It wasn’t my intention this time (sometimes it is), but my three choices for videos this round are a bit divisive. The first is a laid-back new release from indie rock mainstays, the second a visually exciting video for an electronic dance floor banger and the final a 1977 throwback from a legend with a voice described by music critc Daniel Durchholz as sounding “like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car.” Trudge on! It’s worth seeing this post out, I promise!
TV on the Radio – Will Do
There are only a few weeks left before the release of TV on the Radio’s new album, Nine Types of Light, due out April 12. The group, buoyed by distinctive vocalist Tunde Adebimpe, has debuted two tracks so far. The first, “Caffeinated Consciousness,” is available on their website in exchange for an e-mail address and the second, “Will Do,” is out now as their first video. Both are clearly TV on the Radio, but I think that “Will Do” has a softer bent to it than I was expecting based on their last effort, 2008’s flamboyant Dear Science. No disservice meant, however; it’s a lovely track with a very appropriate accompanying video. The feel is slightly futuristic, but incorporated so as to not become the focus, yielding the more tender human elements to the fore.
Matta – Release the Freq
This is my first encounter with Matta and it comes via the blog iso50 which posted the video to praise the work of designer Kim Holm. The video has an interesting coloring to it that, I find, is too easy to overuse. Photo blogs have been all abuzz with the new Instagram app that lets you apply this “hipster” coloring to any photo you take with your phone. It was neat once or twice… but I actually removed one blog from my feed reader when the posts became 100% Instagram photos of cereal and coats. For this video, though, I actually like the tones, probably because there’s more going on than just breakfast and it seems to set the mood rather than just scream “nostalgia” or whatever it is that Instagram people are trying to scream.
The tune is great, too. If it were faster and twice as loud, I could buy it was The Prodigy, but at this more relaxed pace, it a dubbier, hypnotic dance rather than a spastic “Smack my Bitch Up.”
And, though I knew some of these facts before, here are the take away points from the video:
A. Deer stick out their tongues and lick their noses a lot. It’s weird to watch.
B. Deer look like they are assholes who would hang out behind the convenience store and loiter.
C. Deer are made of many delicious cuts of meat.
Tom Waits – Tom Traubert’s Blues (Four Sheets to the Wind in Copenhagen)
Far too many people don’t know Tom Waits, a man who makes this post because he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last week. I only came to find him a few years ago, so it can be partly excused, but I probably cannot underestimate the impact of the discovery. Know that I now split my personal history into periods of pre- and post-Waits, the epiphany forming some sort of baptism that washed away all my previous inequity and made me a more complete person. (Watch Out! I’m born again and speaking in whisky-infused tongues!)
“Tom Traubert’s Blues” comes from Waits’ fourth album, 1976’s Small Change, and this particular clip from the BBC show The Old Grey Whistle Test. Someone told me once they didn’t think they could date a person who hadn’t spent a night curled up on the floor with a bottle of whisky listening to Tom Waits and balling their eyes out. Those of you who haven’t experienced his music might not understand, but there’s a deep part of one’s psyche only accessible this way.
Cheers, Tom! And Congratulations!