Two Door Cinema LOVE

At some point a little over a month ago, I was in the midst of a revelation that I really need to do a better job acknowledging the non-American music of today, when I came across this band from Northern Ireland called Two Door Cinema Club. If you’re already deeply immersed into the hipster music scene, then you might be thinking that I’m a little behind on this personal discovery, but better late than never, right? I’ve been listening to their two albums non-stop ever since, and I just think they’re so rad. Their songs are incredibly catchy without being cliche — with quote-worthy lyrics, and guitar riffs that stick with you all day (in a good way), combined with their general quirky adorableness, Bask in the Music gives these guys two thumbs up. When you get a second, I suggest you check out their 2010 album, Tourist History, and their 2012 album, Beacon (both available on iTunes and Spotify).

 

Their newest single, “Sun”:

Also, don’t forget to watch them tonight on Conan O’Brien at 11:00 PM EST! YAY!

Doom and Gloom

At the beginning of September, the Stones announced that they would be releasing a greatest hits album, title: GRRR!, U.S. release date:  November 13, in celebration of their 50th anniversary.  Hardly an “album”, it will actually be available in a few different versions, including a three-CD 50 track version, and a four-CD 80 tracks version, and will act almost as a time machine, from their start to present day, with songs including “The Last Time”, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, “Get Off Of My Cloud”, “Jumping Jack Flash”, “Honky Tonk Women”, “Brown Sugar”, “Miss You” and “Start Me Up”.  It will also include two new songs, one of which was released today and entitled “Doom and Gloom”. Check out its brand new lyrics video here.

Now if only they would release some 2013 tour dates..

Settle Down, Jack White.

No Doubt. The epitome of 90s ska punk alternative pop rock. I was so in love with this band, in 4th grade I literally wanted to be Gwen Stefani.  I wanted her retro, bleach blonde hair-do, all of her baggy pant/crop top ensembles, and even her braces.  In fact, their album Tragic Kingdom was one of the very first CDs I owned.  With my Walkman constantly in hand, long car rides were filled with the likes of  “Spiderwebs”, “Just a Girl”, and, “Don’t Speak”.  This band freakin’ rocked, as I’m sure all young women of my generation would concur.

Now, after their long-awaited, reunited return, the band has released their first single in over a decade – the song, “Settle Down”.  Sadly for me, it fell incredibly short.  I understand that they’re trying to maintain their roots and stay true to their original sound, but this is just plain boring.  Okay, maybe “boring” is a little harsh.  Let’s try “easy”.  Check it out the new single below and see what you think for yourself.

If you know anything about me and my taste in music, I have no doubt that certain genres and sounds have the ability to exceeded these invisible obstacles we call “time” and “generation”.  I love plenty of music from the 1960s, 70s, 80s (well, with the 80s I’m a little bit more selective), and 90s.  I still love their old music, and plenty of similar bands of that time and sound (Garbage, 311, Sublime, in addition to 50% of the music featured on the Clueless soundtrack.) So what is it about this song that just sort of irks me?  It’s like, they’re trying too hard… or not hard enough.  In which case, I find the title of the song kind of ironic… or obvious.  Whatever. I’m choosing to stay optimistic, and hope the rest of the upcoming album will pleasantly surprise me.

In other news today, Jack White just debuted his video for the song “Freedom at 21”, from his first solo album Blunderbuss, which was released this past April.  I really liked the album, and despite his general creepiness, I actually find him incredibly talented.  It was nice revisiting this song today, but the video… my goodness. With it’s borderline pornographic and misogynistic undertones, it is a true testament to the fact that male musicians, especially guitar players, really can get any girl, and have all of their sexual fantasies met… even when they permanently resemble a less attractive Johnny Depp in a Tim Burton movie.  So fellas, listen up. Learn to play the guitar, and learn it good. Just ask Jack.

“Brendan’s Death Song”

So I guess this is the week of epic music video releases…

RedHotChiliPeppers.com and RollingStone.com have debuted the official video for the Chili Pepper’s “Brendan’s Death Song” from their 2011 I’m With You album. This song was written for their long-time friend, Brendan Mullen, who passed away on the first day of production on the recent album.  Mullen, a well-known and respected Hollywood nightclub owner, met Anthony and Flea in the early 80’s, giving them one of their very first gigs at his Club Lingerie. He was immediately supportive of the band, and they remained good friends until his death in 2009.  He had also been co-authoring a biography on the Chili Peppers when he died. In the interview below, Anthony describes Brendan as, “[having] a love for music and art and life and freaks.”

