Thursday, September 27, 2007

The smell gets in your hair and your clothes

"Kids Aflame" by Arms (I am indeed compiling a list of the most unfortunate band names ever) has that Magnetic Fields pace going on - mainly due to the prominence of the ukulele, though the vocals are a little less baritone and a little more nasal than Stephin Merritt and co. The beautifully shot video for Kids Aflame mirrors the song's lyric of heartbreak and revolves around an ever so brief playground fling between a stalking, starving and rather scruffy Sasquatch (perhaps there aren't any unscruffy Sasquatches but this one is particularly shabby) and a young, possibly teenaged, girl. Uh-huh, its Animal Collective's Peacebone vid, with that alien love thing, all over again. Near the end of the song, about the time the glorious hand claps, backing vox and finger snaps get into gear, the video does degenerate artistically a wee bit with the pipe-clad, rifle-toting father doing his well-trodden bit for the "betterment" of mankind. Of course, these things never end well...

VIDEO Kids Aflame by Arms

MP3 Kids Aflame by Arms

Monday, September 24, 2007

80's Stereotypes

It doesn't matter how futile some music is at standing the test of time... if its soaked into you originally then its there to stay. That sounds really dorky. Anyway... witness these three songs that still get my goosebumps forming despite the gratuitous guitar solos et al. Unfortunately, 80's videos have very few redeeming qualities...

I don't think anyone outside of Western Canada has ever heard 80's and 90's "sensations" the Northern Pikes - what a loss I say. However, in this video for the anthem "Teenland", the lead singer alone commits at least 48 acts of 80's stereotyping (eg: tighty whitey muscle shirt and yee ol' finger snap while doing the "skip dance"). And... was it ever cool for drummers to wear gloves? HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! A MUST SEE!!!
VIDEO Teenland by The Northern Pikes

Oh it was cool at the time, but seeing Feargal Undertone now with not one but two female drummers just speaks of "I trust neither one of you alone". But look at that hair on dear Feargal would ya! Someone should really be asking my wife how she could possibly have vetoed the name Feargal during all those baby naming conversations.
VIDEO A good heart by Feargal Sharkey

Cock Robin: I've tried the album and hereby verify... one-hit-wonders. Great song. Great lyrics. But what the heck is with those outlandish gesticulations on the part of the singer? Bonus 80's stereotype: bolder posing! I think I preferred the gloved drummer!
VIDEO When your heart is weak by Cock Robin

Broken Household Appliance

This past week, two more items got added to the lengthy list of broken stuff in and around our house. A little man will hopefully come soon and fix the dishwasher but the jammer the ipod suffered has rendered it, in the technical words of the all-knowing mac guy, hooped. Woe is me.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Stockholm Syndrome

To feed my crazy appetite for Swedish music I have now found a more direct source - the singular-of-purpose swedesplease blog. Which is where I found this catchy/ jogging n' footie playing gem by Elias & The Wizz Kids...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sick down to my heart

Worlds collided this week upon hearing The Killers cover of Morrissey's "why don't you find out for yourself". In the hurly burly world of mp3 downloads it is no longer available for sharing. The original's better anyway.

LIVE VIDEO Why don't you find out for yourself by Morrissey (1996)

No one has a more complete arsenal of on-stage poses than Mozzer:

"Don't rake up my mistakes; I know exactly what they are; And... what do you do?; Well, you just sit there; I've been stabbed in the back; So many many times; I don't have any skin; But that's just the way it goes."

Thanks for clearing that one up for me dear school zone...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

George's filthy lucre

For the first time since I was 8 years old, $1 Canadian now equals $1 US!!!

Back in 2002, one year into Bush’s presidency, a $7.00 Challah bread French Toast from Sunnyside Up in Corvallis, OR (for example) would have cost me, Johnny Canuck, $9.80! Add to that the fact Oregon has no sales tax (our provincial and federal taxes total 13%) and I see a nice slab of oh-my-god brownie sidling up to that much anticipated French Toast when we’re next down Corvallis way…

in a little over a month!!!
For this... yeah!

This time we're definitely going beyond the city limits and actually into Corvallis!

Did I just scare a bunch of American friends away from visiting us? Have I mentioned that Bush is not, in any way, our leader?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Baggy Trousers

need I say more?

VIDEO Baggy Trousers by Madness...


For a whole lot of years I have tried, rather unsuccessfully, to get into and fully embrace The Clash. They’re my kind of band. But The Clash belong to this sub-genre of bands (Pavement being another) that have not yet managed to break through into my world despite references that run parallel to those of my favourite groups. Once in a while, some bands squeak through after years spent in this holding pattern - such as Low and Neutral Milk Hotel (Andrew Bird and Elliot Smith are on the verge!). They are very fortunate!

At least The Clash and the like are on my radar - a handful of songs from their respective collections circling my iTunes playlists. The category of “influential artists” that I have very little to no knowledge on is endless: Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Wilco, 80’s boy bands… I’ve only recently listened to Sgt. Pepper.

