GROUPLOVE’s video for “Colours” starts off on a high note, with excellent film quality, intro credits, and a loose storyline. Unfortunately, it soon descends into hipster ridiculousness, full of face paint, feathers, and images of frolicking through fields. I wish I could have liked it, but I don’t… it’s just everything I’ve seen in every video rehashed. Not that there isn’t any artistic merit, but… that would be in a more visual sense than a conceptual sense.
Tyler T. Williams directs this cinematic epic for Youth Lagoon’s “Montana,” perhaps capturing a snippet from the life and mind of Youth Lagoon’s Trevor Powers.
Says Powers: “My whole life I’ve dealt with extreme anxiety. Not anxiety about passing a test or somewhat normal things, but weird.. bizarre things. Things that only I know. I sometimes feel like I’m literally being eaten up inside. So I started writing these songs. Not just songs about my anxiety, but about my past and my present. Songs about memories, and all those feelings that those bring. I know that if I can be honest about what is inside my mind, there will be others that will be able to relate to it.”
Spaced out and nostalgic, this song and video near some visual and contextural similarities to cinematic epics like The Tree Of Life or Winter’s Bone. Rural and set in nature, the video for “Montana” revolves around traditional American families and generally follows three male characters through some hard and easy times alike. What is it Powers has gone through? His statements, and the video, certainly make his upcoming album, The Year Of Hibernation, seem tantalizing.
Director, Cinematographer, Editor: Tyler T Williams
AD & Editor: Ron Torres
Starring: Tim Pakutka, Ryan Phipps, Joel Kliebe, Jaki Covington
Camera: 5DMKII and 7D – 20mm 2.8, 35mm 2, 85mm 1.8
“I was so out of my mind from exhaustion that I experienced a slight hallucination. Everything slowed down and I began to notice how the vibrations of the lawnmower disrupted the tiny Kentucky blue grass ecosystem. The plants and creatures were all moving in a chaotic motion, bouncing with the rytthm of the lawnmower engine. Ladybugs were flipped onto their backs as they attempted to get proper footing. Grasshoppers were catapulted backwards. Loose clippings of grass and dandelions were spewed into the air. And it all was the result of waves and vibrations.” - Christopher Arcella
Dominant Legs’ latest release, Invitation, has positive energy and a light sound, but still contains a melodic fusion of multiple styles. It has a mix of an ’80s pop sound and a mid-’90s jam band sensibility: like Wham! meets Rusted Root (the former of which is a favorite of this writer, the latter not so much). Though I felt unenthusiastic on the first few go-rounds, this album has slowly drawn me in as I’ve since put it on heavy rotation — once again proof that one has to give a disc a handful of spins (at least!) before ascertaining one’s level of interest. A collection of songs needs to be given an extra chance, sometimes; not all music is love upon first listen.
That said, there is quick and easy intrigue in track one, “Take A Bow,” which starts the album off strong by presenting a funk-styled guitar lick which goes on to course through the whole song and carry it to completion. The second track, “Where We Trip The Light,” is more in the vein of something The Happy Mondays might put out, which can work to both the song’s advantage and its disadvantage — for that basically means cheerful, groovy beats, which, after a while, can become too repetitive.
Track ten, “Make Time For The Boy,” is currently my preferred track on this album as a whole, even being selected amidst its cheesy saxophone line. This track broke precedence; with its simple electronic drum beats and handclaps, its sustained waves of bass, and its arcing vocals on the chorus, I was sold on it the first time I heard it. This album might not be the most profound work I’ve heard this year, but it definitely lifts my spirits.
On a recent trip to New York City, my friend had mentioned that Latin American families seem to bring their children just about everywhere to have a good time. Whether it be in a park at midnight or a used bookstore, it’s more the notion of family and celebrating togetherness than it is the context. Fun can be had anywhere, and this Twin Sister video certainly seems to capture that kind of phenomenon. Breaking pinatas, doing hair, having outdoor dance parties… Twin Sister can have fun whatever, whenever, however, and with plenty of kids in tow. Their own description on YouTube reads, “Shot at lead singer Andrea Estella’s family’s house in Long Island and populated by her bandmates, friends and family, the video is a genuine peek into one of the many worlds that have shaped Twin Sister’s wide ranging styles.”
Directed by Dan Devine, Produced by Daniel Gausman
“Bad Street” is from Twin Sister’s forthcoming debut album In Heaven out September 26th (Rest of the world) / September 27th (US) on Domino.”
Starfucker works with Joshua Cox on this beauty, taking kaleidoscopic imagery generally manifested through digital means and turning it on an analog head. In what must have been a high-budget, laboriously-planned effort, this video for “Bury Us Alive” sees the appearance of clever special effects and earthy costumes. The team that put this together was large and in charge; it certainly shows in the final product.
Directed by: Joshua Cox
Director of Photography: Bryce Fortner
Costumes: Jayme Hansen
Hair and Makeup: Jayme Hansen
Art Department: Brian Danielson
VFX Lead: Thiago Costa
Additional VFX: Fred Ruff
Editor: Jeff Dawson
Godammit! Yet another kick-ass video from the ever-so-artistically-minded Mastodon. The original cover, which features the 3-dimensional wood-sculptured artwork of Portland-based artist AJ Fosik, is chopped up, mirrored many times over, and shot into outerspace. Expect our interview with AJ Fosik soon!
As for the track itself, Scott Kelly of Neurosis offers vocals once again. Says Kelly: “Mastodon approaches their sound honestly and from a mind at unity. I am honored to continue to be a part of their creative process, and to once again have the chance to join them on this expression that is undoubtedly their most adventurous work to date.”
