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Peaches’ free ‘Free Pussy Riot’ track & video


 
When it comes to feminist-punk, there’s none more femme, nor punk, than the mighty Peaches.

So it’s no real surprise to learn that Peaches has been following the Pussy Riot trial closely, and has turned her hand to making both a video and a track in support of the persecuted Russian rock group.

A YouTube casting call went out last week, asking for fans to send in their own, pro-Pussy Riot footage to be included in the video. Well it is now done and dusted, and available to watch online. The track itself, called “Free Pussy Riot”, is available as a free download, and all Peaches is asking in return for her work is that everyone sign the Free Pussy Riot petition at change.org.

This is the statement Peaches and friends have made to go with the download:

Peaches, Simonne Jones, and tons of musicians, artists, activists, and free-thinkers are came together to make a video for this song in support of the russian punk feminist band PUSSY RIOT! Now that you have heard about the song and video, we want you to take action! Here is why:

In March 2012 three members of Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevitch, were taken into custody by Russian authorities for their participation as part of a protest at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. Their punk prayer is and was an act of free speech and the charges of “hooliganism” and detainment of the three women are seen by the world as a cruel heavy handed act of oppression, are being carried out to discourage free thought and speech in Russia.

If Russia wishes to be a part of the modern globalized world it must adhere to the standards and principles of a free nation where its people have the right to have a free and open dialogue about all subjects. Discussion, debate, and action are the basic building blocks of a free society. By following through with the prosecution of these women Russian political bullies are currently making a mockery of free speech, free thought, and Russia’s own country’s constitution.

We, the citizens of the world and advocates for free speech, DEMAND the immediate release of Pussy Riot. The verdict is planned for August 17th - let’s show Pussy Riot our support!

The charges and punishments facing Maria, Nadezhda, and Ekaterina are nothing more than a political stunt by the Russian authorities and Russian Orthodox Chruch to retain control over the Russian people and instill fear into the free-thinkers, political activists, and artists of Russia.

The world is watching, and we do not like what we see.

I do, however, like what I see here:
 
Peaches “Free Pussy Riot!”
 

 
And here is the track itself:
 

   Free Pussy Riot by Peaches Rocks
 
You can sign the Free Pussy Riot petition at: www.change.org/freepussyriot

Donations are also accepted at: http://freepussyriot.org
 

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Spiritualized ‘Hey Jane’: is this video art or exploitation?


 
I still don’t really know what to make of this - it’s a 10 minute music video-cum-short film for the British band Spiritualized, trailing their upcoming album Sweet Heart Sweet Light which is released on Fat Possum Records next week. Directed by AG Rojas, who has also worked with Jack White, Gil Scott-Heron and Earl Sweatshirt, the video follows a day in the life of a drag queen prostitute raising two young children. It doesn’t end very well.

The violent and sexual clip has already caused a bit of a stir since it was released last month. Stereogum seem all in favour of “Hey Jane”:

[It’s about] a transwoman who attempts to raise kids while turning tricks, stripping, and — in one unforgettable long tracking shot — getting into an absolutely brutal fight. There’s probably a term paper to be written about the video’s treatment of race, class, gender, sexuality, and violence. This is a good one, folks.

While on Collapse Board, Lucy Cage writes a scathing review of the Sweet Heart, Sweet Light album (definitely worth a read in its own right) and points out that:

‘Hey Jane’ wears its NSFW like a smug little badge … I don’t like what it appears to be saying about people. I don’t like that said whiney, white, self-pitying, copyist, imagination-free, privilege-flaunting cisman from England [Jason Pierce of Spiritualized] has used this story and these characters from waaaaaaaaaaay outside his experience, knowledge or culture as entertainment, however much Art has given him a hall pass to do so.

To be fair on Pierce, some of this heat needs to be taken by the director Rojas. The video is definitely slick and very well made but does it tell us anything we already didn’t know, or even desperately need to? Is it shock or titillation?

Hats off to the main actors though, who do a great job. The prostitute is played by Tyra Sanchez, winner of the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race—easily one of the best reality tv shows ever and I’m totally serious, if you have not seen this you are missing out—she does a great job.

