Author Archives: phillywestside

Oh To Be Single (shot) Again…

It’s quite odd to try and find “music” videos on an actual television channel these days, and if you really want to see a video you must use either YouTube or VEVO.  But since we’re living in a material world and I’m a material boy — if I had the money — this is the best way to watch music that has been put to the visual test.

Trends come and go in the video realm.  You have your old school hip hop videos with lovely ladies dancing around Coup de villes and hot tubs with massive poolside parties.  Then you had the grunge videos where most of the bands of the ’90s boycotted making visual versions of their songs in the first place.  Recently, I’ve noticed numerous artists shooting single shot videos, such as OK Go, pioneers of the medium, and their newest version rambling around in a Chevy Sonic.

While single shot has in fact been around and may not be “cool” any longer, here are some other single shot videos — some good, some interesting, but all the same.  Since this author feels this is where videos are going to these days, these are some other talented artists that are out there with no budgets to their names, making the raw music video fresh and interesting.

Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers – “I Can’t Go For That”

This is one of many from their “Van Sessions”, where Nicki and the crew cover many great tunes in the front seats of a Ford tour van.  This one by far is the best.  Just wait until you get to the kazoo solo, it will rock yer socks off!

Nyle – “Let The Beat Build”

I love hip hop.  I do.  I love the lyrical genius that hip hopster’s create, especially off the cuff.  This is an amazing single shot video by a very talented artist with numerous talented musicians and singers as a supporting cast to this creative single shot video.

Walk off the Earth – “Someone I Used To Know (Gotye cover)”

They’ve nailed originality in the sense that their stares off into the distance are original.  But nonetheless this is a unique take on a great song that is gaining more and more popularity.

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Sixteen Saltines

Jack White.  Boy oh Boy.  This song makes the whole White Stripes break up a little easier to deal with.  Take a listen.

http://www.columbiarecords.com/jackwhite/sixteensaltines

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Phil’s Silly Love Songs

Valentines Day is upon us, and here is my special list for that special someone on this special day.  This mix tape will definitely set the mood right, or set things in motion for the inevitable, depending on where you took her for dinner.

Meh.

Are You Really Playing This Song To Win My Affection? – Mixtape

01. “Criminal” – Fiona Apple  – Everyone needs a good defense when they need to be redeemed.

02. “You Know I’m No Good” – Amy Winehouse –  Tanqueray drinkers UNITE! Plus who are we kidding?  I’m no good.

03. “Hey Ladies” – Beastie Boys – We all dream to say this to that special someone, don’t lie.

04. “Maps” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Wait!!!  Never mind go ahead walk out that door.

05. “Italian Leather Sofa” – Cake – She really does care that I’m an island.

06. “99 Problems” – Jay-Z – Hopefully you’re not the 100th on this special day.

07. “Why Does It Always Rain On Me” – Travis – Just seeing if she’s still listening to the mix by now.

08. “The Trapeze Swinger” – Iron & Wine – After that last song maybe this will redeem the mix somewhat.

09. “Lady In Red” – Chris De Burgh – This is the point in time when you caress cheek to cheek.

10. “…Baby One More Time” – Britney Spears – If this song doesn’t work I don’t know what will.

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Super Madonna

In preparation for your Super Bowl parties this Sunday, here’s a taste of what’s to come while you’re replenishing your drinks, plates of pretzels and new dishes that you found on Martha Stewarts website during halftime.  Classic Nicki doing her best cheer, as well as M.I.A. back from her early retirement.

Go TEAM!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cItHOl5LRWg&w=560&h=315%5D
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Jack is Back

Jack White expected to release a debut solo album entitled Blunderbuss, April 24.

Listen to “Love Interruption” here!

 

 

Wilco – Fillmore Auditorium Jan 19, 2012 – Denver, CO

Via Chicago? Via Colorado is more like it

It’s been a while since I’ve seen Wilco; heck it’s been a while since I’ve seen a headlining show at all.  I was doubly excited to see one of my favorite bands from the Midwest, showcasing some old and loads of new songs live at the Fillmore Auditorium.

Jeff Tweedy and the gang kicked off their North American tour in Denver and did not disappoint.  They came onstage to a set up of tied-up sheets (as if there were a bunch of white-sheeted ghosts hovering about) with lights flickering inside them, vividly reminding the audience how haunting but warm Wilco can be.

Every time I see them (and for me this is the ninth time), I get butterflies thinking how they will perform those songs off their new album live.  I thought that with Sky Blue Sky and, of course, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and again, Thursday night, sure enough, right before they came on I conversed with a good friend of mine about what it was going to take to recreate those maniacal sounds in a live setting showcasing songs from The Whole Love.

They performed without a hitch, and I was blessed to see that their North American tour will definitely not disappoint.  Even if you’re on the fence with Wilco, you might as well fork over the generous amounts of money to see them on this tour.  You will greatly appreciate it.

Their set started off with the emotive “Poor Places” from YHF, then hypnotized the audience with mind-melting guitar riffs of Nels Cline on “Art of Almost.”  This paved the way for Wilco to showcase six new songs off of The Whole Love, with brief stops along the way with old favorites “Misunderstood” and “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart.”  This show was (if I may steal a term from my former years of living in Thailand) “Same Same, But Different”: they had the big guitars, they had the old faithful fans, but the crowd was definitely younger and the songs played were more mature, yet playful and gripping, which held the attention of new and old fans alike.  For a full set list go here.

