Song: Grace (Love on the Block)
Artist: Bran Van 3000
Directors: Martin Laporte & Jean-Hervé Désiré
Album: The Garden
Watch the video here!
A snow ice princess, a knight on a horse, woodland nymphs, and a magic sword. These are just a couple of things you’ll see in Bran Van 3000’s music video for “Grace (love on the block). The Montreal electronic collective explain on their website how they got the images for the video from a classic Russian film titled “Ruslan and Ludmila” by Russian filmaker Aleksandr Ptushko released in 1974! Whoa! To quote Bran Van 3000…
“Based on a poem by the great Alexander Pouchkine, the film’s epic fairy tale tells the story of a young bride kidnapped by a villainous dwarf.”
Kinda crazy. Kinda awesome. “Grace (love on the block)” is the first single off of Bran Van 3000’s fourth record The Garden.
“Yours and Mine” by HotKid
Director: Alon Isocianu
It’s Friday and about time for another Weekly Wedge Pick! This week’s video? “Yours and Mine” by the gritty indie rockers HotKid! Just the thing you need to get your weekend started right! The video is spastic, bright, jumpy and a whole lot of kick-ass! Fun fact: this crazy video was actually released in tandem with HotKid’s oh-so-still yet heavy hitting minimalistic music video for “Fake It“. Because they’re that cool. Both tracks are off of their latest EP “Under the Streetlight”.
Where has HotKid been all your life? The Cambridge, Ontario duo (made up of Shiloh Harrison and Rob Butcher III) have been kicking it for about five years now! And yeah. You heard me. They’re from lil old Cambridge, Ontario. Who’d have thought with edge like that?!
Artist: Wolf Parade
Album: Expo 86
Label: Outside/Sub Pop
Astronauts! Space! Ground control to Major Tom! Love? Montreal-Canadian indie rockers Wolf Parade have got it all in their new music video for Yulia! Their third album just came out this summer, and is named Expo 86 after the World’s Fair of that year that took place in Vancouver (that each band member happened to attend)!
Sub Pop has written up a funny and informative explanation of the album and said expo that’s worth the read!
Watch the video here!
Song: Nova Leigh
Artist: Born Ruffians
Album: Say It
Director: Jared Raab
Watch the video here!
This week’s weekly Wedge pick is from Torontonian indie rockers/generally cool nice guys, Born Ruffians! Like the cover art off their second album “Say It”, the video features a similar broken-up (almost Picasso-y) faced guy. Fader talked to director Jared Raab who explained…
“We knew that the footage of the band, shot in studio, couldn’t just be straightforward performance footage if it was going to match the fragmented face narrative, but we also didn’t want to use some sort of cheesy computer generated kaleidoscope effect either. In the end we devised a system of shooting into shattered mirrors that had been reassembled by hand. We spent an entire day just breaking mirrors and gluing them back together, only to smash them again on set.”
Crazy! But all that mirror breaking? I wonder if they’re scared of seven years bad luck?! Let’s hope not! The Born Ruffians are currently touring the UK, Europe, and Australia. You can catch up with their gallivanting by following them on Twitter or checking out their blog.
Song: Barbara Streisand
Artist: Duck Sauce
Album: Greatest Hits
Watch the video here!
Are you ready to hear/dance/sing-a-long to your new favourite music video? So-Me (music video maker for Justice and Kanye) directed it. So you know it’s so good. All the cool kids have cameos in this vid. Kanye West, Pharrell, Ezra Koenig (of Vampire Weekend), Santigold, ?uestlove, and Chromeo to name a few. Who’d I miss?
If you’re wondering, Duck Sauce is the combination of DJs Armand Van Helden and A-Trak, based out of - you guessed it - New York.
Now if you don’t mind me, I’m going to go party in New York. How can I not after watching and dancing to this on repeat!? Check out their Myspace for more!
Song: Best Friend
Artist: The Drums
Album: The Drums
Label: Universal Island Def Jam
Because sometimes you just need to crawl through a window, slap on some cool shades, pick up a mic, and sing about your best friend.
Currently based out of Brooklyn, The Drums are the next big British band that aren’t British at all. All of The Smiths (minus Johnny Marr) have shown up to their shows and they spent Thanksgiving with Boy George. How would they describe themselves? “We only write about two feelings: one is the first day of summer when you and all of your friends are standing on the edge of a cliff watching the sun set and being overcome with all of your hopes and dreams at once. The other is when you’re walking alone in the rain and realize you will be alone forever.”
Intrigued? They stop by Toronto this Saturday October 16 for a show at the MOD Club, and Montreal’s Cabaret du Musee Juste Pour Rire on October 17th. Check out their website for more info!
Watch the video for Best Friend by The Drums here!
Song: Aerobics in Space
Artist: Maylee Todd
Album: Choose Your Adventure
Record Company: Do Right Music/Outside Music/VideoFact
Why? It’s funky, funny, groovy, and just what you need. Check out Maylee Todd as a spandex-superhero who rides her rocket dog and SLAP-O’s Gentleman Reg. All in space. Her album Choose Your Own Adventure will have you jazzed in no time! Watch the video for Aerobics in Space here!
