August Video Challenge: Gym Class Heroes, Holy Horses**t, Batman!

In which Travie McCoy and Matt McGinley of Gym Class Heroes go ice fishing to the strains of Holy Horseshit, Batman! from GCH’s fourth record The Papercut Chronicles II, and, in the process, step all over the hook in order to explain how ice fishing works.

(Yes, yes, I know, it’s a tour video, so it’s more about tour shenanigans than the song. I totally love it, though, trodden upon hooks or not, because, not going to lie, if these two had their own fishing reality show, I would watch the hell out of it, even if they stepped all over their hooks every week while explaining how to tie on flies or whatever.

Another show I’d watch if it existed: Travie McCoy and Pete Wentz going for casual strolls around New York / LA / where-ever and discoursing on street art the same way Ice Cube gets down with his love for architecture in Los Angeles. And for anyone who may be wondering, yes, Travie McCoy does have Hall & Oates tattooed on his hands. Unironically, because he loves them.)

But back to the hook. In-video tomfoolery aside, it does play over the credits, unmolested, … Continue reading

August Video Challenge: Dead Can Dance, Opium

I am going to see Dead Can Dance live at the end of this month and I am SO EXCITED. They’re going to be at the Beacon, too, which means KILLER ACOUSTICS, which means Lisa Gerrard is going to make us all feel like our souls have come loose from our bodies. I CAN’T WAIT.

This is Opium, from Anastasis, their first new record in 16 years. If you like it, I very strongly encourage you to dig into their back catalog because there are a ton more gems where this came from. And they are giving away some free EPs on the their website so be sure to grab those, too.

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August Video Challenge: [STRANGERS], Safe/Pain

And now jumping forward in time and across several genres, here’s the latest from [STRANGERS], called Safe/Pain. It is, as usual, dreamy and delicious.

Produced by Bas Productions at ZENEssex Studio
Camera: Tom Brown, Jasper Sharp
Sound/Lights: Gary Clark
Set design: Richard A. Sharpe
Editor: Kevin Burtt
Direction: Claire Coulton/ [STRANGERS] / Richard A. Sharpe

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August Video Challenge: The Georgia Satellites, Keep Your Hands To Yourself

The first tapes I bought were Nervous Night and Born in the USA, in 1985, but it was a year later that the George Satellites taught me what put the roll in rock n’ roll, via the guitars in this song. It’s from Georgia Satellites, their first record for Elektra in 1986. They put out two more records before Dan Baird departed for a solo career in 1990, then took a brief break and re-emerged in 1993, and are still out there making music today.

Meanwhile, Dan Baird is busy with Dan Baird and Homemade Sin, which also includes original members of the George Satellites, and George Satellites songs are in their repertoire. The version of Keep Your Hands To Yourself that I have and listen to probably once a week is a Dan Baird and Homemade Sin production.

And that is what this song sounds like to me: homemade sin. Dirty giggles, skinny dipping, having to be be sneaky about finding places to make out, riding in cars with bad bad boys, its all there, singing a siren song through their guitars.


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August Video Challenge: Mary Chapin Carpenter, Never Had It So Good / Shut Up and Kiss Me

Picking just one Mary Chapin Carpenter video turned out to be impossible. She just has so many good songs.

But since this week has been about country love songs – for certain definitions of “country love songs” – I picked two of those, one for the broken-hearted and one for those in the first flush of passion.

The sad song is first, and it is Never Had It So Good from State of the Heart (1989). The blue filter is perhaps a tiny bit dated (it was the ’80s, is all I can say) but the song itself is timeless.

Listening to it now has just reminded me how satisfying singing along to all that bitterness could be. And the thing is, even when she’s bitter, Mary Chapin Carpenter is a breath of fresh air.

And then to go into the weekend on an up-note, the one for people with stars in their eyes and sexy activities on their minds: Shut Up and Kiss Me from Stones in the Road (1994).

Also, she’s on tour for a big chunk of the fall. Check … Continue reading

August Video Challenge: Mark Chesnutt, Bubba Shot the Jukebox

From Mark Chesnutt‘s second record, Longnecks & Short Stories (1992); I think my favorite line is Bubba hollered and raised hell / “I knew just where I was aimin’!

This is an acoustic version, so it’s a little bit slower than usual, but you can get the spirit of the song.

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August Video Challenge, Tanya Tucker, Delta Dawn

Speaking of me and country radio, I can remember exactly where I was when I heard Delta Dawn the first time: just past the lake and headed down the narrow road through the trees that would eventually take me up to the main road and the 7-11. It was a journey I took frequently, so I was practically on auto-pilot.

And then Tanya Tucker‘s voice and the eerie slow drone under it hit me like a cold bucket of water to the face. I think I turned it up mainly to make sure I was hearing correctly, because it didn’t sound like anything I had ever heard before. I don’t remember when this happened, but I’m guessing it was somewhere around 1992, when Two Sparrows in a Hurricane came out. The DJ probably even played them back to back.

I’m not sure I ever heard Delta Dawn on the radio again after that, or at least not for a while, but it stuck with me just the same.

Here she is singing it on Hee-Haw; she was 14 when this performance was recorded.


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August Video Challenge: The Tractors, Baby Likes To Rock It

This video for Baby Likes to Rock It by The Tractors was directed by Michael Salomon and was the CMA Video of the Year in 1995. Not that I knew that at the time, because I didn’t often watch CMT; nearly 100% of my interactions with the world of country music happened via my car stereo.

This song was part of the soundtrack of many a hot afternoon spent navigating traffic jams and never, ever failed to lift my spirits.

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August Video Challenge: RT N’ the 44s, Lost My Way

If someone had played this song for me and told me it was a lost Johnny Cash track, I would totally have believed it. It’s not, though, it’s RT N’ the 44s. They’re from Los Angeles, California, and they play some sweet country blues. They have three records out, all of which you can listen to at (and more importantly, buy from) their bandcamp.

Plus they are playing a bunch of shows in Los Angeles this month. If you’re already there or passing through, check their listings and get down to see them.

And now without further chatter: Lost My Way, from March of the Fools (July 2011):


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