Today we’ll be trying something different for the Weekend Playlist: instead of audio, we’ll be featuring the nominees for Best Videos of 2010. Enjoy!
“Bergerac” – Back Pocket Memory:
Leona Laurie interviewed the Burbank, CA band in early November. Here’s an excerpt of their conversation:
LL: If you had to choose five words to describe your sound, what would they be?
BPM: Rock-feel good-soulful-heavy-pop
Ok… so that was technically six words. Sue us
LL: Tell us one of the best moments you’ve had on stage so far:
BPM: Just the other night, at our Halloween show (though it seems as if every show we do makes us feel better and better). The show was sold out, and the crowd was so into the music and everything. Singing the words to our songs, and just in general humbling the five of us. Seeing people you love show really feel something because of your music — that’s all the reason in the world to succeed.
“Don’t Turn the Lights On” - Chromeo:
In a review of Chromeo’s latest album, Business Casual, Todd Prodanovich wrote, “As time rolls on, there are a few things that we can always count on: the sun will rise, the birds will sing, and Chromeo will make music for the dance floor. They will always have that blend of old and new, the style of the 80s with some modern flair. Their latest album would feel right at home as the soundtrack to a Saturday Night Fever remake for the 2010s, and that’s why we love them.”
“Shotgun” – Earl Greyhound:
Sherene wrote, “Earl Greyhound effortlessly poured out songs from their currently released EP, Suspicious Package (now on iTunes), and their second song of the set, ‘The Ghost and The Witness’ sets us back twenty-years when bands used to begin their songs with a one-man epilogue to set the tone for their music. Earl Greyhound brings back the story-telling in music and although I wouldn’t quite call it blues, it is definitely soul.”
“Between the Curves” – Fight From Above:
This LA band is a former BNB Artist in Residence.
“Dog Days Are Over (Live)” – Florence and the Machine:
Claire recalled, “Florence, outfitted in white and topped with her signature bloody copper tresses, conquers the stage with her presence and captures the open space with her voice. By the second song, ‘My Boy Builds Coffins,’ you conclude she is some sort of animal, but you’re not sure what kind. By the third song, ‘Girl With One Eye,’ you’ve now taken notice of things on the stage that aren’t Florence: the stunning purple backdrop printed with branches and leaves and neon green finches; the big ass harp on the left of the stage jamming just as hard as the rest of the band; the quirky birdcages enclosing dim light bulbs that speckle the scenery. You take a moment to look around to the rest of the crowd bathed in the rusty red light and see them staring and swaying, entranced. You look back. It goes dark.”
“Americanarama” – Hollerado:
The Canadian rock band shared the BackStory on this song in October.
Lead singer Menno Versteeg said, “Basically the song is part of this story i have been working on for like 10 years. the story takes place in the way way way distant future. In the future all of the ice caps have melted and left most of the earth underwater. The story is set even further into the future after a great war has brought the planet into another ice age, thus leaving most of the once great American cities frozen under ice. Denver, which was once the mile high city is now one of the few cities from the past that still exists above the ice. But Philadelphia is long gone. One part in song mentions how New Orleans disappeared first. That’s ‘cause we wrote it right after Hurricane Katrina. The song might not make a whole lot of sense if you don’t know the context and, even if you do, it still might seem like a bit a of a stretch. Or maybe it does make sense to you. Either way is ok with us.”
“Jeremiah” – Italian Japanese:
The guys of Italian Japanese shared the BackStory on their song last September.
“Jeremiah is about my friend’s younger brother. His name was actually Lance. We were all very close, like family. At the age of 4, Lance was diagnosed with leukemia. He developed many issues along with the leukemia and several times survived situations doctors said he wouldn’t . At the age of 8 he lost his battle with the disease. But during those four years we spent so much time together and his spirit, strength and personality touched everyone who met him. He told me once that he knew he was gonna die. He said it in a way of acceptance and I felt like he was trying to comfort me. I can’t explain how that feels. Jeremiah was a daydream about Lance… If we had a few more minutes together on earth or heaven. This is what I felt and an interpretation of what I said to him, along with I love and miss you.”
“A Girl, A Boy and A Graveyard” – Jeremy Messersmith:
Jeremy also participated in BNB’s BackStory series last month.