Musically the song is pretty much what you’d expect from Spiritualized, who have been doing this kind of laidback-but-overwrought white-psych-soul thing for over 20 years now. I have to admit a bit of a soft spot for these guys though, who I used to love back in the mid-Ninteties before I delved further into their pool of influences while also gravitating towards more electronic music. The Spiritualized sound, which has barely changed in all these years, is like big, warm, fuzzy blanket. You know where it is coming from and you know where it’s going; it is inherently safe.

And that’s something this video tries very hard not to be:

Spiritualized “Hey Jane” (NSFW)
 

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Even better than the real thing:  Madonna meets the bad trip lady


 
Let’s get one thing clear before we go any further - this new Madonna single is AWFUL. It’s really is so terrible that I’m gonna call “Girl Gone Wild” Madonna’s Showgirls moment: it’s so bad, it’s good!

And that’s why this video is just perfect.

You’ll have seen the footage before, no doubt, as Tara posted it a few weeks back in its original form: “Skeletons Having Sex On A Tin Roof” by Orphic Oxtra. It works even better here, as Madonna’s insipid, wannabe-edgy lyrics (“girls just wanna have some fun” - er, okay) are juxtaposed by that cheerful-slash-insane-looking dancing lady. The overall half-assed vibe of the song’s production fits the video’s green-screen ethos like a glove. Madonna will have to go some way to top this with the official video.

Also, just for the record, no “808 drums” were used in the making of this song:

Madonna “GIrl Gone Wild” [Official Music Video - NOT!]
 

 
Thanks to Sharon Needles and Matthew Rothery.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Rarely seen 1974 promo for Sparks ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us’


1974 NME Sparks cover - uploaded by Sparksmael.
 
Yes, it’s an original 1974 promo clip for Sparks’ classic glam-era chart topper! Not enough people know that this video exists, which includes even a lot of Sparks fans - I only discovered it myself quite recently. It’s not amazing but it is fun, and is worth a watch to see Russel’s uber-camp flying leap at 0:35. Not to be too down on Queen, but a lot of people assume that “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For the Both Of Us” was a cash in on the opera-pop of “Bohmenian Rhapsody”, which is not the case. “This Town…” was released a whole year before Queen’s smash, and this video pre-dates their “Bohemian Rhapsody” promo too - in fact Queen supported the Mael brothers on some of their first ever UK dates in 1973, so it’s pretty safe to assume the influence was the other way around. But, hey, this isn’t a competition, both bands were high-class acts, I’m sure Queen fans will find a lot to like in this clip:
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
England shakes (quietly): PJ Harvey live, Manchester Apollo, 9/8/11


 
Two days after winning the Mercury Music Prize for her album Let England Shake (a record-setting second win in 10 years, let’s not forget, the first being for Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea) PJ Harvey and her band arrived in Manchester to play a live show at the legendary and cavernous Apollo, a show I was lucky enough to see.

Lucky in that I got to witness what was an excellent performance and a great reminder of just what a good songwriter Polly Harvey is. The huge Apollo stage was minimally decorated, and yet Harvey and her three backing musicians (John Parrish, Mick Harvey and Jean-Marc Butty) managed to dominate it. Harvey had her own solo set up away from the others on the left hand side of the stage, while the band and their kit were grouped together further back on the right. But this wasn’t a disjointed or egotistical affair; it worked perfectly, and each member got their own turn in the (literal) spotlight.

Stepping in and out of the light seemed to be a theme of the show, with a group of spotlights and a constantly working smoke machine at the back of the dark stage being the only concessions to design (apart from the church-pugh style bench Mick Harvey was sat on). Polly Harvey looked amazing in a black Victorian-gothic dress with matching head gear - an inverted version of what she wore at the Mercury’s - and at the moments when she was freed from playing her zither or guitar she slinked in and out of the heavy smoke and bare light like an undead spirit emerging from her tomb. Those moments stood to remind the audience just how magnetic a performer Harvey is, even when she’s doing hardly anything.

