Videos

New Video: Working Out with Pissed Jeans in “The Bar Is Low”

Comprised of Matt Korvette (vocals), Brad Fry (guitar), Randy Huth (bass) and Sean McGuinness (drums), the Allentown, PA-based hardcore punk/noise rock quartet Pissed Jeans can trace their origins to when the members of the band met while attending Allentown’s Nazareth High School. Bonding over their initial desire to create, as the band’s Matt Korvette has explained, “a different kind of punk focused on dead-ended carnal cravings, sexual depression . . .” and to “bludgeon the listener with dull, monotonous, droning rock music that just sucks the energy of out, the musical equivalent of watching a toilet flush.” And over the course of their 13 years together as a band, they’ve released several 7 inches and four, full-length studio albums, all which have cemented their reputation for crafting a sound that’s a sludgy, furious, and punishing cretinous, troglodyte stomp that subtly nods at The Stooges, The Ramones and 80s hardcore punk and post-hardcore bands — while evoking the deep primal urges of our reptilian sub-brains.

With the band’s recently released fifth, full-length album Why Love Now, the Allentown, PA-based band focuses on the mundane comforts and discomforts of modern life — from fetish websites to office supply deliveries; to the emptiness, confusion, dissatisfaction and convoluted nature of modern relationships and our contemporary world of hypocrisy and bullshit. As Korvette explains in press notes on the new album, “Rock bands can retreat to the safety of what rock bands usually sing about. So 60 years from now, when no one has a telephone, bands will be writing songs like, ‘I’m waiting for her to call me on my telephone.’ Kids are going to be like, ‘Grandpa, tell me, what was that?’ I’d rather not shy away from talking about the Internet or interactions in 2016.”

Why Love Now’s incendiary and furious first single “The Bar Is Low” will further cement the band’s reputation for crating sludgy and bludgeoning cretinous trogolydte stomp-like anthems in which Korvette’s guttural, Lemmy Kilmister-like growling is paired with with pummeling drumming, a throbbing and insistent bass line, and blistering guitar chords to evoke a knuckle dragging, slack-jawed Neanderthal on the hunt. According to Korvette, the song is “about how every guy seems to be revealing themselves as a shithead. It seems like every guy is getting outed,” Korvette continues, “across every board of entertainment and politics and music. There’s no guy that isn’t a total creep. You’re like, ‘No, he’s just a dude that hits on drunk girls and has sex with them when they’re asleep.’ Cool, he’s just an average shithead.” Throughout the song, Korvette and company point out that stereotypical concepts of straight male, masculinity is defeating, empty, and clownish.

Directed by Joe Stakun, the recently released video follows the members of the band at the gym; but they don’t know how to properly use any of the equipment. And while there, the band begins an absurd and ridiculous competition with other gym goers that ends up with a hilarious and horrifying conclusion.

New Video: The Playfully Ironic Visuals for Winstons’ “Without You”

Comprised of Lou Nutting (guitar, harmonica, and vocals) and Ben Brock Wilkes (drums, vocals), the up-and-coming Virginia-born, Brooklyn-based indie rock duo Winstons can trace their origins to when the duo met while working at Williamsburg hotspot and music venue, Baby’s All Right. And with the release of 2015’s Turpentine EP and Black Dust, the duo quickly received attention for a soulful, garage-based blues rock that sonically speaking seems to owe a debt to The Black Keys, and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, complete with a visceral and forceful earnestness — and for making a decided point in recording live to tape, with no touch-ups, no overdubs and no-retakes; in other words recording with the old adage, first thought, best thought. “Without You,” the A side of their “Without You”/”Enough” 7 inch will further cement the duo’s growing reputation for blues and garage rock that possesses an unmistakable immediacy — while in this particular song, a visceral
Directed by Buried Muse, the recently released video for “Without You” cuts between footage of the duo performing at Baby’s, hanging around and singing the song and running around all over Brooklyn — to suddenly encounter their dopplegangers looking back at them.

Live Footage: Fufanu Live on KEXP

Over the past couple of months here, I’ve written quite a bit about the Reykjavik, Iceland-based indie rock/post-punk trio Fufanu. The trio, which is currently comprised of founding members Kaktus Einarsson (vocals, guitar), whose father Einar, was a member of The Sugarcaubes and Guðlaugur “Gulli” Einarsson (guitar, programming) (no relation, by the way) along with Erling Bang (drums) can trace their origins to when the band’s founding members met while at school. According to the band’s founding duo, Katkus had glanced at Gulli’s iTunes and noticed that they had listened to a lot of the same techno and electronic music. And after quickly bonding over mutual interests, the duo went into a studio and began writing and recording electronic music under the name Captain Fufanu. Within a month of their formation, Kaktus Einarsson and Gulli Einarsson had started playing shows in and around Reykjavik.

