3/23/2015

Chilly Gonzales - “Advantage Points” (Official Video)



Last week musical genius Chilly Gonzales released his string-quartet-oriented album Chambers, which seeks to reimagine the Romantic era for a modern day pop audience. In that vein, today he shared the video for “Advantage Points,” one of the album’s most dramatic tracks. Amidst clips of Chilly and his quartet playing the music, a duel unfolds, revealing in the process how absurd the practice was. The poor guy moderating the duel ends up much worse for the wear, and I ended up on a wild goose chase trying to figure out if there was a name for duel moderators. I couldn’t find an exact title, so if you know one, let me know in the comments. Directed by Jonathan Barré, the clip also includes a rather unlikely love story. In matters of the heart — and the theatre — necessity is the mother of invention.

Action Bronson - “Baby Blue” (Feat. Chance The Rapper) Video



Action Bronson released his stupidly fun major-label debut Mr. Wonderful today, and his video for the lilting Mark Ronson-produced Chance The Rapper collab “Baby Blue” is part of today’s YouTube Music Awards festivities. The concept behind this one is simple enough: Bronson plays every character that Eddie Murphy played in the 1988 cinematic classic Coming to America. Meanwhile, Bronson’s loudmouth buddy Big Body Bes plays Arsenio Hall, and some bodybuilder lady plays Shari Headley. Chance The Rapper doesn’t play James Earl Jones, which seems like maybe a tiny bit of a missed opportunity. He pretty much just plays Chance The Rapper. He’s good at that, though. Lil Chris directs. The video marks a high achievement in dirtbag chic.

Charli XCX ­- "Famous" (Official Music Video­ YTMAs)



Charli XCX's video for "Famous" from her recent album Sucker was created as part of the YouTube Music Awards. Which is kind of crazy, since the video is a surreal takedown of internet culture.

Directed by Eric Wareheim ("Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!"), the clip features a Charli fan attempting to dance to the song's video in spite of her rapidly disappearing cell phone and tablet charge. It gets... increasingly dark as that continues to be a problem. (Charli shows up as herself, and as a scab-covered version of herself.

Shamir - "Call It Off" (Official Music Video YTMAs)



Shamir's debut album Ratchet is out May 19 on XL. Today, he's shared the video for "Call It Off", directed by Philip Hodges. Shamir gets transformed into a puppet as he and his crew dispense advice in a clothing store. According to a press release, the song "is about the transformative joy we feel when we finally get ourselves out of bummer situations – relationships, bad career moves, whatever it is."

The video was created as part of the YouTube Music Awards.

Courtship Ritual - “Ancient Drip” (Official Video)



Last summer, the Brooklyn-based duo Courtship Ritual released Pith, a minimalist collection of dark songs that we named Album Of The Week. Their latest offering is a video for Pith‘s stand-out, echoing song “Ancient Drip” which will be released on a Godmode Records compilation American Music at the end of the month. Directed by Anthony Sylvester, the video features the members of Courtship Ritual wandering through a kaleidoscopic forest.

FKA twigs - “Glass & Patron” (Official Video)



First things first: FKA twigs is going to release a new EP this year. That’s great news! “Glass & Patron” is the first thing we’ve heard from it, and twigs’ new video for it just appeared online as one of the videos that this year’s YouTube Music Awards have thrown up online. (A rescored version of “Glass & Patron” already appeared in twigs’ Google Glass “concept film.”) The video, which twigs directed herself, is easily one of the best of the year, a staggering vision that nobody else could’ve pulled off. (She also directed the “Pendulum” video, and we’re going to have to call her, among other things, one of the best video directors working right now.) It starts off as a surreal Cronenbergian take on pregnancy, and it turns into David Lynch making an Aaliyah video at a vogue ball. It also serves as the best evidence we’ve yet seen that twigs is an absolutely incredible dancer. Seriously, you need to get a look at this thing.

Florence + Machine - "St. Jude" (Official Video)



Florence and the Machine have shared the video for "St. Jude", another song from the forthcoming How Big How Blue How Beautiful. Directed by Vincent Haycock, it continues a narrative that began in the video for "What Kind of Man".

