Monday, 30 April 2012

-Music Videos on my Mind- Death Grips’ “I’ve Seen Footage”

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition that is characterised by violent seizures. There are various forms of the disease but photosensitive epilepsy seizures are typically triggered by visual stimuli that form patterns in time or space such as flashing lights, bold, regular patterns, or regular moving images.

Death Grips is a brilliant rap group from Sacramento, California that just put out their debut studio album, The Money Store, through Sony Records. I've Seen Footage is the first single and video from the aforementioned album.

If the nature of this post seems lacking coherence then all should make sense in approximately three minutes time.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

-Music videos on my Mind- Jessie Ware’s “110%”

There's concern that Jessie Ware's attractive looks and mainstream radio playability may just have her destined to become a one-hit-wonder. This 27-year-old south Londoner has been defined by some music journalists as an underground artist, having started her career providing vocals for leftfield dubstep producers like SBTRKT and Sampha.

Now Jessie Ware's track 110% is voyaging its way onto commercial British radio station playlists and looks set to make chart impact upon release. Not bad work for someone that journeyed the arduous underground scene and now looks set to reap mainstream success.

There is, however, a catch. Ms. Ware is no rags-to-riches star in the making. This Jewish Princess is the daughter of BBC investigative journalist John Ware, and was privately educated at the expensive Alleyn's school (same place that Jude Law and Florence Welch acquired their privileged start in life).

Jessie Ware continues the worrying trend of posh British kids playing down their advantaged origins and repackaging themselves as "underground" mavericks that clawed their way out of the gutter, deserving every amount of success coming to them.

Still, she does look pretty in the video and the song is a nice early summer offering that could be comfortably placed on one of those Ministry of Sound Ibiza chill out compilations that used to be popular ten years or so ago.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

-Music Videos on my Mind- Feist’s “Bitter Sweet Memories”

Feist has made some stunning music videos in the past to accompany her songs. Her videos brim with creativity, design and always place Feist at the centre of everything that's happening.

Feist's new video for Bitter Sweet Memories is no different, well, apart from the fact the singer doesn't feature in the video once. Director Hollie Singer has cleverly taken inspiration from Argentinean photographer Iriana Werner's collection titled Back to the Future, which skilfully juxtaposes old photographs of people in their youth and restages the image with those very subjects, only now older, posing in exactly the same location and clothing (or lack of).

To be honest, the video wholesale lifts Werner's montages and puts it to Feist's music, but the images work so well with the singer's emotive lyrics that the two separate mediums effortlessly become one.

This is a gorgeous music video and an affecting song. This is what's possible when artists put real thought into the brilliant ways in which images can enhance a song's emotional resonances.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Titanic actually happened?

Back in 1997, movie prognosticators prognosticated that James Cameron's very expensive wet dream known as Titanic would sink without a trace on account of teenagers not knowing or caring enough about the historic context of the story. They claimed that modern kids, the type that was hooked on an emerging technology known as the Internet and goofing on No Doubt records, wouldn't be interested in watching an old fashioned melodrama like Titanic.

How wrong those people were. Titanic was big. It was really big. So big it took a bunch of oversized blue aliens created by the same director to usurp it years later.

Last weekend Titanic resurfaced, this time in 3D, for another crack at the box-office, and while the US results were somewhat watered down with taking only $17.3 million, the UK was a different story altogether as the rerelease sailed into the top spot with almost £3 million.

It seems the new generation of moviegoers is as much a sucker for historical spectacle as the previous cohort, only it seems this generation has difficulty comprehending the Titanic was a real disaster that actually happened, not just a costly movie.

Leave it to Twitter to bring to light another generation of idiots.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

-Music Videos on my Mind- The-Dream feat. Casha’s “Kill the Lights”

Earlier this year, American R&B singer, songwriter and producer The-Dream (Terius Youngdell Nash to the tax man) was in London where the talked candidly to the BBC about the perils of being one of the most successful men in music. Just in case you didn't know, The-Dream co-penned Rhianna's Umbrella and Justin Bieber's Baby, for which he has earned some serious coin. The-Dream stated that for Umbrella he made $15 million to be exact, going on to say "Just one 'ella' is probably worth about $7 mil."

It turns out The-Dream's ability to churn out hit songs is more of a necessity than a hobby as he confessed, "I've got every kind of bill… I've got child support, old wives' bills, new wives' bills." He even went as far as confessing that he only worked with Bieber because he simply wanted Def Jam to foot the bill on his $3,200/night Plaza hotel room.

The-Dream released a new song this week called Kill the Lights, and what a smooooooth number it is. Kill the Lights is the kind of song The-Dream would've been listening to in his teenage years, redolent of '90s R&B numbers put out by Boyz II Men, Blackstreet, Goodfellaz and Maxwell. The song features The-Dream's new young protégé Casha (a potential member of the new wives' club?) who lends the track a lovely sensual female vibe. The-Dream's voice is pitched in a stunningly high tone throughout the song, gorgeously dovetailing Casha's sumptuous vocals.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

-Music Videos on my Mind- Nite Jewel’s “One Second of Love”

Upon watching the One Second of Love music video, one would swear Nite Jewel is a European artist, most probably Germanic. Her doe-eyed mein Fräulein appearance and performance art approach to making music justifies such suspicions.

It turns out Nite Jewel is not German. She's not even European. In fact, Nite Jewel is actually some Californian (by way of Canada) girl called Ramona Gonzalez who has taken extremely liberal amounts of inspiration from European electronic music―as well as the avant-garde styling of performers like Kate Bush and Björk―and reinterpreted them in her own unique way.

This is a mad music video. It's like an episode of Sex and the City that's been left in the sun for too long. It's creepy and odd. It's silly and eerie. It's worth watching.