The electro post-rock band Collapsing Scenery has been hailed as “the voice of LA’s new underground,” so it only makes sense that their tripped-out, abstract videos are essential to their music. Cool, but doesn’t every synth-dominated band these days sorta need visuals to make what is by and large a cold-blooded genre cluster feel even remotely emotive? And what’s so special about swiping a bunch of “found footage” from YouTube, throwing on a glitchy distortion filter, and calling it a “short film”? If you answered “yes” and “nothing,” in that order, then you’re exactly right– only, not about Collapsing Scenery.
Old Dude Winter took the opportunity of his last week in charge to drop a final bowel movement on us: a big ol’ pile of snow to which the city adds its own secret ingredients –mostly street juice and dog refuse– resulting in the world’s grossest Slurpee flavor. But hope may have arrived just in time with a new music video from Bigmun & Frost. Shot in July of last year, it’s a reminder of what summertime is all about in Brooklyn– and for John Bigmun it’s not just backyard kiddie pools filled with beer, it’s also the Giglio Feast that goes down every year in Williamsburg at Lady of Mount Carmel. “It’s like the most amazing thing in the world,” he said. “It’s old Brooklyn, it’s the old country.”
If ever you’ve found yourself getting off the train at Myrtle-Broadway and walking in the direction of Palisades (RIP?), or maybe the Silent Barn, or wherever– anywhere but the nearest K2 dealer– you’ve definitely caught a glimpse of Enrique’s unisex salon. There’s no other place like it, probably on the planet, but certainly in Bushwick.
If you were even a slightly sentient being in the ’90s, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you can sing along with most or maybe even all of Fiona Apple’s “Criminal”– it’s the kind of song that sticks with you forever, with its piano bang-bangs, a sing-along ready chorus that swings from shrill highs to lowest lows. The song even shares its opening line (“I’ve been a bad, bad girl”) with an old prison blues song. We’re a long way from 1996, when “Criminal,” Apple’s hit single and award-winning music video dropped (20 years ago, almost to the date), but it still vibrates with the same fiery angst, tight-fisted rebellion and, yes, youthful sexual energy the day that it premiered.
When I first locked eyes with The Teen Age, I wrote that once the band’s music “gets stuck in your head, you’re screwed.” And truly, the Brooklyn band’s concoction of vibey, stoned doo-wop, cut with surf-rock and steeped in pop, hasn’t left my innards since. Theirs is the kind of pop music that seeps into your bones, made up of individual ditties that, after your first dose, can cause foot spasms and whistle symphonies for months on end.
If you’ve ever walked by that outlaw biker clubhouse on Thames Street and wondered aloud, “What the hell is this doing in Bushwick?” keep in mind that, for one, you’re probably being watched by the Forbidden Ones’ on CCTV (um, don’t touch the bikes) and, two, the bikers are probably asking the same question, only they’re looking at you. So you could say that Uncle Meg’s new music video, which was shot inside the debaucherous members-only club in Bushwick, definitely qualifies as too real, even if it stars vampires and zombies from the cast of Michael Alig’s new film Vamp Bikers Tres.
Sunday, Jan. 31, 3 pm to 7 pm at the Silent Barn: $5 suggested donation
Hey! It’s a combined live music/screening event at the Silent Barn in honor of the release of Kung Fu Crimewave‘s new music video for their very topical song, “Winter Squall.” The band is fluent in so-called “regressive rock,” or what sounds to us like a mix of weird-punk and psych– there’s a crush of instruments going on here but not in an annoying Arcade Fire way. But instead of having a traditional something-release show, the Kung Fu kids have brought together a bunch of local filmmakers (who have either dabbled in or are steeped in music videos) to share their work. There’s even a Q+A after the screenings, so if you’re curious about how they get stuff done, well here’s your opportunity to hear it straight from the horsies’ mouths.
The first email I received about the new video for The Adventures of the Silver Spaceman (TAOTSS) from frontman Zachary James Ellis said something about a “yurt” with no cell service. When I caught up with Ellis via phone, he told me he was on a retreat, writing songs in Paonia, in western Colorado. With the Rockefeller tree about to be lit, tourist crowds reaching saturation levels, the L train acting like a jilted lover, and a drizzle erasing what few hours of daylight exist at this longitude, we could all be a little jealous.
Welcome to our brand new column in which we unravel the distinctions between two homonymous musical acts. Read this column regularly and the next time someone confuses Beach Fossils for Beach House, or Cold Cave for Caveman, you’ll be able to clear your throat and gently inform others about the obvious nuances — thus confirming that you are not only original and authentic, but the most musically informed of all of your friends. First up: Weekend versus The Weeknd.
In the video for “All Work,” the latest release by Williamsburg-based band Fever High, vocalists Anna Nordeen and Leah Cary frolic around Costa Rica in beachwear. Two Debbie Harry-esque blondes plus the beach is a solid recipe for fun — which is appropriate considering that’s the theme of the song. “All work / and no play / That’s no way to live / You got to live for today,” declare Nordeen and Cary in the track’s catchy chorus.
Keep Reading »
If you caught our screening of How to Act Bad last week, then you know some of the documentary’s most memorable moments were Adam Green’s steamy liaisons with The Shining Twins, Alex Weiss and Marisa Kreiss. The punk-pop duo just put out a video for their old song “Pyscho,” originally recorded by Loren “Ted” Humphrey (of Guards) at his studio in Bushwick. The depiction of the rock-n-roll life, by puppet maker Amber B Dianda and filmmaker Kirk Dianda, is short and sweet, and features a disturbing amount of spaghetti vom. Enjoy!
Back in June, the So So Glos invited us into their Bushwick HQ, Shea Stadium, and played “House of Glass” off of their newly released LP, “Blowout.” Now they’re back with a cinematic video for “Wrecking Ball” that they promise is better than Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” video, even if none of the boys got nekkid for it. But is it better than Bruce Springsteen’s “Wrecking Ball”? Grab a coffee and a donut and find out.