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Video: The Crystal Method - Drown In The Now

posted by Michele Yamazaki on May 29, 2009   •     Permalink • 0 Comments

Directed by Alexandre Moors and Jessica Brillhart. Here are some excerpts of an interview the directors did for Flavorwire.

Flavorwire: Tell us about the concept behind the video. It has some echoes of Sin City/The Spirit - was that intentional?

Alexandre Moors: Kind of. The label definitely referred to it at the beginning. They liked the black-and-white urban animated style that would fit within the Crystal Method album aesthetic. But, from the beginning, we aimed at taking it somewhere fresh and unique.

Flavorwire: What was the process involved in creating the animated world?

AM: The video came out of the UVPHACTORY studio, and that's kind of what we do there, mixing live-action, 2D animation, and 3D elements - merging all these different components into one world. The trick is to make it seamless. In that way, I particularly appreciate how the live-action (Matisyahu) works within the graphics. He really blends it together and creates this iconic presence.

Jessica Brillhart: Yeah, it was a definitely collaborative effort. Alex and I came up with the groundwork, and then our team of 2D/3D animators and designers took it from there, with us pointing annoyingly at their screens, spewing whatever we thought worked or didn't. I suppose that's an obvious part of the process.


The Crystal Method - Drown In The Now from IgnitionVM on Vimeo.



The Crystal Method's new video, Drown In The Now (featuring Matisyahu) from the May 2009 release, Divided By Night.

Labels: Video

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Album Review: Quiet Company

posted by kilexia on May 28, 2009   •     Permalink • 0 Comments

If you're into the indie music scene, you've probably heard of Quiet Company. Their sophomore effort, Everyone You Love Will Be Happy Soon, came out in March. And yes, all of their songs are as blissful as the title.

But the band combines their cheery attitude with witty, well-delivered lyrics and cascading piano melodies. They'll please most pop and rock listeners, and have a unique sound that shines through the catchy music. The album kicks off with an expedition in search of love in "A Nation of Two," then winds its way through the playful "It's Better to Spend Money Like There’s No Tomorrow Than Spend Tonight Like There’s No Money."



And yes, Quiet Company does like long titles. But while the names of the tracks might be hard to read on your MP3 player's tiny screen, www.internet-flets-campaign.net, th e songs are certainly easy on the ears.

The album primarily celebrates romantic love, but the band takes a few interesting twists and turns along the way. One of them is "My New Year's Resolution Is to Cope With My Mortality," a humorous take on fears of the afterlife.

They get back on track with a series of sunny songs, including "Well, the Truth Is…," one of the best songs on the album, and "On Husbands & Wives," a sweet exploration of a relationship.



"How to Fake Like You Are Nice & Caring," another great track, buzzes with synth melodies and strong vocal harmonies, then fades into the quiet, windswept instrumental "When I Am Empty, Dispose of Me Properly."

At 15 tracks, this outstanding album is jam-packed with sound, and when it finally winds out, it will leave listeners wishing for more. But there's certainly plenty to hear, and the album gets better on a second (and third, and fourth...) listen.

Everyone You Love Will Be Happy Soon is available for streaming and purchase on the band’s web site, and almost all of their songs are up on thesixtyone.

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Video: Placebo - For What It's Worth

posted by Michele Yamazaki on May 26, 2009   •     Permalink • 0 Comments

A bit reminiscent of the IKEA scene in Trainspotting, this video has some great tracking and just looks really slick. Directed by Howard Greenhalgh. I saw them in 1998 or so in Chicago and they opened for some band. I really can't remember the headliner. We left about 3 songs in, as I came to see Placebo. I remember that the power went out during Placebo's set, which is something that I've never experienced at a concert before. They were awesome.

Placebo - For What It's Worth from Placebo on Vimeo.

Labels: Video

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Bat Bites: Music Videos... Art or Marketing?

posted by Michele Yamazaki on May 24, 2009   •     Permalink • 0 Comments

My husband and I have the laptop hooked up to the plasma screen and we're watching music videos. It's very interesting how music videos have evolved from the height of MTV to the current day when you have to seek them out on YouTube or other places online, unless you're into hip hop videos and watch VH-1 at 8am (we're too cheap to have the extended cable with video channels ;-)

Today's videos just don't seem to have the same heart. The editing is much faster, the graphics are slicker but I sort of miss all the weird imagery (and bad synth) of the 80s... like She Bop from Cyndi Lauper and Safety Dance from Men Without Hats and Take on Me from A-Ha. Rock of Ages and Photograph from Def Leppard are 2 favorites. Other honorable mentions are Ratt's Round & Round and Guns & Roses Welcome to the Jungle. Hot for Teacher by Van Halen... now that was a great video! Okay, you've caught me... hair bands are a guilty pleasure.