Need more? She’s touring Canada this fall!
Song: Leave This Town (Video)
Band: Make Your Exit
Director: Eric Weber/Kevin Healy
Album: Remind Me The Reason I Came
Record Company: Independent
Crafty puppet music playing robots! Snaps! Confetti! When they’re not playing on the TTC, Torontonians Make Your Exit are DIYing their own music videos. Yep. You heard me. They built all those neato puppets and such by hand with some help from their friends. Check out their “making of” video or their MySpace for more!
The halfway mark of 2010 is upon us, and so I feel it’s time to reflect on what I’m feeling are the best albums so far this year.
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti Before Today [4AD]: Longstanding, loopy and lo-fi outcast currently being held responsible for inventing chilleave forms a proper band, goes mid-fi and creates a landmark work that’s equal parts soft, psych and art rock. Proof: “Round and Round”
Beach House Teen Dream [Sub Pop]: Baltimore boy/girl duo’s most sublime collection of comatose dream pop to date. Proof: “Zebra”
Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty [Def Jam]: OutKast’s more reserved and musical half breaks out of Andre 3000’s shadow and produces not just an album as vivid and out there as anything his group has released, but also the year’s best hip-hop album. Hands down. Proof: “Shutterbug”
Caribou Swim [Merge]: Dan Snaith won the Polaris Music Prize for 2007’s Andorra, but if I’m being honest here, this edges that album as his finest work, fusing every one of his expansive influences into one fluid, cohesive masterpiece. Proof: “Odessa”
ceo White Magic [Sincerely Yours]: Who knew that one half of The Tough Alliance could be just as effective as the duo? Well, obviously Eric Berglund, who matched TTA’s breezy, Balearic gold with an album equally as majestic. Proof: “Come With Me”
Crystal Castles Crystal Castles (II) [Last Gang]: The 8-bit/chiptune/electro punk shtick of their also self-titled debut album had all the signs of being a flash in the pan, but Toronto’s most notorious duo struck back with a sophomore effort that diversified and expanded. Most impressive is that Alice Glass can actually sing when she tries. Proof: “Celestica”
Delorean Subiza [True Panther Sounds]: One of the only Spanish acts I can think of followed up their debut EP with a full-length that recalls the brisk beach pop of The Tough Alliance’s A New Chance so closely they could pass for Swedes. Proof: “Stay Close”
Dom Sun Bronzed Greek Godz [Burning Mill]: His unbelievable personal story may overshadow the music, but damn, are his lo-fi pop symphonies ever catchy. If they didn’t sound like they had been recorded using broken speakers, this dude would be crashing the Hot 100. Proof: “Living in America”
The Drums The Drums [Moshi Moshi]: After making waves last year with their debut EP, Summertime! , Palm Beach’s The Drums seemed to have everything going for them: lifeguard good looks, a beachbound sound, whistling hooks and guitar pop ditties only The Smiths could out-jangle. So did their album live up to the promise? Click here for your answer. Proof: “Let’s Go Surfing”
Emeralds Does It Look Like I’m Here? [Editions Mego]: The trio from Cleveland eschew their DIY roots and release a proper album on a proper label that hones their loop-driven electronic droning to a stunning degree. Like Animal Collective without the rhythms, pop hooks and vocals, yet the euphoric trance still remains. Proof: “Candy Shoppe”
Flying Lotus Cosmogramma [Warp]: Steven Ellison exceeds expectations with a self-described “space opera” full of free jazz outbreaks and hysterical IDM that is so abstract and so enthralling that you hardly even notice Thom Yorke makes an appearance. Proof: “Recoiled”
Gorillaz Plastic Beach [EMI]: The cartoon band returned with yet another star-studded cast, but finally make a complete album of songs from beginning to end that justifies the whole concept. Proof: “Superfast Jellyfish”
Janelle Monáe The ArchAndroid: Suites II and III [Bad Boy]: Though so far superstardom has somehow evaded her (a true WTF moment if there ever was one), the pint-sized imaginary lovechild of James Brown and OutKast gave us an album so brilliantly imaginative and otherworldly it’s hard not to love that she’s still more underground than mainstream. For now… Proof: “Tightrope”
Javelin No Más [Luaka Bop]: Imagine one of those picturesque scenes of a scorching, hot summer day in Brooklyn/Harlem/Queens, with kids gleefully dancing on a city street with the fire hydrant gushing water. Javelin’s debut album is the aural equivalent of that. Proof: “Vibrationz”
Jónsi Go [XL]: Stepping out from behind worshipped band, the Sigur Rós frontman followed up a collaboration with his boyfriend with this sprawling opus. Originally intended as an introspective, acoustic album, he applied his band’s winning formula of poignantly uplifting anthems and created his own dizzying symphony. Proof: “Go Do”
LCD Soundsystem This Is Happening [DFA]: Whether it’s James Murphy’s final album as LCD Soundsystem or not, he’s once again proved no matter how much he denies it and thinks he’s losing his edge, he’s still at the forefront of cool. Proof: “Drunk Girls”
