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Video hookup

Before I start, the little elves at the Hype Machine have been working extra hard for their Jolly Ranchers, and they’ve compiled a long list of bloggers’ favorite albums of 2007. No surprise there; in fact Dave at the Rawkblog points out that Idolator’s poll, the Pazz & Jop poll, and the hype machine’s list all are about the same (via Heart On A Stick).

Sadly, my number one did not follow the crowd, and Josh was relegated to #40. I still love ya, Josh!

And now, more proof that music videos aren’t dead. They’re just back to being lo-fi.

0.5 Muzzle of Bees just posted a new video from What Made Milwaukee Famous — it’s got fencing! And math! And Lance Armstrong! And it’s awesome. Go check out “Sultan.”

01. At Stereogum, you can see Willie Nelson being adorable in “You Don’t Think I’m Funny Anymore.” No no, I never did think he was funny. But he does get cuter as he ages (why is that?).

02. At Fabulist!, Olga digs up the video for PJ & Nick’s song “Henry Lee.” I was a big fan of “Murder Ballads,” but for some reason I never saw this video. And it fairly sizzles (though luckily for the 90s-greasy-haired protagonists, it never does catch fire).

03. Also at Fabulist!, an animated guy with no arms sings a sad, sweet indie song. The video is Levi Weaver’s “You Are Home.”

04. Did you think Ed Vedder couldn’t get any cuter? Well, when he sings 50s classics with a girl from Sleater-Kinney, he’s like an adorable, bearded, unintelligible puppy. (singing starts around 2 minutes in). [via YANP]

05. Take Away Shows profiles Sidi Toure in his hometown of Bamako. [via Gvs.B].

06. At Electroqueer, a thumping Taio Cruz video: “Come On Girl.”

07. I have been trying to like the Raveonettes for awhile and the only thing I have liked so far is this video at Idolator: “Candy.”

08. Jax profiles the very interesting Montreal singer Julie Doiron and features her video “No More.” Another song I want to like but haven’t quite managed yet.

09. I really love Lisa Hannigan, what little I’ve heard, and so I was excited to see a new video of hers on Stereogum — “My Pirate Disco (demo).” Hey, I’d go to a pirate disco.

10. I’ve never been as close to liking Magnetic Fields as when I saw this cute video of St Vincent & J. Vanderslice doing “Yeah! Oh, yeah!”. That song has awesome punctuation, I will say that.

11. Via the Music Slut, Travis has a new video for “New Amsterdam.” Great song.

12. Jax also links to video of Eli from Monolators and the Henry Clay People doing a fun cover of “Psycho Killer.” With the white pants and all, it’s very 80s.

13. And last but not least, spooky #13 is Miho Hatori (of Cibo Matto fame)’s video for the song “Barracuda,” from her solo album “Ecdysis.” (Aaaand wikipedia says that ecdysis is “the molting of the cuticula in arthropods and related groups.” Righteous.) [via Fabulist!]

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15.
St Vincent
Marry Me
Beggars Banquet
Landmines

The way Annie Clark handles an electric guitar is sheer magic. The first time I heard “Paris Is Burning,” a couple years ago, I said, I have to have more of this music. Finally, Clark came through for me and the result is excellent, layered rock and roll, bursting with sound and image: They gave me a medal for my valor / Leaden trumpets spit the soot of power.

When this album is on, it’s on in a big way; but some songs drag, and I get bored listening to the whole thing (which, I probably don’t need to mention, makes me sad. I wish every song were as good as “Paris.”). But between her physical beauty and presence, and the smart music, she lives up to the hype that surrounded the album and declared her a certified Indie Goddess.



14.
Bodies of Water
Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink

Our Friends Appear Like The Dawn

Everyone talks about Bodies of Water with a little awe; the sheer vocal power harnessed in this record simply makes war on your ears. And when the vocals pair up with the gospelesque lyrics, the result can be sheer beautiful bliss, as in “Doves Circled the Sky.” Even the most hardened blogger might unironically recommend music with such power, turning a blind eye to lyrics like Oh please do not forsake me / where is Your finger upon my lips / and though I sleep in the dirt and the leaves, please touch
my heart with Your tongue
. We’re talking religion like an 1820s tent revival here.

