Saturday, July 25, 2015

Video Of The Week: Kwabs

I didn't have my mind set up on a specific track to feature this week, but when I fell on British R&B singer Kwabs' Walk recently after months of not hearing it, it just made sense to me. It reflects parts of my current life, parts of my recent past, and parts of life in general where you've got to keep your chin up, and move on to bigger and greater things.

In a ''very post-millennial music world'' turn of events, I just realized today that while the song was released in September 2014, the album it will be on is only set for release in September... 2015. Singles: the way of the 1950s, and the way of the present.

I'm sure it must have cost a shitload of money, but the special effects used in the video are both subtle and impressive, and they blend with the beat and picture seamlessly - a fine piece of direction and editing by David Mould, I really like how they increase in intensity all the way through:

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Video Of The Week: Soundgarden

Soundgarden had good songs from start to finish. Well, they're still going at it after a decade-long hiatus, but they've still got decent tracks - just not as many as average ones.

But the one I listen to the most (and cover the most live) has to be Outshined, from their seminal 1991 album Badmotorfinger, so I figured I'd feature the video this week, directed by Matt Mahurin (which the band despised, assessing he had phoned it in while concentrating on the simultaneous editing of Metallica's The Unforgiven):

The ladies used to love singer Chris Cornell's long curly hair and often-bare chest, very heavy metal-like. Then again, Soundgarden were the Seattle grunge scene's heaviest act, in that they were the most obviously influenced by actual metal, whereas Alice In Chains were inspired by hair metal first and foremost, Pearl Jam by classic rock, and Nirvana by punk and The Pixies.

I've been listening to Soundgarden a lot lately. Not enough to forget about my encounter with them in 1994, and not enough to forget Cornell's solo output, but enough to remember I really liked them.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Independence Day

Not every people gets to experience their Independence Day. Not every country gets to tell its parents/owners/conquerors they want to try to make it on their own.

'Murrrrca, you're not perfect. You're probably still the most racist country on earth, and your insistence on owning weapons you will never know how to use will always exacerbate the difference of opinions your Founding Fathers cherished and thought would be the basis of your democracy.

The 2000s have divided you to extremes no one ever could imagine. Your once-promising culture resides no longer in the quality of your art and museums but to which dumb asshole you will put on a Reality TV show next.

But in the 1770s, you - with a shitload of help from the French and in particular Gilbert du Motier (a.k.a. Marquis de Lafayette) - told England to fuck off with their tea, and snobbery, and monarchy, and Old World colonial ways.

You were too selfish to help the French and Aboriginals fight back the English in Québec (New France/Lower Canada) in return, but at least you got your nice little country out of it. And you built it on the promise of Equality, which is nice.

It took a while to get there, sure, and the argument can be made that you still haven't (racial bias in the economic and legal systems, wage disparity, marriage equality), but the idea is there. If not for you, then perhaps for some future country/society with the will and openness to apply your theories.

So, Happy Independence Day, United States of America. 239 years in your experiment, you're either halfway there or on the brink of collapse. My thoughts are with you; let's hope for the best.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Video Of The Week: Dead Messenger

Well, it's Canada Day, or Dollard Day, or Moving Day - whatever your allegiance and/or political affiliation. Mine lies with rock and roll, and summer - thus, Dead Messenger's newest video, directed by Big James Arsenian, Cold Summer:

You may remember them from my constant reminders about how they're the best live band in Montréal, how Jonathan Cummins calls them ''the ideal power pop band'' or just by how fucking amazing they are. Just like Ben Affleck in Phantoms, they're the bomb.

I remember them as good people, terrific musicians, and crafty songwriters. And, well, it's fitting, this song, considering the weather so far.