Building on a growing local profile, the duo went into the studio to record what would be their full-length debut as Captain Fufanu; but in a strange twist of fate, the studio where Kaktus Einarsson and Gulli Einarsson had recorded the album was burgled. And as a result, the album was presumed lost. Instead of trying to recall the material they initially wrote from memory, Kaktus Einarsson and Gulli Einarsson decided that the moment was a perfect time for them to completely reinvent their sound. Interestingly, as that happened, Katkus was in London working on Damon Albarn’s Everyday Robots and touring with Bobby Womack when he began writing lyrics. Simultaneously Gulli had started to create a revised sound, which according to Kaktus Einarsson managed to coney exactly what he had been thinking. The duo then added guitars and drums, along with Kaktus’ brooding and detached vocals — and with their revised sound, renamed themselves Fufanu.

Their first live set with their new sound and aesthetic was at Iceland Airwaves and they quickly became one of the most talked about bands of the entire festival. Building upon the buzz they had received, they went into the studio their full-length debut A Few More Days To Go. And with the release of their debut, the duo received a rapidly growing national and international profile as they toured with a number of internationally renowned acts including The Vaccines and have played at JaJaJa Festival. With their recently released sophomore effort Sports, Kaktus and Gulli recruited Erling “Elli” Bang (drums) to further flesh out their sound as they expanded upon it and its thematic direction.

Now, you may recall that I’ve written about the first two singles off the Icelandic trio’s recently released sophomore effort Sports — the album’s title track “Sports,” which retained the synth-driven sound that first captured national and international attention while pairing it with a tight, motorik-like groove reminiscent of Can, Neu! Joy Division and early ’80s Peter Gabriel (in particular, think of Peter Gabriel 3 and Security) along with live instrumentation, which gives the material both an organic feel and a forcefulness — and “Liability,” which while continuing in a similar vein was a bit more slow-burning. Both singles possessed a murky and enigmatic air, they point at the soul-crushing mundanity and drudgery of daily life but just under the surface there’s the broiling frustration and resentment of someone who’s desperate to break free — and not sure how to do so without some recrimination.

Last year, the members of the band were on KEXP and the set included live versions of “Circus Life” and “Now” off their full-length debut Few More Days to Go along with “Sports” and then-unreleased single “Bad Rockets” off the recently released Sports. And while being fairly straightforward renditions of the material, the KEXP set will give you a sense of their intense and live set, a live set that frequently includes Kaktus Einarsson storming, strutting and stomping about the stage, alternating between being menacing and playful and so on. During this set, Kaktus throws his monitor headphones off his head and on to the floor, to headbang and stomp about as Gulli plays a furious and blistering solo. Just from this particular footage, I’m hoping that the Icelandic act will play a set or two here in NYC.

New Video: FYUTCH’s Hilarious Action Movie-based Take on Rejection

Harold Simmons II is a Gary, IN-born, New York-based (by way of a lengthy stint in Nashville, TN), emcee, singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who writes and records as FYUTCH (pronounced Fi-yoo-tch). Simmons can trace the origins of his musical and performing career to when he initially began to receive attention as a public speaker, who had given speeches at a number of impressive and major public events — including Gary’s Mayor Scott L. King’s campaign banquet and on the steps of Congress. When he turned 17, Simmons formed Legendary Biscuits and Gravy a band in which he played alto sax and contributed vocals with friends, Eric Sexton (keyboard), Brandon Holt (drums), Wesley Winfrey (tenor sax) and Brady Surface (bass). The quintet received regional acclaim as they were nominated for Southern Entertainment Awards’ Best Indy R&B Artist of the Year in 2007. And over the subsequent two year period, the band saw a rapidly growing profile as they’ve been on bills that included nationally and internationally recognized artists including The Pink Spiders, Sam and Ruby, as well as opening for Kanye West, GZA and Nappy Roots.

