Astrology: Year of the… music?

2009 has been the year of music.  Not Muzak… eff that crappy Kenny G inspired Christmas album that I can see you waving around in excitement.  I’m talking about good music.  Fine quality shit… like at least the Air Supply quality level (really high, or really low… depending).  My music collection is burgeoning and I can now effectively dissect “indie rock” into at least 7 different sub-genres.  I can do it with Goth too, but that’s not by choice (damn you Jason, my iPod still asks me to get it pills and booze at the store).

Instead of trying to deal with all of my music, I thought I’d pick out my favorite music videos of the year.  These videos are selected almost, but not quite, entirely at random from a secret list of songs that are either amazing, or their videos are, orrrr that I could find videos for.

First up is Hibi no Neiro by the (I’m assuming here) Japanese band Sour.  The song isn’t going to knock your socks off, though it is pretty good, but the music video should blow you away.  It’s filmed entirely on webcam by Sour and their fans and then smashed together to create this outstandingly expressive video.

The Single Ladies has been stuck in my head for months.   I blame HUMP 2nd  runner up, Dance Belt; Waxie Moon… your mustachioed gyrations in time with two really attractive ladies has forever burned the horrific lyrics and amazing chord progression of this song into my brain.  Naturally I found an indie rock cover of the song by the delightful Youtube sensation Pomplamoose.  Now put your hands up:

I’ve always been a firm believer that everything in the world would be improved with an awkward, sort of androgynous Frenchman in it.  Ask anyone; I dare them to say otherwise.  We’ll fight if they do.  It turns out that this religion nee philosophy applies even to Brittney Spears.  Sliimy, an awkward, sort of androgynous Frenchman sings Womanizer and manages to make it, not only totally unsexy, but really, really good.  I dare you to tell me otherwise:

It’s all about the video here, unless you are into decent techno.  Which I am.  So “I’ll Be Gone” by Korb was pretty fantastic.  4 “seismographs” are the focus of this video, recording some seismic activity in my pants (giggity).  Err.  I guess the needles move in time with the music, but, really, my first answer was way better.  Don’t you think?

I’ll be honest.  Long Gone, by Fat City Reprise, makes no sense to me.  The music sounds like it was sung by a frontman only slightly less emphysematic than the likes of NickelSTPPearlCreedBackJam (who all sound the same; sorry Eddie, you were first, and I love you, but damn).  The video, on the other hand is stop motion animation, shot on a DSLR.  It’s totally gorgeous and there’s a domo kun kinda lookin’ thing terrorizing a young woman.  What’s not to love?

Olafur Arnalds plays my heart strings on a lute.  I stared at the order button for the vinyl album “Found Songs” for about 20 minutes over the course of 2 days before deciding that 30 pounds  plus shipping was way to much to fucking pay for 8 songs.  Are you kidding me United Kingdom?  The music industry is dying, you should at least try and make it easy to buy music.  In any case, not only is the song beautiful in the mode of modern “classical” music, but the CG video is absolutely breathtaking.  If you know anything about either computer graphics or good things, you will like this video.

William must be a lonely boy.  The song, of the same name as the subject, is heart breaking, but at least the video leaves you with 3.8 seconds of hope at the end.  Sorry to ruin it… uh.. here there be spoilers?  Whatever, it’s an indie rock song, like you couldn’t have expected someone would be hurt or upset somewhere.  I mean, you could be, but that would be duuuuuumb.  The depth of feeling captured in the music and mirrored perfectly in the animation is nigh soul rending.

As an honorable mention, I’ve included Death Cab for Cutie’s “Grapevine Fires”.  I love me some Death Cab, cause I’m a 13 y/o female, twilight fan… apparently. This song kills me.  It speaks to fatalism and hope, and the lack there of.  Ben Gibbard tells you a story and artist Bill Barminski gives eerie life to that story.  There’s fragility, and beauty and destruction all wrapped with word and vision.  Click the link, it’s worth it.

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid271521316?bctid=13944601001

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Astrology: Year of the… music?

2 thoughts on “Astrology: Year of the… music?

  1. Great description of “Grapevine Fires”, it’s nice to see someone actually thinking critically about music. I think I understand why DCFC went the way of Twilight Tweens, we are in a recession after all and I’m sure the licensing royalties are incredible, but it is a bit depressing to see a band that’s been a huge creative force for the better part of the decade suddenly become a teen sensation because of a movie soundtrack.

    It seems that every once in a while a critically acclaimed band gets thrown into tween-dom for one reason or another, the same thing happened with Radiohead after the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack in ’97, but they came out on the other side releasing respectable work like OK Computer, Kid A and Amnesiac (coincidentally, Thom Yorke is on the Twilight soundtrack as well). I suppose we can only hope that Gibbard and co. can still retain their lyrical and musical potency after the Twilight fad runs its course. But I digress. Thanks for a great post, I really enjoyed all the videos you listed and your insight into the connection between the music and the visual components.

    1. I think it’s very important to think critically about music, except when it’s not. Truth be told, I can’t hate on DCFC for the New Moon soundtrack as it’s probably one of the greatest compilation of indie rock I’ve ever seen. Lykke Li, DCFC, SeaWolf… I mean, the list goes on an on. In any case, I’m glad you enjoyed my psuedo-retrospective and look forward to your future, insightful, comments.

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