Oh, right, and if you’re curious… some cosmic and far-out lyrics, below.
We trip the light
Burn your inside
Given a lesson
The path I’ve shown
Follow all I know
Into the Spectralight
Into the afterlife
It came from the ocean
Gift from the sea
Lava forms the stone
Belief in power
Believe the truth
Trust your own truth
Into the Spectralight
Into the afterlife
You listen through the light
Tolling on the sea
Barren eyes behind you
Leave the shadows waking dreams
Rising through the door
Writing with a knife
Cut chord and break the dawning wretch of silence
Trust your own truth
Souls of the fallen
Death of the Godhead
Listen and breathe
I’m into this mopey video full of nonchalant creepers. In this video for “Kale” (which populates the YouTube “Suggestions” sidebar with many a tutorial on the many ways to properly prepare kale), Nerves Junior are the perfect combination of somewhat present and really lethargic. As attractive women climb all over the band members, coyly distracting them from playing their instruments, the men return their advances with apathy, just as fascinated with continuing to play music as they are with paying attention to the women kissing their faces. It’s this kind of lack of concern that unfortunately works in many a dating game, and oh yeah, it works for Nerves Junior in their brand of music, too. A win-win, really, for the band.
Not for the faint of heart, Rex Marshall’s newest release as Mattress is audibly visceral and uniquely his own, a mix of ghastly vocals and screeching synthesizers. And while it’s certainly not the most polished album, Eldorado EP offers plenty in the way of unabashed realism and guitar free rock and roll.
With each track backed mostly by simple keyboard loops that anybody with a twenty dollar Casio could record, Marshall cares not for the complex and the lofty; rather, he relies upon the tone and volume of the sounds to craft his portraits. The album’s opening track, “Reason To Live” is hardly anything more than an archaic drum kick and snare beat played though what sounds like a Windows 95 sound card. And while it might be simple in construct, it’s Marshall’s unmistakable and gorgeous vocals that make Eldorado worth coming back to again and again.
ARTICLE CONTINUED BELOW
If you’ve heard a Mattress album before, or any of Marshall’s other side projects, you know exactly what I’m talking about: that raspy, sinister lounge singer voice, deep and masculine yet riddled with pain and fear. “So I thought a long time about this song/ About this song, for you,” sings Marshall on “Bad Times,” a tribute to writing about other people as a cathartic release.
It’s that same emotion that runs through all of Marshall’s work, but especially here on Eldorado. Mattress seems like one big exhale of emotion for Marshall — a way of cleansing himself from the evils around him. I can’t help myself from getting lost in the album, but even more scary than our reality is Marshall’s reality, a schizophrenic desert where we’re constantly running in circles looking for answers we don’t have. Eldorado is a world unto itself, and it’s a state of mind I suggest you journey to.
September 16th, 2011 – Pioneer Square Courthouse, Portland, OR MusicfestNW is a festival unlike most festivals, because most of it takes place indoors. Within the past few years, the good curators have added a stage in downtown Portland, or as it would be referred to by many people over and over, the backyard of Portland (and due to the mid-90s heat that day, one person called it the frying pan of Portland): the Pioneer Courthouse Square. For a fenced off area in the middle of the hustle and bustle of downtown, the sound was surprisingly fantastic and the setting rather serene and well… concert-like.
First up was Matthew Cooper, aka Eluvium. The Portland ambient/minimalist instrumental artist was the first big test of the large and spacious venue. Eluvium’s beautiful guitar loops and gentle piano pieces worked wonders for the small crowd that had gathered so early to see him. The sirens that had been echoing throughout the buildings faded away to nothing as Eluvium gently pulled the crowd for a relaxing float along his musical river, speaking very little, except to play a song he claims to not normally play by himself live.
If you’ve ever had the question how many Portlander’s it takes to make a band, on this day, the answer was 13. Apparently on other days, the answer is even more. Portland’s Typhoon are one of those bands made up of friends of friends of friends who appear to not be able to say no to anyone with an instrument in their hand, resulting in a largely muddled sound — one that would be The Decemberists-lite if The Decemberists weren’t doing it with one-third the amount of people. But three trumpeters playing the equivalent of one trumpet line are excessive and it detracted from the overall sound. The band was a big hodge-podge of mediocre-ness, but I – the foreigner from Seattle – appeared to be in the minority as the rest of the crowd absolutely gobbled up Typhoon’s orchestral jams.
Brooklyn-based The Antlers were up next and provided a nice, relaxed, and more big time business-oriented sound. The quartet played their brand of indie rock with heavy MBV fuzz thrown in, and it was the time when the fuzz hit when the band really cranked it up a few notches, to the point where the band did what all bands quit doing (giving a shit about anything) and ran over their set time by a good 10 minutes. That is generally a big no-no in the festival round, but here in the Pacific Northwest we aren’t too good with confrontations and The Antlers trampled all over that. But when the sound is as good as what The Antlers put out, who the hell cares?
explosions in the sky
Austin instrumental heroes Explosions In The Sky came out to a barrage of loud cheers as sun finally fell on the Pioneer Square Courthouse. The band did what they do best: played their hearts, hands, feet, and souls out. Each guitar line, each riff, each note is played with emotion like it will potentially will be the time, as if they would’ve dropped dead the moment after. It is the sheer energy and passion of their live show that has carried the band’s sound so well, because no band is able to make the crescendo quite like EITS, and no band is quite prepared to handle the audio consequences of it quite like EITS either. They played a very balanced set — a few more than usual off of this year’s Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, but were also keen to fan’s desires to hear some of the older catalog.