Video: It’s Almost Halloween, Panic! At the Disco


Posting it this year and every year because: 1) I looooooove it – 2) they made it themselves, apparently using change they found under couch cushions on the bus – 3) It was the last thing they did – the last vaguely happy thing they did – before they split in half – 4) Spencer Smith playing the tambourine and/or awkwardly fall-spinning in circles while wearing a wolf mask: never not funny – 5) I miss Spencer Smith, a lot – 6) If you watch all of Panic’s pre-split “official” videos in order of creation, you can see a band gradually coming apart at the seams. Northern Downpour is beautiful and unbearably sad for this reason. It’s Almost Halloween is just them having dumb fun in the woods. 7) Ryan Ross wearing diva sunglasses with a mummy costume: also never not funny – 8) I miss Ryan Ross and his infectious pop hooks a lot, too – 9) Their boy-band-style dancing is hilarious year round – 10) I don’t grudge current!Panic! At the Disco any of their ongoing success, and in many ways the split was the best thing possible for all concerned, but: I miss those four goofballs being … Continue reading

Video: Kan Wakan, Are We Saying Goodbye


This is the video for Are We Saying Goodbye by Kan Wakan, from their new record, Moving On, and it is – unexpectedly powerful, I think, is the word I’m looking for. A visual meditation on all the ways you can love somebody, both who they are and who they pretend to be and what other people make them into (but you know it isn’t real, and hate it, but still love them) and the point where that person and all of their faces is on their way out of your life. For more music, check out their Soundcloud page.

Mixtape Time Capsules: Driving Mix, c. 1992


A mix-tape, whatever its intended purpose, is also always a time capsule. A record of a person, a place, a set of feelings, a time that felt like forever, and then wasn’t. Last week I opened a box and a little piece of the ’90s fell out: the first driving mix-tape I ever made. There’s no date on it, but I’m pretty sure it’s from the spring of 1992, since that is approximately when I would have gotten my license. Fun trivia fact: I learned to drive on the Beltway. In a Chevette. Anyway it is a hilarious cultural trainwreck and I kind of love it, not least because a mix that starts with Dwight Yoakam, dips heavily into, among other things, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Elvis Costello in the middle, and ends with Ashokan Farewell probably does still sum me up as a person reasonably well. Also, I have a terrible pop music problem and every time I listen to Five Seconds of Summer’s She Looks So Perfect I start laughing when they get to I got a mix tape straight out of ’94 because, dudes, I was there, I remember, and most … Continue reading

Video: Deptford Goth, Two Hearts


Two Hearts is the second single from Songs, the second record by Deptford Goth (Daniel Woolhouse), due out in November. It’s a mellow tune, ostensibly about love being enough to survive and keep the world at bay, but the video is . . . oddly mournful? There’s a lot of blue light and moving water, is all I can say. Maybe it’s a metaphor for the way the world can grind lovers down, like water over standing rocks can carve a canyon. In any case, it’s pretty.

Mumblr, Full of Snakes


Mumblr, of Philadelphia, have recently released their first full-length effort. It is called Full of Snakes. The accuracy of that title will depend entirely on your personal feelings about snakes. (I have a certain wary appreciation, providing no venemous fangs are in evidence.) I have a good deal warmer feelings about the record; it’s brash and messy and weird and contains a love letter to Philadelphia which gets stuck in my head every time I listen to it: But there are also tunes like Sober, which is distorted, fuzzy, primal shriek of anxiety: And Greyhound Station which seething, roaring meditation on the strange combination of sweaty exhaustion, low-level terror, and rage that eventually settles on anyone required to spend any time in the titular location: It can be a challenging listen, at times, but it is absolutely worth it. In conclusion: here is the video for I Think About You All The Time – also their first video ever – which contains a dude in green paint for no apparent reason and some nudity towards the end. Adjust your viewing plans accordingly. You can listen to the rest of the record here on Soundcloud, at least for now. Alternatively you … Continue reading

Video: frnkiero and the cellabrations, Weighted


Frank Iero (My Chemical Romance) has started (yet another!) band, which he is calling frnkiero and the cellabrations. Their first record, Stomachaches, just emerged Monday; this is the video for Weighted, the first single, which emerged somewhat earlier but has taken me a while to absorb. The parallels to certain pieces of My Chem iconography are inescapable; it’s impossible to watch the first minute and not think of the video for Helena, from Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. And as Helena was a farewell, so, in a way, is this; it’s also a hello, and a warning: don’t try to raise the dead, lest you bring on a zombie apocalypse and the lead singer of your favorite band decides to eat your heart and play jump rope with your intestines. For all that it is gross, and disturbing, and I didn’t even make it through twice – I had to hide the tab and listen to him sing – I have to agree with the sentiment. I miss My Chemical Romance; I like Conventional Weapons and feel vaguely bad about it because they don’t; I’m sad I’ll never hear a pit howl along to Boy Division; but the band is … Continue reading

Tour Alert: Jail Weddings “After Dark”


Attention all fans of high quality rock and roll: JAIL WEDDINGS IS TOURING OFF THE WEST COAST. You can see them at the following times and places: They are going out on this jaunt in support of their second record, Meltdown: A Declaration of Unpopular Emotion, which has just been turned loose upon the world. Some excerpts, to whet your appetite: Meltdown: A Declaration of Unpopular Emotion by Jail Weddings Meltdown: A Declaration of Unpopular Emotion by Jail Weddings And in conclusion, the video for Summer Fades:

A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink, Ben Cook, Wild Smiles

Photo by Steve Gullick

It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. Wild Smiles are from Southampton, England; this is the video for Fool For You, which is a perfect song for a summer crush and/or driving around in a convertible with the top down, and will probably get stuck in your head like it got stuck in mine. And now, I’ll turn the floor over to … Continue reading