem so attractive when we are young.
I’m more than twenty years older than Lucy Dacus so maybe things have changed but when I attended vacation bible school it was just a drop-off thing for elementary school-aged kids where we painted little clay signs that said “Joy!” on them. One year I made a needlepoint thing that said “JESUS” but inverted so you had to “find Jesus” in it. It lived on a wall in our kitchen for decades. I did a little googling and found one just like it.
Happy to see that people are still out there helping people find Jesus via cross-stitched optical illusions.
Anyway, there was no snorting nutmeg or blasting Slayer at VBS back in my day!
How great is Lou Barlow? The four-track maestro has apparently kept everything he’s ever recorded, because this song features a sample of a tape he made almost 40 years ago.
Barlow says, “This song is about writing songs and how I’ve, admittedly, lost my way many times. But, in the depths of the quarantine, I came to realize, again, that entertaining myself with sound is my greatest defense against the non-stop chatter in my brain. The guitar that begins the song is a recording from 1982 and one of the first melodies that I captured on a portable cassette recorder. I’ve never forgotten it and took the opportunity of a lengthy stay at home, among my stuff, to exhume and expand it. The video documents how and where I augmented it: two drums on the floor of my attic and the room I record in.”
Very cool. It’s fun to see where the magic happens. And the song is great, proving at least some good has come out of this pandemic.
Faye Webster is from Georgia but this video reminds me of being on the lake in Michigan. Summer is right around the corner and I can’t wait.
Webster says, “This song feels all over the place but at the same time, it tells a story so simple and understandable. Me not getting my security deposit back from my landlord, my partner’s family forgetting who I am because they were drunk, wanting to be in a rock band with Booth…. It almost sounds like a mad lib at first sight, but it just works.”
About one in three Norwegian adults have received a first dose of a vaccine and roughly 15% of adults are fully vaccinated, so hopefully Lerche is among them. I think I heard that the new CDC guidelines suggest that fully vaccinated people are allowed to shake their booty, but I don’t know if that applies in Norway…
Alex McArtor - Bras and Jeans (Official Music Video)
Directed by Erica Silverman. From Welcome To The Wasteland, out June 25. Single out now.
Alex McArtor is an 18-year-old Austin songwriter who names David Lynch as a key influence on her storytelling. And you might catch some Lynchian vibes in the video for “Bras and Jeans” in which a group of innocent teenagers get a little witchy in a meadow. The irresistible guitar riff sounds like New Order.
McArtor says the song is “based on a time when my friends and I were swimming in a lake and all these horny freshman boys were watching us. It turned into a song about society’s infatuation with exploiting girls as they transition into womanhood, at a point when they aren’t fully aware of their sexuality—which is then imposed on us before we’re ready. A woman’s sexuality and power belong to her; it’s not something there for the taking by the voyeurs of the world.”
It’s not lost on me that — as a dude watching a bunch of young women frolicking around in sundresses and bouncing on trampolines — there is undeniably a bit of voyeurism going on. McArtor and director Erica Silverman are obviously playing on those themes, and it works. It’s an interesting conundrum to put us in the middle of. And the ambiguity of that goes both ways: McArtor sings, “We kind of like you watching, sorta,” with the “kind of” and “sorta” doing a lot of heavy lifting in that line.
Anyway, it’s a cool song and a smart video with some real complexity to it.
Be honest. How excited would you be for a new Jackson Browne video if you hadn’t heard it features a cameo from Phoebe Bridgers playing a naughty nurse?
That’s alright. Whatever gets the eyeballs in the attention economy.
And it turns out the song is pretty good. Sounds just like a classic Jackson Browne song. Val McCallum plays guitar and there’s some nice lap steel by Greg Leisz, and Browne’s voice is still strong. He told Rolling Stone the lyrics were inspired by stumbling across Cleveland Heart, the place where they make artificial hearts: “I said, ‘Oh, I could use one of those!’”
As for Bridgers’ appearance in the video, Browne said, “I thought it was really appropriate to take out my worn-out, useless heart and hand it to Phoebe. Who better to hand [it] to than somebody young, strong, and possibly as cynical as me?”
Do you like gentle folk songs with catchy melodies and soaring harmonies? I know I do, and Allen LeRoy Hug delivers the goods. The curiously named duo of Tennessee Snow Cree Kamanski and Sarah “Cole” De La Isla sing about being hung up on a moody dude.
Your eyes, heavy luggage I carry
I worry I dragged you through the mud
Things haven’t gone right
This is only their second single, but Kamanski told Fingertips that she and De La Isla wrote and recorded “a ton of songs” throughout the lockdown, which they will be releasing over the coming months. So stay tuned.
Until then, we’ll still be wondering: Who is Allen LeRoy? And what’s so special about his hugs that these two would name their band after one of them?
I love Donovan. I have since high school. For my birthday last year my wife got me a signed copy of his Sixty Four collection of demos on vinyl. I still frequently find myself getting angry at Bob Dylan for being mean to him in Dont Look Back. I love his fingerpicking style and his gentle Scottish voice. His sixties stuff is the best, but every once in a while I will put on Sutras, his 1996 album produced by Rick Rubin immediately after resuscitating the career of Johnny Cash.
I haven’t checked out his latest album, Lunarian, released this February but the singles he has shared have been intriguing, especially a 1969 recording called “Still Waters” that features Nils Lofgren.
So now it turns out that Donovan has been hanging out with filmmaker David Lynch and extolling the virtues of transcendental mediation together. Who knew!
Donovan says, “It was all impromptu. I visited the studio and David said, ‘Sit at the mics with your guitar Don’. David in same room behind control desk with my Linda. He had asked me to only bring in a song just emerging, not anywhere near finished. We would see what happens. It happened! I composed extempore … the verses came naturally. New chord patterns effortlessly appeared. On another day David ‘Sound Sculpted’ my Ferrington acoustic guitar ‘Kelly’ and he played his unique Modal Chord Ferrington Guitar textures with ‘Effects’. David and I are ‘Compadres’ on a creative path rarely travelled.”
The results are psychedelic and a little spooky. Yeah mon.