Mrs. Moody and I joined everyone else in town last Thursday at Auditorium Shores to watch The Shins perform a free SXSW outdoor show. It was crowded, the sound was subpar, and we were so far from the stage we had to watch the show on a giant screen, but despite all that, we still enjoyed the show. James Mercer’s voice sounds great live, and the band played a mix of Shins classics like “New Slang” (our wedding song), “Kissing the Lipless” and new tracks from the upcoming LP “Port of Morrow.”
The Shins are Mrs. Moody’s favorite band, and now that R.E.M. has decided to call it quits, I guess The Shins are now my favorite band too. We’re looking forward to downloading “Port of Morrow” when it’s released next week. Check out the new video for “Simple Song,” the first single off “Port of Morrow,” after the jump. Shins!
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Thom and friends played the Frank Erwin Center in Austin last week. The show was good. (It would have been better if they had put the samplers away for a while and, you know, rawked the fuck out a little more, but whattaya gonna do?) The kaleidoscopic stage setup was impressive, as you can see from the photo above. I didn’t take that photo, Austinist did (I was stuck in the nosebleeds). See more. They’re pretty.
Many thanks to fellow nerd, music snob and cousin @ckfloyd3 for the tickets.
Last we saw Santigold, she was singing over erratic tribal beats and dancing with screwy cut-and-paste cartoon characters in the video for her single “Big Mouth.” The Brooklyn singer is in a more somber mood in the brand new clip for her latest track “Disparate Youth,” a hypnotic mix of lax vocals, driving beats and dreamy discord.
Santigold’s first new album in four years, “Master of My Make-Believe” is due out later this year. Santi chatted with MTV about the new album and the “Disparate Youth” video, which she co-directed. Here’s what she had to say about the song’s lyrics:
“But lyrically, I was trying to talk about what I want for the world and what I want people to be … The youth are the hope of the future, and I want people to have the courage to trust their own vision and instincts and make up the truth for themselves and question what’s told to them.”
The nice folks at Austinist have published a feature profiling Austin’s Kiyanna Project, the online video series I joined late last year. My pal Manny Benavides, who co-created Kiyanna Project, was quoted in the piece explaining part of what makes the project special:
At the crux of the project is what makes Kiyanna different – the story. Benavides explains, “From the very beginning, the story element was vital to this project. We wanted to get a sense of the artist’s personality and discover a little more about the song itself.” The group is passionate about the endeavor and seeks to show off more than just the band’s music through the different locations and story-telling aspect. They are also open to more artists, venues, and volunteer staff, so be sure to get in touch if you’re intrigued by the idea.
I was excited when Manny brought me on to do PR for Kiyanna Project, and I’m looking forward to watching and writing about their upcoming video sessions. Stay tuned.
Welcome to The Glorious ’90s, in which I take a quick look at the music, movies, TV shows and pop culture that helped make the ’90s, well, glorious.
The Velvet Goldmine soundtrack delivers a booming dose of fey-pop sweetness ready to candy-coat your earholes. The audio companion to director Todd Haynes’ strange and glittery 1998 indie drama features a string of classic ’70s glam rock standards from heroes of the era like Brian Eno, T. Rex, and Lou Reed. Glam giant David Bowie’s name is missing from the track list, but it’s clear the Starman’s spirit and swagger influenced almost every song choice here, including original compositions and covers by Shudder to Think, Teenage Fanclub, Pulp, and Placebo. The album is a love letter to the ’70s glam era, but it’s full of ’90s artists sounding all breathy and dramatic.
The film is loosely based on Bowie’s rise to fame in the ‘70s and his influence on the UK’s gender-bending glam kids. Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays Bowie clone Maxwell Demon as a talented, ambitious waif, and Ewan McGregor plays Kurt Wilde – a rabid but sentimental punk rocker who sounds like Iggy Pop and looks like Kurt Cobain. (McGregor even recorded vocals for a solid version of The Stooges’ “TV Eye,” track number five on the soundtrack.) Bruce Wayne himself, Christian Bale, is stoic and subtle as a journalist who grew up worshipping at the altar of his guitar-licking, bisexual rock gods. The movie – an uncompromising, visually electrifying and challenging work of cinema — received mixed reactions (I’ve seen it about 10 times, so it’s probably safe to say I like it), but most critics agreed – the best thing about Velvet Goldmine is the music.
Standout tracks performed by ’90s artists include the gorgeous, melancholy ballad “2HB” by Venus in Furs (aka Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood with David Gray, Bernard Butler and Andy Mackay from Roxy Music) Grant Lee Buffalo’s rollicking “The Whole Shebang,” and “Hot One,” a slow-building, irresistible come-on from Shudder to Think. The newer tracks mix well with the old school, like Reed’s immortal “Satellite of Love,” T. Rex’s “Diamond Meadows,” and Eno’s “Needle in the Camel’s Eye.” Check out a few clips below.
I’ll admit it — my introduction to Paul Westerberg came with the Singles soundtrack. I heard the glorious na na na na’s of “Dyslexic Heart” and instantly fell in love. I later delved into the greatness of The Replacements (How could I not?), but one of my favorite Westerberg records is 1996′s Eventually.
I haven’t followed Westerberg’s career as closely as I should have post-Eventually, but I still go back to this album time and time again. It’s heartfelt, sad, and brutally earnest, but it makes room for bursts of pure joy and hard, loud grinding guitar riffs. The constant is Westerberg’s voice. He sounds damaged, raspy, romantic, and totally punk rock. It’s great. I highly recommend giving this one a spin. Sadly, people have decided to make it difficult to find a quality music video from Eventually to post here, so we’ll have to settle for an audio-only clip of “Angels Walk” below …
It feels like I’ve been waiting years to hear something new from Santigold, the insanely talented Brooklyn singer/songwriter/producer who owned my world with her self-titled 2008 debut album. Oh, wait, it has been years. Right.
Santigold, who used to go by Santogold, was nice enough to drop the video for her new single “Big Mouth” in my inbox today. Stream it above. It’s a strange and wonderful sloppy kiss of bright colors, jagged animation and super catchy tribal beats. Her next album, “Master of My Make Believe” should be out later this year. (I hope it’s sooner than later.) Now let’s get back to dancing!
… Here’s one reason why:
So, yeah, I’m on a Liz Phair kick right now. It’s all because I watched Walking and Talking (a wonderful film) again the other day. Remember that scene when Catherine Keener spies on “Ugly Guy” Kevin Corrigan while he’s walking down the street, and she tries to duck when he spots her? I love that scene. “Go West” plays in the background, and it made me crave some pre- “Why Can’t I” Liz Phair. I’m only human.