But in the same way that I would take John Lydon’s Public Image Limited over nom de plume Johnny Rotten’s Sex Pistols, I’ll take Mick Jones’ Big Audio Dynamite over Mick and Joe’s The Clash. BAD has the distinction of being one of the most sample-laden bands out there and are often credited with being the originator of the sampling technique. Hardly a song goes by without some snippet from a 60’s British television program or an obscure 70’s tune being planted into the mix. They have been hugely influential in this manner but it is arguably not their most enduring quality.

Big Audio Dynamite (and really, they were Mick Jones and whoever happened to be playing with him at the time) made unique, lyrically engaging, danceable, genre-crossing records. They deserved a greater fate than simply fizzling out as a lot of bands did round about the end of the 90’s when record companies began massively chopping their ranks. Theirs is a sound that must be heard - to this day.

And hear it you must... VIDEO V Thirteen by Big Audio Dynamite... Sodom and Gomorrah let the DJ play:
VIDEO V Thirteen by B.A.D.

MP3 Rush by Big Audio Dynamite

Mick’s now pumping out free online singles in his new two-piece outfit, “Carbon/Silicon”. A holding pattern, hopefully, as the whole entire world eagerly awaits the revival of the bombastic Big Audio Dynamite...

they’re outta sight!

Oh, and I still wish I could pull this style off (truly) - all duded up in my whites, topped off with an oversized/ straight brimmed ball cap:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Steve, Seth and Deanna

As a thank you for leaving - haha - my former co-workers gave me a gift certifacte for Amazon. Thankfully they consulted my gift management coordinator (wife) cause they were seriously leaning toward the carriage clock, ie: some sort of mountable keepsake - yikes! As I made my selections I wondered... am I the first person in the history of this world to add to the same basket... The Office, Season 3; Knocked Up; and, the Deanna Durbin Sweetheart Pack?

I’m just saying…

In case anyone has had enough of holding their kids’ hand (or having your surrogate familial presence hold your kids’ hand) and would also prefer to see them tethered to some twine, marching one-by-one with the offspring of fellow like-minded parents… there now exists a walking rope that comes complete with well positioned velcro loop fasteners (for ease of restraint). Matching hats and sour milk scent sold separately.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ethereal Heartbeats

Leading candidate for least descriptive band name... EVER: Scala & Kolacny Brothers. These guys are a Belgian girls pop choir! There is a Scala and a Kolacny and since neither of them sing or are Belgian girls - and voice is the only instrument used here other than sparse piano - their key contribution must lie in the arrangements. I would say they get it pretty spot on with The Knife's "heartbeats". No need to know the orignal here then: MP3 Heartbeats (The Knife cover) by Scala & Kolacny Brothers

And here is them performing their version of a minor U2 hit... confection at its most syrupy...VIDEO With or without you (U2 cover) by Scala & Kolacny Brothers. Just two stylin euro-dudes and their teenaged girl peeps. Not creepy at all!?! (they are from Belgium and that's not the most stable nation on the planet right now).

We Throw Parties (newish music roundup)

Shout Out Louds

Their videos are kinda lame and they tend to wear poorly matching uniforms when performing live, but they're from Sweden so that pretty much guarantees a catchy pop tune or two these days. Here's The Cure-esque:
MP3 Tonight I have to Leave it

Loch Lomond (from Portland, not Scotland)

"Tic" kinda propels along like a sea shanty... the video integrates live action with animation but lacks anything all that interesting going on... "bearing down"...
VIDEO Tic by Loch Lomond

Los Campesinos (from Wales, not someplace where they use "Los" a lot)

Where would this song be without that female-vocal sung chorus?... Not here anyways... The animated video shows, I think, that disco beats war everytime... cool!
VIDEO We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives by Los Campesinos

"But it sounded like he’d broken a limb each and every time he pushed the key down or in"

Monday, September 10, 2007

Melody Day y'all

Currently I am in what I guess is described as the "southern states". I think bluegrass gospel music is featured prominently round these parts. In honour of that, here's a video by Caribou - Canadian Dan Snaith's Brit-influenced electro-alternative band... I haven't been able to get "Melody Day" outta my head for a while. The intriguing video is like a Depeche Mode/ U2/ Aha video all in one. Those bands, I'm pretty sure, didn't feature a tethered drummer however.

VIDEO Melody Day by Caribou

MP3 YoYo by Caribou (from new album Andorra as well)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Pack! Man

Supposed to be packing. Instead I'm shirking by watching a live-action Ms. Pac-Man hopscotch her way around town in a desperate attempt to deceive them ghosts... this from my new favorite English band of the past month - the double-dutch spouting, dual-drummer sporting The Go! Team:

VIDEO Ms Pacman by The Go! Team

This is what The Go! Team look like live... what a party!
VIDEO Grip like a vice by The Go! Team