Tag Archives: Partisan

New PJ Harvey: Seem an I

Video: PJ Harvey – “Seem an I”

Directed by Colm Bairead. From I Inside the Old Year Dying, out now on Partisan.

When I first heard this song my inclination was that it must be adapted from a Robert Burns poem or some other barely English literary source. The sounds of the words are emotionally evocative on their own, but thankfully PJ Harvey provides a glossary in the lyrics section of her website.

Seem an I – seems to me; bedraggled angels – wet sheep; blether – to bleat or blare much, take noisily; bwoneyard – graveyard, churchyard; rangle – to reach about like a trailing or climbing plant; archet – orchard; conzum-ed – consumed; twanketen – melancholy; dummet – dusk; zun – sun; wordle – world; lwone – lone; quartere’il – a disease of sheep, a corruption of the blood; vog – fog; devil’s bird, chattermag – magpie; chilver hog – a yearling ewe lamb; fleecy – fleece; drunk, drunken; nuts – joy, testicles; reapy – reap

So now you know!

The video stars English actress Ruth Wilson. Harvey says, “Ruth and I became friends after working together on Clio Barnard’s film ‘Dark River’. I have always greatly admired Ruth’s work as an actor, so had long harboured a dream that we might work together again in some way. When the opportunity to work with Colm Bairéad came up I knew him to be a director Ruth thought highly of, as I did, so it felt right to ask her if she would star in the film. I find the resulting short film beautiful and moving for having Ruth’s magical presence, and Colm’s unique vision.”

Wilson says, “I have always been a huge fan of PJ, so it was a great privilege to work alongside Colm and Polly to bring ‘Seem an I’ to visual life in this mysterious and hypnotic short film. There is no better way to spend a day than in the magical world of PJ Harvey.”

PJ Harvey: web, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Maple Glider: Don’t Kiss Me

Video: Maple Glider – “Don’t Kiss Me”

Directed by Tori Zietsch and Joshua Tate. Single out now on Partisan.

This is a cool song and a super fun homemade horror video.

Maple Glider is Melbourne, Australia’s Tori Zietsch. Her 2001 debut To Enjoy Is the Only Thing received a lot of praise but I missed it entirely. If “Don’t Kiss Me” is any indication, I’ve been missing out.

Zietsch says, “It’s a song about consent, and the experience of being predated on by older men as a girl/young woman. I think many of us are aware of that strong urge to say ‘fuck off’ and be left to our own.”

The video reminds me of the kind of goofy, playful shit my friends used to do in out twenties. My favorite part is when the actors break character and smile at their own ridiculousness.

“I liked the feeling of playing a powerful character, especially to this song, which has felt quite empowering to write and to perform,” Zietsch says, “It felt like I was kind of conquering little fears I have surrounding it through humour and play.”

Right on. Conquer them all!

Maple Glider: web, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Blondshell video: Joiner

Video: Blondshell – “Joiner”

Directed by Alexandra Thurmond. From Blondshell, out April 7 on Partisan.

Blondshell’s Sabrina Teitelbaum says: “I was listening to a lot of Britpop when I wrote this song. A lot of those bands (The Verve, Pulp, Suede, Blur etc.) channeled dark subject matter, drugs, all this dirty stuff, but with a fun acoustic guitar under it. I was listening to The Replacements, too. That’s what this song was inspired by sonically. I wanted it to feel like you’re watching HBO, where even though it’s heavy, it’s still a good time.”

Yeah, this is good.

Think you watched
Way too much
HBO growing up
Now you got one arm cut
And when you eat you throw up.

Blondshell: web, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Beth Orton video: Weather Alive

Video: Beth Orton – “Weather Alive”

Directed by Eliot Lee Hazel. From Weather Alive, out September 23 on Partisan.

