Tag Archives: Videos

New Hallelujah The Hills video: The Memory Tree

Video: Hallelujah The Hills – “The Memory Tree”

"The Memory Tree" - Hallelujah The Hills [Official Video]

Directed by Ryan H. Walsh. From I’m You, out now on Discrete Pageantry.

It’s been almost a year since Hallelujah The Hills released I’m You. And what a year it’s been, right? It’s hard to remember that the first couple months of 2020 were relatively normalish.

It’s hard to remember anything these days.

I know folks had big plans for their downtime during this pandemic when responsible people were encouraged to stay at home as much as possible. Personally, I didn’t accomplish anything. But the guys in Hallelujah the Hills have been super productive.

Not only did they write and record a brand new song in a single day last month, but Ryan Walsh has also been working on a stop-motion animation video for album closer, “The Memory Tree.”

In the video a lonely little ghost has been too scared to leave his house for a full year until he’s finally inspired to go out and answer his call to adventure. The storyline reflects the themes of the album; my favorite detail is when our hero is a watching a music video on his little tv and asks himself, “Whoa, are they singing…to…me?” Don’t freak out, but yes they are.

Can you make a memory?
Without chopping down the memory tree?

Memories, dreams, ghosts, hauntings. What is a ghost other than a vivid memory or a lucid dream?

Can you do anything interesting without risking your life? Maybe not this year.

In a few years what are we going to remember about 2020? Anything at all? Maybe that’s a good thing. If we’re alive and trying to remember something, I guess that means we made it through.

Hallelujah the Hills: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Hallelujah The Hills video: The Memory Tree

New Jason Isbell video: Only Children

Video: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – “Only Children”

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Only Children (Official Music Video)

Directed by Kurt Simpson. From Reunions, out now on Southeastern.

My poor wife often sighs that she’s a mom with two only children. Our son and I are both onlies, and--apparently--we act like it. I don’t know entirely what that means but I think it has something to do with not liking to share. I wouldn’t necessarily say that we’re selfish, but we like to keep our stuff to ourselves. And we like to do things the way we like to do them.

A friend of mine likes to point out that the only reason he and his wife had a second kid was that every only child he knows is weird, and then he looks at me and adds, “Present company not excluded.” Fair enough.

Jason Isbell adds a new descriptor to those of us with a lack of siblings: “over-encouraged.” That’s about as accurate as it gets.

In Isbell’s song, the title characters are childhood friends who have a good time getting in all kinds of trouble, until they eventually grow up and apart: our narrator transitioning to adulthood successfully, his friend not so much.

Heaven’s wasted on the dead
That’s what your mama said
And the hearse was idling in the parking lot
She said you thought the world of me
and you were glad to see
they finally let me be an astronaut.

It’s a classic Isbell heartbreaker in the fine tradition of “Codeine” and “Elephant.”

The video tells a different story, but equally haunting. It’s mysterious without being silly. It’s moving but not in any obvious way. The acting is subtle and captivating. You’re rooting for these two kids and hoping they get away with whatever it is that they’re up to. It’s a mean world out there, that’s for sure, and the odds are stacked against them. But good luck!

Jason Isbell: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Mike Viola: Drug Rug

Video: Mike Viola – “Drug Rug”

Mike Viola - Drug Rug [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Directed by Caitlin Gerard. From Godmuffin, out December 11 on Good Morning Monkey/Grand Phony.

It’s Halloween season and things are getting spooky. All Hallows’ Eve is time of the year dedicated to remembering the dead and a lot of our traditions come out of the Gaelic pagan festival Samhain, when people went door to door in disguise performing party tricks in exchange for food.

Winter is coming. We’re all going to die.

But what if we were vampires? Would we be lonely? Would we break into Mandy Moore’s pool to have a leisurely swim? Mike Viola suggests exactly that. And heaven knows we could all use a little connection these days.

In a rug full of drugs and with nowhere to go
Only the dead get to heaven
Here on earth we just get lost
At least until this stuff wears off

Do what you gotta do to stay alive, people. Hopefully that doesn’t entail sucking people’s blood, but hey. Desperate times.

