August Video Challenge: Wild Yaks, River May Come

The Wild Yaks are from Brooklyn, and they are awesome. The video below is for River May Come from 10 Ships (Don’t Die Yet) (2009). And there will be new music in the fall!

Reason I like this video: because I have lately made it my tradition to plunge myself into the ocean on New Years Day, and in doing so, found I never feel more alive than when I can’t quite feel my toes. I have to be more careful of the undertow than hidden rocks, but I feel like the spirit of the thing is the same.



Special Signal Boost: They are in need of a guitarist for September!

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August Video Challenge: Danielle Dax, Bad Miss M

Danielle Dax was a member of Lemon Kittens from 1979 until 1982, when they went on hiatus and she started her solo career. Bad Miss M is a song about Margaret Thatcher (spoiler: Dax is not a fan) and is from her third solo record, Inky Bloaters (1987).

In addition to being a singer, Dax is also an accomplished artist, interior designer – she’s appeared on the BBC show Homefront and was named their Designer of the Year in 1997 – and garden designer.

I am particularly fond of this song because it’s the kind of thing that will get one moving on a sluggish day.


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August Video Challenge: Witchboy, Heartbreaker

So here is what happened: I heard some mutterings in the ether about something called “witch house” which sounded intriguing, not least because I thought it might be related to what we elderly goths used to call “swirly girly gothy voice of doom.” It certainly seemed that way from the descriptions I was reading, and you have to admit “witch house” is a much more efficient genre term.

My starting point was Aural Sects‘ bandcamp page. They’re a label who have a lot of electronic artists on their roster, and if you’re into ambient noise, dark electronica, experimental noise, etc etc, get yourself over there and start clicking because you are bound to find something you like. They update frequently, so check back often.

The artists I chose to listen to I picked somewhat at random. Sometimes I liked their album art, other times I thought their name was promising and/or compelling. Witchboy was the latter. And, while I did like the songs – which incidentally sound nothing like “swirly girly gothy voice of doom” – and I find the cover art for Hollymode aesthetically pleasing, it was the first video that I watched, for a song … Continue reading

August Video Challenge: The Wild Eyes, Vampire Radio

The Wild Eyes are: Len Cockraft, Gareth Dawson, and Nikhil Singh, and they are from Cape Town, South Africa. I found out about them when I was looking for something else, specifically, more information about Nikhil Singh’s alter ego / side project Witchboy, which I had in turn stumbled over when trying to find out what “witch house” was when it was at home.

I’m going to write about that whole strange journey tomorrow. Meanwhile, this tune is pretty catchy and I’m enjoying the visual effects here. Check it:


Directed by Jenna Bass
Shot by Caleb Heymann
Edited by Jacques de Villiers
Timelapse Footage by

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August Video Challenge: A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Steep Hills of Vicodin Tears

Another artist from my Chill Out Drown Out mix, A Winged Victory for the Sullen is Stars Of The Lid founder Adam Wiltzie and classical composer Dustin O’Halloran. Their partnership is the result of a chance meeting backstage at a Sparklehorse concert in Italy in 2007.

The music they have produced together is a fusion of their genres, with traditional orchestral forms wrapped delicately around cores of ambient tones, and it is lovely.

The first video I’ve picked for today is lovely too, but, well, it is very unusual and possibly not safe for work. Note: do not adjust your screens, the first minute or so is blurry on purpose.

Featuring Ruby Pester, Jekaterina Petrova and Antje Taiga Jandrig.
Camera and Edit:
And if it’s too early in the morning for you to take a trip to bizarro land, here is an alternate version: A Winged Victory for the Sullen performing the song with Kraków’s royal orchestra Sinfonietta Cracovia at Tempel Synagogue in Kraków on October 16, 2011 as part of Unsound Festival 2011:

Directed by ZFCL.

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August Video Challenge: Wolf Parade, Animal In Your Care

There is no “official” video for this one, so I went with the best quality concert video I could find. The band is Wolf Parade, from Montreal, Canada; the song is Animal In Your Care from At Mount Zoomer (2008). I have, sadly, never seen them live myself, and possibly never will, since they went on indefinite hiatus in May of 2011 in order to work on other projects.

Reasons I like this song: the jagged rhythms that hammer and fade, stomp and chime and swirl and bounce around before coalescing somewhat suddenly and surging upwards, and the lyrics, for example: I fell for crime I fell for beauty / I fell for you because you’re the one that cared.


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August Video Challenge: Def Leppard, Pour Some Sugar On Me

From Hysteria, which turned 25 (!) yesterday.

I went to see Def Leppard live a couple of weeks ago – they were headlining, Poison and Lita Ford were also on the bill, and it was my last show before the bar exam ate my face – and honestly, you guys, hearing this one live was thrilling.

I have pictures to share later, but for right now, here’s Def Leppard, c. 1987:

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August Video Challenge: Dwight Yoakam, Fast As You / Turn Me On, Turn Me Up, Turn Me Loose

This, again, was a very difficult decision, because of the strength of Dwight Yoakam‘s musical and video catalog. In fact it was so difficult I decided I couldn’t contain myself to just one.

So, first, because it’s Friday, and the heat of summer still lingers in New York, and there are very few things I like better than watching him sing and dance with his guitar, here he is cutting the rug while playing Fast As You, from This Time (1993):


Second, Turn Me On, Turn Me Up, Turn Me Loose from If There Was a Way (1990) which does include dancing but is beyond that is probably my all-time favorite Dwight Yoakam song. Also, there is some seriously freaky business going on in this video.

I mean, there’s the filmic set piece at the beginning, and then he (or the character he’s playing) falls face-first into a brothel, and then there are men line-dancing in lederhosen and scantily-clad ladies wearing enormous headphones riding partial mechanical bulls that are suspended from the ceiling.

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August Video Challenge: The Honorable South, Beast

And now for something COMPLETELY different: The Honorable South, out of New Orleans, with Beast, from their debut record I Love My Tribe.

After my first listen to I Love My Tribe, I thought to myself They’ve found a way to bottle the spirit of New Orleans, which I know is not a musical metaphor, but is nonetheless the best description I can give you.

But to expand on that thought just a little bit: their tunes are the bone-rattling booty-shaking electric funk cure for what ails you. Click play and prepare to shake your tail feathers.



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August Video Challenge: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Insider

Another year, another challenge, or: I am once again setting myself the task of posting a video a day, every day, for an entire month.

I am starting today with the video for Insider by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers featuring Stevie Nicks, from Hard Promises (1981).

It was recorded at around the same time as its much more famous cousin, Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around, which was written by Tom Petty and Mike Campbell for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers but ended up as the single for Bella Donna, Steve Nicks’ first solo record.

I picked it – and it was a very difficult choice, given both the volume and quality of both Petty’s musical and video catalogs – because it is one of my favorite songs, and I didn’t know he had made a video for it until, er, just now, when I went to his VEVO channel to see what was in the “official” video library.

I like it for many reasons; it’s one of his slower, quieter songs – reflective, even – a little bitter, and a little bit sad. With books, some you read, and some read you; I’ve found, over … Continue reading