Fleet Foxes' latest album "Helplessness Blues" has been out for a while, but they've been saving up at least one particular goodie for this, the end of the year.
Frontman Robin Pecknold's brother Sean directed animated clip for the band, for "The Shrine/An Argument," which the brother animated together. It featuring myth, monsters and as much plot tension as the song's audio provides. I woke up still thinking about it. I'd recommend giving it a go.
French electronica duo Air are going hand-in-hand with "The Moon."
Director Georges Méliès' "Le Voyage Dans La Lune" ("A Trip to the Moon") was a trailblazing silent film originally completed in 1902, and one of the first known science fiction flicks, inspiring flimmakers and writers thereafter. A hand-painted reel of the film -- the only one of its kind -- was discovered in 1993 and it was subsequently reworked for a debut on the world stage at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year; Air was commissioned to complete a brand new soundtrack for the 14-minute film it debuted at the fest as well.
Air are expanding on that prompt and are completing an entire album inspired by "La Lune." Astralwerks will release "A Trip to the Moon" on Feb. 7.
More than two months after the Occupy Wall Street protests popped up, creative professionals now have a formal website to show their support. Lou Reed, Tom Morello, Talib Kweli, Saul Williams, Dan Deacon, former members of Fugazi, Laurie Anderson and more have expressed their support of the movement on OccupyMusicians.com, which has sister sites like Occupy Writers and Occupy Filmmakers.
The site organizers can help pair up musicians who support the cause to protest leaders, to help schedule performances. It's also a simple way of musicians showing support for the grassroots cause.
There are names on here that don't really surprise me -- Morello is normally the first guy to sign onto anything that fights-the-power, and nobody's ever going to raise an eyebrow after the words "Ian McKaye" and "personal politics." The 99 percent is a large enough swath to lend relevancy to any artist. I'm a bit cynical about any artist's ability to bring more to the cause than the cause lending to these artists (except maybe somebody gigantic like Radiohead).
It reminds me a little bit of protests against Arizona's controversial SB 1070 law, but in that case, artists actively boycotted the state -- didn't tour through -- which is a quick way to hurt local music businesses. The unconstitutional portions of that legislation weren't affected by Morello or Conor Oberst's protests. But, then again, it was a moment of solidarity, and another way to bring the issue into national consciousness. I had mixed feelings.
Hell, the coldest months approaching, I hope OWS protesters stay warm and healthy as they exercise their right to assemble. Cynicism aside, if the best wishes of Marc Ribot and other artists are going help keep these guys warm, I welcome them.
I gotta hand it to Jack White and his label Third Man's handlers. They make every vinyl release seem like an event. In a festively worded press release, Third Man announced its newest round of goodies, in time for Christmas, including rarities and singles from now-defunct White Stripes, from actor and musician John C. Reilly and from Edgar Oliver.
Check out clips of some of these below.
First, with Jack and Meg White's old band there are four records to be had, starting Dec. 6:
So you think you know how to love a woman? Mary J. Blige and Beyonce think you might be doing it wrong.
The two seasoned singers paired up for "Love a Woman," for Blige's forthcoming "My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1)," a title that's as much a mouthful as this track is. Blige and Bey try to delineate between just having sex with your girl and making love, that women want more than material things. Also: girls like to talk it out. Duh. It's actually a pretty standard list of grievances and explanations, but the real guts of the thing is when the two to light up, to bring out the best vocal performances in each other, shooting you straight back to the 1990s.
And you get it, with the extended bridge section, though the sparkler synth at the end of the runs really interfere with the combined fireworks of Blige's dark vowels and Beyonce's strong vibrato.
Florence + The Machine tried to make more than just a beautiful -- though, somewhat disturbing -- music video for "No Light No Light." There seems to be a fable here, or a classic battle between good and evil.
The melodramatic clip literally pins Florence Welch against a contortionist/Voodoo priest and his minions (?), as she's tortured by a Voodoo doll, falls from a skyscraper, runs from danger, writhes in pain. She ultimately, baptismally falls through a stained-glass window through the top of a church (?) and into the arms of an all-boys choir. The priest falls to the ground, dying it seems, and Florence is comforted safely by the boys and by the cutey pie she's been singing about all along.
It's actually kind of startling when you consider the symbolism, pairing classic Christian imagery against an exotic -- and, yes, dark-skinned -- "other." I'm not sure if Welch intended commentary on spiritual matters, or was just playing with themes, but she returns, once again, to the symbol of immersion (water and otherwise) with the clip.