Harvey has seemingly abandoned the notion of guitar, bass and drums and a traditional rock-band set-up, and much like Bjork, focussed on creating a unique and unusual sound world of her own. So Mick Harvey plays a distorted electric piano, Parrish backs him up on guitar and/or a Nord synth, and Butty focuses his drums around floor toms played with maracas, and a military, marching-style snare. The three backing musicians swapped instruments and places regularly, and all got their turn on vocals. Having not had a chance to listen to Let England Shake yet I was very impressed with the songs, which were delicate, moving, and surprisingly very short. The atmosphere of loss and melancholy was at times very powerful, without descending into patronising hectoring that is the failure of most “protest” music. The show’s set list comprised of Let England Shake played through in it’s entirety, and a final section (including encore) of some older favourites including “Down By The Water” and “C’Mon Billy”. Harvey proved that she is a mistress of the “less is more” school of performance and the show was all the more engaging for it.

As I said before I was lucky to get in to the gig - lucky to see such a beautiful and moving show, but also lucky in that I managed to be in the right place at the right time to be offered a free guest list place. Otherwise I wouldn’t have gone - the tickets for the show (including booking fee) were a frankly extortionate £40. As excellent a performer and writer as Harvey is, I just can’t see how the show justifies the cost of that ticket. Maybe this is what the promoters knew they could get away with charging, or maybe it’s just the way the live music industry in general is headed. But there were no support acts and Harvey’s set lasted only one hour and twenty minutes - a few people I spoke to after the show said they didn’t think it was worth the price. And those were fans that enjoyed it too.

Perhaps when PJ Harvey tours Let England Shake outside the UK the tickets will be cheaper. I certainly hope so, because as many people as possible deserve to see this show. Here are a couple of clips from YouTube uploader Pogonka - they are bit shaky but the audio quality isn’t bad:

PJ Harvey “Let England Shake” live Manchester Apollo 9/8/11
 

 
PJ Harvey “The Glorious Land” live Manchester Apollo 9/8/11
 

 
Thanks to Jayne Compton!

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
The new Best Coast video is fantastic


 
And it’s directed by Drew Barrymore. It’s a beautiful looking four-minute recreation of West Side Story based in LA, featuring Chloe Moretnz (Kick Ass) and Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf) as star crossed lovers caught in the middle of a turf war, and it’s got a suckerpunch ending that is actually quite moving (a very rare feat for a pop promo). The song ain’t too shabby either:

Best Coast - “Our Deal”
 

 
To see the making of Best Coast’s “Our Deal” go here and you can find their album Crazy For You here.
 

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Strange new video for Fucked Up’s ‘Queen Of Hearts’


 
This is the first video by Fucked Up to be taken from their current album, the very highly acclaimed David Comes To Life. Sure, Fucked Up may have made some skits to accompany their music before (namely standing around in public places while their music plays in the background), but this is a real music video, with actors, a story, production values, the whole shebang. And as such it’s pretty damn unusual. To say the least. Presumably it ties in with the narrative of the album, which the band have described as being a rock opera. But don’t let that put you off. To quote Richard Metzger:

Two thumbs up. WAY UP.

A thing of intense beauty. And unexpected. Unexpected is hard to do these days!

 
Fucked Up - “Queen Of Hearts”
 

 
Previously on DM:
Listen to Fucked Up’s ‘David Comes To Life’ in full
Fucked Up: The best live band in the world deliver the single of the year?

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
NSFW Caribbean sleaze: Jamaican director takes on The Weeknd’s ‘Wicked Games’

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The elusive The Weeknd…
 
This spring has seen 20-year-old Toronto-based R&B singer Abel Tesfaye—who does business as The Weeknd—zoom suddenly across the radar screen of the alt-music blogosphere and into the starry-eyed attention of pop star Drake and still-boring institution Rolling Stone.

And as if you need further proof of the irrelevance of the music industry, he’s done it as an unsigned artist on the strength of House of Balloons, a free downloadable mixtape of his tunes.

The hype surrounding Tesfaye springs from a couple of factors. One is the anxiously defiant swagitude in his smooth, loping, MDMA-tinged electro-soul sound. The other is the guy’s tantalizingly un-R&B low visual profile, which has resulted in the dissemination of a handful of mostly black-and-white photos of the handsome cat.

Tesfaye’s relative anonymity has also resulted in his fans producing some video interpretations of his tunes. Most of these have gone for a pretty literal black-&-white noir-city-apartment setting & narrative.

