Tag: music

New Video: Czarface and Ghostface Killah Release Wild Animated and Live Action-based Visuals for “Powers and Stuff”

Over the course of the past year or so, I’ve written quite a bit about Czarface, the collaborative project featuring underground hip-hop duo 7L & Esoteric and the Wu-Tang Clan’s Inspectah Deck. Deriving the project’s name from fictional character they created that’s patterned after comic book super villains and aspects of the personalities and quirks of each individual member, the act can trace its origins to when 7L & Esoteric and Inspectah Deck toured together. The tour led to a number of collaborative singles including, “Speaking Real Words” off 7L & Esoteric’s 2001 album, The Soul Purpose and “12th Chamber” off their 2010 album 1212, and a number of other singles. Since the act formed back in 2013, they’ve released four critically applauded albums: their 2013 self-titled debut, 2015’s Every Hero Needs a Villain, 2016’s A Fistful of Peril and their collaboration with MF Doom, Czarface Meets Metalface, which was released last year.

The acclaimed trio follow their critically applauded collaboration with MF Doom by teaming up with another legendary and beloved emcee Ghostface Killah, a.k.a. Iron Man, a.k.a. Tony Starks on Czarface Meets Ghostface. The release of the album’s first two singles “Iron Claw,” and “Mongolian Beef,” were perfect tastes of what hip-hop heads should expect from the entire album — four dope emcees trading swaggering and dexterous bars about running massive criminal syndicates, taking over the world, being dope, insane pop culture references and more, over menacing, tweeter and woofer rocker productions. But perhaps more important, the material finds the collaborators pushing their talents, skills and sound in a new direction — without losing what we love about each individual artist.  The album’s third and latest single, “Powers and Stuff,” is centered around a gritty and menacing production consisting of tweeter and woofer rocking boom bap beats, distorted guitar and organ, fluttering flute, trippy sound effects and a motley assortment of kids shouting the song’s hook. The four charismatic emcees spit some incredible bars and verses that make references to Buzzfeed, Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes, Agent Smith from The Matrix films, Battlestar Galactica and several prisons in the New York prison system and more, making the track a street banger — but with a surrealistic bent.

Directed by Josh Mac, the recently released video for “Powers and Stuff,” is a wild and seamless mix of live action and animation, as it follows an experiment done on Powers the Dog that immediately goes wrong when Powers drinks a mysterious substance that turns him into a cartoon hero, who fights crime, drinks shots with local barflies and encounters his arch nemeses Czarface and Ghostface, who have accidentally started a massive fire. It’s trippy and hilarious while bringing Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Space Jam to mind. 

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New Video: The Dream Syndicate’s Lysergic Ode to Getting Older and Miles Davis

Currently comprised of founding members Steve Wynn, an accomplished and critically applauded singer/songwriter, guitarist and solo artist and drummer Dennis Duck, along with bassist Mark Walton and guitarist Jason Victor, the Los Angeles-based psych rock act The Dream Syndicate can trace its origins back to the early 80s when Wynn along with fellow founding member Kendra Smith and future True West members Russ Tolman and Gavin Blair founded and played in one of the area’s first new wave bands in the Davis, CA music scene, The Suspects. Wynn also recorded a single with another band, 15 Minutes, which included members of Alternate Learning.

After returning to his hometown, Wynn spent a brief stint of time rehearsing in another local band, Goat Deity with future Wednesday Week members, Kelly and Kristi Callan — and while with Goat Deity, Wynn met Karl Precoda, who had an answered an ad seeking a bassist. The two started a new band with Precoda switching to guitar. Wynn’s college pal and former bandmate Smith and Duck (Mehaffey), who was a member of Pasadena-based act Human Hands joining the band to complete The Dream Syndicate’s initial lineup. (Interestingly, as the story goes, Duck suggested the band’s name as a reference to Tony Conrad’s early 1960s New York-based experimental ensemble, best known as the Theatre of Eternal Music, which featured John Cale.)