Simmons relocated to Nashville and while using the moniker Future the Artist, Simmons released his self-produced solo debut The Sci Fly EP, which garnered a Nashville Music Award nomination for Best Urban Recording of the Year, which he followed up with his Overnight Mixtape series in which he wrote and recorded six mixtapes — with each mixtape being recorded during an overnight studio session and then released as a free download the next day. The mixtapes caught the attention of renowned site, Nashville Scene, who praised Simmons’ work; in fact, thanks to the growing attention he received, the fourth mixtape of the series found Simmons collaborating with the likes of Bun B and GLC. Additionally, as a solo artist, he has opened for Wale, Pharrell Williams, Little Brother and Afroman.

By late 2012, Simmons changed his name to FYUTCH after discovering that there was another artist who also went by the name Future, who was receiving quite a bit of attention nationally — and internationally. And since changing his performing moniker, Simmons has released several efforts including Mr. Flattop, which was executive produced by DJ Rob “Sir” Lazenby and featured guest spots from Mike Stud, Futuristic, Mello Rello, Whitney Coleman and production by G-Pop, Wick-it the Instigator and The FANS; a psychedelic hip-hop concept EP Peace, Love and FYUTCH which was produced by G-Pop and featured deeply obscure samples and world music percussion. Interestingly, “Funked Up,” the first single off his Philosophy of Love EP was produced by Solar Shield — and the single is a Dam-Funk/Thundercat retro-futuristic -leaning jam featuring shimmering, arpeggio synths and wobbling low end paired with Simmons rhyming and singing a hilarious and very true tale about approaching an attractive woman, who’s been attracted to for some time or has noticed for a little bit and being cruelly rejected for his efforts. On one level, the song is about having the blind courage to risk being made a fool of and being rejected; on another level, the song is a tell off to someone, who in the narrator’s eyes doesn’t see what kind of man he is; but also, the song can be viewed as an admission of how stupid and vulnerable love can make us. And Simmons does all of this in a slick and funky as hell, dance-floor friendly song.

Filmed by Wesley Crutcher, the recently released video for “Funked Up,” is a mischievous take on action movies — in particular, movies like Jumper in which the main character travels through time; in this case, the future FYUTCH winds up traveling through time to see a younger FYUTCH get rejected by one of his first love interests, while the older FYUTCH gets rejected by a love interest, who was sitting near the younger FYUTCH. Trippy, right? But at the same time, it’s goofy and hilarious take on rejection.

New Audio: Sub Pop Records and Soundgarden Release Second Single Off Remixed and Expanded Re-Issue of Their Debut Album

Currently comprised of founding members Chris Cornell (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Kim Thayil (lead guitar), along with Matt Cameron (drums), who joined in 1986 and Ben Shepherd (bass), who joined in 1990, the Seattle, WA-based grunge/alt-rock quartet Soundgarden can trace its origins back to the formation and eventual breakup of an early 80s Seattle-based band The Shemps, which featured Cornell on drums and vocals, along with original bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Strangely enough, over the years what seems to have been forgotten is that the members of Soundgarden had started their recording career with Sub Pop Records; in fact, the renowned alt rock/indie label released the band’s first two EPs 1987’s Screaming Life and 1988’s Fopp, two efforts, which the label re-issued a couple of years ago through both vinyl and digital formats, marking the first time in about 25 years that the EPs were pressed onto vinyl — and the first time they were released digitally. Interestingly enough, Sub Pop Records helped distributed Soundgarden’s 1988 full-length debut, Ultramega OK.

And although they had some creative differences with the album’s producer Drew Canulette and the band’s overall dissatisfaction with the final mixes, their full-length effort was a commercial success as it garnered both a 1990 Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance and attention from larger labels — including A&M Records, who quickly signed the band. At the time, the band had intended to spend some time remixing the album for subsequent pressings of the album; but those plans wound up falling by the wayside, as the band went on to write and record their sophomore effort, and major-label debut, Louder Than Love.

Last year, the members of the band acquired the original multi-track tapes from the Ultramega OK sessions and they enlisted the assistance of renowned producer, engineer, long-time friend and frequent, old-time collaborator Jack Endino, who has famously worked with Nirvana, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, Skin Yard, The Black Clouds and others to create a new mix of the album that would tie up what the band felt were persistent loose ends — while fixing the album’s overall sound. Interestingly, the band found six early version of album singles that eventually wound up on Ultramega OK and reportedly those early versions, which would eventually become staples of their live sets at the time, capture the band’s sound and songwriting in a much rawer, less polished form — and much closer to the sound on the Screaming Life EP.

