Band headed to Carnegie, because that is rock 'n' roll
Dirty Projectors' song "Offspring Are Blank" sounds like two different songs put together, so it's appropriate that its music video looks the part.
DP's frontman David Longstreth directed the clip, which features him walking through a field of garbage and dug-up dirt and then rocking out in its original backdrop of picturesque, steep, lush hills. He dons a tox-suit with a three-piece underneath. Dude works hard and plays hard here in dystopia.
"Offspring Are Blank" are the first of three videos debuting this week from Dirty Projectors' 2012 "Swing Lo Magellan": "The Socialites" and "Swing Lo Magellan" will debut tomorrow and Friday. They're all part of the shoot that resulted in short film "Hi Custodian." Watch that trippy trip below, too.
The ABCs were never so woeful
Cat Power has previously been known for her epic (and sometimes understated) stage break-downs from earlier in her career. These days, she's causing conversation about the health care anxieties for musicians, the cost of touring and what it is to be an indie mainstay... but she's not having trouble on stage much anymore.
No matter, I'm glad to see Chan Marshall being able to make fun of herself and precious, precious stage-fright in a new skit from Funny or Die, in which she's charged to entertain 2nd-graders during music period.
"Hand-dancing" may be my new favorite term, if not a very solid euphemism for basically anything. "This lady makes me sad," reveals one clever child. And I'm loving the cropped hair, too.
The songwriter takes a trip to the trailer park
Last we visited Skylar Grey's single "C'Mon Let Me Ride" featuring Eminem, a few things were established: the song is catchy, Slim Shady is a nerd, it's a satire on overtly sexualized pop music and Skylar Grey can play the part exceedingly well.
With the release of the music video to "C'Mon Let Me Ride," the songwriter takes the cynical message even further, with the pair dropping by a trailer park and wreaking hell on its inhabitants, women and men. Grey -- rocking cutoffs and a flannel so hard -- inexplicably pines away for a cowboy who can't be bothered to notice her as he's too busy ogling beauty pageant contestants in a magazine. Those airbrushed airheads come alive and Grey then takes them for a ride (get it?), luring them into clap-jawed evil tanning beds and giving them bunk plastic surgery. The fools are then further goggled by hillbillies from their lawn chairs.
That leaves Grey alone with her cowboy, and they seductively wash her bicycle like it's a car, water everywhere, hands gripping the stems. It's about this time that you notice, even more than before, the lyrics "I'm a sellout for you..."
Belle & Sebastian, Robyn, fun., Icona Pop round out Vol. 1 compilation in time for Season 2
- Critic's Rating B
- Readers' Rating C-
Hey, if you're gonna loan a song to HBO series "Girls," you might as well call it "Girls," right?
Santigold did just that, as she contributes the new track "Girls" for the first volume soundtrack for the cable comedy. As the characters struggle with their own idiosyncrasies and repeat their mistakes, so does Santi repeat her vocal rhythms "around the block." The a cappella opening gives way to a minimal drum machine beat with all the high-end your hungover heart can handle.
Scooter Braun clarifies he wasn't 'mad'; Minaj's manager calls bull; Dave Grohl has a laugh
On Wednesday, the nominees for Grammy's 81 categories were announced, but fan favorites Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj weren't among the hundreds of names. Those two artists have been mum on the social networks since then (so far), but their managers are having none of it (so far).
Biebs' manager Scooter Braun, as previously reported, had some choice words for the Recording Academy the day following the announcements. "U blew it." But rather than being angry about the no-nods, Braun told Billboard he was just "voicing my opinion," man.
"I wasn't mad, just voicing my opinion," Braun said. "I saw a lot of chatter online and made a comment. I don't think there was anything wrong with any other nomination. I just felt Justin deserved to be acknowledged."
He further articulated why he was totally not mad.
"If he was 35, he'd be nominated in numerous categories... When you are so much younger than your industry peers, you tend to be overlooked," he said. "If you want to see me mad, read my Jets tweets -- read what I have to say about my favorite football team."
Meanwhile, Nicki Minaj's co-manager and Lil Wayne's manager Cortez Bryant called Nicki's snub some straight-up "bullsh*t."
They was on some bullshit for not nominating @nickiminaj— Cortez Bryant (@CortezBryant) December 6, 2012
Minaj has been mum on Twitter since Dec. 5, last promoting her new lip color for a popular cosmetics maker, and Bieber has spent the rest of this week not being mad and workin in the studio on a follow-up to his popular set "Believe." Both artists have garnered nominations in the past, so better luck next year.