With the release of their Paul B. Cutler-produced debut EP, The Dream Syndicate received attention locally for a sound influenced by The Velvet Underground, Neil Young and Television, completely with aggressively long, feedback-filled improvisations. The members of the band signed to Slash Records subsidiary Ruby Records, who released the band’s 1982 full-length debut, the attention-grabbing and influential Days of Wine and Roses. Rough Trade Records released their debut’s lead single “Tell Me When It’s Over” as the A-side of a UK EP, which included a live cover of Neil Young’s “Mr. Soul” that was released in early 1983. Smith left the band and joined David Roback in Opal — and she was replaced by David Provost.

Their Sandy Pearlman-produced sophomore effort Medicine Show was recorded and released through A&M Records in 1984 — and as a result of being on a major label, the band opened for R.E.M. and U2. Attempting to build on a growing profile, the members of the band released a five song EP This Is Not The New Dream Syndicate Album . . . Live!, which was noteworthy as it was the last recorded effort to feature Precoda, who left soon after to pursue a career in screenwriting — and it was the first to feature Mark Walton on bass. The EP’s commercial failure led to the band’s first breakup — although a temporary one. The band was then dropped by A&M Records after the label rejected the band’s demo for “Slide Away.”

During the band’s break up, Wynn along with Green on Red’s Dan Stuart wrote and recorded 10 songs with Duck and a number of other musicians, which was released by A&M Records in 1985 as Danny and Dusty’s The Lost Weekend. After the release of Lost Weekend, Wynn, Duck and Walton teamed up with Paul B. Cutler to form a then-newly reunited iteration of The Dream Syndicate that recorded two full-length studio albums — 1986’s Cutler-produced Out of the Grey and 1988’s Elliot Mazer-produced Ghost Stories. The band recorded a live album Live at Raji‘s which was recorded in 1988 before the release of Ghost Stories but released afterward.

The band broke up in 1989 — and a batch of previously unreleased material was released that included 3½ (The Lost Tapes: 1985-1988), a compilation of studio sessions and The Day Before Wine and Roses, a live KPFK radio session, recorded just before the release of the band’s applauded debut album were released.  After the breakup, Walton went on to play bass in the Continental Drifters while Wynn went on to become an acclaimed singer/songwriter and solo artist with a reputation or restlessly exploring a variety of different styles — and leading a number of different projects including Steve Wynn and The Miracle 3, The Baseball Project and others.

Wynn led a reunited Dream Syndicate to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their full-length debut that featured Walton, Duck and Jason Victor, Wynn’s longtime Steve Wynn and The Miracle 3 guitarist at a festival appearance at 2012’s Festival BAM in Barcelona Spain. The reunited band went on to play a handful of other live sets, including two 2013 Paisley Underground reunion shows that included The Bangles, The Three O’Clock and Rain Parade. September 2014 saw the band playing a handful of shows in which they played their first two albums in their complete entirety — and those shows marked the band’s first shows in the Southeast in almost 30 years.  Between their first reunion show and 2017, the band played more than 50 shows.

Anti-Records released the band’s fifth full-length album How Did I Find Myself Here in 2017. The album which featured a lineup of Wynn, Walton, Duck and Victor with keyboardist Chris Cacavas was recorded at Montrose Studios — and notably the album’s final track “Kendra’s Dream” featured vocals and lyrics from Kendra Smith.  Building upon the growing attention around the reunited band, the members of The Dream Syndicate recorded three songs, which were included on the compilation 3 x 4, a collection of tracks that featured new material from their Paisley Underground counterparts, The Bangles, The Three O’Clock and Rain Parade with each of the four bands covering songs by the other bands.

Slated for a May 3, 2019 release through Anti-Records, the John Agnello and The Dream Syndicate co-produced These Times will be the second full-length studio album since the band reunited, and the album’s material is reportedly a subtle yet noticeable departure for the band sonically. “When I was writing the songs for the new album I was pretty obsessed with Donuts by J-Dilla,” lead singer and songwriter Steve Wynn explained. “I loved the way that he approached record making as a DJ, a crate-digger, a music fan wanting to lay out all of his favorite music, twist and turn the results until he made them into his own. I was messing around with step sequencers, drum machines, loops—anything to take me out of my usual way of writing and try to feel as though I was working on a compilation rather than ‘more of the same.’ You might not automatically put The Dream Syndicate and J-Dilla in the same sentence, but I hear that album when I hear our new one.” Additionally, Wynn also changed up his lyric writing process for the album — instead of the song’s sound being dictated by previously written lyrics, he wrote all the material’s lyrics after the band finished instrumental tracking, so that the lyrics were influenced by the sounds.