At the end of the day, it's a bit too much to watch. I like the rality of her running scared, and the dancers who cause her pain are impossible not to watch. It's just so... so.
"No Light No Light" is off of Florence + the Machine's latest "Ceremonials," already out this fall.
I like Wale's new record overall because of it's variety. It's clear that Wale like a lot of variety in his ladies, too, judging from two new videos, plus another street clip with Rick Ross, all released this week.
"Ambition" was released early this month, but three vids dropped just this week, including today's "Ambitious Girl." It's a love poem to a girl he hasn't met yet, but she proves self-worth through the woman she aspires to be. She also just happens to be a stripper, y'know, to get herself through school. F'real. The slow-mo clip is otherwise well-shot, only a little gratuitous and well-meaning on the whole.
"Lotus Flower," on the other hand, is a LOT gratuitious, but not without a good laugh by the end. Miguel lays down the bedroom-jamming refrain. I suddenly feel the need to wear a leotard?
And then there's "Tats on My Arm," with Bawse, both rhymers woofing all over this simple record for the club (and, of course, your local tattoo parlor).
Feist became well-known for her music videos from "The Reminder," particularly for the one for "1234." For "Metals," however, it's been quiet on the A/V end. Until now.
The Canadian singer-songwriter stars solo in this black-and-white Middle Earthish shoot, for "How Come You Never Go There." She sports a very long wig, which is being tousled by the wind. Perhaps she borrowed a machine from Rebecca Black?
Leslie Feist told me in an interview recently that she hasn't been feeling music videos lately, in part because she lost collaborator Patrick Daughters (who stepped away from video-directing to focus on other art). There hasn't been a name associated with this clip yet, but perhaps it's the start of another beautiful friendship.
Feist is currently on tour in North America in support of "Metals." She has help from troupe Mountain Man on backing vocals. It's really good, guys. "Metals" was released this fall.
Sean Penn is channeling The Cure's Robert Smith for his look for forthcoming new film "This Must Be the Place," the but the title itself was inspired by the Talking Heads' song of the same name. So it only makes sense that David Byrne was pulled into the project, for the soundtrack, forming a unique collaboration with Will Oldham.
The two went further and hooked up with singer Michael Brunnock for a couple songs on the 17-track set, and the trio perform those songs under the name The Pieces of Shit, probably because they are mature grown men.
Oldham, aka Bonnie "Prince" Billy, loaned his gorgeous "Lay & Love" to the soundtrack, on which Brunnock sings lead; as a matter of fact, Brunnock leads most of the five original tunes, with the music by Byrne and lyrics by Oldham. Got it?
A live version of Byrne's performance of the title track and the song played in the trailer, “Every Single Moment In My Life Is a Weary Wait," both make the cut. Hair paste not included.
Check, too, Jonsi & Alex's previously released "Happiness," Gavin Friday's lengthy "Lord, I'm Coming" from his new album this year and Iggy Pop's classic "The Passenger."
Here are the five new tunes plus "Lay & Love" from The Pieces of Shit:
Here is the tracklist for "This Must Be the Place":
“Lord I’m Coming” - Gavin Friday
“Lay & Love” - The Pieces Of Shit *
“Open Up” - The Pieces Of Shit
“Chairmaine” - Mantovani & His Orchestra
“Spiegel Im Spiegel” - Daniel Hope & Simon Mulligan
“This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)” [Edit] - Trevor Green
“This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)” [Live] - David Byrne
“Gardermoen” - Julia Kent
“Happiness” - Jonsi & Alex
“Eliza” - The Pieces Of Shit
“The Passenger” - Iggy Pop (4:41)
“You Can Like It” - The Pieces Of Shit
“Achille’s Heel: II. Second Bounce” - Brooklyn Rider
“If It Falls It Falls” - The Pieces Of Shit
“This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)” - Gloria
“Every Single Moment In My Life Is a Weary Wait” - Nino Bruno E Le 8 Tracce
“The Sword Is Yours” - The Pieces Of Shit
I am not here to dump on every former Disney and/or tween-fanbased star that hits my desk. I actually want to pull for Selena Gomez, to mark a positive path for girls who want to be more than just Justin Bieber's girlfriend. I also actually, genuinely like "Who Says" and I think the styling for her "When the Sun Goes Down" was pretty stunning.
That being said, Selena Gomez' music video for "Hit the Lights" is something like a three-and-a-half-minute JCPenney commercial. Preceded by a Selena Gomez Kmart commercial. Wasn't there, like, three teases and a behind-the-scenes of this? For what?