Inside Music with Katie Hasty
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
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds have released the first song from their new album "Push the Sky Away," along with a slew of tour dates for 2013. It's a good weekd for Nick Cave fans.
"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).
Costume department ran out of tuxedo jackets
Drake's outfit is a problem
Today, A$AP Rocky released the video for his single "F**ckin' Problems," off of "LongLiveA$AP." It coincides with the announcement that the album is now due on Jan. 15.
Here are five points for clarification:
1) "F**ckin' Problems" does not refer to having difficulties fornicating. It's about problems that are more difficult than others, first and foremost, plus needing to have sex so much and ample reserve of game girls that such a lifestyle becomes an issue. Suspiciously, f*cking b*tches helps to solve said problems. SO DEEP.
'AMOK' now due a month later
Finally, a word directly from Thom Yorke on the future of his Atoms For Peace supercrew: the band has confirmed a new released date, some artwork and a tracklist for album "AMOK."
The full-length debut will be out via XL on Feb. 26, a month after initially reported, with the personnel as expected, featuring Radiohead frontman Yorke, longtime collaborator Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker, Mauro Refosco and Flea. The set is only nine tracks long, which is actually unsurprising, considering Radiohead's last effort "The King of Limbs" was only eight.
Stanley Donwood, who has also worked with Yorke & Co. for stretches, is also behind artwork for the album. You can see the cover below.
Atoms For Peace have promised to post new material on their website soon; Yorke said in his statement that Atoms For Peace may play shows next year, and that the project is "ongoing."
"Atoms is a ongoing and open ended project, where it leads i know not for certain... which is what is nice about it."
Beyonce's documentary and directorial debut on HBO may not have a name yet, but the excitement builds nonetheless.
The network has released a "special tease" video for the film, which debuts on Feb. 16. From the looks and sounds of it -- the title TBA -- Beyonce's doc is mostly about fear and hair.
"HBO has a history of pushing every boundary with class and authenticity," Beyonce said in a recent statement. "Some of my favorite shows are on HBO, so I am excited that my film will be part of its bold programming. This film was so personal to me, it had to have the right home."
Reworked tune has a live performance sheen
Ryan Adams' "Ashes & Fire" had a lot less production sheen on it than, say, "Easy Tiger." Well, consider his redux of "Shine Through the Dark" to have an even smaller amount of futzing.
The song has been reworked to fit into Judd Apatow's new film "This Is 40," and according to EW, you can expect to see and hear a little more from Adams in "40" than just a line in end credits.
"Shine Through the Dark" -- a live recording -- is another good reason why you'd want to live your life inside of pedal steel, with it's harumphs and sighs lining the sides of this uptempo tune. The track was originally recorded and released for "Live From Nowhere Near You: Volume 2," a charity comp released last year.
Listen to the new "Shine Through the Dark" here.
Fiona Apple's contribution to "This Is 40," "Dull Tool," has been leaked on and off. Keep your ears peeled.
Here is the tracklist for the "This is 40" soundtrack:
1. I’m Your Angel – Yoko Ono
2. Always Judging – Norah Jones
3. What Do You Like? – Graham Parker with Punch Brothers
4. Sick Of You – Lindsey Buckingham
5. Rewrite – Paul Simon
6. Shine Through The Dark (Live) – Ryan Adams
7. Lunch Box Odd Sox – Paul McCartney
8. Brother & Sister – Lindsey Buckingham Featuring Norah Jones
9. Theme 1 (Debbie & Oliver) – Jon Brion
10. Watch The Moon Come Down – Graham Parker & The Rumour
11. Days That We Die – Loudon Wainwright
12. She Acts Like You – Lindsey Buckingham
13. Dull Tool – Fiona Apple
14. Lucky Now (Live) – Ryan Adams
15. I Got You – Wilco
16. Live & Die – The Avett Brothers
Bonus track (digital only):
17. Protection (Live) – Graham Parker & The Rumour
'History of the Eagles' headed to Park City, too
The poster for "Sound City"
In about six weeks, all the mysteries of Dave Grohl's "Sound City" documentary will be revealed, as it premieres at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The Foo Fighters frontman is taking his directorial debut to Park City, Utah for the event running Jan. 17-27.
The film chronicles the good times had at Sound City Studios, the Van Nuys, Calif., recording palace, its history, and "then explores the human element of music in an age of technology, and features performances of new music created exclusively for the film." Acts like Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, Guns 'N Roses, Rage Against the Machine, Nine Inch Nails and Metallica have all recorded at Sound City; Grohl's previous, tiny little band Nirvana also laid down their album "Nevermind" there.