The album’s first single was the atmospheric and surrealist dream, “Black Light,” a track built around a looped arpeggiated key and congo sequence, shimmering bursts of guitar, and a motorik groove comprised of a propulsive and sinuous bass line and a backing vocal section that sings “aaah” while Wynn’s vocals sing surrealistic and symbolic lyrics about how the night exposes our darkest and deepest inhibitions and fears.  These Times’ second and latest single “Put Some Miles On” continues a on a somewhat similar vein as its immediate predecessor as it’s centered around a chugging, motorik groove, blasts of feedback driven guitar, twinkling synths and Wynn’s languid, speak-singing vocals singing surrealist lyrics with a profound double meaning — after all, the song and its title refers to getting older while on the road and actually playing the work of Miles Davis. 

“This is our third video directed by David Dalglish, a Scotsman who is gradually becoming the official visual interpreter of our music,” the band’s Steve Wynn explains in press notes. “And I love the way he captured the triple meaning of “Put Some Miles On”—actual road miles logged, the ensuing experience and wisdom of the turning of the calendar pages and, of course, our love of Miles Davis himself. It’s truly a zig zag marathon!”

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Plague Vendor Releases Explosive Visuals for Blistering and Anthemic “New Comedown”

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about Whittier, CA-based post-punk/ punk rock quartet Plague Vendor. And as you may recall, the act, which is comprised of Brandon Blaine (vocals), Luke Perine (drums), Michael Perez (bass) and Jay Rogers (guitar) formed back in 2009, and within a relatively short time, the band quickly developed a reputation for frenetic and raucous live sets. And as a result of that reputation, they began playing an increasing number of live shows in the area — and those early shows helped lead to 2014’s debut album, Free to Eat, an album that some critics have described as terse, dark and thrashing post-punk. 

2016’s Stuart Sikes-produced sophomore effort Bloodsweat landed at number 2 on this site’s Best of List, and from album singles “ISUA (I Stay Up Anyway)“, “Jezebel” and “No Bounty,” the album was full of frenetic, furious and anthemic punk performed with a blistering and undeniable swagger. Interestingly, two years or so passed before the members of the band released two singles, “I Only Speak in Fiction,” and “Locomotive,” which were recorded with Epitaph Records’ head and Bad Religion’s Brett Gurewitz and Morgan Stratton that served as a way to help revitalize the band and restore their focus — before joining renowned producer John Congleton, who would helm the sessions that would eventually result in the band’s forthcoming third album, By Night. 

While reportedly, the album is a return-to-form for the Whittier-based punk act, the album’s first single “New Comedown,” is a furious and explosive roar of a song, centered around a propulsive New Wave-like rhythm section, complete with thunderous drumming and a forcefully chugging bass line, layers power chords, and a mosh pit-friendly hook paired with Blaine’s howled vocals. Similar to the material recorded with Gurewitz and Stratton, “New Comedown” features some of the most confident and self-assured songwriting and playing of their growing catalog, making it arguably one of the best rock songs I’ve heard this year. 

The recently released Dan Monick-directed video for the new single features intimate close ups the band performing the song in the studio, with explosive strobe-lit sequences that captures the frenetic and passionate energy of the band’s live set. 

New Video: No Vacation Teams Up with Acclaimed Direction Duo Boredom on Stylish Visuals for “Yam Yam”

Currently comprised of founding members Sabrina Mal (vocals, guitar) and Marisa Saunders (bass) along with Nat Lee (synth), Harrison Spencer (guitar) and James Shi, the Brooklyn-based indie rock act No Vacation can trace their origins to when they initially bean as a San Francisco-based dorm room-based duo featuring its founding members. Eventually expanding into a fully-fledged band, the members of No Vacation quickly earned a local profile with the release of the the Amo XO and Summer Break Mixtapes, both of which helped to establish their reputation for crafting 120 Minutes-era guitar pop. After the release of the Summer Break Mixtape, No Vacation went on an indefinite hiatus with the members of the band splitting between San Francisco and New York. 