I actually really love the music video. It’s simple, it’s respectful – while still clinging, somewhat, to the band’s bad ass roots- and, according to what information I know about Mullen, a traditional New Orleans funeral seems fitting.  When announcing the video release yesterday on Twitter, Flea even proclaimed it to be his favorite video thus far from the I’m With You era. I concur.

To get an exclusive first watch of the video now, visit the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Official Website, or Rolling Stone’s Website.

“National Anthem”

And just in time for the 4th of July!

Lana Del Rey debuted her brand new video for her song “National Anthem” this morning, and already the interwebs are ablaze, buzzing with both nods and criticisms of the somewhat historical/slightly “remixed” story of John F. Kennedy’s various loves, and assassination.  Reminiscent of her “Born to Die” video, which is jam-packed with romance and sex appeal, followed by a tragic and morbid conclusion, the “National Anthem” video follows a similar recipe.  I have to say, however, that although the lyrics to this song are limited – at least to me – I can’t help but love the video, as I love all of her videos. They are all so beautifully shot, their retro vibe probably being their initial appeal to me.  But I also just really love her ideas on portraying her realities.  She explains in the below interview: “I’ve been making videos since I was seventeen, collecting vintage footage from different archives, and setting moving pictures to classical music – clips that meant a lot to me… I had a vision of making my life a work of art.”

Below is the official “National Anthem” video, featuring rapper A$AP Rocky as a modern-day JFK.

Thoughts?

Noctourni-What? And Hilariously Awkward Music Videos

Let me start by saying that I did a ton of research on The Mars Volta before their new (and apparently their last) album, “Noctourniquet” was released last Tuesday.  I have total respect for Omar Rodrigues-Lopez, and I generally appreciate some of their older work, so I figured I should be excited about the new album. After I finally got a first listen on Tuesday morning, I found myself sort of bewildered by what I had just heard. I proceeded to read a couple of online reviews (which I usually try not to do until I form my own opinion.) To my surprise, for the most part, all of these reviews were extremely positive!  What?? How could this be?  I took another listen.  Yeah, nope. I found it overwhelming, confusing, angry, and in many cases lacking any sort of cohesiveness or melody. One song literally hurt my ears (and not in a blasting-my-headphones-because-it’s-so-freaking-good kind of way.)  By all means, I respect progressive and experimental rock, but this is a whole other level. If you’re into that kind of thing, definitely check it out; but I was disappointed, to say the least.

And, as many of you may already know, Chad Smith of the Chili Peppers announced about a month ago that John Frusciante will not be attending their induction into the Rock Hall of Fame on April 14.  He quoted him as saying, “I’m just not really comfortable with that, but good luck and thanks for inviting me.” I realize I need to respect his decision (plus, how can you stay mad at that face???) but my heart is a little bit broken.

With all that being said, I definitely need a little cheering up from the music world. And what could better cheer me up than…

MAKING FUN OF REALLY CHEESY MUSIC VIDEOS!

As we all know, there was a lot of confusion going on in the 80s… Women wore scrunchies in public, and men wore very small shorts.

 

But something that we should definitely be thankful for was the rise of the music video –  The awesomely weird, cheesy, awkward music videos that, even today, bring so much joy to our lives.  Music videos from the 80s are, therefore, excused from scrutiny, as I see them as almost experimental (but funny, nonetheless).  Bad music videos from later, more technologically advanced times, however, have zero excuse.  And so we watch, and we laugh.

Here are some of the best of the worst:

Oh George… I love you, and we miss you so much, but what the hell is this? You’re in a dark house, the fire’s raging, your dog’s there. All of the furniture and animal heads are moving with the music. Cute, right? (But pay special attention around the 1:57 mark. It’ll blow your mind.)