Said Messersmith of the song: “‘A Girl, a Boy, and a Graveyard’ is classified in my head as non-fiction. Sometimes my songs are imaginative flights, but this one is closest I’ve ever come to simply writing down a conversation almost word for word, then singing it. Depression can be a strange whirlpool, drawing people together in spinning cyclones of emotion. It can also provide a stable common ground, one that acknowledges our shared human condition. As depressing as this song can be, I hope it serves the latter function! The string arrangement was something we put a lot of time into, hoping to evoke the same sad, but beautiful quality that 60′s string parts often had.”
“Airplanes” – Local Natives:
In an interview with Todd Prodanovich last September, band member Taylor Rice said, “‘Airplanes’ has been a song that has really connected with a lot of people for us, and just been one of the most enthusiastically received songs live at a lot of our shows. People tend to know it, and it’s so interesting because it’s a song that was on the chopping block originally when we were making the album. We were like, ‘It’s not coming together, I don’t know if this song is going to make the record,’ and then last minute everything came together. It’s just been, I think, one of our strongest songs in terms of that connection, its kind of immedia[cy].”
“Just Refrain” – Orange Avenue:
“Ribena” – Pegasus Bridge:
Lauren Novik interviewed the band last month. Here’s an excerpt of their conversation:
LN: The music video for “Ribena” is by far one of my fave adaptations of the Breakfast Club- what made you bring back the 1980s?
ET: Haha, well I don’t know whether we’re bringing the 80s back, so much as we just loved the film. We had shot a few ideas for the video with the very talented Rosie Hardy, and to keep the ‘still-the-same-boy’ theme, we managed to shoot the main performance shots in our old school gym, which we were mega happy about. We were litey stepping back into our youth. Then we needed something which linked the footage we had with the youthful feel of the song, and Dave (our director) came up with the idea of utilizing scenes from the breakfast club (one of his favourite films). At first the idea of cross-dressing tom seemed a little strange, but we ran with it, and we loved the result.
“Persona” – Superhumanoids:
Last month, Superhumanoids featured this song and video on BNB’s BackStory series.
Said the band of their song, “Persona uses Ingar Bergman’s film of the same name as a reference point to explore the emotions of love, longing, and despair. The narrator in the song is conflicted – a split-personality of types – and changes their-self to please others. By the end of the song, this person regains their own confidence, shedding their persona and the baggage that comes with it. Sonically, it is very Kraut influenced – the structure isn’t standard pop and there is a lot of vamping on single notes and chords.”
“Just Can’t Sleep” – The Aikiu:
Last August, Todd Prodanovich interviewed Alex Aikiu. Here is an excerpt of their conversation.
BNB: So, what exactly is going on in your video for “Just Can’t Sleep?” Were you going for some kind of disco/horror theme?
Aikiu: Exactly, that was the concept, to kind of be in between a dream and a nightmare. It was very inspired by the ghost trains with those creatures when you go to Coney Island. That was kind of the idea, to be surrounded by a mummy, Nosferatu, Dracula and those creatures don’t want you to sleep. They are just trying to torture you mentally, and that was basically the idea.
BNB: Is it kind of like your “Thriller?”
Aikiu: I think the next video is going to be more like “Thriller.” We are going to shoot the video for the second single, which is going to be released mid- November throughKitsuné records, in London in the forest and it’s going to be a little bit like a zombie video. That’s going to be more like “Thriller,” and Rankin, the photographer/video director is going to shoot it. I think that it is going to be very interesting, and it will be very inspired by Michael Jackson. It will be a very old school video, like the 80s, like a bigger production. The “Just Can’t Sleep” video I wanted to be more homemade, pretty cheap, and not too overproduced, but the second one is going to be more pop.
“Tighten Up” – The Black Keys:
“All Day Day Light” – The Morning Benders:
Sherene Hilal featured the band last month, and had this to say:
“How do you take something ageless and make it new and different but still faithful? Meet The Morning Benders; a quartet reminiscent of another out-of-this world quartet with the same wide-eyed charm, but instead of a wide-eyed innocence they approach their sound with the wide-eyes of shock-and-awe. Their sound is smooth and holds the uncanny weight of a sound-track orchestra, but the songs themselves are filled with all the jaded jagged edges that make us scoff at the naïve sentiments crooned by 60’s rock.”