The concert calendar is filling up, and this promises to be a good one. The Hold Steady hit the Brickhouse, where I saw them in support of Separation Sunday probably a little more than a year ago. The Brickhouse is a great spot for them, a venue that feels more like a bar that happens to have a stage than a place with a stage that happens to have a bar. If that makes sense.
Also read Craig Finn’s “music you should hear” at Amazon (via Largehearted Boy). Peep Ghostface at No. 1 and Clipse at No. 4. Fantastic.
What do Travis and Ben Stiller have in common? Um, I have no idea. But Stiller makes a cameo as a grocery store manager in Travis’ video for its new single, Closer.
I’ve always loved Travis – just absolutely unabashed sentimental writing. It’s a little corny, but so what? They seem to pull it off without being sappy about it. Also, the bass player’s name is Dougie. DOUGIE. That is cool.
Digging around on Rob Dickinson’s MySpace page, I came across his video for Oceans, the second single off the former Catherine Wheel singer’s solo debut Fresh Wine for the Horses.
It’s like any other video, except, well, that it’s supposedly the first one ever shot using a cell phone. VIdeo director Mike Hodgkinson used a Nokia N93 (3.2 megapixel), a phone Nokia claims is capable of “DVD-link quality video.”
In a making-of video about the video (confused?), you can see the “guerilla” tactics Hodgkinson used, including attaching the phone to helium balloons to get aerial shots and creating a makeshift tripod for it.
The major benefit? He tells Tux:Tops they funded the project themselves, “only a couple of hundred bucks all in.”
After hearing nine tracks, Billboard says Josh Homme and Co. are “peddling fast, powerful riffs (Sick, Sick, Sick, Battery Acid, 3′s + 7′s) as well as more psychedelic, boogie-ish rhythms (Suture Up Your Future, I’m Designer).” Guests on the album, due in June on Interscope, are rumored to include Trent Reznor, Julian Casablancas and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.
Here’s a YouTube clip of a making of Era Vulgaris; I’m not sure if it’s officially sanctioned by QOTSA, but it is on the group’s MySpace page.
I’m not really familiar with Live Sets, some live performance filmed and then broadcast by Yahoo! and sponsored ad nauseam by a certain car company.
If you’re patient enough to fight your way through the seemingly thousands of ads, you can catch a pretty decent performance by Nasty Nas, who blasts through eight songs, including the modern classic (in my mind) Made You Look.
Fair warning: Ads also pop up if you view photo slideshows. But we do learn one thing from the pictures: Nas’ DJ appears to use (gasp!) Serato Scratch Live. Nas is right: Hip-hop is dead!
Panther (aka Charlie Salas-Humara) has put out a video for a remix of his single How Well Can You Swim?. The video is part of a DVD that comes with the album Secret Lawns (out March 6) when you pre-order from Fryk Beat.
The choreography – though no treadmills are involved – is fairly impressive, if not a touch hokey. But I’m just glad to finally discover that it’s a bottle he’s beating to make that funky background beat.
Fumbling around Google the other night while pretending to do some “research,” I came across this amazing piece of hip-hop history via YouTube. It’s a video press kit (about seven minutes in length) for De La Soul’s seminal debut 3 Feet High and Rising.
It’s a cheesy yet pretty inventive (for the time) way to introduce the group and the record. It starts simple enough, with the guys introducing themselves and giving the explanation for their names (“Trugoy is yogurt backwards … yogurt, I enjoy to eat yogurt. I mean, I eat it a lot”).
The main theme of the clip, though, seems to center on the group almost defending the album, which probably earned as much abuse as praise for its out-there mentality of peace, love and medallions. De La takes umbrage with being labeled “hippies,” a topic that becomes the driving inspiration behind 3 Feet High’s follow-up, De La Soul is Dead.
Regardless, Posdnuos, Trugoy and Mase break it down in the clip. Check for great guest spots near the end.
Ah, Baby Dayliner. He’s threatening to become the most-posted-about artist at this here site if he’s not careful. That’s a good sign, though, because it means his 2006 release, Critics Pass Away (Brassland), is enduring as one of my favorites this year.
It also means I’ve outgrown my very initial impression that his stylish loungey vibe is some sort of cheap shtick. Critics Pass Away shows Baby Dayliner (aka Ethan Marunas) as a strangely endearing romantic – kinda campy, a little cheesy, but warm and infectious.
The video for The Morning Sun, an unreleased track, certainly isn’t a breakthrough in cinematic achievement; it was shot near a pool behind his home in Brooklyn as he performed the song. But the sunbathers, floating lazily in the background in the pool, seem to capture the breezy horns and laid-back attitude of the track.
The single (and sort of unsteady) camera angle captures Baby Dayliner, slicked back hair and all, standing next to this above-ground pool, singing away to nobody in particular, as if he does this sort of thing every day in his backyard (and maybe he does).