"It’s obviously about relationships, but it’s also about Florence traveling through our version of the Divine Comedy," Haycock said in a press release. He also said the video depicts "the first layer of Hell." 

The Go! Team - “What D’You Say?” (Official Video)



This week, joyous cut-and-paste indie-poppers the Go! Team return with their new album The Scene Between, and they’re also coming out with five brand-new videos, one per day. They’re starting things off with a clip for the dizzy head-rush single “What D’You Say?” The clip is all adorable seaside hijinks, and director Michael Robinson created its sun-dappled look by using double-exposed Super 8 film.

Mini Mansions - “Vertigo” (Feat. Alex Turner) Video (NSFW)



Mini Mansions, the trio led by Queens Of The Stone Age bassist Michael Shulman, scored one major coup when they got Brian Wilson to guest on their single “Any Emotions,” and then they scored another when Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner showed up on their “Vertigo.” He’s also in their new “Vertigo” video, looking dapper and dangerous amidst a whole lot of spookiness. The clip stars an invisible man, a dark wizard, a ski-masked assassin, and a whole lot of topless women. So many topless women. If Twisted Sister had been allowed to show boobs in their videos and if they had noir pretensions, they would’ve probably made a video like this in 1986. Watch it below.

Watch Jack White And Robert Plant Play Led Zeppelin’s “The Lemon Song” At Lollapalooza Argentina



The nicest thing I’ve ever heard anyone say about Jack White is that he’s Robert Plant and Jimmy Page if they were the same person. That gets at White’s appeal, but when you sit White next to the genuine article, you see that he still has a ways to go. Over the weekend, White headlined the Lollapalooza Argentina festival. Robert Plant, who also played the show, joined him onstage to sing Led Zeppelin’s thunderous 1969 rager “The Lemon Song.” And even at the age of 66, Plant hits notes that White couldn’t even dream about. It’s fun to see the two share a stage, and maybe it’ll be a taste of things to come. Last year, Plant said that he loves White’s “buccaneer spirit” and that he might like to record with him. Maybe we can make that happen now? Check out the performance.

Modest Mouse - “Lampshades On Fire” (Official Video)



Modest Mouse’s new video for their Strangers To Ourselves single “Lampshades On Fire” is a dizzy barrage of fucked-up and surreal imagery, presented almost entirely without context. A needle pierces a cheek. A mousetrap snaps on some guy’s tongue. A naked man jumps on a bed while Orange Is The New Black star Natasha Lyonne stares off into the middle distance. Various people with faces painted white wander the earth, looking supremely out-of-it. It’s hard to say what any of it means, but it’s all vivid and memorable. Jorge Torres-Torres directs.

Chastity Belt - “Cool Slut” (Official Video)



Chastity Belt’s new LP, Time To Go Home, is out today, and they make a good case for the album in the form of director Joe Holcomb’s video for anti-slut-shaming anthem “Cool Slut.” The music is a fine example of Chastity Belt’s “What if the Bangles sounded more like Real Estate?” M.O., and the lyrics remind us why these women chose Chastity Belt as their ironic band name. The chorus goes, “To all the girls in the world/ Trying to take off their shirts/ Ladies, it’s OK to be/ It’s OK to be slutty.” Line after memorable line follows: “We’re just a couple of sluts/ So what? We like to fuck.” Meanwhile, the visuals play like a lo-fi version of an old sitcom intro culled from some dusty VHS. It’s immensely entertaining.

Watch Blur Play “Trouble In The Message Centre” For The First Time In 20 Years At Last Night’s Secret Magic Whip Show



Last night, at an intimate secret show in West London, Blur performed their upcoming album The Magic Whip in its entirety. During the encore, as a treat for the assembled fans, the Britpop legends also played Parklife deep cut “Trouble In The Message Centre” for the first time in about 20 years. As frontman Damon Albarn needlessly cautioned, “We haven’t played this for twenty years so we might be a bit rusty.”

