Video Premiere: City of Women, Beaufriend

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Good afternoon, NTSIBBers. I hope you all are enjoying your Halloween and/or Friday afternoon. In the spirit of Halloween, we have a very special treat today: the new video from City of Women, for Beaufriend. It’s a challenge: the first and second times I watched it, I mostly came away confused. So I sent the band some questions. NTSIB: 1) What is the story you are telling here? and 2) The parts I found most – disquieting, I guess – are the lady dancing for the kid and the man with the bullwhip chasing the girls around. Why did you include those scenes and what are they intended to contribute to the narrative? M. Nero Nava (vocals, rhythm guitar, video director): This video (like our band name) is an homage to Fellini’s 8 1/2. The song (Beaufriend) and the film share a theme–finding inspiration in our messy lives. We directly parody and parrot scenes from the movie. The man with the harem (or rogues gallery of women) is also the little boy who was fascinated with the woman on the beach. She’s his first fascination. She also chases his older self in the harem/dream/fantasy sequence. In a nutshell we have … Continue reading

A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink: Arum Rae

Photo by Dominic Neitz

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. Last we checked in with Arum Rae was in April, when she was about to release her first EP. Now she’s putting out another EP, called Waving Wild, and it different from the first one – less echo-ey, syrupy synths and drum machines, more stripped down guitars – but still awesome. Let’s Shake is the … Continue reading

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

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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

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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.

Late Night Listening: Lunatic Soul, Walking On A Flashlight Beam

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Late Night Listening: a home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there. Lunatic Soul is the solo project of Mariusz Duda of Riverside, and Walking On A Flashlight Beam is the most recent release. It’s ambient music, but it’s ambient music with muscle. If it was a film soundtrack – and it should be! someone use it! – it would be for a movie with a lot of fast cars flying through forbidding landscapes and fever dream sequences. Here’s a selection of tracks as an enticement:

Mixtape Time Capsules: Driving Mix, c. 1992

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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

Late Night Listening: The Point, Pretty Marsh

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Late Night Listening: a home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there. Pretty Marsh is the debut record from The Point, the newest project from Michael O’Neill (JD Samson & MEN, Ladybug Transistor) and Sammy Tunis (formerly of The Lisps). It’s a meditative record, and a complicated one. It’s dreamy, but it also sounds like soundtrack for an existential crisis: Pretty Marsh by The Point And then there’s this cover of Thirteen, which caught me by surprise the first time I heard it, and about wrecked me: Pretty Marsh by The Point

Video: Deptford Goth, Two Hearts

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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.

A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink, Pauline Andrès

Photo credit:  Ceven Knowles

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. All Them Ghosts, Pauline Andrès’ debut album, due out next week, is both a delight and a challenge; all of her stories are good, but some are easier to listen to than others. Here are three of my favorites – She, I Remember Her and Sweet Fortune Tellin’ Ma – chosen because of they way … Continue reading