After a series of shows under different names and a number of lineup changes, the act recruited drummer James Shi before writing and recorded their third and critically applauded EP, Intermission, an effort that was ironically enough conceived when the band wasn’t actually an active band. Unsurprisingly, the EP’s material touched upon themes of belonging, regret and resilience — all while drawing from personal experience. Now as you may recall, “Yam Yam,” Intermission’s second single continues on the wistful and nostalgic tone of its predecessor, “Mind Fields,” as the song is centered around shimmering and jangling guitar chords, a propulsive rhythm section, a soaring hook and Mal’s plaintive and ethereal crooning. And while further cementing their long-held reputation for crafting 120 Minutes inspired indie rock, the song focuses on the reeling heartache and bitter confusion of a breakup, capturing the feelings from an real, lived-in and deeply uneasy personal place. 

Directed and conceived by the San Francisco-based director and filmmaker duo BOREDOM, comprised of filmmakers Luke Lasley and Patrick Sean Gibson, the video is a mixed media visual experience comprised of UHD Digital, Super 8 Film and over 1,000 frames of hand painted watercolor animation that features a minimal yet very vivid color palette — bright reds, yellows, midnight blues that further emphasizes the uneasiness at the core of the song. Interestingly, the release of the video comes on the heels of the band announcing that they’ll be releasing a new EP this summer, which they’ll support with lengthy tours of the US, UK and European Union. The tour includes a May 26, 2019 stop at the Bowery Ballroom.

New Video: Hush Pop Returns with Ethereal Visuals for Shimmering EP Single “Oasis”

Earlier this year, I wrote about Hush Pup, an experimental pop/synth pop act, which splits their time between Toronto, Ontario, Canada and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Featuring core duo Ida Maidstone (vocals, Yamaha synths, Casio synths, Beat Finder) and Fizzy (bass, EFX, Beat Finder II) with contributions from Torrie Seager (guitar), the Canadian act describes their music as sounding “a lot like driving at night through the board game Candyland — soft cotton candy trees brush up against windows of your glass car, as you ride towards a friend’s cabin nearby the molasses swamp.”

The band’s latest efforts the Flower Power EP and Panacea, a romantic film-inspired album will be released next week through Lone Hand Records, and as you may recall the Beach House, Anemone and 4AD Records-like “The Hours” was centered around a shimmering and looping guitar line, propulsive beats, Maidstone’s ethereal vocals, a soaring hook and equally ethereal synths. Continuing in a similar, ethereal vein, the act’s latest single “Oasis” is centered around shimmering and undulating synths, propulsive beats, a looping and shimmering guitar line paired with Maidstone’s vocals ethereally floating over a fever dream-like soundscape. 

Filmed, edited, and conceptualized by Mike Perreira, the recently released video for “Oasis” features some experimental footage of water and other particles overlaid with old footage of the band from a music video that never came to fruition. The editing was kept fairly loose in order to let the natural light and movement come together organically, so that the video resembled a dream, further emphasizing the ethereal nature of the song. 

New Video: Acclaimed Indie Supergroup Mini Mansions Release a Glittering Disco-Tinged Visual for “GummyBear”

Comprised of Michael Shuman, Zach Dawes and Tyler Parkford, the Los Angeles-based indie rock supergroup Mini Mansions features a collection of highly acclaimed musicians, as the side project features members of Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys and The Last Shadow Puppets. Tracing their origins to when Queens of the Stone Age went on a hiatus in 2009, the trio of Shuman, Dawes and Parkford have released three EPs and two full-length albums —  2009’s self-titled and self-released EP,  2010’s self-titled full-length, 2012’s . . . Besides . . ., 2015’s The Great Pretenders and 2018’s Works Every Time EP all of which have established them for a sound that has been compared favorably by critics and fans to the likes of The Beatles, Elliot Smith, and Fountains of Wayne among others. 