Almost 30 years after Ultramega OK’s original release, Sub Pop Records will be releasing the remixed and expanded re-issue of the album, as a long-awaited “correction.” Naturally, for die-hard fans and completists, the re-mixed material will capture the band’s sound as they fully intended it, while the re-discovered early material will serve as a window into the development of the band’s songwriting approach and overall sound. Now, as you may remember, I wrote about the re-issue’s first single “Beyond The Wheel” and the re-mixed version possessed a crisper, cleaner sound, which helped to display Kim Thayill’s incredible guitar work and the interplay between Matt Cameron’s Bonham-like thundering drumming and Cornell’s Robert Plant-like wailing. The re-mixed and expanded Ultramega OK’s second single “Flower” much like its preceding single displays a cleaner, crisper sound, which gives the song the muscular insistence that the band became known for while interestingly enough, the song has moments that nod at Badmotorfinger and Superunknown.

New Video: The Trippy and Mischievous Visuals for The Kills’ “Whirling Eye”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you’d be fairly familiar with the internationally acclaimed indie rock duo The Kills. And as you may recall, the band’s latest effort, Ash and Ice was the first album of new material from the duo in over five years — and from the album singles “Heart Of A Dog” “Siberian Nights,” and “Impossible Tracks,” the material off their latest album revealed a refinement of the sound that first caught the attention of fans and critics.

Fire and Ash’s fourth and latest single “Whirling Eye” continues in a similar vein to the album’s preceding singles as the duo pair tweeter and woofer rocking boom bap beats, layers of shimmering shoegazer rock-like guitar chords, a towering and anthemic hook and Mossheart’s imitable wail in a swaggering and bluesy song that builds up to stormy intensity — but much like their previously recorded output, there’s a palpable sensuality and sexual tension at its core.

Directed by Sophie Muller, the recently released music video for “Whirling Eye” was shot using several Go Pro cameras to create a 360º virtual reality video that follows the members of the band swaggering and strutting about in a variety of surreal and artistically shot scenarios and while giving the viewer an incredible amount of control to change camera angles at will and placing the viewer within the world of Mossheart and Hince, the video also manages to evoke the trippy sensation of the song’s whirling eye. (Please note, that in order to capture the 360º effect, you will have to view the video on Google Chrome.)

New Video: Watch the Paris Symphonic Orchestra’s Instrumental Rendition of Uppermost’s “Constellation”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past three or four months, you’ve come across a handful of posts featuring the Paris, France-based electronic music producer and electronic music artist Behad Netjabakshe, best known as Uppermost. And as you may recall, Netjabakshe has an internationally recognized profile for material he’s released through a number of renowned labels including Sony BMG, Ministry of Sound, BugEyed Records, Starlight Records and his own Uppwind Records — with singles like “Equivocal” landing at number 3 on Beatport’s electro house charts in 2009, and his Biscuit Factory EP landing at number 1 on the JunoDownload electro-house charts. Additionally, Netjabakshe has received attention for his remixes of Daft Punk, deadmau5, Burial, Crystal Castles, Jonathan Coulton, Syl Johnson, Congorock and others — and he’s had his work playlist by a nubmer of superstar producers and artists including Tiesto, Armin van Buren and Steve Angello.

Last week saw the release of the Paris-based producer and electronic music artist’s latest full-length effort, Origins 2011-2016, a massive 23 song LP, which features some of the French producer and electronic music artist’s most popular songs, including Flashback,” “Beautiful Light,” “Reminder” “Mistakes” as well as a new material including the shimmering and anthemic M83-channeling singles “Thousand Colors,” and “Emotion,” the Pink Floyd-channeling, cinematic “Reminder,” and the 45:33 and Sound of Silver-era LCD Soundsystem-leaning “Alive.” To celebrate the release of the album, Netjabakshe shared a swooningly gorgeous and cinematic rendition of “Constellation” performed by members of the Paris Symphonic Orchestra that retains the lush, cinematic quality of the original.