This is actually just an excerpt from the movie “Tommy”, the rock opera, which I absolutely loved when I was little. I have to hand it to The Who – They were definitely my gateway into the world of classic rock.  I would obsessively listen to this cassette I had of all of the songs after seeing it on Broadway with my dad when I was 7.  I rediscovered the movie version relatively recently, and even though it’s not technically a music video, I couldn’t not put it on here. People spraying pesticides in an open field, forest bombs, beach cartwheels?!  And the special effects when he’s running at the very end are truly groundbreaking.

What. The. Fuck.

Shots of an iconic Tina Turner in her famous chain dress, interspersed with scenes from the film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, which stared the lovely Mel Gibson.  This song was actually nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, and received a 1986 Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance – proving that music video humor, like a fine wine, only gets better with age.

Mel Gibson, the face of a hero.

I’m sorry, guys. You know I love you with all of my heart, and this is actually a great song, but… this video.  Acrobatic mimes swing dancing, and flying cartoon skeletons.  I’m just not really sure where you were going with this.  The animation kind of reminds me of something I would’ve seen on Nickelodeon in the early 90s. And poor Chad on the cowbell – Here come the Will Ferrell jokes (as if he didn’t get it bad enough already.) At least Anthony’s body is redonkulous.

My only question while watching this video was, “How was he not embarrassed?”

Journey, and the most dramatic performance at a dock warehouse the world ever saw.

They were really excited about using a green screen, revolutionizing fake fire backdrops. Freddie Mercury… so sweaty.

I put this one up, not so much for the video itself, but as an ode to my childhood. This song was a huge hit when I was in 6th grade, when all of the eleven year old kids would recite the poetic lyrics sung by human-sized monkeys.

So put your hands down my pants and I’ll bet you’ll feel nuts
Yes I’m Siskel, yes I’m Ebert, and you’re getting two thumbs up

It brings a single, glistening tear to my eye.

This video is about a professor who’s in love with/borderline stalks his blind female student.  He even prank calls her at 3:39.  But whatever he’s doing, it’s obviously working, since all along she’s been working on a sculpture of his head. Aw.

And that’s all for now.  I have to say I feel much better, but I do apologize in advance for being the reason why any of the above songs are now drilled into the deepest corner of your brain.  Good luck with that, and have a nice day! 🙂

John Frusciante (Part 1 of Infinity)

 

His guitars are simply an extension of his being, like a limb.  His passion and soul are so immense, that at times I find it almost overwhelming to watch him.

So, needless to say, there will be many, many more posts about John Frusciante and his work in the future.  However, today I came across these extremely rare music videos from his third solo album, “To Record Only Water for Ten Days” from 2001.  I wouldn’t be surprised if someone removes these videos from YouTube soon (due to fear of copyright infringement or some BS along those lines), so I had to share them with my loyal followers before they were sent into the black hole of the Internet, never to be seen again.

Enjoy!

All around you is to feel and watch you
They make patterns to peel the sound
And I find it a pain that goes along
With being in chaos’s order
I’ve a field now to realize in
Watch the main jump
It has fears of you being there rising up
Like who you’re introduced to saying goodbye
All again and you’re always free now
I didn’t fake this so you could fade away
I’ve been careful to take what I’ve spent
I remember every end
I’m pretending to face something
I’ve been looking straight in it’s eye
Moments have you to play around with
Cuz inside actions there’s no time
I’ll evade you to create a reason
I hear you inside a space
An instant is forever now
A future fluctuates
Glimpse your motion
Sitting down
It’s like framing a pear
Or saving sounds
I defy you to realize it
How a shattering creates a song
I’ve been used to help the body
Of work that will never be
A lapse of the most confused kind
Has reserved feelings jumping around
The first type plays around the souls
They have fun with everyone you know
A knot only found
Never made
Everyday we reload feelings
When we play
 
 
You don’t throw your life away 
Going inside 
You get to know who’s watching you 
And who besides you resides 
In your body 
Where you’re slow 
Where you go doesn’t matter 
’cause there will come a time 
When time goes out the window 
And you’ll learn to drive out of focus 
I’m you and if anything unfolds 
It’s supposed to 
You don’t throw your time away sitting still 
I’m in a chain of memories 
It’s my will 
And I had to consult some figures of my past 
And I know someone after me 
Will go right back 
I’m not telling a view 
I’ve got this night to unglue 
I moved this fight away 
By doing things there’s no reason to do 
 
 
 
 
Did I mention that he’s a genius?