But Jamaican indie filmmaker Storm Saulter—director of the feature Better Mus’ Come and curator of the New Caribbean Cinema series—sets his disturbingly sunshine-soaked take on The Weeknd’s “Wicked Games” off the waters of his home island’s coastal parish of Portland.
 

 
After the jump: a more typical, though well-crafted, take on “What You Need”…

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
British Sea Power: ‘Who’s In Control?’ NSFW video
03.11.2011
09:06 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
rock
video
NSFW
British Sea Power

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British Sea Power have been plying their trade on the UK alt-rock scene for nigh on a decade now, building a solid fan base and proving impervious to trends in fashion, press hype, and, unfortunately, mainstream success. Maybe they’re just too genuinely odd to enter the popular consciousness, or perhaps their not willing to play certain corporate games, but either way they don’t seem to care much and continue to plow their own eccentric furrow.

This Spring the band embark on their first tour of America in 3 years, in support of their new album Valhalla Dancehall, and if you can catch one of their shows I’d recommend it. I first saw them eight years ago when they decked the tiny stage with stuffed animals, bits of plants and trees, and had a look somewhere between an army of bird watchers and a deranged scout troupe. It was a great show. Times have changed (the animals and plants have gone, replaced with a kind of bizarre wrestling chic) but the music remains as rousing as ever, especially in a live setting. Arcade Fire have copped a lot from this band.

In support of the tour BSP have made a video for the Valhalla Dancehall track “Who’s In Control?”, and in keeping with the anti-authoritarian theme of the song, the video features young people fighting, demonstrating, partying, and getting naked. It’s actually better than that sounds, it’s a great video, but it’s not safe for work:
 
British Sea Power - “Who’s In Control?” (NSFW)
 

 
Valhalla Dancehall is available to buy here.

After the jump, British Sea Power’s North American tour schedule for March/April…

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Wayne Coyne directs Ariel Pink’s ‘Round And Round’
01.19.2011
06:20 am

Topics:

Tags:
music
video
haunted retro
ariel pink
flaming lips


 
Another “Haunted Retro” video - yet more no budget fun, different to yesterday’s Gary War clip, but complimentary. This was directed by Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, when Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti supported them on a US tour last year. It was shot on an iPhone and after-effected by George Salisbury of Delo Creative. All notes for this video say the effects don’t come through fully due to YouTube bitrate-compression. Trippy!
 

 

You can find this tune on the latest Haunted Graffiti album Before Today (4AD). This short spell of “Haunted Retro” concludes with tomorrow’s post, part two of the made-up genre overview with Nite Jewel, Glass Candy and more.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Gary War ‘Highspeed Drift’
01.18.2011
04:02 am

Topics:

Tags:
music
video
haunted retro
gary war


 
I deliberately avoided putting this video in yesterday’s Haunted Retro post because I think it deserves a post all of its own. It represents visually what War, Pink et al represent musically. It’s indecipherable without being shoe-gaze, it’s psychedelic without sounding like it came from the Sixties. It’s lo-fi, it’s esoteric, it’s fun - everything this imagined genre should be. It’s from the album Horribles Parade on Sacred Bones, which you can get here, and if you want to hear more here is the Gary War MySpace. Broadcast fans will find much to like in this:
 

 

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Marko’s strange world of magnetic video tapes and the machines that play them

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Marko, the Finnish Gerry Todd, takes you on a fascinating journey into the realm of magnetic tape and video machines.

This is a wonderful meditation video. Very relaxing.
 

 
Via Pie Heaven

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Flying Lotus’s “Mmmhmm” video and other Special Problems

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Hats off to the Special Problems crew for their work refining the artform of the extremely stoney music video.
 

 
If you liked that, check out their showreel, these guys do good stuff:
 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
Refait: Football as Everyday Life

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In a stroke of pure Euro genius, France’s Pied La Biche art collective have produced Refait, a complete re-enactment of the 15-minute penalty phase of the 1982 World Cup semifinals between France and Germany in the setting of Villeurbane, just northeast of Lyon.

By mapping the grinding tension of an extended penalty across the wide spaces and casual attitude of a small industrial town, Pied provide an irreverent yet plaintive—and somewhat hypnotizing—perspective on the frailty of human achievement. Horst Hrubesch’s winning shot never seemed so enduring.

 

Refait from Pied La Biche on Vimeo.

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment