Video: Space, Strange World

After roughly a decade on hiatus – with one brief reconnection in 2011 – Space, of Liverpool, have returned, bearing new tunes and gearing up for a tour.

I’m trying to figure out what to say about this video and don’t quite know where to begin. Okay, let’s try a numbered list:

1) The camera close-ups highlight that these dudes are old(er) and have earned some gray hair and wrinkles. They are all the more dear for it, and I really didn’t know who they were before, uh, today.

2) There is all manner of “weird” stuff – literally, things: all kinds of dolls, vintage musical instruments, religious statuettes, rows of rusty scissors – which I’m sure was art directed within an inch of it’s collective life, but – I don’t know, I feel a certain sympathy for the magpie heart that collects that kind of thing for real.

3) The song itself is also about the – the challenge, if you will, of being the owner of that kind of magpie heart. Of being able to find home for all sorts of oddly painted creatures and uses for half-broken tools but yet being flummoxed by the sudden … Continue reading

A Good Read A Good Listen and A Good Drink: Martin Macphail, Blitz//Berlin

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.

Blitz//Berlin, collectively of Toronto, Canada, who last appeared in these pages in late 2013, have just released a video for their new song Jesus Shoes from their upcoming record Distance.

It is Halloween-themed in the sense that there are people wearing masks and there is some super weird business going on.

It is … Continue reading

Video: Panic! at the Disco, Emperor’s New Clothes

Normally at this time of year I post the video for Panic! at the Disco‘s Almost Halloween, because it is sweetly ridiculous and deep down I still love it.

But on the surface I can’t watch it any more. The band that made that video is gone, ne’er to return.

And I’m at a crossroads with my affection for the band, as it is currently incarnated. My fondness fades, but lingers, a little like a ghost. There’s a new record coming, and a tour, there have been singles, and I have watched from a bemused distance. All of my favorites are gone, but I can’t quite let go, not yet.

The video below is for The Emperor’s New Clothes, and it encompasses the things I have always liked about Panic!: Brendon’s voice and range; sumptuous theatricality; Brendon in a dramatic costume; and singing skulls. It also has neat bit at the beginning that functions as a “Previously, on Panic! At the Disco . . .” and ties yet another disparate era of style to the one that came before.

I can’t decide if my interest for their (his) constant reinvention has evaporated or merely gone into hibernation. … Continue reading

A Good Read A Good Listen and A Good Drink: Pelicans and Their Allies

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.

I was initially intrigued by Just Like July by Pelicans and Their Allies because a) that’s an awesome band name, and I wanted to see what they sounded like and b) the title references July Johnson from Lonesome Dove, and I’m a sucker for those kinds of cross-cultural references. When I pressed play, I … Continue reading

Video: August Eve, Ghost

August Eve - Ghost

 

If 18-year-old August Eve doesn’t become a hugely successful artist who leaves an indelible mark on the world, it won’t be through any fault of her own. With one song, “Ghost”, and it’s accompanying self-written/self-direct video, the young woman displays a range of accomplished talent not present in artists twice her age.

The song aches with loss and regret, Eve’s voice moving from a deep sob to a high keen, it’s hook – true to the name – digs under your skin and catches. The gorgeously composed and filmed video feels like watching a condensed short co-created by the likes of Wes Anderson, David Lynch, and Wim Wenders. The evocative whole is a perfect love letter to heartache.

 

August Eve – GhostAugust Eve - Ghost
Watch this video on YouTube

 

A full EP is expected this autumn. In the meantime, check out this articulate interview from Fader.

August Eve official website
August Eve @ Soundcloud
August Eve @ Twitter

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Sunday Morning Song: Dioni, Flirting with Reality

Dioni

Australian singer Dioni’s sweet song “Flirting with Reality” is a light, bright number that brings to mind the likes of Django Reinhardt, Stéphane Grappelli, and the Triplets of Belleville soundtrack. On the surface. But the song is actually a rumination on recent crises in Greece, and the video includes a tribute to late “riot dog” Louikanikos.

It’s an infecting little tune filled with willful optimism.

Dioni "Flirting With Reality" (Lyric Video)Dioni "Flirting With Reality" (Lyric Video)
Watch this video on YouTube

Dioni Official Website
Dioni @ Twitter
Dioni @ Facebook

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Video: Hangman Two-Step, Blackwater Jukebox

Our friends in Blackwater Jukebox have a couple of new things: a new video, for Hangman Two-Step, which you can watch below, and also a new website.

Hangman Two-Step purports to hail from Australia’s Barossa Valley, acquired during an encounter with Lazarous Scamp and the Bear Tribe Boys.

I like it because every time I listen to it I remember the first time I heard it: standing on a freezing train platform in Newark, NJ, watching rats scuttle over the tracks, and possessed by a spike of joy of the kind that causes one to do things like abandon pastries and dance in public.

As for the video, it is a fine piece of work by Kenji Christopher Green, even if that rope around Geordie’s neck makes me nervous every time the camera pans over it.

Blackwater Jukebox – Hangman Two-Step (official)Blackwater Jukebox - Hangman Two-Step (official)
Watch this video on YouTube

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Covers of Note: I Walk The Line, Scott McFarnon

I Walk the Line is Scott McFarnon‘s interpretation of Johnny Cash’s classic tune and it is, in all seriousness, breathtaking – in a good way. He’s stripped it down and rebuilt into something quiet and melancholy; the eyes that are wide open all the time gaze upon the line in a state of mournful, almost wistful introspection rather than paranoid, hypervigilant bravado.

In the video below, McFarnon uses London’s newest park/art experiment, also called The Line, to illustrate his vibe, and it is beautiful.

'I Walk The Line' – Scott McFarnon'I Walk The Line' – Scott McFarnon
Watch this video on YouTube

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A Tribe Called Red, Suplex

Suplex - A Tribe Called Red

Suplex - A Tribe Called Red

No one ever retires permanently anymore, do they? Even dead artists have made returns to the stage. A year into my so-called retirement, I’m feeling antsy and decided I needed to get back into this blog that has given me so much. I won’t be trying to keep to the daily schedule that wore me out the first time, but I’ve got some ideas brewing and thoughts to share. (Plus, there’s a new Wind-up Birds EP coming in the near future.)

First off, though, a quick post to share the great news that First Nations DJ/producer crew A Tribe Called Red have a new EP out called Suplex. ATCR continues to combine native song and drum elements with compelling beats for the same heady effect that intoxicated me when I first heard them back in 2012. Fader recently premiered the video for title track “Suplex” (featuring pow wow drum group Northern Voice), described as “a story about native youth, wrestling and becoming a … Continue reading