When the music goes wrong, it goes really really wrong. There are promises in songs on this album (one of the few that I bought in physical format) that the vocals simply cannot fulfill — the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak and can’t get to those high notes. So while listeners sometimes might find themselves screwing up their faces like they were eating lemons, the powerful songs like “These Are The Eyes” and “I Turned My Face” outweigh the lesser concerns of which tracks deserve the fast-forward.



13.
The Cinematic Orchestra
Ma Fleur
Domino
As The Stars Fall

Billed as the soundtrack to a movie that may never be made, “Ma Fleur” sets the imagination free to roam. It is a very sensual album, and it just builds up beautiful pictures in the listener’s mind. In places where Swinscoe sings, he just adds to the general ambience instead of trying to drown it out. And he’s got ambience in spades.

The music swoops from the melancholy “To Build A Home” to the jazzy stylings of “Child Song” and the old-timey sound of “Breathe.” “Prelude” really sounds like something that would play over opening credits, and as it zooms in from the crane shot, the viewer can see … your house. Or mine. Or someone you know. What are they doing as we look in the window? Only the
viewer knows for sure.



12.
Cake On Cake
I Guess I Was Daydreaming
Desolation
You Make My Heart Say Yes

Man, I do not care what anyone says about this album. I played it about a thousand times in my car, and it was perfect for LA. See, the thing about LA traffic is, people cut you off all the time for no reason. And so after a few years of it, you start thinking that everyone driving in the next lane is going to cut you off. You stare suspiciously at them, grinding your teeth. “GO AHEAD!” you yell, shaking your fist. “JUST GET IT OVER WITH!”

All this is to say that the pure simplicity of Cake On Cake soothed my road rage. If the song is called “Come On Rainbow,” that’s what the words say: come on, come on (x3) / come on, rainbow. For the entire song. Nothing more, nothing less, but with the sugar-sweet addition of Sundin’s instrumentals. Maybe it would make some people’s teeth ache, but screw ’em. We want to be happy.



11.
Eisley
Combinations
Reprise
Come Clean

I already wrote paeans to Eisley earlier in the year, so this feels like overkill. OK, in case you weren’t listening before — beautiful pop, better than anything you can find on the radio, put out by a quartet of young’uns in Texas. Did I miss anything? Maybe just that the harmonies are spectacular with a capital Spec.

It’s outsize music; the whole eclipses the sum of its parts. I can listen all day to the soaring, effortless “you / you / you” on “Invasion” and, well, the effortless harmonies punctuating almost every other song. Other standouts: “Come Clean” and “Combinations,” with its wistful country music chorus: I went for so long and I was so wrong / and then I met you and
now I can’t live without you / and I don’t want to; I’ve done that all my life up till now.

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Video hookup

M. Perpetua from Fluxblog comments briefly on the hype; his point is well made, that the hype (and its bedfellow, backlash) has always existed in some form, but that in recent years its wheel has sped up, grinding everything even more exceeding fine. But interestingly enough, the article ends with a quote (and accompanying video) from Fall Out Boy. I had never heard a Fall Out Boy song before. But the video was darned amusing. Sort of like “Fight For Your Right To Party” in reverse. And thus your massive video hookup begins.

Not really video, but Culture Bully has three awesome Halloween mashup compilations going:
Son Of Monster Mashup
Mashing Pumpkins
Bride of Monster Mashup + Evil Twin of Monster Mashup

LAist has a bunch of Regina Spektor videos up in honor of her appearances in our neck of the woods this week. See you at the El Rey Wiltern if you’re going on Tuesday! Wooo!

Via Electroqueer, new video by Valeria. If you like a lot of leg, the French Revolution, and girls sneaking out with each other for smooches, this is the video for you.

Fabulist found an old video of Skip James from 1966 — Devil’s Got My Woman.

Muzzle of Bees proves that even in 2000, when Ry Ry wore very unfortunate sunglasses and looked like he was gonna fall over, he was still a musician right to his bones. MOB also has a very nice Q&A with the 1900s!

