Liam Bachler

Filmmaker Liam Bachler’s videos are gloriously soft focus 70s throwbacks with pretty women doing mischievous things… What’s not to love!? Check out the best below and as soon as I can find his short film Time Machine I’ll be sure to put up a review and/or post it here.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra “Little Blu House”

Computers Want Me Dead “Letters and Numbers”

Still from Time Machine

The State of Music Videos Today

I can’t wrap my mind around this new music video. The artist’s name is SBTRKT and the song is titled, “Wildfire.” It’s stylistically like a blend of Asian horror and David Lynch, topped with homages to Barton Fink and Apocalypse Now. I want to like it, but I feel like maybe I’ve just been tricked when it’s over. Music videos these days all have this thing now where they want to build you up to something without ever giving you a payoff.

On the other hand, not too long ago there was a superb video which had much of the same style and feel (maybe even storyline?) which also had a pretty big (however, depressing) payoff.

Next up is Zola Jesus’ “Night.” Let’s be honest, this is essentially a music video remake of Jean Cocteau’s Blood of a Poet crossed with Orpheus (oh, if he only had access to color film back then).

Lastly, there’s the new video for the Girls’ track “Vomit.” Seriously? I shot stuff like this when I was in high school and first started driving – I just didn’t have the HD camera and rock music score. How is it that a music video for a rock band can actually be boring? Don’t get me wrong, I like a shiny ’68 Mustang just as much as the next guy, but I don’t need three minutes of slow dolly shots around the fender. This is just an abomination. Hey Christopher Owens, next time you want a music video, give me a call and I promise I’ll give you something more exciting and original than whatever this drivel is. It almost hurts me to repost it here, but here goes…

Why does nobody make music videos that are original or inspiring anymore?

Kiss Napoleon Goodbye

Kiss Napoleon Goodbye despite all its inane depravity is indeed hard to look away from – it’s like a punk rock car wreck. A short art film by artist and filmmaker Babeth (aka Babeth Mondini vanLoo), there’s not much substance to be had. Henry Rollins, (self-admittedly) not the greatest actor, basically fucks and fights his way through the film – and he’s not overly great at either act. In fact, for a ripped, Oak tree trunk of a guy his most menacing moment is the reveal of his now infamous “Search and Destroy” back tattoo.

The story is filmed and edited with an obvious and direct influence on the post-punk, spoken word craze that was happening in the late 80s/early 90s. For a great sampling of some of the spoken word art that Rollins, lead actress (and writer) Lydia Lunch and the other male lead, Don Bajema, put together around that same time, check out this link over at the Brunski Beats blog and download an entire out-of-print spoken word compilation from Lunch’s own Widowspeak label, crica 1990.

If you are convinced you want to take a chance on the super low-budget, poorly acted and edited, but impressively set designed and photographed slice of cinema, see it for the gloriously warped and creepy music by Jim G. (aka “JG”) Thirlwell. Digging up the soundtrack to this film on vinyl (if it even exists) would be a real prize. You get the impression this film was supported and saw the light of day probably because Babeth (a Warhol alum) was chummy with the veritable who’s who of underground angsty artists of the 80s, she inserts randomly placed scenes which seem to do nothing more that linger on their characters in (sometimes) ridiculous poses or scenarios. The only reason this film retains any cult stature is because of who’s in it. Pass.

The Kills “Blood Pressure”

The single “Satellite” from The Kills new album “Blood Pressures” has a vocal melody that will likely not leave your head after you hear it once. The video is pretty nice too. It’s a creative blend of archival footage of a car accident and the band members running about the seaside streets of Europe doing some lightly mischievous things for a band by such a dangerous sounding name. Check out the video below and after that, check out a similarly shot short doc on the making of the new album including the inspiration for the new single.

David Byrne + Fatboy Slim + Imelda Marcos = 2010’s Weirdest Boxset

Below there’s a post which mentions March 16th’s release of White Stripes for the concert film Under the Great White Northern Lights. So, obviously, I was surprised to find yet another boxset slated for release in 2010, this time February.

It’s apparently for a long-in-the-works project between NYC-based avant-garde artist/musician David Byrne and British electronic artist/DJ Fatboy Slim (aka Norman Cook) which is a tribute to ex-First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos. You can find out more about the infamous First Lady here.

The two-disc set is titled “Here Lies Love” and is garnished in garish, almost romance novel-esque cover art. It also includes a 100 page book and a DVD. Couldn’t find anything detailing the contents of the DVD, but there’s a pretty interesting press release which explains the purpose of this “concept album,” how it began and what it all means. That’s here (courtesy of the Manila Standard).

Aside from all that, there’s the guest vocals. Spanning a realm of musicians that I never thought I’d see listed on the same record (let alone an Imelda Marcos concept album), Byrne and Cook have built one hell of a tracklist:

CD 1:

1 Here Lies Love (Vocals by Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine)
2 Every Drop of Rain (Vocals by Candie Payne and St. Vincent)
3 You’ll Be Taken Care Of (Vocals by Tori Amos)
4 The Rose of Tacloban (Vocals by Martha Wainwright)
5 How Are you? (Vocals by Nellie McKay)
6 A Perfect Hand (Vocals by Steve Earle)
7 Eleven Days (Vocals by Cyndi Lauper)
8 When She Passed By (Vocals by Allison Moorer)
9 Walk Like A Woman Vocals by Charmaine Clamor)
10 Don’t You Agree? (Vocals by Róisín Murphy)
11 Pretty Face (Vocals by Camille)
12 Ladies in Blue (Vocals by Theresa Andersson)

CD 2:

1 Dancing Together (Vocals by Sharon Jones)
2 Men Will Do Anything (Vocals by Alice Russell)
3 The Whole Man (Vocals by Kate Pierson)
4 Never So Big (Vocals by Sia)
5 Please Don’t (Vocals by Santigold)
6 American Troglodyte (Vocals by David Byrne)
7 Solano Avenue (Vocals by Nicole Atkins)
8 Order 1081 (Vocals by Natalie Merchant)
9 Seven Years (Vocals by David Byrne and Shara Worden)
10 Why Don’t You Love Me? (Vocals by Cyndi Lauper and Tori Amos)

New Music For December: Tamaryn

Like some gloriously subterranean melding of Miranda Sex Garden vocals with Smith/Simon/Gallup/Tolhurst accompaniment, Tamaryn’s slinky, post-punk tracks will penetrate your Bose QuietComforts and leave you wanting more than an EP can provide. My iTunes randomly placed it in a genre called “darkgaze,” which I can only assume is a bastardization of both the darkwave and shoegaze musical sub-genres.

Tamaryn’s got a new couple songs which you can find on 7″. The track “Mild Confusion” is worth the $5.99 alone. Download it above or listen to the B side, and a few others here. Compared in some reviews to that of Siouxsie Sioux and Nico, Tamaryn’s sound may not be entirely original, but it is entirely enjoyable.


Multimedia Project Featuring The National & The Breeders

If you’re in the Brooklyn area the weekend of October 28-31, do yourself a favor and check out the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Next Wave Festival, during which you can catch a special performance from The Long Count. Here’s an artsy teaser trailer for the performance. And here’s a much more informative one:

The Long Count is a “multimedia art piece” with visuals by artist Matthew Richie, music by The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner and vocals by The Breeders’ Deal sisters and Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond. Not to mention the 12-piece chamber orchestra.

Listen to a studio track here. And listen to a live performance track here.

October 28, 30, & 31 @ 8PM
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
70min, no intermission
Tickets: $20, 25, 35, 45