Slated for a July 26, 2019 release through Fiction Records, the Shuman and Cian Riordan co-produced third album, Guy Walks Into A Bar finds Shuman relinquishing his drummer role to fully focus on vocals and lyrics with his Queens of the Stone Age bandmate Jon Theodore taking up drumming duties for the album. Interestingly, the album reportedly features some of Shuman’s most self-reflective and honest work he’s written, as the album’s lyrics are informed by a whirlwind relationship that he began with his ex-fiancee, who he met during a night out at a bar — with the album detailing aeach stage of the relationship from the beginning in which you’ve connected with someone and think they’re attractive and interested to falling in love to dramatically falling out of love. And the material may also arguably be he most pop leaning and sleekest material they’ve written to date. 

Interestingly, Guy Walks Into A Bar’s latest single is the slinky, dance floor friendly synth pop jam “GummyBear,” a track that sounds indebted to 80s synth funk and Giorgio Moroder-era disco and LCD Soundsystem, as the track is centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a sinuous bass line and some complex polyrhythm. The recently released Liam Lynch-directed video further emphasizes the dance floor vibes, as it features a shit ton of neon and glitter drenched visuals. As Shuman remarks on the video ” We made a video for new single ‘GummyBear’ with our friend and comedic legend, Liam Lynch. Inspired by Saturday Night Fever and the classic videos of the early 2000’s, we created some serious visual eye candy for a song that sonically tastes the same. Pun intended.”

Liam Lynch says in press notes, “I’ve known Mike Shuman for over ten years, through my work with Queens of the Stone Age. When he asked me if I’d do a video for Mini Mansions, I was happy to do so. To me, this song really straddles being sort of 70’s and 80’s at the same time. I kept coming back to this BeeGee’s feeling but it was more like a realm in between. This got me thinking about the gateway door on the album cover and maybe that was a doorway to this in-between realm. So this video is a collage and mish-mash of elements but they sort of come together in their bar, disco, neon, and city lights to support the vibe.”

New Video: Detroit’s Ritual Howls Release Creepy and Unsettling Visuals for “Alone Together”

Over the course of three full-length albums and a number of EPs, the Detroit, MI-based trio Ritual Howls, comprised of Paul Bancell (vocals, guitar), Chris Samuels (synths, samples, drum machine) and Ben Saginaw (bass) have developed a reputation for crafting a cinematic twangy and dance floor friendly industrial post-punk — although last year’s The Body EP found the trio employing the use of more expansive arrangements paired with a sculpted sound and production.

Interestingly, the trio’s forth, full-length album Rendered Armor is slated for a March 22, 2019 release through felte records continues in a similar vein as The Body; in fact, the upcoming album’s latest single “Alone Together” is centered around twangy guitar, ominous atmospherics, shimmering synths and a dance floor friendly thump — and while sonically bearing a bit of a resemblance to acclaimed post-punk duo VOWWS, the song is the tale of a classic love song, set in a doomed world, much like our own. But at its core is a longing that verges on an increasingly perverse obsession. Created by Kirill Slavin, the recently released video for “Alone Together” features some incredibly creepy and unsettling footage from the short film Witch Zombies & The Lightbox Rave that helps to emphasize the obsession at the heart of the song. 

New Video: An Intimate Look at Life on the Road in New Visuals for Daniel Norgren’s Latest Single “Let Love Run The Game”

Daniel Norgren is a Boras, Sweden-born blues/roots music singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist — and with the release of his full-length debut, 2007’s Kerosene Dream, which was mostly recorded on mostly homemade instruments and 2008’s Outskirt, the Boras, Sweden-born multi-instrumentalist amassed a growing profile across Europe; in fact, the success of his first two albums led to eventual touring across Europe. 2010’s acclaimed, full-length effort Horrifying Deatheating Bloodspider was nominated in the Singer/Songwriter Album of the Year category at the annual Manifestgalen. 