Blur - “There Are Too Many of Us” (Official Video)



A month ago, Blur announced the imminent release of The Magic Whip, their eighth album and their first in 12 years. They also shared the first single “Go Out,” which harkened back to the giddy, ragged, melodic Blur of the Britpop era. Tonight, the band will play the whole new album at a secret show somewhere in West London. And today, they shared a second song, an overpopulation-blues lament called “There Are Too Many Of Us.” Musically, it’s closer to the Blur of 2003’s Think Tank, with synths and strings and vocoders that show some serious Berlin-era Bowie influence. The song comes paired with video of Blur playing it in what looks like a practice space.

Major Lazer & DJ Snake - “Lean On” (Feat. MØ) (Official Video)



"India is special and its beauty absolutely humbled me. When we toured there as Major Lazer, it was mind blowing to see our fan-base and we wanted to incorporate the attitude and positive vibes into our video and just do something that embodies the essence of Major Lazer. Major Lazer has always been a culture mashup and to us, India feels like some kind of special creature with one foot in history and one firmly in the future. The experience is something we’ll never forget.“

- Diplo on making the “Lean On” video in India

Dr. Ken Lo - “Day 3″ (Official Video)



Brooklyn rapper Ka has a flickering, incantory take on New York boom-bap that comes entirely from the man himself; he barely ever works with anyone else, in any capacity. But Ka recently formed a new Manchurian Candidate-inspired duo with the producer Preservation, whose style is, if anything, even more minimal than his own. Together, they’ve got an album called Days With Dr. Ken Lo coming sometime soon, and we’ve already posted their new “Day 0” video. Their new self-directed “Day 3″ clip is along those same lines: Murky, noirish shots of New York at its darkest, all artfully framed, with Ka playing a wise and wizened street samurai throughout.

3/19/2015

Snoop Dogg - "Peaches N Cream" ft. Charlie Wilson (Official Video)



Snoop Dogg takes off to a retro-futuristic paradise packed with life's finest, freshest things in the new video for "Peaches N Cream," the Pharrell-produced, Charlie Wilson-assisted first single from his upcoming LP, Bush.

Both Wilson and Pharrell — donning yet another towering hat — join Snoop in this magical land built out of CGI graphics that would've looked mind-boggling at the turn of the century. But when mixed with ancient Egyptian symbols and a Seventies funk aesthetic, these old school graphics unsurprisingly work in Snoop's favor.

The MC luxuriates in a fly fur coat as the power of green screen allows him to be transported to a moonlit hedge garden and caressed by a handful of bodiless arms, which, at the end, seem to ostensibly belong to the smoke monster from Lost.

The video for "Peaches N Cream" comes a little over a week after Snoop dropped the delectable, neo-disco cut. Pharrell produced the entire album, which is scheduled for release on May 12th via Snoop's own Doggy Style Records, Pharrell's i am OTHER label and Columbia Records.

Bush finds Snoop Dogg reclaiming his hip-hop nom de plume after exploring the worlds of reggae and funk under the names Snoop Lion and Snoopzilla. The MC has been teasing Bush for several months now, revealing in January that the LP would feature a guest appearance by Stevie Wonder.

Snoop Dogg is also scheduled to helm this year's keynote conversation at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. He'll take the lectern on Friday, March 20th at 11 a.m. CT in Ballroom A of the Austin Convention Center. The event will be open to all Music and Platinum registrants and registered showcasing artists.

Lil Wayne - “CoCo” (Official Video)



Our last-ever Mixtape Of The Week column, before we switched over to the Week In Rap, was dedicated to Lil Wayne’s Sorry 4 The Wait 2. Given that Wayne had a huge hand in making the mixtape landscape what it is, that’s appropriate. The tape opened with Wayne’s version of O.T. Genasis’ pounding street hit “CoCo,” using it to explicitly address his legal battle with Cash Money Records. Wayne has now made a video for the “CoCo” freestyle, and it’s got him, shirtless in a ski mask, trying to break out of a metal cage. As metaphors go, that one seems pretty obvious. We also get archival footage of Wayne and Birdman when things were still cool, and a few gory movie clips for good measure. Eif Rivera directs.