Wilco lived up to their persona, and Denver was honored to be able to kick off their North American tour at the famed Fillmore Auditorium.  Jeff even commented on how fun it was to play in a place with purple chandeliers.  I couldn’t agree more.  Wilco is a great live band that suits a more intimate setting.  Although Red Rocks is just a few short miles away, it was still nice to see them up close and personal.

Check to see if they’re playing any tour dates near you, I promise you will stomp your foot,and smile at Jeff’s banter as they take you on the tumultuous journey that signifies Rock and Roll in the purest sense of that term.

Even Casper the Friendly Ghost showed up

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Even Rockers Swoon For Adele

Dave Grohl gets it, you should too.

Even rockers have a thing or two to say about what’s rubbish and what’s good in the world.  Grammys are around the corner, and I’ll painstakingly watch the artists perform their hits, regardless of how I really feel about the Grammy Awards and how ridiculous they’ve become.  Beside my profound need to bathe after watching music award shows, it’s no surprise that Adele is the front runner this year with six nods and a plethora of other awards already attached to 21.  And it’s also no surprise that even Dave Grohl, whose band Foo Fighters are also nominated for six awards as well as album of the year, has a thing or two to say about the music industry.   Needless to say it was interesting to hear what Dave had to say about Adele, as she has singlehandedly saved music.  Well maybe not saved music but it’s nice to know that Adele’s sophomore album is getting the credit that it’s due.

You can’t argue with a long-haired, big-teeth-smiling, Grammy-toting rocker these days now can you?

“It’s an amazing record and everybody’s so shocked that it’s such a phenomenon. I’m not. You know why that record’s huge? Because it’s fucking good and it’s real.” – Dave Grohl on Adele’s album 21

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The Shins – Simple Song

The Shins have gotten with it in the past couple of years.  With Mercer’s collaboration with Danger Mouse, to wandering the earth trying to figure out what is going on with the world, they’ve been busy to say the least.

With the passing of time and space comes a brand new set of highly anticipated woeful songs that brings about the energy, or lack thereof, The Shins are known for.  James Mercer and the rest of the crew are getting ready for their upcoming release Port of Morrow,March 20, which will be their first album since 2007’s Wincing The Night Away, and Shins fans know it’s been long overdue.

“Simple Song” can be regarded as a blast from the past with a hint of minty freshness.  If you’re a fan of The Who and Band of Horses you’ll understand what I’m getting at.  While Mercer’s melodic voice intertwines with piano, heavy guitar, and choral voices ala BOH, you’ll be reminded of any track from Chutes Too Narrow, but the freshness that Broken Bells were successful at.

With Mercer’s long tenure and pliability with other works, “Simple Song” has a rich influence of their New Mexico birthplace, while toeing that fine line ofmastering that “underproduced” sound.  This song has found that bridge between what was and is to come with The Shins without being overly produced.  While much of the legwork and music was done solely by Mercer himself, he’s found a nice puzzle piece with Kylie Minogue/Lily Allen/Kelly Clarkson producer Greg Kurstin.  With Kurstin’s mastering and Mercer’s ingenuity and flexibility, this song finds that happy rhythm that Shins fans have been waiting for.

Maybe The Shins have been looking toward the hot New Mexico sun via Portland far too long, or maybe this could be their welcome back with open arms, regardless Port of Morrow will promise anything but simple songs.

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Cellos and Ted Nugent. What will come of this?

Music — plain and simple — motivates us, makes us wake up in the morning, and puts us to sleep when the time comes.  It’s what makes this rocking world go round.  Aside from all that, music makes us think.  Personally, music makes me happy.  It really makes me run the gambit of emotions at any given time.  Whenever I hear pieces from different composers, I remember back to my elementary school days, playing in orchestra with fifteen Vietnamese girls all happy to be playing, while I was happy just to be among a great group of people for an hour, three days a week.

And then I remember the first time I heard some of those amazing artists from the late 70’s and 80’s.  Growing up with three much older siblings, I considered myself the youngest teenager on the block.  And rightly so when I could name any given song on the radio and tell you who played it.  From Journey to AC/DC, The Nuge, and so on and so forth.

We all have our opinions on what sexual orientation we think Robbie Williams is, and why Liam Gallagher should get a kick in the teeth, but it’s given balance to what we’ve thought of for years and appreciated.  Music gives us that avenue to stay true, true to ourselves and fight for our rights and opinions as music lovers.

Music is what makes us stay the course, music is what keeps us talking, and music is what makes us think.  We all have our favorite bands, we all have those guilty pleasures that we keep in our closets of happiness, but it’s all about the music.  So we all like the sound of it, some more than others, and I hope that this avenue of music adventure will take me along with hopefully more readers than just the three of us that put this thing together.

You may love what we say, you may curse our names, and I’m sure the three of us will get into virtual fist fights along the way.   But be ready to see with your ears, and listen with your eyes.  I like the sound of it already.

~Phil

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