Stereogum has new video for Mary J Blige’s song “Just Fine.” Work it, girl!

Muzzle of Bees links to the Takeaway show concert of St Vincent singing “Paris Is Burning.” At the same time, GvsB links to video of Amanda Palmer covering “Marry Me.” Dude, I am so in love with Amanda Palmer’s voice. Who sings St Vincent better? I can’t decide!! So watch a video of Ms. Palmer covering “Patience,” via Muruch. And wave your lighters!

Via Fabulist, Sony paints the pyramids, sort of, in a crazy new Bravia ad.

And sweet Colin and friends put on a nice performance of “Yankee Bayonet” at ACL. Via Stereogum.

Ferraby Lionheart is growing on me, so I’m liking this video up at ECEU — “The Ballad of Gus and Sam.”

Here’s one for all you Icelandic hipsters (James, I’m looking at you) — “Rhubarbidoo,” by Múm, via Idolator. Er … not sure what’s going on … delicious rhubarb popping up all over the place! Is this a metaphor? Or is a rhubarb sometimes just a rhubarb?

Via Sixeyes, Feist plays drums for her opener, Bob Wiseman, and his song “You Don’t Love Me.”

Via ECEU, Okkervil River, “A Stone.” What really gets me about this is the complete silence of the crowd. No drunk guy screaming “I LOVE YOU WILL!” In the continuing saga of Do I Like Okkervil River, I think this song is too emo for me. But still, that silent crowd.

A ton of links from the Music Slut, a’course:

“Teardrop” (Massive Attack cover) by Jose Gonzalez. Moral of the story … er… don’t get on the wrong side of a guy with a crown?

Sea Wolf! Winter Windows! Video! Did I already link to this? Too bad! Watch it again!

Conor + M. Ward = OTP. At least on stage. No, I don’t want to hear from the Bright Eyes bandom writers. Check out Bright Eyes at the Hollywood Bowl.

And PJ Harvey on Leno — man, she makes younger folks look like mumbling amateurs. Oh, PJ, if only I could have afforded tickets to see you.

And if you got to the bottom, here’s a fun link from Freakonomics: “The Mythbusters Answer Your Questions.” What I wouldn’t give to be on an episode of Mythbusters.

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I don’t get a lot of comments, but some opinionated fella posted three on my Amy Winehouse post, talking about how she makes him sick (poor guy). Popular opinion has definitely turned against her, all of it her own fault, and across the pond they are probably sick of even seeing her name. Still, I can’t be too mad at her. I love faux-Motown-revival too much. Not that I have much to say here. I just think it’s interesting how she was pretty well-liked a few months ago and now people can’t stand the sight of her. Kind of like a fella who stripped and jumped off a cliff on MTV a while ago. He was British too.

But let’s move onto things that rock my world!

01. Gorilla vs. Bear was lucky enough to be able to host a video of Annie Clark performing “Your Lips Are Red”. Annie Clark, of course, is St. Vincent, and St. Vincent rocks my socks. Ms. Clark is beautiful, and badass, and the way she handles that guitar makes her a certified grrrrl in my book.

02. An anonymous, “legally savvy” member of the Jefitoblog readership posted a fantastic summary of the music piracy/copyright discussion. If this person is a guy, I want to marry him. If he’s a chick … I’ll consider a move to the other team. It’s the best, most comprehensive, easily understood summary of law that I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

03. Music! In case you read through #2 and still don’t feel bad.
[Note: music removed. please contact me for a copy.]

a. The Black Keys – Stack Shot Billy
(from “Rubber Factory”)

b. Kunek – Coma
(from “Flight of the Flynns”)

c. Maria Taylor – The Ballad of Sean Foley
(from “Lynn Teeter Flower”)

d. Murray Perahia – Chopin Étude no. 2 in F Minor, Op. 25
(from “Chopin Études, Op. 10, Op. 25”)

e. The Ditty Bops – Bye Bye Love (The Everly Bros.)
(from “Moon Over the Freeway”)

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