New Video: The Dark and Surreal Visuals for Vaarwell’s “You”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOl-f7-BhDA%5D

Comprised of Margarida Falcão, Ricardo Nagy and Luís Monteiro, the Lisbon, Portugal-based indie pop trio Vaarwell, derives their name from the Dutch word vaarwel, which translates into English as farewell — and since their formation back in 2014, when the members of the band met at a music production class, the up-and-coming trio have received attention in their native Portugal and internationally with the release of their debut EP Love and Forgiveness, which revealed a sound that paired ethereal and delicate melodies with minimalist instrumentation and production. Adding to a growing profile, the trio had been included in 2015’s FNAC Best New Talent Compilation, named Tradiio’s “Artist of the Week,” played at the renowned Portuguese music festival NOS em D’Bandada and more recently commissioned by French designer Philippe Starck to write and record a track for his exhibition at the Groninger Museum during this year’s Eurosonic Nooderslag Festival.

“You,” the achingly melancholy and gorgeous, first single off the Portuguese trio’s forthcoming full-length debut Homebound 456 will further cement their reputation for pairing Falçao’s tender and ethereal melodies with a minimalist production featuring warm and soulful keys with subtle industrial clatter, fluttering electronics and shimmering guitar. And while sonically speaking, the song reminds me of Flourish//Perish-era BRAIDS, the song has a narrator who spends a significant portion of the song self-flagellating herself for getting herself fooled by someone she shouldn’t have, who has hurt her in an egregious fashion — and as a result, the song possesses a visceral sense of confusion, bitter heartbreak and desperate searching.

Featuring production work from the Playground Production Company, the accompanying video further emphasizes the brooding contemplative feel of the song, as the video has the trio sitting in a deserted, late night parking lot while a human-sized teddy bear stalks and stomps around nearby. And as the band’s frontwoman is seemingly focusing on some past event or situation and caught within her own revelry, the teddy bear stomps around — without anyone treating it as out of the ordinary; in fact, even the bandmembers quickly treat it as a feverish figment of the imagination.

New Video: Swedish Dream Pop Sensation Linnea Olsson Takes You to Hell — and Back in New Video

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months, you’ve likely recall that I’ve written about Swedish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Linnea Olsson. After collaborating with Peter Gabriel, Sting, Ane Brun and Maia Hirasawa., Olsson quickly established herself as a go-to cellist; however, the Swedish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has recently begun to receive international attention for her self-described cello-driven fantasy pop.

“The Weekend,” which was released at the end of last year, was a swooning track featured Olsson paired a gorgeous and lush, classical string arrangement with highly modern and ironic lyrics describing a neurotic and delusional narrator, who escapes into her own revenge fantasies. And yes, Olsson’s latest single “Hall of Tragedy” will further cement her growing reputation for crafting swooning and gorgeous pop, and for her equally beautiful and plaintive vocals; however, while “The Weekend” possesses a quirky mischievousness and an atmospheric chamber pop quality, “Hall of Tragedy” pairs that atmospheric chamber pop sound with a brooding seriousness reminiscent of Ocean Rain-era Echo and the Bunnymen.

Featuring Olsson’s stop-motion animation, the recently released animated video is according to Olsson an “apocalyptic children’s book video for grown-ups” that manages to illustrate what falling into deep, unyielding depression would feel like from the song’s narrator’s perspective. And as a result, it adds a deeply visceral and haunting feel to the proceedings.

New Video: Introducing the Classic Jazz and Pop Sounds of Up-and-Coming Atlanta-based Artist Betti

Betti is a mysterious, up-and-coming, Atlanta, GA-born and-based jazz/pop vocalist, who has started receiving attention for a sound and aesthetic that nods heavily at Billie Holiday, Amy Winehouse, Ella Fitzgerald, and burlesque; or in other words, for paring equal amounts of grit and grime with an old school elegance as you’ll hear on her debut single “Ordinary,” a single inspired by her own experience, with honest, messy and confusing, real-life love between equally messy, confusing real people. As the Atlanta-based artist explains in press notes “I think it’s important for people to know that the Hollywood impression of intimacy isn’t reality for every day life, especially when it comes to relationships. Every couple goes through ups and downs, and in that rollercoaster, we’re all the same, we’re ordinary.” And while clearly saying that within every relationship we bring our own dysfunctions, messy pasts, doubts, fears, heartaches and egos, and as a result, relationships can be simultaneously confusing, infuriating, joyous and hilarious, it also subtly suggests that in our relationships, we frequently find ourselves drawn to people and situations that we can’t explain.

The recently released music video is a slickly produced and edited –and dare I say, fitting? — take on burlesque and glamorous 40s Hollywood; but while emphasizing the dysfunction at the core of the song’s central relationship.