August Video Challenge: Dan Keyes, Untitled

While we’re on the subject of unGoogleable songs, here’s one more. The video doesn’t give a title, but I’d name it Find You Lost, Leave You Found essentially to distinguish it from all of the other songs that are called Who’s Going to Walk You Home?

The person singing is Dan Keyes, formerly of Young Love (dance-pop) and Recover (post-hardcore), now a songwriter/producer, and the performance is part 2 of a two part interview he did with Alexi Wasser from I’m Boy Crazy. I have watched both parts and all I’m going to say he is both extraordinarily patient and a very good sport about approximately everything.

I picked this video because I initially watched it out of morbid curiosity and then spent the half second between him hitting the last note and Wasser’s final comment feeling kind of stunned and lost. I don’t know what I was expecting but this song – this bright beautiful stiletto of a tune – was not it.

So I watched it again. And again. Every time I watch the video I have to watch it four times in a row. I am hoping someday it is actually released properly, just as it is, acoustic-style, because I think adding anything to it would ruin it.

I want to be able to take it to all of my favorite quiet, lonely places and spaces and times, like Coney Island when the air is cold and the beach is empty and the High Line in the snow.

August Video Challenge: Oh Ginger, And So It Goes

Oh Ginger is Lindsay Holler (Charleston SC) and Michael Hanf (New York NY), and together they sing sweet delicate beautiful songs. They have two EPs out so far, Oh! Ginger and [oh ginger] and a third one coming soon.

Here they are with And So It Goes, from Oh! Ginger:


August Video Challenge: Didier Wampas, Eternellement

Here is Didier Wampas singing Eternellement, one of my favorites from Taisez Moi, while dressed as a vampire and playing a very special guitar.


PS/ETA: If you listen very carefully to the chorus, you can also hear Ryan Ross (The Young Veins, Panic[!] at the Disco] singing back-up!!

August Video Challenge: Melody Gardot, Baby I’m A Fool

Another one I found while looking for something else: Melody Gardot, with Baby I’m a Fool from My One and Only Thrill (2009).

While I am not usually into jazz, Gardot has a stunning voice and I always love handsome men dancing in top hats and tails. The internet informs me she has just put a new record out, so if you listen to this and like it, be sure to follow up on that news.


August Video Challenge: Mykki Blanco & the Mutant Angels, Head is a Stone

A little something to get your blood moving on Monday morning: Head is a Stone by Mykki Blanco & the Mutant Angels, the creation/alter ego of poet and multi-media peformance artist Michael David Quattlebaum Jr. In addition to his musical endeavors he’s also just put out a book of poetry: From The Silence of Duchamp to the Noise of Boys.

I like this video / song because: those drums are relentless and there’s some excellent use of the rooftops of New York.


Director: Nick Hooker
Director of Photography: H. Spencer Young
Editor: Sloane Klevin
Additional Photography: Nelson Hancock

August Video Challenge: Marianne Faithfull, Ballad of Lucy Jordan

The Ballad of Lucy Jordan, by Marianne Faithfull, brought to you, in a roundabout way, by a labeled but track-list-less mixtape I found in my tape box this weekend. I had to listen to it to find out what was on it, and this song was both the end of Side A and, then, because it got cut off, the start of Side B.

The mixtape was made in the fall of 1996 by one of my professors, as part of a class project. The first time I listened to it was probably the first time I heard this song. I was 21, and 37 seemed very far away. I read it as a cautionary tale. A warning, left by others: watch out, danger, here be quicksand.

Now I am 37, and, while Lucy Jordan’s despair is definitely not mine, the weight of it feels different. Heavier, I think; more real. When the path diverged in the yellow wood, I took a different one, but I can see hers through the trees.

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.

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.


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 video to contemplate is: What if that teacher struggling with inappropriate desires was a killer?

All I can say is, I hope there’s a follow-up soon.