It seems like it's tough to get a good video seen these days. With desktop editing systems so inexpensive any band can create a slick music video. Back in the day, an Avid would cost $50k, now you can get a full Final Cut Studio suite for $1300. Adobe's stuff is around the same cost. Render times are shorter, effects are more powerful. In my opinion, this has a lot to do with the glut of uninteresting music videos. All you need is to make your band look cool... who needs a good concept just a quick video at the release of the song... something to upload to MySpace.

I know, I sound like the crotchety old man yelling at those damn kids to get off my lawn, but there are a lot of good videos out there, you just have to know where to look. Here's one new video that I really dig: Ida Maria's I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked. Besides being a fantastically catchy tune with a great title, this has some fun 80's style motion graphics (and that speak to me... haha). I love the color scheme and the newsprint type dots are great over the green screen footage.



I thought I'd share a few places I get my music video fix online.

  • IF:MV - probably my favorite site for new music videos
  • Feed Here - Great resource for vfx and motion graphics, and often have some great music videos.
  • MTV Music Video Picks
  • Antville - A huge list of the lastest music videos that are user submitted.
  • Video Static - News about what's in production and links to videos that are just out.
  • Dazed Digital - Music, fashion and more. Nice site as well.
  • Daily Motion - New videos and older ones, and lots of French people on the site... nothing wrong with that of course, it just makes it tough to understand the comments if you don't parle vous.
  • QOOB - Italian site with lots of good stuff.

If you have favorite sites you visit, please post the link in the comments. Also, if you're looking for any video editing or visual effects software or plug-ins, come talk to me. I am the czarina of video plug-ins. I am not kidding. That's an official title.

Labels: Video

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American Idol... um... yeah....

posted by Michele Yamazaki on May 20, 2009   •     Permalink • 3 Comments

I'll admit, this is the first time I've watched American Idol all season and I'm tuning in an hour into the finale.

I've realized that "frilly" singing bugs me. I don't know what the technical term would be, but it's when singers are all over the scales, you know, like Mariah Carey. I also can't stand it when singers sing over every note of the music with this frilliness. Maybe that's why I listened to The Cure and New Order for so many years. No frilliness. Like what's up with the red head and Cyndi Lauper destroying Time After Time? I do like Cyndi's pants though, and she does looks fantastic.

What did you think of this season of American? Who did you want to win? Would you still watch if Simon left the show? Leave a comment with your thoughts on the show.

Labels: American Idol

3 Comments:


At May 21, 2009 12:47 PM , Blogger Alex Gloworld said...

Technical term is melismatic.
"Melisma, in music, is the singing of a single syllable of text while moving between several different notes in succession." (Wikipedia)

 
At May 21, 2009 12:52 PM , Blogger Alex Gloworld said...

Oh and yes that style of singing does bug me too. Mostly seems to be used by singers who want to show what great singers they are ;-)

As to American Idol, or its UK equivalent the X-Factor, I choose not to watch them as they do nothing for me at all as entertainment. They just seem to serve as giant adverts/trailers for whoever ends up winning & release their album.

 
At May 21, 2009 6:07 PM , Blogger Okan said...

Wir haz no Amerikan Idol ma'm. And happy with it. Greetings from Turkey ;)

 

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Bat Bites: New Bands, Lollapalooza, MOG Network

posted by Michele Yamazaki on May 18, 2009   •     Permalink • 0 Comments

New Bands

Dead WeatherJack White of White Stripes and Raconteurs has a new band called The Dead Weather, basically another indie rock super group, featuring Dean Fertita of Queen of the Stone Ages, Alison Mosshart of The Kill's on vocals, and Jack Lawrence of The Raconteur's... and Jack White. I am praying they'll sign on for Lollapalooza this summer. The Raconteurs have played the last couple of Lolla's and I have heard rumors that they could be added to the lineup. They have a big gap around their scheduled show dates too that coincide with Lollapalooza. Hmmm. If anyone finds out if they confirm Lolla, let me know!