But maybe Dave Grohl -- of all people -- has the last word. He guest-hosted "Chelsea Lately" last night and provided a little commentary.
"I like him, too. I think that if I were 18 or 19 years old and had $100 million, I would look exactly like that," Grohl, who is gorgeous, said. He did, however, submit that Bieber's concert presentations would suffer were he to sing live all the time, otherwise it'd sound like the heavy breathing of a dying man. Perhaps a 35-year-old?
All this being said, I hope this doesn't become a trend. Snubs are the regular, and while Bieber and MInaj have put time into helping the Grammys as an institution, it's voters have spoken. And they'd rather have a hack in the Best Dance Recording category than they would put Bieber in a pop category.
Jingle bells and 'Mystery Date'
Jingle Bells, holding tight to the one you love, singing puppets: no, it's not another lousy Christmas song, it's Piney Gir's "Outta Sight."
The Kansas-born (holler) pop songwriter assembled a team of sock puppets for her take on "Mystery Date," the video backdrop to unabashedly catchy "Outta Sight" from her album "Geronimo!" The track's strengths lie in her lyrical simplicity, a realness in that sweet voice, rounded out with bright arrangement power.
Music videos made for viral marketing
Today is a lesson for making-of viral hits. Make them very darling or make them insanely bad. These two particular approaches are exemplified by Mariah Carey with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots, and by John Travolta with Olivia Newton-John. Both clips are for Christmas. Both will succeed in procuring clicks from the collective Internet. One is what we could call "nice," the other "naughty."
First off, Carey stopped by "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" and video recorded her hit "All I Want For Christmas Is You" with her host and house band The Roots. It was done in a similar "home movie" style that Fallon has done other hits, like with Carly Rae Jepsen and "Call Me Maybe." This one is particularly successful with a dash of children singing and a prominent kazoo and Casio "drum" parts. The result is a better Wednesday.
Secondly, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John reunited for a Christmas album this year, if you haven't heard (or seen), and for it they combined for "I Think You Might Like It," a music video weaved from iPhone footage and your nightmares. It features a crumpled Kleenex, an inexplicably slow-moving vehicle, a cheesy "I'll run for you" jaunt and footage taken at an airport. Did you know Travolta has his pilots license? Of course you did. Merry Christmas and pick up your jaw from the floor as you leave. The result of this video is also a better Wednesday.
Holidays are just full of misfires, crass commercialism, unnecessary slow-motion and unwieldly ways of dress. Some just do it better than others. Enjoy both videos-gone-viral below.
Best catalog number
Happy Grammy Nominations day! Eels aren't really up for any awards, but the frontman wanted to thank the Recording Academy anyway, y'know, for all those awards they gave him.
Mark Oliver Everett allows his sarcasm to shine in all its glory in a newly posted video, as though it were his own album. He awards himself various honors like "best female slow jam," "best good hair day," for commercial flops and "catalog number." He is phoning in his acceptance speeches because he's detained at previously scheduled events, like those at the "Sydney Rock Opera House." It's all good stuff, give the man an award.
Intricate webs of noise
At this point, Buke & Gase's "General Dome" has been available to stream for 15 days. It's been in my browser tabs for 14 of those. I've listened to it daily and I still don't quite have the words to describe it.
This urgently-timed piece of noise combines about 10 layers of rhythmic sound, with Arone Dyer sharp, pining report dotting throughout. "Takes one to know one," she says accusingly, shortly before a operatic bridge diverges into this false climax and murky cipher. I don't know what to do with it beyond keeping it on hand while I do all things internet, and maybe that's the point.
Watch the lyric video
"We No Who U R" has a title straight out of a ransom note, but the song itself is a sorrowful batch of natural images, filtered through a blues structure and dotted with flute. Just like 'im, ain't it? The trudging beat may not be the best intro for the notice into Cave's work, but for longtime listeners, it's a strong indication of the spare sounds to come.
As I noted last week, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' current incarnation is essentially Grinderman (sans Mick Harvey), with two longtime Bad Seeds members added in. That six-piece crew has committed to a dozen or so tour dates starting in March, with Sharon Van Etten opening. Looks like a great big "Sorry West Coast" to me. Also looks like we can expect a playdate at SXSW. Tickets for announced shows go up tomorrow (Dec. 5).