Mike Viola: web, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Mike Viola: Drug Rug

New Quasar Wut-Wut video: The Tramps of Taro Sound (quarantine version)

Video: Quasar Wut-Wut- “The Tramps of Taro Sound” (quarantine version)

Quasar Wut-Wut- "The Tramps of Taro Sound (quarantine version)"

Original version on Taro Sound (Glorious Noise Records, 2004).

What are you supposed to do when you can’t hang out with your pals in real life anymore? Well, one thing you could do is take over your daughter’s bedroom and zoom your pals. Or take off your clothes and hide in some bushes. Whatever. The choices are endless, really, if you use your imagination.

I miss my friends in Chicago so much. This is the longest I’ve gone without at least visiting Chicago since I was a kid. Maybe ever. My folks had friends there who we would visit at least once a year. It’s where I learned to not take shit from bullies. (I’m looking at you, Randy.) I spent my twenties crashing on couches and inflatable mattresses in people’s studio apartments. Finally moved there right before my 30th birthday and spent my thirties there: Lincoln Square, Lakeview, Albany Park, back to Lincoln Square. Made so many great friends, including the Quasars. We had so much fun. Always a band playing a club somewhere. Big Horse, Gunther Murphy’s, Martyrs’, Beat Kitchen, Lily’s. Oh Lily’s, what a glorious shithole. That big shoe. Weird, hidden rooms upstairs where people could do bad things. Five-dollar Long Island iced teas. Bloody Mary’s made with human placenta. So many good times.

Now we’re all so damn old I can hardly believe it. But hey, at least these four guys still look good. And they’re still able to conjure up the mojo that inspired us to start a record label to release their album.

And maybe the lyrics are as applicable to today as they were back in the day.

They’re handing trophies out to all young things
Who can distract their country for the King,
And keep the vultures occupied…

Go out and earn some trophies, everybody!

Quasar Wut-Wut: web, bandcamp, fb, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Sincere Engineer: Trust Me

Video: Sincere Engineer – “Trust Me”

Sincere Engineer - Trust Me (Official Music Video)

Directed by Deanna Belos. Single out now on Hopeless.

Watch Deanna Belos recklessly ride her bike no-handed around suburban streets while mowing down some Hot-N-Ready from Little Caesars. Safety third, kids!

This is the band’s first single for Hopeless Records. Presumably an album will follow but no announcements have been made to date. Sincere Engineer’s previous album, 2017’s Rhombithian, was great and seeing them open up for the Hold Steady in Chicago was a highlight of 2019 for me.

Super excited to hear more! But listening to the lyrics makes me wonder, how can someone so young sing words so sad?

I wanna go outside. I wanna ride my bike, but I feel dead on the inside.
I put too much trust in future me. She can’t be trusted.

I get it. But I’m a jaded old grump, beaten down by life and a mean, uncaring world. It feels weird to identify with a young girl with such mad no-handed-bike-riding skillz.

Deanna take a bow. Boot the grime of this world in the crotch, dear.

Sincere Engineer: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Jeff Tweedy: Gwendolyn

Video: Jeff Tweedy – “Gwendolyn”

Jeff Tweedy "Gwendolyn" (Official Music Video)

Directed by James Fleischel. From Love Is The King, out October 23 on dBpm. Vinyl/CD due January 15.

Featuring the mouths and noses of Fred Armisen, Courtney Barnett, Elvis Costello, Jeff Garlin, Tavi Gevinson, Jon Hamm, Robyn Hitchcock, John Hodgman, Yuka C Honda, Abbi Jacobson, Norah Jones, Gaelynn Lea, Scott McCaughey, Seth Meyers, Nnamdï, Nick Offerman, Molly Sarlé, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Jay Som, Alex Winter, Sammy Tweedy, Spencer Tweedy and Jeff Tweedy.

Who knows what’s going on underneath those masks? There could be some very attractive people hidden under there. Or maybe not.

If this new video proves anything, it’s that one’s nose and mouth drastically affect your appearance. It also proves that Tweedy knows a lot of famous people!

Continue reading New Jeff Tweedy: Gwendolyn

New Mountain Goats video: Get Famous

Video: the Mountain Goats – “Get Famous”

the Mountain Goats - Get Famous (Official Music Video)

Directed by David Hollander. From Getting Into Knives, due October 23 on Merge.