Want to hear The Dead Weather? Go to The Dead Weather website and click on the image on the main page. Rockin'. Videos that were uploaded to YouTube have been pulled, but I expect something to be out in a few days and all over the blog-o-sphere. They're preselling the album as of last Saturday, too.

Tinted WindowsTinted Windows is another supergroup I've been reading about over the past few months and contains musicians from three of my favorite bands: James Iha of Smashing Pumpkins, bassist Adam Schlesinger of Ivy, Fountains of Wayne and drummer Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick and Taylor Hanson of Hanson. Tinted Windows are also a good contender for a late entry to Lollapalooza, dontcha think!

Lollapalooza

It looks like a killer line-up (featuring The Killers at that!) Oh, how I love Brandon Flowers (and I hope he shaves before the show ;-)

Also playing, Depeche Mode, Beastie Boys, Tool, Kings of Leon, Vampire Weekend. You can download an MP3 of a mashup of Lolla 09 Artists here.



Here's the full lineup. It's funny how they always have good picks for the headliners, but it's always the lesser known bands who I'm always most excited to see. Ra Ra Riot! Passion Pit! Glasvegas! Yes! No real big surprises (Madonna isn't on the schedule), but a solid line-up none the less:

  • Depeche Mode
  • Tool
  • The Killers
  • Jane's Addiction
  • Beastie Boys
  • Kings of Leon
  • Lou Reed
  • Ben Harper and Relentless7
  • Thievery Corporation
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Rise Against
  • Andrew Bird
  • TV on the Radio
  • Vampire Weekend
  • The Decemberists
  • Neko Case
  • STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector 9)
  • Animal Collective
  • Band of Horses
  • Of Montreal
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Coheed and Cambria
  • Ben Folds
  • Fleet Foxes
  • Silversun Pickups
  • Kaiser Chiefs
  • Crystal Castles
  • Bon Iver
  • Santigold
  • Atmosphere
  • Dan Auerbach
  • Cold War Kids
  • Deerhunter
  • Lykke Li
  • Robert Earl Keen
  • Peter Bjorn and John
  • Heartless Bastards
  • Gomez
  • Glasvegas
  • Federico Aubele
  • Dan Deacon
  • Passion Pit
  • Zap Mama
  • The Raveonettes
  • The Gaslight Anthem
  • The Airborne Toxic Event
  • White Lies
  • Ra Ra Riot
  • No Age
  • Asher Roth
  • Los Campesinos!
  • Bat For Lashes
  • Chairlift
  • Gang Gang Dance
  • The Virgins
  • Amazing Baby
  • Portugal. The Man
  • The Knux
  • Ida Maria
  • Delta Spirit
  • Friendly Fires
  • Manchester Orchestra
  • Constantines
  • Ezra Furman & The Harpoons
  • Hockey
  • Miike Snow
  • Alberta Cross
  • Hey Champ
  • Sam Roberts Band
  • The Henry Clay People
  • Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam
  • Cage the Elephant
  • Living Things
  • Low Anthem
  • Blind Pilot
  • Langhorne Slim
  • Other Lives
  • The Builders and The Butchers
  • Eric Church
  • Joe Pug
  • Kevin Devine
  • The Greencards
  • Carney
  • Thenewno2

MOG Network

Max Bumps has been accepted into the MOG Network, a community of the best music blogs from around the internet. Horray! I will be putting the MOG info into the site today and tomorrow. I did mean to do this over the weekend but I was gone most of the weekend, not at any hot concerts, but I did present at a film festival :-)

More on the MOG network in the near future.

Labels: Bat Bites, Lollapalooza

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Coldplay releases free live album

posted by kilexia on May 15, 2009   •     Permalink • 0 Comments

No, you're not dreaming. Coldplay is giving away their new album, LeftRightLeftRightLeft, for free.

The album contains nine tracks (including "Clocks" and "Viva La Vida") from their live shows, and is available for download starting today. A CD is also available for fans at most of their shows this year.

According to the band's site, "
[T]he give-away is meant as a recession-busting mark of gratitude to everyone who's supported them."

How cool is that? It's not a totally new album, but it's a nice gesture for fans. The music industry seems to be realizing that word of mouth is a better tool than frivolous lawsuits. Rock on, Coldplay.

For more info or to download the album, check out the band's web site, www.coldplay.com.
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-Laura Bradford

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