-The catchiest song of the summer, Spoon’s The Underdog now has a video. Camera following assorted producers around a recording session, checking in on emotionless automaton musicians, Underdog could very well be a commentary on the commercialization of music and manufactured pop icons . Or, I could just be reading way too much into a quirky video from a classically quirky band. But that little skip over the dead producers has to mean something.
Spoon – The Underdog (mp3)
Vid (No youtube or dm yet, if you find one, leave it in the comments I’ll amend the post)
-Simian Mobile Disco may have been overshadowed by a certain French electronic duo as of late (horrible timing, considering their excellent debut LP was released at the height of the Justice hype-machine), but that hasn’t stopped them from prepping a brand new EP, featuring Tits & Acid, along with two new tracks. It’d be a real shame if this went as criminally unnoticed as the ADSR.
Simian Mobile Disco – 3 Pin Din.mp3
-The second single from Dizzee Rascal has officially been “americanized”. By americanized, of course, I mean butchered. The offensive, but killer chorus is nowhere to be found, instead replaced by a minute of awkward rapping tagged on to the end of the track. The meaningless war and dumb-as-a-bag-of-bricks President have contributed, but I’m sure moves like this are why the rest of the world hates the U.S. At least the video is pretty good.
Dizzee Rascal –
Pussy’ole [Old Skool] (mp3)
-I’m a little surprised I haven’t already said so, but I really love the New Pornographers latest album, Challengers. It’s a more mature sound for them, low-key and quiet, but it suits them well. Still, it’s got its poppy moments, such as Bejar’s Myriad Harbour, but I’m certainly not going to complain. After all, Harbour might just be the greatest thing Bejar’s ever contributed to the group.
-Animal Collective released the video for Fireworks, a few days ago, on the evening of July 3rd. Fireworks is the centerpiece of their latest album, Strawberry Jam, and the video captures everything that’s great about it, from the subtle surreality of it all, to the slightly dark undercurrent running through the vocals. A beautiful video for a beautiful song from a beautiful album.
Animal Collective – Fireworks (mp3)
Two new pieces of cover art crossed my path today.
M.I.A.’s Kala (Interscope/8-12)
Liars Liars (Mute 8/28)
Also, the video for M.I.A.’s ‘Boyz’:
Also, Queens Of The Stone Age’s new album, Era Vulgaris, is out today. It’s been getting some pretty mixed reviews, but personally, I love it. I’ll admit that I’ve never been that into the Queens before, so I can’t really compare it to their previous efforts, but EV stands as a great album all on its own.
The official video for Kanye West’s ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing’, the first single from the upcoming Graduation. Let’s hope it’s stronger than this track would suggest.
So much for AOL showing off Icky Thump for the first time later today; Spinner’s got the vid right now, and it’s every bit as crazy as you’d expect, with Meg dressed as a one-eyed Mexican prostitute and . . . well, actually that’s all I noticed, but I’m sure there’s other insane stuff in there, too. Icky Thump is gonna be so awesome.
White Stripes – Icky Thump.mp3
Thanks to Chris for the video!
If the National were subtle on Alligator, then they’re downright elusive on their latest LP, Boxer. Everything is understated, left to grow on you through repeated listens. It’s a good dozen or so listens before you start to appreciate the album for what it is. I imagine that choosing a single for Boxer was a nightmare; singles are meant to be immediately catchy, something you like the minute you hear it, but Boxer is full of slow growers. So, they chose the darkest, most aggressive track on the album, ‘Mistaken For Strangers’. ‘Strangers’ is the closest Boxer comes to a rock-out like ‘Lit Up’, with it’s tight, quick instrumentation and mournful lyrics. Its video mirrors its claustrophobic nature perfectly, shooting the band from too-close angles in close quarters. Boxer will be released tomorrow (5/22) via Beggars Banquet.
The National – Mistaken For Strangers.mp3
I’ll admit it; on Friday I may have been a little overzealous with the new Smashing Pumpkins track.I was just shocked so by its un-suckiness that I gave it more credit than it deserved. It’s a good track, and it has gotten me excited for Zeitgeist, but it’s just not as good as some are making it out to be. So, as an apology, here’s a track that’s every bit as good it’s been made out to be: ‘Sick Sick Sick’ from Queen Of The Stone Age’s upcoming Era Vulgaris. It’s a straight-forward rocker, the kind you don’t hear much nowadays, with crunchy guitars, powerful vocals, and an extremely catchy chorus. As an extra bonus, here’s the official video for ‘Sick Sick Sick’ and another wonderfully acerbic track from Era Vulgaris, ‘I’m Designer’. And before you ask, no, it wasn’t recorded through a wall.
Queens Of The Stone Age – I’m Designer.mp3 [Radio Rip]
Remember, a few weeks back, when SC was overflowing with Panda Bear love? Well, it looks like I’ve found a new target for my affection; Spoon. After listening to their latest album, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (or Ga^5 to those in the know) for the better part of last week, I feel confident saying it’ll keep good company with Person Pitch & The Reminder in my end-of-year list. While the choice of ‘The Ghost Of You Lingers’, the album’s most ‘out-there’ track, as lead single is a little odd and misleading, we mere mortals are not properly equipped to arguably with the likes of Spoon. So, I’ll just accept that some things are above my head, and enjoy the haunting imagery of the first video from Ga^5.
I was a little put off when I heard that Animal Collective had signed to Domino last year; I mean, AC and Arctic Monkeys being label-mates? While I’ll remain cautious until I hear the full album, this video has done a lot to alleviate my fears. It’s a performance of a new song song, Cuckoo, live for TVP Kultura. Anyone who’s heard the latest AC material will tell you, probably with great glee, that it’s extremely good. Cuckoo is no different. It actually sounds like something off Spirit . . ., which is by far my favorite AC album. Dig it.
Animal Collective – Tikwid.mp3 [From the People EP]
Last night you might have caught Feist performing One, Two, Three, Four on Jay Leno. Personally, I didn’t bother, instead opting to check out the youtube video this morning. Maybe it’s just me, but the performance seemed a little underwhelming. It moved a little faster than the album version, with too-quiet instrumentation. The mixture didn’t exactly work well, but the worst part was actually Feist herself; she just didn’t seem that into it. The Reminder is great, but this performance just doesn’t capture any of it’s charm.
Don’t yell at me for posting two videos that have nothing to do with each other in the same post; I needed to get both of them done, and it was a timesaver. So, today, I give you ‘Umbrella’ by Rihanna, and ‘Elephant Gun’ by Beirut. You’ve probably seen pictures of the set of Elephant gun, and the video is every bit as bizarre as they would suggest; it features a mustachioed Zach Condon playing the song, while people dance around him in faux elephant noses. And of course, there’s the obligatory elephant gun. ‘Umbrella’ is one of the better pop songs I’ve heard this year, despite providing more proof that Jay-Z should have stayed in retirement. It’s a dark song, and the video compliments it well. Enjoy!
Rihanna ft. Jay-Z – Umbrella
Beirut – Elephant Gun