I love the Mountain Goats. There were a few weeks this spring when Songs for Pierre Chuvin very likely kept me from losing my marbles. Everybody I know has struggled with the anxiety, anger, and depression that this pandemic has caused. We all deal with our emotions in different ways. I listened to the Mountain Goats and fired up my chainsaw (don’t ask).

But before John Darnielle recorded that lifesaving effort on his Panasonic boombox at home, alone, in lockdown, his band had already wrapped up recording a new album in Memphis, with special guests like guitarist Chris Boerner from Hiss Golden Messenger who plays on this new single, as does legendary organist Charles Hodges.

The belief that you’re destined to become famous is a weirdly American thing, and this song picks up on some of that desperation, and hints at some of the dangers. Or does it? Darnielle doesn’t typically dabble in sarcasm and it’s easy to hear this celebratory jam as affirming that little Kardashian on your shoulder, encouraging you to go ahead and post that selfie.

The bobbleheaded video comes across as super earnest as well. How can you not root for these nodding little guys? I sincerely want them to be famous!

Darnielle says:

David Hollander and I met last year and I saw a fellow traveller in him — a guy who likes to get an idea and wrestle with it until something weird and cool happens. I played him the demo of “Get Famous” last July and he picked it up immediately — this would have been within a week or so of writing it, which is kind of a special time in a song’s life — and I knew I’d want him on board to express some of the dread that lurks underneath its mid-tempo Mott the Hoople-inspired jaunt. I wasn’t sure if bobbleheads could really capture that level of giddy anxiety, but David’s visions play for keeps — the first time I saw the camera resolve on my bobblehead in a way that made it look like it had changed its expression, I almost fell out of my chair. Proud to have a video this left-field for our dark little song.

So I dunno. I guess it can be read as dark. But it sure sounds fun!

(Also, the fact that the Jon Wurster bobblehead looks like Jesus is some righteous #rocknrollweirdness.)

The Mountain Goats: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Willie Nelson video: Vote ‘Em Out

Video: Willie Nelson – “Vote ‘Em Out”

Willie Nelson - Vote 'Em Out

Single out now on Legacy.

Originally written during the 2018 midterms in support of Beto O’Rourke’s senate run against incumbent zodiac killer Ted Cruz, “Vote ‘Em Out” just got a brand new animated video for 2020.

So please, for the love of all that is holy, listen to Willie.

Willie Nelson: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Fuzz: Spit

Video: FUZZ – “Spit”

Directed by Charles Moothart. From III, out October 23 on In the Red.

Do you love the sound of loud guitars? Do you like rock and roll? Yeah? Then you should listen to this new song from Fuzz.

Fuzz is Ty Segall’s band with guitarist Charles Moothart and bassist Chad Ubovich. They recorded III on 2″ tape at legendary United Recordings Studio B with Steve Albini.

Moothart told Mix magazine, “Ty had done a mixing session at United Recording, so that is where the idea of recording at United with Steve came from. We wanted to record in LA to stay close to home; we wanted to be able to go in and get live takes and not stress too much on mixing, and we wanted it to be fun. All signs pointed to working with Steve at United.”

In a statement, Moothart said, “When Ty and I first started working on this song, we didn’t know if it was even going to be a FUZZ song or not. We wanted to make a song that felt straight forward, but had a subtle tweak that over time gets more obvious. The verse riff almost feels like you’re falling asleep at the wheel then the chorus opens up with a melodic, but sharp riff that adds to the punch-drunk feeling of the verse.”

Riffs, man. A badass riff might not be able to solve all the problems going on in the world, but it can definitely make you feel a little better for a few minutes.

Continue reading New Fuzz: Spit

New Laura Veirs: Another Space and Time

Video: Laura Veirs – “Another Space and Time”

Laura Veirs - Another Space and Time (Official Music Video)

Directed by Twixx Williams. From My Echo, out October 24 on Bella Union.

Sometimes you need a little bossa nova grooviness in your life. It might even help you imagine a world that wasn’t constantly awful. In her third single from the upcoming My Echo, Laura Veirs presents an alternate reality where “California’s not burning and the seas don’t rise.”

Veirs says, “This song is a dream that we can and will live in a more peaceful, loving world – and a world with more personal freedoms, too.”

Dare to dream!

Laura Veirs: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Laura Veirs: Another Space and Time