October 31, 2013
In case you’re out of the music loop, 2013 has been a great year of music for your latest Halloween mixes. And sometimes, even if the song doesn’t quite fit, the artists manage to put together a music video that sets the tone just right. There are werewolves, vampires, zombies, graveyards, murder, sundry weird shit, and even a little apocalypse action. Here’s a round-up of some very appropriate videos to help put you in the Halloween mood:
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June 20, 2013
If you’re as obsessed with Will Sheff and his mighty band of Texan titans as I am, then you knew that for the past few weeks, Okkervil River has been teasing fans with a sort of instagram Wheel of Fortune, each day or so unveiling a new letter for their title of their forthcoming eighth album. On Monday this week, the first track off The Silver Gymnasium has been released in one of those snazzy “lyrics video” that Taylor Swift keeps putting out and are so pops amongst the kiddos on youtube.
I’ve been doing time with Okky Riv for about ten years. At one point, after recently moving, I became known as “Okkervil River girl” instead of “Amber” and I was okay with that. In recent years, however, I’ve been sort of underwhelmed by the band. Black Sheep Boy was nothing short of a masterpiece and while I doubted the band could follow it up with anything as brilliant, they proved me wrong in ways with the one-two intelli-rock punch of The Stand Ins and The Stage Names. With I Am Vurry Far, however, I felt their formula stumbled and … well … I want to adore “It Was My Season,” but honestly, if I wanted to listen to post-YHF Wilco, I’d just put on Sky Blue Sky and be disappointed in the indie heroes of my youth. Will Sheff, I expect more from you!
June 13, 2013
It’s understandable if Wenatchee music isn’t on your radar. Wenatchee is a small rural community in the middle of Washington state, so there’s relatively not much homegrown music to seek out. But as a resident, I can say there is plenty of good stuff around here if you look in the right places. And it just so happens that, right now, Hearingade is the right place! One of Wenatchee’s very most venue-packing bands, Poor Folks Live Well, just debuted a music video this week for “O General” off their 2012 EP, 40 Years of Famine. Give it a looksee; let it rock your face today.
June 6, 2013
Oh damn, Archie Powell and his trusty Exports have done gone and quaked my heart again. Their new music video for “Only So Much You Can Do,” by Rhapsody Productions, premiered yesterday at Diffuser.fm, and it’s a horror lover’s dream! The sequences are akin to those creepy found tapes in “V/H/S,” full of darkness, fear and gore, as the boys rush through hallways trying to escape some unseen threat. All we know is that it’s oozing some gross gooey gunk and it’s super sneaky. As much as I love those guys, I can’t deny how much I’ve enjoyed watching their blood splattering all over the place.
On the same day, Archie Powell & the Exports released the song as a single on Bandcamp with previously unreleased b-side “Screening Calls.” Snag it for just $1!
May 28, 2013
Despite being one of the most commonly recognized forms of catharsis, there are still subjects in songwriting that are treated as non-issues or considered seemingly too taboo to talk about. Heartbreak? Tunes about that are a dime a dozen. Drug use? It’s a common topic. Once a fellow music writer told me all songs are about relationships or substance abuse. Aside from the odd politically charged track, he was pretty spot on. And if you discount songs by Demi Lovato and that one Ted Leo jam, a topic that is almost constantly shied away from is body image issues.
Girls and women in almost all aspects of life are discouraged from expressing their feelings about their own physicality if they suffer shame or disordered thinking. Despite the overwhelming pressure to be perfect, talking about the weight of this pressure is often treated as vanity and shallowness. This is why it was so chilling and refreshing to hear Mary Lambert.
A haunting confession spoken in a shaking voice over stark piano, “I Know Girls” talks of the pressure nearly every girl feels to fit in and the tolls that pressure takes on a woman’s mind and body. In five minutes, Lambert manages to be more honest and compelling than most artists are in entire records. And for the first time in more than a year, a song moved me to the point of breathlessness and teary eyes.
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May 23, 2013
Last month, New Orleans-based indie rock duo Generationals released their third full-length album, Heza. This week, they debuted a video for “Spinoza,” featuring vocalist Ted Joyner dashing through the streets of NOLA while Grant Widmer rides around in a truckbed struggling to play his guitar as he slides all over. If there’s a point to it all, I’ve missed it, but it’s certainly a delight to bask in the sights of one of my favorite cities — vendor booths in Jackson Square, iron-fenced balconies throughout the French Quarter, horse-drawn tour carriages. For more views of The Big Easy, check out the band’s video for Heza‘s lead single, “Put a Light On.”