We’re missing Sara Bareilles already after her stunning solo acoustic performance at the club in April. During one of her intermittent (and very candid) chats with the audience between songs, Sara told us that she wrote ‘Brave’ with a friend in mind who was struggling to come out. This new video for the track definitely embodies that spirit of empowering self-confidence. In the video all sorts of people dance through the streets, a shopping mall, and a library. We also see Sara at the forefront sporting those same killer pants that she did on stage at 9:30. It’s hard not to smile and have the urge to do a few embarrassing dance moves when listening to ‘Brave.’ I encourage you to follow Sara’s lead and “say what you wanna say” because summer is here, what a great time to be bold!
Get ready for the coolest heartbreak you’ll ever witness. Gary Clark Jr. does his best Man In Black, all modern and resplendent in hipster glasses and a beanie, but telling a tale as old as time – the Cadillac-driving bluesman who can’t pay his bills paired with the woman he’s afraid he’ll lose. The music is so raw you might feel like you’re actually intruding upon something, but as proven by the end of the video (and this whole album), the only relationship that really matters is Gary and his guitar.
The slow drumbeat and church organs introduce us to Wampire and the road trip they’re on. Having just released their debut album, Curiosity, it’s no wonder that they’re on an exploration in this video for single, “Orchards.” Whistles and drab harmonizations elevate us through purple smoke until the demons within come out. Luckily, with enough laughter and good times, we can all learn to deal.
Hailing from Portland and recently signed to Polyvinyl Records (of Montreal, STRFKR, Deerhoof, Japandroids), they have a long road ahead of them and a lot to prove. “It’s so fun to be so goddamn young / but it wont last forever.” Ahhh! Loosen your bolo tie dude! It’s all good! And where the hell did y’all get that sweet ride? Wampire is definitely blazing a proper path.
The over-conceptual-yet-always-fabulous Janelle Monáe drops yet another video in her futuristic narrative. The song “Q.U.E.E.N.” - from her upcoming album The Electric Lady - has her teaming up with Analog Girl Erykah Badu (known here as “Badoula Oblongata”). The neo-soul divas recreate a science fiction version of Night at the Museum as they come to life to strut around and pose fem-powerment isms like “am I a freak for getting down?” Check out the video below, directed by Alan Ferguson (Solange’s boyfriend).
Tegan and Sara are simply heartthrobs, end of story. The video for “I Was a Fool,” one of the tracks from Heartthrob, is chock full of Quin sister woe and charm. Mae Whitman is also thrown into the mix; you may recognize her from Parenthood and early seasons of ArrestedDevelopment. Whitman is featured in the video as a broken hearted girl, discarding everything that reminds her of that soul-crushing/wonderful boy. Vinyl is smashed, postcards are burned, and paintings are tossed outside. Meanwhile the scene keeps flashing back to Tegan and Sara with their moody, captivating vocals that we know and adore. This alluring sister duo will be at Merriweather with Fun. on July 20th, you’d be a fool to miss it!
VOTD: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - ‘Let The Day Begin’
California-bred rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have released an inspiring new video for their single “Let the Day Begin” off of their latest album Specter at the Feast. The video celebrates life by showing the universality of morning, offering images of everyday life in different cultures and places—things as exciting as cliff diving and as ordinary as hula-hooping. It reminds the viewer to achieve something new everyday. Let us remember that this single is a cover; BRMC bassist Robert Levon Been’s late father Michael Been wrote this song with his new wave band the Call. Knowing this is a lesson passed on from father to son makes this video a little bit more special.
Things have grown more elaborate for budding hip hop artist Azealia Banks since her break-out hit “212” in 2012; her latest video for the single “Yung Rapunxal” is a trip, to say the least. Images of Miss Bank$ with shouting mouths superimposed over her eyes as well as the artist battling a police officer in riot gear are juxtaposed with lyrics such as the repeated “I wanna be free” and “Dare ya ta, dare ya ta.” In a hip-hop culture traditionally dominated by men, perhaps the young Banks (a mere 21 years old!) is articulating her struggle to do her and maintain her sense of self.
VOTD: Heart - ‘Barracuda’ (Live with Chris Cornell, Mike McCready, Jerry Cantrell)
The annual Rock N Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is an event sure to be chock-full of awesome collaborations and covers. New inductees Heart (others in the Class of ‘13 included Rush, Public Enemy, Randy Newman, Albert King, and Donna Summer) were no exception, and slayed the crowd with a guitar-crazy rendition of their smash “Barracuda.” Featuring a little help from choice fellow Seattle-ites Chris Cornell of Soundgarden (who also inducted the duo), Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, and Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains, prepare to be blown away by how much these ladies STILL have it!
Despite the fact that our feelings couldn’t be more opposite the song title, the free-wheelin fancy free dancing spirit embodied by Jonny Fritz (formerly known as Jonny Corndawg) is right on point for this fine hump day afternoon. Watch him prance and avoid precariously positioned bottle rockets to the tune of his delightful country-tinged diddy. Happy Wednesday everyone!
Wild Nothing’s new song, “A Dancing Shell” sounds like some 1980s Huey Lewis And The News, palm tree, beach-drenched, shenanigans… Where Huey would use back-up vocalists, Wild Nothing implores vocal effects to add dynamics. The song crescendos in on a never ending syncopated hi-hat that keeps you moving the whole time. And then just like Mr. Lewis and his News, the breakdown is filled with all kinds of squelching synths that might as well be sax.
The video itself is oozing retro. The animation style reminds me of pre-CGI madness, when it was design and sharp angles that ruled. The kitschy aspects come together and don’t feel forced and relate to the music perfectly. Think about Patrick Nagel and Duran Duran and Rio. These stylings definitely deserve to be brought around again and what perfect timing than on the cusp of summer.
“I’m not a human / I’m just a body / just a dancing shell / here to make you happy / I have no feeling / I have no thoughts / I have to make you love me / watch me now watch me.” Oh, Wild Nothing… we already love you and were ready to dance too!