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, Norgren followed his acclaimed Horrifying Deatheating Bloodspider with 2011’s Black Vultures EP, which featured “Going Home Finally,” a track featured on the BBC Radio show God’s Jukebox. 2013’s Buck was mostly recorded in Norgren’s home on a 4 channel cassette portages studio with studio recordings like “Whatever Turns You On,” a song that was tracked and filmed at Algorhythm Sound Studios and quickly became a viral hit on YouTube, as well as a live version of “Moonshine Got Me,” which was recorded during a Scandinavian tour. 

2015’s Alabursy was recorded in a similar fashion as its predecessor — at home on Norgren’s 4-channel cassette porta studio. The album was followed by another European tour. 

Slated for an April 19, 2019 release through his longtime label home Superpuma Records,  Norgren’s forthcoming album Wooh Dang will be the acclaimed Swedish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s first album to see a worldwide release.  Self-produced by Norgren and engineered bu his longtime collaborator and Superpuma Records founder Pelle Nyhage, Wooh Dang was recorded last fall in a single room of a 19th-century textile farmhouse in the woods, near Norgren’s home. “The interior looked it hadn’t been touched for the past 80 years,” Norgren recalls in press notes. “I moved a lamp and it left a dark red ring on the pink tablecloth underneath…goldmine! The house was huge, full of good, inspiring mustiness, creaking wooden floors, scary old portrait paintings on the walls, and an old, black German piano which I used in all the songs.” Recorded live to tape on a 16 track analog rig, the album finds Norgren mixing live performance and rural field recordings — while capturing the simpatico and energy between him and his backing band, which features old friends and longtime collaborators Andres Grahn (bass), Erik Berntsson (drums) and Andreas Filipsson (guitar, banjo).

The album’s latest single, the defiantly hopeful “Let Love Run The Game,”  meshes twangy Americana, Southern fried rock, psychedelia and blues that to my ears reminds me of The Band (in particular, “Up on Cripple Creek”), Otis Redding and King Bee-era Muddy Waters. Interestingly, as a result of the song’s production, it manages to sound as though it could have been recorded in 1965 or so — while capturing the urgency of three like-minded musicians and longtime friends jamming over the course of an afternoon.  

Featuring footage shot by Petra Wester Norgren,  Daniel Norgren, Anders Engström, Ida Brogren, Pelle Nyhage,  Erik Berntsson, Jean Millet, Sandra Filipsson, Drew Hanson,  Nathan Von Brown, and Edward Hill, the recently released video for “Let Love Run The Game,” intimately captures life on the road, from playing large venues in front of thousands of fans, to playing smaller venues with maybe a hundred people, the endless stretches of blacktop and gorgeous scenery that one would never dreamt to see, the band and crew goofing off — or just exhausted and sleeping whenever and wherever they could. And yet all of it is treated like wonder and joy, with the tacit acknowledgement that you gotta take it all in stride. 

New Video: Sarah P. Returns with a Surreal and Symbolic Video for Disco-Influenced “Maenads”

Earlier this year, I wrote about the Athens, Greece-based artist and activist Sarah P. and as you may recall, although she’s perhaps best known as a former member of international acclaimed electronic music production and electronic music duo Keep Shelly in Athens, Sarah P has developed a reputation as a solo artist and collaborator who released her critically applauded full-length debut Who Am I back in 2017 — and she has worked with the likes of Sasha, Mmoths, The New Division, Plastic Flowers, Holly, Hiras, The Bilinda Butchers and a lengthy list of others. 

Sarah’s P’s much-anticipated follow-up to Who Am I, the Maenads EP is a collection of songs celebrating both feminine power (particularly its magic, strength and imperfect perfection) and the artist’s Greek heritage. “Lotus Eaters,” a moody and atmospheric track with four-on-the-floor drumming, shimmering synths, a propulsive and sinuous bass line and Sarah P’s ethereal crooning — and sonically speaking, the track immediately brought to mind Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, Kate Bush and the early 80s 4AD Records roster while arguably being the most sensual song I’ve come across within the early part of this year.