I can’t remember how I first heard about Beth Orton. I’m sure it was 1999 and the song was “Stolen Car” but where did we hear about new things in the late nineties? Was Addicted to Noise still around then or had it already been gobbled up by Viacom? It definitely wasn’t from MTV; I just watched the video and I’m positive I had never seen it before today. Maybe I read an article in a magazine and picked up the cd? A more likely scenario is that my wife heard it in the coffee shop where she worked and brought it home. For some reason I was convinced that Johnny Marr plays guitar on that song but it appears that I totally made that up.

I haven’t followed Orton’s career closely, but it looks like she releases a new album about every six years or so. This new song has the comfortingly chill vibe that we’ve always appreciated.

She said there are three steps
Down to the water’s edge
Take one two three
And there at the root of the tree
Wait for me, wait for me.

Something about “Weather Alive” reminds me Cassandra Jenkins, or maybe it’s the other way around. But fans of Jenkins’ “Hard Drive” should check this out.

Beth Orton: web, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Beth Orton video: Weather Alive

New John Grant: Boy from Michigan

Video: John Grant – “Boy from Michigan”

Directed by Casey & Ewan. From Boy From Michigan, due June 25 on Bella Union and Partisan.

As a boy from Michigan myself, John Grant’s latest single rings true. Coincidentally, I have recently started watching “Freaks and Geeks” for the first time, which is set in a Michigan high school in 1980. I went to high school in the 1980s and the show is spot on. My only issue so far is with Kim Kelly’s parents. Is it ever explained where they are supposed to be from? Because they do not talk like they’re from Michigan. The mom says calls it “soda” for one thing. And what’s up with that accent? Is that the “generic poor people” Hollywood accent? Real poor people in Michigan sound more like they’re from Arkansas than south Boston or the Bronx or whatever that is. One more thing: “Up in Benton Harbor”?!? If this takes place outside of Detroit, what suburb would that be: Indiana? Come on.

But if you’ve seen “Freaks and Geeks,” that’s the setting for John Grant’s “Boy from Michigan.”

We walk through the cemetery looking at all the graves
To Thompsons’s Market for candy and pop
We did it almost every day
We used to look to see if we could find a patch of green
As the winter came to a close
And spring was blossoming
The ground was coming alive and it smelled so clean.

The ground smells like that outside right now.

Grant says, “The song sprang from a moment I experienced when I was about 11 and we were about to move to Colorado from Michigan; my best buddy took me aside and warned me about ‘the world out there’ – so the song is about the transition from childhood to adulthood, the simplicity and innocence of childhood and the oftentimes rude awakening that occurs when one crosses over into adulthood. It’s also about romanticizing the past, which can be dangerous.”

It can be dangerous. That’s true. It can also be annoying and obnoxious. But this song isn’t any of those things. It’s good.

New Craig Finn video: God in Chicago

Video: Craig Finn – “God In Chicago”

From We All Want The Same Things, out March 24 on Partisan Records.

The thing with spoken word pieces is that you have to sit still and pay attention, and while that can be tough to carve out time for, “God In Chicago” makes it worth your while. “Her mom found her brother, then she found a container wrapped up in a newspaper stuffed in a duffle bag with hockey pads and seven grand in rubber bands.” As far as opening sentences go, that’s a pretty great start to a story. You might be able to guess where it goes from there: she calls the narrator and they drive to Chicago to sell the contents of the container and have a night on the town.

Craig Finn says, “It’s a story about a guy and a girl pushed together to try to fix a problem. In doing so, they push into unchartered territory for both of them. Going to a bigger city without supervision for the first time is a huge moment, no matter how you get there. I was trying to capture that. Also, I wanted to show how easy it is sometimes to take a break, if briefly, from our regular lives.”

I remember being a teenager and driving to the city for the first time. We didn’t have to sell any drugs, thank goodness, but my homie and I got loaded and ate Harold’s chicken with our shirts off in somebody’s University of Chicago dorm room. We listened to Spacemen 3 and Starship Beer and went to a silly hat party. He wore a fez. Good times.

Continue reading New Craig Finn video: God in Chicago