Family Force 5 are something of a chameleon, by which I mean every time I catch up with them they’ve changed their look. This year’s style appears to be a complex fusion of “video games” and “’80s nerd.” This time around there’s also been some line-up changes: their lead singer (Solomon Olds) retired, and their drummer, his brother Jacob, has assumed frontman duties. The infectious jams are the same, though. I saw them earlier this year at Warped Tour, at the end of a long, hot day, in front of an impatient crowd awaiting headliners. Family Force 5 started with Sweep The Leg and never took their feet off the pedal. The thing that really stood out: despite the heat, and the impatience, they had ’em dancing all the way to the back.
As April tweeted a few days ago: The Queen is back. Here are Missy Elliott and Pharrell Williams with WTF (Where They From) and a video that includes a broad variety of hot dance moves, amazing costumes, and even some puppets. The parts of New York City visible in the background are not where I am from, but – those places, or places like them, felt like home for a long time.
There are a few things to recommend this new tune from Seth Bogart, thee Hunx of Hunx and His Punkx, from his album due for release early next year: 1) it features hero Kathleen Hanna (BTW, if you haven’t yet viewed the documentary, The Punk Singer, about Hanna (currently available on Netflix streaming), it is not to be missed), 2) it has magnificent glitter eyeshadow, 3) it has a woman eating lipstick like it’s corn on the cob, 4) it is a fantastic tune to shimmy to when preparing for your weekend activities. Seth Bogart official website (check out that Pee-Wee’s Playhouse aesthetic) Seth Bogart @ Twitter Seth Bogart @ Facebook
This is the title track for Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell‘s most recent joint effort, The Traveling Kind. I had been listening to it somewhat obsessively just before I left New York – as anthem, as inspiration, as comfort, as reminder that I am the traveling kind – and a couple days ago, after a particularly long day, it popped up on shuffle while I was in the car, as if the universe wanted to remind me I really did take the right path. And if I needed that reminder, maybe some of you fellow travelers do too. So here it is. Enjoy, darlings.
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. Well, I did threaten on the Twitters, after featuring the gorgeous Post War Glamour Girls, to just write about Leeds-based bands from here on out, and then came Fold with their self-titled full-length debut to help me work toward that goal. I immediately felt the hook catch with the shrewd, jazzy hip hop-trip hop of … Continue reading
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 appearance of … Continue reading
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. But I am, … Continue reading
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. 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