August Video Challenge, Green Day, Oh Love

Because sometimes I just have to take a moment and be full of love for Green Day.

This is Oh Love, from ¡Uno!, due in late September. It reminds me, again, how Green Day is one of the bands that made the chords that remade the world for mall rats like me, who grew up in suburbia, planning for / dreaming of the day we were going to break free.

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August Video Challenge: Rose’s Pawn Shop, Dancing on the Gallows

Because I always enjoy bluegrass fused to rock and roll and played at punk speed, and most especially so when the fiddle is good. And Tim Weed, who is playing the fiddle for Rose’s Pawn Shop, is very good.

The rest of the band is Paul Givant (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, banjo), John Kraus (banjo, electric guitar, vocals), Stephen Andrews (upright bass) and Christian Hogan (drums), they are from Los Angeles, CA, and this is a video for Dancing on the Gallows, the title song for their second record.


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August Video Challenge: JJAMZ, Heartbeat

And now, JJAMZ‘s homage to both The Police and ’80s horror movies, or, the creepiest video I have watched this summer.

Seriously, I love this song but this video totally gives me the howling fantods.

Naturally I must therefore share it with y’all so we can all watch it from behind our fingers together, preferably in the middle of the day with all of the lights on.

Even more seriously, I’m intrigued by how this song, and in particular this video for this song, combine to interact, if you will, with Don’t Stand So Close To Me, which is ALSO a pretty creepy song.

The video, is, like JJAMZ’s version, also set in a school, but has a distinctly playful feel.

All three of The Police are clowning around as the song plays. Sting, as himself, inexplicably wears puffy golden wings for the first minute or so, spends the last 30 seconds dancing with a lacrosse stick (was it Let Us Use All The Props Day?), and at one point, as the harried teacher, takes off his shirt Superman-style.

In stark contrast, what JJAMZ and director Eddie O’Keefe ask the viewer of their … Continue reading

Now Read This: Strange Things Happen: A Life with The Police, Polo, and Pygmies, by Stewart Copeland

I snagged this one at the same time I picked up the Tammy Wynette biography from last week, mainly because, while I’m not the biggest fan of The Police, I could not resist that title. Pygmies? Polo? A rockstar with a (kind of) secret double life? Sign me up!

I am pleased to tell you that I had once again invested wisely, because Stewart Copeland definitely comes through in the hilarious / compelling anecdote department.

In addition to his time with The Police, his adventures as a documentary film maker and his trials and travails amid the ponies, the book also covers his childhood in the Beirut and England (his dad was founding member of the CIA!), his college years in California, his forays into the world of opera and ballet, the period he was in a band with Les Claypool and Trey Anastasio, a little bit about the making of Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out, his work writing movie scores, his stint as a judge on … Continue reading

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