Video Picks / 06.15.2013

So we typically toss a video onto a post when highlighting a new band or a concert or whatever, and we let you draw your own conclusion about it. Sometimes we throw a change-up … strike that — let’s call it a round up. These visual/aural displays were worthy of our attention, and we think you’ll dig them. If a picture is worth 1000 words, then a video must be worth a million. Hold on to your hats!

Words and picks by Brendan

Today we’re featuring videos from Villagers, Ty Segall, Kurt Vile, Chelsea Light Moving, Ball of Flame Shoot Fire, and a combination of M83 and Creedence Clearwater Revival!

Villagers / “The Waves” / {Awayland} [Domino, 2013] / dir. Alden Volney

Villagers is Ireland’s Conor O’Brien. His 2010 album Becoming a Jackal was a great combination of folk and artful rock that caught my ears just right. Not to mention his lovely voice. He’s back with a new album, interestingly titled {Awayland}, that was released back in January. This video is even older than that, but I’m just getting around to catching up on Villagers news. Sorry. I’m sure I’ll be listening to this album and trying to digest it for the next few weeks, let alone this video. It’s full of metaphysical imagery and lyrics, alluding to (I think, anyway) quantum physics and wave/particle duality, solipsism, and any other manner of philosophical ideas of the universe. Dive in and see what you can dig out of it!

Ty Segall / “The Hill” / Twins [Drag City, 2012] / dir. Ty Segall & Peter Grimm

Another video/album I’m running late on but, then again, Ty Segall will always outpace me. For every album of his I listen to, he releases six more. I love it. I thought about not sharing this video because it’s almost too weird and nonsensical, but then I realized that it’s so weird in a way that makes it compelling again. There’s a way to make sense with a plot and clear imagery, and then there’s a way to not care about that shit and make no sense at all, but you can go too far. This is close to that boundary, throwing in a bunch of weird shit but being just engaging enough to make you think there’s something there. There’s someone in a bear(?) suit skateboarding in front of a green screen, there’s an eyeball playing guitar and drums, there’s a weird monster mask … oh yeah, and there’s Ty Segall playing a scorching, catchy tune.

Kurt Vile / “Crimes” / Wakin On a Pretty Daze [Matador, 2013] / dir. Tom Scharpling

Kurt Vile can do no fucking wrong, in my book. Every album gets better and better. I put Smoke Ring For My Halo on our “Best of 2011″ albums list, and Waking on a Pretty Daze is shaping up to be one of my top picks of this year, as well. In this video, Kurt is paraded about as apparently reluctant and dissatisfied royalty. (Given his connections to (and frequent mentions of) the city—including Pretty Daze‘s cover art, commissioned of a local street artist—not to mention the similarities in musical sound, I’ve always felt like this analogy makes sense, and I thought I’d share it here: Kurt Vile : Philadelphia :: Bruce Springsteen : New Jersey.) In any event, there’s more to this video than meets the ear and the eye. Kurt seems dissatisfied with his “servants” and rolls his eyes, yet he relishes in the perks. What’s the message? Who knows? By the by, this is directed by Tom Scharpling, comedian and radio host on WFMU. Check out his show, “The Best Show”!

Chelsea Light Moving / “Lip” / Chelsea Light Moving [Matador, 2013] / dir. Eva at Ecstatic Peace Library

Okay, I’m not totally behind on the times. This one’s new. Thurston Moore (yeah, from Sonic Youth) has a new band called Chelsea Light Moving. They played at Mr. Small’s earlier this spring and rocked it, to a surprisingly-not-so-packed crowd. Not that I’m complaining; it was great to be 20 feet away watching Thurston slay his guitar! This video is for one of the quicker, riffier cuts on their recent album. Some other tunes allow Thurston to indulge his guitar noodling or poetic lyrics, but this one is straight, early SY, fast-paced punk rock. Dig it.

Ball of Flame Shoot Fire / “Bad Thing” / Zileur (Mi​-​Mi​-​Mo​-​Mo) [self-released, 2012] / dir. William Welles

Bad Thing – Ball of Flame Shoot Fire from Peter Henry on Vimeo.

This band’s members all came from Pittsburgh, but have since moved to New York City. It’s a little hard to describe their sound, but suffice it to say that it’s an intriguing mixture of artful pop, lounge, and rock, featuring tinkly piano and poetic lyrics. This particular song talks about the sinful pleasures amongst us—the “rats in our house”, so to speak—and the video shows how these “bad things” will come out no matter how hard we try to scrub the minute, dusty grime away. If you like this, check out Ball of Flame Shoot Fire‘s Bandcamp page to find some of their albums for free download. (Side note: I also know this video’s director from doing improv comedy in college. True story.)

M83 + CCR / “Midnight City + Bad Moon Rising” / [LeeDM101 (@LDM101) and Thriftshop XL (@thriftshopxl)]

M83 vs Creedence Clearwater Revival – Midnight Moon from Thriftshop XL on Vimeo.

Can’t remember exactly how I stumbled on this mashup and video. But I love it. CCR is always one of my go-to listens, and to hear John Fogerty’s voice mixed up with M83‘s beats and melodies … somehow, this crazy and endless unorganized universe just makes a little bit more sense. And I’m thankful for that.

There ya have it, our video picks for this week. Any thoughts? Dig the tunes? Love the cinematography? Think you could do better? Leave some comments and we’ll chat it up!

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