Maenads’ latest single, title track “Maenads” is a propulsive, disco-influenced track built around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a funky bass line and thumping beats — and unlike its predecessor, the song manages to remind me a bit of Niki & the Dove and several others. Interestingly, the song as Sarah P explains in press note is about nights that are empty of feelings. 

Shot in Berlin, the video is a surreal fever dream that stars Sarah P. and Sabina Smith-Moreland as a bird that meat to symbolize mental illness. The video shows the importance of coming to terms with own struggles while not letting them overtake one’s life. “I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety for a long time, but I’m convinced that it’s possible to control one’s mental health, rather than living a life controlled by mental illness,” Sarah shares.

“Mental illness never truly goes away, but learning more about it can help understand what’s going on inside your body and mind and therefore, control it better.

“For the last part of the Maenads trilogy, I decided to film in Berlin – where it all started for me. This video is perhaps my least “ethereal” work-to-date – with “ethereal” being a word that’s often used to describe my work. Berlin isn’t ethereal – it’s boxy and well structured in its chaos. Berlin’s light is very different compared to the light in Athens; in Berlin, the light is moody and arrogant – especially during the winter, where it makes rare appearances. Maenads was filmed at Theaterhaus Berlin – a space that felt homely and brought me closer to my drama school years. I had the pleasure to work with photographer and visual artist Colette Pomerleau and dancer Sabina Smith-Moreland. For the coloring of the video, I worked once again with David Hofmann who previously colored the other two parts of the Maenadstrilogy. Although the concept and set are meant to symbolize my life in Berlin, my “Greek Maenads” (Clio “Lil Cli” Arvaniti, Dora Pantazopoulou, Rania Ainiti, Marianna Pagrakioti) make a special appearance on Maenads TV. The additional visuals were filmed & edited by George Geranios, on a rooftop in Athens – the concrete jungle. Lastly, Apostolia Gogara is responsible for the fantastic hair and makeup of the additional visuals.”

New Video: Follow Bad Sports’ Orville Neely on a Drunken and Lonely Spree in Video for “Don’t Deserve Love”

The Denton, TX/Austin, TX-based trio Bad Sports, comprised of Orville Neely III (guitar, vocals),  Aniel Fried (drums) and Gregory Rutherford (bass) featured some of their home state’s most accomplished musicians — Neely is the frontman of the acclaimed OBN IIIs, while Fried and Rutherford have played together in Video and Radioactivity. Now, as you may recall, the band released their fourth album Constant Stimulation through their longtime label home Dirtnap Records last October, and the album which marks the band’s tenth anniversary, also found the band pushing their sound and songwriting in a new, more mature direction. centered by a leaner, tense production meant to evoke a decided sense of frustration, tension, and world-weariness.

Constant Stimulation‘s first single “Don’t Deserve Love” further cements the trio’s reputation for crafting power chord-based punk but there’s a decided power pop bent, as the song reveals a deliberate and thoughtful attention to rousingly anthemic hooks and earnest emotion. Sonically, the song manages a contemporary take on a familiar sound without being soulless mimicry. But interestingly enough, the song may arguably be the most personal song they’ve written and released as it’s fueled the crippling self-doubt and insecurity of a vulnerable adult, who has openly and freely admitted that while life has made them a survivor, they’re lonely, desperate, broken, fucked up, confused, and afraid — of connecting with others and getting heartbroken and having to start again; of being a failure and a fraud; of a world that’s going up in flames and not caring or not knowing what to do. 

Directed by Z.W.Sprague and written by Orville Neely, the recently released video for “Don’t Deserve Love” stars Neely as a self-conscious, lonely, and somewhat awkward man, who acts in an out of control fashion — drinking way too much, doing way too much coke, smoking too many cigarettes and takes jokes way too far. And as a result, the video’s protagonist winds up frustrating and annoying everyone around him. After being discovered vomiting in a bar bathroom, Neely gets tossed out of the bar, stumbles off to a convenience store for more booze, vomits once again and ends the night drunkenly passed out, disappointed and alone. While being profoundly sad, the video illustrates a much bigger point — that for many of us, we’ve been that lonely, drunken slob, lost in their sadness, self-flagellation and inability to do anything about it.