Video: Gang Gang Dance 4AD Session

This session was filmed in Angelic Studios in April 2011 to celebrate the release of Gang Gang Dance‘s fourth record, Eye Contact. I like this band because they’re from Brooklyn, but sometimes they sound like they’re commuting from Mars.

1. Chinese High
2. MindKilla/KOU-DA-LEY
3. Adult Goth/Bond
4. Glass Jar

Director: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard
Director of Photography: Stuart Roweth
Camera Assistant: Warren Forster
Set Stylist: Sal Pittman
Editing and Post Production: Iain Forsyth
Recording and Mixing: Sean Maffucci
Recording Assistant: Tom Fuller, Angelic Studios

Continue reading

AF THE NAYSAYER: An Agglomeration of Thoughts (album sampler)

In the department of “electronic music I really enjoy”: AF THE NAYSAYER, of New Orleans, with a sampler for An Agglomeration of Thoughts, his most recent record:
AF THE NAYSAYER – An Agglomeration of Thoughts (Album Sampler) by AFTHENAYSAYER
Just so you can hear one all the way through, here’s Imagerial Denouement:

Continue reading

Video: Lindi Ortega, Dying of Another Broken Heart

I first encountered Lindi Ortega as one of the opening bands on Social Distortion’s latest tour, where she slammed through some rockabilly tunes and leaned more towards rock than ‘billy. This song, brought to you by the fine people at Cardinal Sessions, is a little bit slower, and showcases the crystalline purity and sweetness of her voice.


Continue reading

Video: Macklemore x Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz, Thrift Shop

I like this video because: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are both rocking those fur coats; DELOREAN!!!!; Macklemore is also rocking those Batman footie pajamas; Wanz is superfine vocally and sartorially (pink suit!!!); and I sincerely appreciate their collective celebration of thrift stores.

Plus his rhymes are pretty great. I especially love the “I bought a broken keyboard / and then I bought a kneeboard” because that is the essence of thrift shopping: the mixture of “I could fix this and it will be totally fine!” and “I didn’t know I needed this until it was in front of me!”

Which is also how I have acquired a pair of kind of ridiculous vintage purses; a pillow that looks like someone skinned a Tribble, which I have named Beowulf; and an ever-expanding collection of vintage tea cups. Obviously if Macklemore and I ever went shopping together we would have the absolute best time.


Continue reading

Jail Weddings: Four Future Standards

Four Future Standards is Jail Weddings‘ follow-up to Love is Lawless(2010) and the prequel to Meltdown (coming soon). It is both a teaser – Meltdown is apparently going to be about, well, meltdowns, and these songs certainly presage that development – and a breather – these tunes are tremendous, but have a different kind of energy than, say, Tough Love. They’re more cabaret than drag race.

This is the one I like the best so far:
The Good Book by Jail Weddings

Continue reading

Video: The Pixies, Dig For Fire / Allison and Here Comes Your Man

The Pixies are one of the bands that I can put on shuffle and listen to for a morning, or even all day. I don’t think there’s a single track that makes me stop and mutter oh, not now.

I have picked this particular set of songs today because they are three of my favorites. Here Comes Your Man was the #1 most played song in my iTunes for several years, until it got (accidentally) dethroned by a Vienna Teng song, and on a Pixies-only playlist, Allison and Dig for Fire are right behind it at two and three, respectively.

The first video is the “official” video, from 1990. The music holds up; the visuals are endearingly dated. Especially the part where they’re playing in an empty stadium. Some of you may not remember but that was a time when there were a lot of videos made in empty stadiums.


The second one is a live video shot during their 2011 tour, which I picked over the “official” video because the official video is weirdly terrible and not in an entertaining way.

If you’d like to … Continue reading

Empires: Garage Hymns

I’ve been writing about a lot of dreamy electronic music and chill folk rock lately, but now I’m ready to push the pendulum the other way.

Luckily, I have some Empires – scrappy little band of my heart, North American division – to listen to. Garage Hymns is their latest record, out earlier this year, and it is just what I need to clear out the cobwebs.

Some sample tunes, with annotations:
Can’t Steal Your Heart Away: A perfect evocation of a particular kind of party, specifically, the kind that ends with people playing Bad Decision Bingo. And so wryly observed that it fills me with longing for nights that end with fries drenched in cheddar cheese and mornings that start with strong tea.
Can’t Steal Your Heart Away by Empires
Night Is Young: This one will always evoke the lights of Times Square blinking while I study for the bar, for me, but there’s other things in there, too. Like, I live here … Continue reading

Video: The All-American Rejects, Heartbeat Slowing Down

And for Tuesday, the lyric video for Heartbeat Slowing Down, the most recent single from The All-American Rejects‘ fourth record Kids In the Street.

I like this video because I have a weakness for lyric videos, but also because of the way the lyrics are presented: hand-written by Tyson Ritter himself. I’m particularly fond of the shot of him writing out one verse on torn hotel note-paper, and the way the camera lingers on the tense curve of his fingers.

The lyrics also appear written on torn scraps of paper, large posters, pillowcases, arms of other members of All-American Rejects, and other surfaces, which is a simple but clear visual metaphor supporting the “messy breakups” theme of the song.

Heartbreak isn’t tidy. Sometimes it gets on other people. Sometimes there are rageful things you wish you could font size +7 at people, because maybe if you write it large enough, they’ll finally hear you. Sometimes you there are things you font size +7 at yourself, in hopes perhaps this time you’ll learn.

Continue reading

Video: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Fishin’ in the Dark

I put this song on my prom mix tape in 1992, sandwiched between Miracle (Bon Jovi) and Veronica (Elvis Costello). All of which kind of sums up me, age seventeen, pretty neatly.

Also in the mix: A lot of Rocky Horror Picture Show and Red Hot Chili Peppers, leavened by Edie Brickell, Bruce Springsteen, Depeche Mode, Aerosmith, Queen, The Spin Doctors, Richard Marx, John Mellencamp, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and, most baffling to me now, The Beach Boys.

All I can say is, I’m surprised there’s only one country song on the tape.


Nitty Gritty Dirt Band official website

Continue reading