Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Tough Alliance - Neo Violence (video)

A gigantic Babel Tower! Lasers! Glass Breaking! Flashing lights! White greek columns! Neons! Smileys! The Tough Alliance can never disappoint me and, after subverting the whole music industry scheme of things, starting their own label, re-evaluating the concept of live shows and showing the finger to myspace, they once again hit all (all!) the right pleasure centers in the latest video taken from "A New Chance", which, incidentally, was my favourite album of 2007. In other words, and as appears on their site:

"and they said, go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven..."
born and raised in babylon.

Official site

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Man Who Fell To Earth

Watched this the other night and it's quite an interesting movie-oddity. It's a 70's experimental Sci-Fi rock n' roll film with a very young David Bowie as the lead, in the character of Thomas Jerome Newton, an alien who comes to Earth to bring water for his dying planet. Thomas has a plan to succeed, using his unique technological knowledge, only he doesn't expect to fall into the trappings of modern living and capitalism on Planet Earth. The story (based on the book from the 60's with the same name) is quite beautiful and unique. Also, there's quite a parallel going on between Bowie's life during that era and the life of his character Thomas, and director Nicolas Roeg has confessed that's why he chose him to play this part. Both were living uncomfortably in their own skin. At the time Bowie was the top performer in the world and fame was as addictive as his cocaine habit, with obvious marks on the way he presents himself in this movie. Both fame and drugs were slowly killing him, yet he persevered. His character Thomas is slowly being corrupted as well, distracted with the illusions of modern life (a specific scene where he compulsively watches a wall of different tv screens showing several images is a beautiful visual metaphor for that). He ends up alone and defeated, trapped on Planet Earth without a way of returning to his own planet. Yet, he perseveres as well. He won't grow old or die like the other humans around him, he'll simply be forgotten and isolated forever. This is the great calamity of "The Man Who Fell to Earth": for humans, the hurt ends at death. For Thomas, it may continue on indefinitely, perhaps, forever.


N*E*R*D - Everyone Nose (All The Girls Standing In Line For The Bathroom) (video)

Back with a fantastic old-school hip-hop flavored song, Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo and Shay Haley surely had a lot of fun while recording this video, the first one taken from forthcoming album "Seeing Sounds". And while the lyrics refer to female cocaine usage in clubs, the video takes it literally and is no less crazy oriented, featuring Lindsay Lohan, Kanye West, a few NSFW images and getting a strong inspiration from what is usually seen in websites like Last Nights Party (who, incidentally, were at the shot).

MySpace page
Official site

Friday, May 16, 2008

Home Videos # 10

The National - Ada (live)

An intimidating auditorium (compared by vocalist Matt Berninger to the United Nations conference room), a crowd eager to show their love and respect, a shy start (both from band and audience), a full bottle of red wine later and, finally, everyone (band and audience) losing their inhibitions and behaving in an intense manner, like there was no tomorrow. This was the love story of a very special evening with The National.

(filmed on the 11-05-2008 at Aula Magna in Lisbon)

Santogold - Santogold

After months of huge hype and a great first video posted here a few weeks ago, Santogold's debut album is finally out and, surprisingly, reactions have been mixed. This is probably the consequence of insuflating expectations too much and being announced as the creator of a groundbreaking new sound when, in the end, there's nothing particularly new in your music besides two or three isolated moments. So these are the bad news... But the good news is that "Santogold" is still loaded with infectious energy and comes full of inspired songs. One of the most eclectic works heard in recent times, there's room in here for rock anthems, new-wave homages, sick hip-hop beats, Spank Rock guest appearances and catchy pop tunes, with a singer that seems like a lab-mixture between Siouxsie Sioux, M.I.A., Lola Olafisoye of Spektrum and Sylvia Gordon of Kudu. And in such good companies, one could never create anything less than great music. (7/10)

MySpace page

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Late Of The Pier videos

Space And The Woods


Fresh from the fantastic "Bathroom Gurgle" (one of my favourite songs of 2007) and the derivative good fun that was "The Bears Are Coming", Late of The Pier's new single stands as a double-A sided extravaganza with each song having its own video, insuflating the already-hot anticipation for their debut album, which is being recorded together with producer Erol Alkan. Free from the new-rave gimmicks they were first accused of using, these two solid and confident songs are nothing less than huge moments to make you lose your composure. "Space And The Woods" was their first single in the beginning of 2007, but now gets a brand new version which is polished by Mr. Alkan and that epic synth line gets even more epic, while the video is a big production finding the band immersed in a variety of mind-blowing visuals. Singing "I’m shit-hot, so say what you think about me” and actually getting away with it is not common, but that's exactly what happens in here. As for "Focker", this is the recorded version of a long-time live favourite, an electro oddity that comes with an hilarious video, and a song that stands as a testament to their talent in writing great schizophrenic songs with out-of-the-norm structures. And now the album, please.

MySpace page
Official site

El Guincho - Alegranza

Coming from Calatunya in Spain, El Guincho is a one-man-project of Pablo Díaz-Reixa that is slowly getting the recognition it deserves outside its own country. Practicing a sort of colourful psychedelic pop with tropical influences, the most obvious comparison should be with Animal Collective, due to the primitive and almost childish atmospheres that both projects explore, but the similarities end there, as "Alegranza" actually lives in a place of its own. Looped sounds, tribal rhythms and dub techniques are used to create frenetic mantras with Spanish chantings on top, where hypnotic harmonies are inserted while melting in a multitude of different layers that take the listenner into a delirious mental journey. To top it all, its geographic origins lend a fresh and sunny perspective to this music...and as summer is almost here, this fact alone makes "Alegranza" just perfect to start the season. (8/10)

El Guincho - Kalise (video)

MySpace page

Monday, May 05, 2008

Benga - Diary Of An Afro Warrior

Mechanical and hypnotic beats, a profound bass and a doped atmosphere with industrial resonances... Must be a dubstep record then. Benga is a young talent producing underground anthems inside the dubstep scene since the age of 16 and now, with 21, his debut full-length shows no signs of him getting tired or losing inspiration. Partner-in-crime with Skream, his sound follows dubstep rules almost by the book instead of taking a more personnel and unique approach like, say, Burial or Kode9. But there's still a lot in here to go mental for, besides the usual formal ellegance and mind-blowing properties found on the best dubstep releases. Operating small changes inside the genre's own foundations, a closer look to this album reveals many new external influences that range from jazzy tones to electro and minimalism influences, incorporating a more organic attitude to this music that opens new possible paths to be followed in the future. (7/10)

Benga & Coki - Night (video)

MySpace page