Seen Your Video: Nico Vega, “Gravity”

Where guitarist Rich Koehler decides to dress up his niece, nephew, and a neighbor kid and form Mini Nico Vega. Man, I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to do this kind of stuff to them.


Seen Your Video: The Coral, “1000 Years”

I will be the first to admit that I don’t hear every album released each year because, frankly, it’s impossible. Over 30,000 albums are put out each year. Can’t hear ’em all, and goodness knows I try.

Having said that, I at least hear about albums coming out, even if I don’t hear them. But when I saw a recent press release talking about the upcoming Butterfly House being the Coral’s sixth album, I uttered the words that piss me off when I hear them from other people: “They’re still together?” The funny thing is, I had just been thinking of the band – loved their song “Dreaming of You,” from their 2002 debut – and wondered what had happened to them. After their 2003 sophomore effort Magic and Medicine, I literally had not heard a word of their existence until the other day. You’d think I would have accidentally heard something, but no.

And if the song “1000 Years” is any indication, I’m thinking I missed a few damn good records. James Skelly’s vocals are less Eric Burdon bluesy growl than ’90s Madchester shoegazer whisper, but the song is an absolute psych-pop gem, and the video is appropriately loaded with liquid camera shots and crude good/evil symbolism (man with wolf’s head, horses, water, an ankh). Butterfly House is currently scheduled to be import-only. Here’s hoping they change their minds.


Seen Your Video: OK Go, “End Love”

Sweet Jesus. OK Go has done it again.

What I love about “End Love” is that the stop motion photography reminds me of Zbigniew Rybczyński’s groundbreaking videos in the early ’80s, particularly the Art of Noise’s “Close (To the Edit)” and Lou Reed’s “Original Wrapper.” Only, of course, OK Go takes the concept into outer space by turning the clip into an all-nighter and, in the end, a giant group production. Along with a few very curious geese.

Tim is clearly the best dancer of the bunch here, but that’s almost become an in-joke of sorts. If Dan and Andy suddenly learned how to be as fluid as Tim, it wouldn’t look right. The occasional inclusion of super slo-mo shots was a nice touch too, but nothing touches that human cyclone at song’s end. And now that they have gained control of the album and released it on their own label, we don’t have to worry about any of that ‘no embedding’ nonsense. Get comfy. You’re going to need to watch this one a couple times to catch everything.


Seen Your Video: Editors, Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool”

“Steamboat Willie”-style insects running a freakish post-apocalyptic assembly line. There is no other way to say it: this is one of the creepiest videos we’ve ever seen. Cool, but creepy.

The song, though, is one of our favorites from Editors’ most recent album, In This Light and On This Evening. Kind of like a modern-day “Being Boiled”…with eyeball-removing insects. Yikes.

Embedding is disabled for us American Anglophiles, so to see the video, you’ll have to click here. Trust us, it’s worth a look. Bonus points if you go back for seconds.


Seen Your Video: LCD Soundsystem, “Drunk Girls”

In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that I do not for one second understand the critical and music geek slurpfest that LCD Soundsystem has basked in since its inception. And the thing is, I should understand it. They like the same bands I like. They play the kind of music I like to listen to. But I do not like LCD Soundsystem. From where I’m standing, they are quite possibly the most overrated band alive today. Indeed, this is how I ended my review of their last album, Sound of Silver:

“The band never rises above their influences, and James Murphy can’t sing. In the end, though, none of that matters. All that matters is that LCD Soundsystem is cool, and if you like them, then you’re cool, too.”

So…are you cool?

Fortunately, I gave up on being cool a few years ago, and let me tell you, that was a wonderful thing. Trying to stay hip is hard – there is a very popular blogger whose name I could cite as an example of someone bending over backwards to maintain their hipster cred, but I won’t; she’ll find out the hard way soon enough – and here’s the thing that aging, former hipsters don’t tell you: you’d be amazed to discover how much better music sounds when you stop acting so pious and elitist about it. Does that mean I’ve lowered my standards? Not at all. It simply means that I couldn’t care less what anyone thinks of my musical tastes anymore. And that includes anyone tempted to use the comment section below to tell me how stupid I am, so don’t waste your time.

Now, back to LCD Soundsystem, the cool band of the moment. This is the second one-take video I’ve seen this week (Slow Club’s is the other), showing that the OK Go ripple effect is in full swing. The clip begins amusingly enough, with the aforementioned singer who can’t sing standing in front of a test pattern screen, trying to sing while guys in animal costumes (dogs? Panda bears?) pester Murphy, Al Doyle (at least I think it’s Doyle) and Nancy Whang as they try to sing along to the track. Pretty soon, the inappropriate touching gives way to truly obnoxious behavior. Nancy gets egged, but not before getting a bullhorn blasted in her ear. Doyle gets hit with fire extinguishers, stripped and has trash dumped on him. Murphy and Whang are duct taped together and written on with markers. The subtext is not hard to read: LCD Soundsystem are the drunk girls, and the guys in suits are frat boy douchebags. The video ends with everyone partying and completely defacing the set.

The clip will definitely get people talking, and while I get and appreciate the point it’s trying to make, it’s still pretty ugly. Besides, the video’s moral, as it were, will be lost on the majority of its audience anyway. Doyle is even seen drinking with the animals at the end, which sends all sorts of mixed messages. Do the drunk girls deserve what they get? Hmmmm.

Ah, but no one’s going to talk about the video’s message. All anyone cares about is that this band that is perceived as cool made a “controversial” video that got the blogosphere buzzing. Their fans will line up to tell them how wonderful they are, and the press will say that it’s the best record since their last record. And in the end, I’m aware that I’m contributing to this phenomenon, even though this piece is in dissent.

But for God’s sake, man, someone had to step up and say it – LCD Soundsystem are just not that good. They probably could be, if they tried a little harder. But this, this is just piss take music, all arch, pretend irony and posturing without an ounce of genuine emotion. If some band with a lower hipster rating released this song, everyone would say it was shit. And the song isn’t shit, per se, but it’s not awesome, or even good. It’s just music by a band lucky enough to be popular with the cool kids. Imagine how popular they’d be if they actually put some effort into it.