Lindstrøm & Christabelle Real Life Is No Cool [Smalltown Supersound]: Noted kosmiche producer Hans-Peter Lindstrøm becomes the Giorgio Moroder studio wiz to Christabelle’s Diana Ross chanteuse. While that might seem like an impossible feat to achieve, the duo express a timeless, cosmic disco romance as dreamy and blissed out as it got in the mid-’70s. Proof: “Music in My Mind”
Lonelady Nerve Up [Warp]: Her name says everything: a lone lady from Manchester cooking up some deliciously minimal post-punk full of tasty ingredients like tension, melody, danceable rhythms, angular guitars and Factory Records-inspired production. Proof: “Immaterial”
Male Bonding Nothing Hurts [Sub Pop]: This London trio cleaned up their lo-fi act a little and hammered out this restless throwback to ’80s underground punk (y’know, the stuff that evolved into grunge) that not only lived up to their label’s roots but threw the ideal wedding to harmony and dissonance. Proof: “Year’s Not Long”
The Morning Benders Big Echo [Rough Trade]: While a Grizzly Bear influence most likely isn’t a direct result of having that band’s Chris Taylor produce their album, The Morning Benders sure found a way to use some of his skills to make a gleamingly pristine indie pop album. Proof: “Excuses”
The National High Violet [4AD]: With their fifth album, The National deservedly earned themselves the reputation of being indie rock’s most reliable band. While they can’t leave behind that meticulously produced brooding heaviness, Matt Berninger’s lines like “I was afraid, I’d eat your brains/’Cause I’m evil” show there is humour embedded within the melancholy. Proof: “Bloodbuzz Ohio”
The Radio Dept. Clinging To A Scheme [Labrador]: Being a cult band doesn’t often pay the bills. Judging by the sound of their third album, The Radio Dept. appeared to have received this memo, turning out not only their best work yet, but an album so strong (and dreamy) that all the right people actually listened to it. Proof: “Heaven’s On Fire”
Robyn Body Talk Pt. 1 [Konichiwa]: Once again, the Swedish firecracker proves she’s the shrewdest, hippest, most innovative person in pop music. And this is just the first of three parts! Proof: “Dancing On My Own”
Sleigh Bells Treats: The divide should have been way too much to stand, but putting candy-coated vocals over top of searing metallic riffs, pounding beats and a nagging lo-fi hiss worked like a charm for one of the year’s most blogged about new bands. Proof: “Rill Rill”
Surfer Blood Astro Coast [Kanine]: Despite the fact that none of the members actually surf, these Floridians found the perfect balance of fuzz, hooks and tropical vibes to lure anyone suffering from selachophobia to hit the waves (though maybe not if they see the album cover…). Proof: “Swim”
Titus Andronicus The Monitor [XL]: A concept album about the Civil War by a band who only know how to write caterwauling anthems that crash into elated sing-alongs? Make it 65 minutes and I’m sold. Proof: “A More Perfect Union”
Twin Sister Color Your Life [Infinite Best]: Musical compounds are lazy, but it’s damn near impossible not to simplify this Brooklyn band’s mini-album as the best bits of Stereolab, Cocteau Twins and Yo La Tengo. There, I said it… Proof: “All Around and Away We Go”
Vampire Weekend Contra [XL]: Their debut album may have turned Vampire Weekend into one of indie music’s biggest acts, but it also made them its most polarizing. Okay, okay, so the sophomore album may not have convinced all of the haters, but it did show that these Ivy League prepsters are rather brilliant songwriters that didn’t get lucky the first time around. Proof: “Giving Up the Gun”
Wild Nothing Gemini [Captured Tracks]: I hate to rest this entirely on one song, because Gemini as a whole is outstanding, but listen to “Chinatown” (my candidate for single of the year) and just try to disagree with me. Proof: “Chinatown”
Yeasayer Odd Blood [Secretly Canadian]: Yeasayer trusted their instincts that abandoning the feathery folk sound that made them successful in favour of flatulent synthesizers and spaced out pop music would be not only artistically gratifying but also more lucrative The gamble paid off and now look at them go! Proof: “Ambling Alp”
Twitter is a bottomless black hole for making random comments, status updates and what have you, but forward-thinking pop star Robyn has found a use for the social network.
In light of her new, frustration-venting, unofficial single “Don’t F**king Tell Me What To Do,” the Swedish singer has posted a new video on her website that allows Twits to tweet what ails them.
While her drinking, diet, label, manager, boyfriend and neck are all killing Robyn, some of the tweets so far have revealed that her fans include those with painful fake tans, sinus infections and Asian food addictions. So yeah, it will display anything.
The video was made using special code that sends out words into a 3D-looking galaxy a la Atari’s retro ’80s video game Asteroids. It looks cool, especially when your tweet comes flying across the screen.
Check out robyn.com/killingme to see the video and to get your ailment in the video Tweet the #killingme hashtag.
And don’t forget to buy a copy of Robyn’s new album, Body Talk Pt. 1, featuring “Don’t F**king Tell Me What To Do.”