Friday Video – Kenna, “Freetime”

Click here to listen to Kenna’s New Sacred Cow on Spotify

A true rarity in music video these days: an entire story, told from the knees down.

Kenna isn’t asking for anyone’s sympathies, but it’s awfully hard to not feel sorry for the guy. His debut album New Sacred Cow was scoring massive advance buzz thanks to an eye-opening video for the song “Hellbent.” DreamWorks (remember when they were a record label, too?) seemed to have a big hit on their hands…and then the album never came out. Another year went by, and it still hadn’t come out. Eventually, Sony jumped in to rescue New Sacred Cow from purgatory and did everything they could to recreate the momentum that Kenna had two years earlier – case in point: we saw Kenna play Schuba’s in Chicago, and the label picked up the bar tab for the attendees, NICE – but the album just never found the mainstream audience that seemed well within its grasp.

Come on, take a look at this video, and tell us it isn’t a work of art. You get the full cycle of the fight, the misguided decisions that came in its wake, and the final, sweet, make-up kiss…along with a nice final revelation in the last shot, and not once do we see even a glimpse of anyone from their thighs to their eyes. Kenna makes an appearance in the clip, though it’s on a poster.

Happy Friday, everyone. Don’t steal any bicycles after fighting with your girl. It will only lead to trouble.

  

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Friday Video – Orbital, “Wonky”

Click here to listen to Orbital’s Wonky on Spotify

Cats. We always suspected that they were up to no good.

Orbital might be a new name to some of you youngsters out there, but they actually released their first album over 20 years ago and are considered one of the godfathers of modern electronic music. The reason the name may not ring a bell is because prior to the release of their new album Wonky, they hadn’t released anything since 2004′s Blue Album and had disbanded for a while. But the brothers Hartnoll started playing some UK festivals a few years back, and, well, here we are, watching videos with evil cats.

Seriously, this clip is a little funny and a little disturbing, as the guy goes from seeing his cat-emblazoned belongings rapping, to being beseiged by a group of real-life cats led by one sinister-looking Siamese, if you please. With a setup like this, it’s bound to end in tears. Unless you’re the cats, of course.

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone. Have fun, be sensible, and always keep one eye on the closest cat. You just never know.

  

Friday Video – Beck, “E-Pro,” with yet another bonus Beastie Boys video

Click here to listen to Beck’s Guero on Spotify

Is it just us, or has the bloom fallen off the Beck rose in the last couple of years? This is not to say that he’s running out of gas, but rather that there has been a, um, sea change (see what we did there?) on the musical landscape, and Beck is no longer hanging with Jack Nicholson in the VIP area, though to be fair Jack’s VIP area only has room for one person, and that person is Jack Nicholson. Still, you get our point – modern rock is leaving the giants of the ’00s behind. It’s sad when it happens, but it always happens.

So let’s enjoy a little bit of aughts nostalgia with “E-Pro,” the slammin’ lead single from Beck’s great 2005 Guero album. Even better is the trippy video, which features Beck taking one wild animated trip, which is assembled to resemble the most terrifying tracking shot ever made.

So what, so what, so what’s the Beastie Boys connection here, you ask? Listen to that rhythm track in “E-Pro.” Does it sound familiar? If so, it’s because you know your Beastie Boys, as Beck used a sped-up sample of their 1992 song “So What’cha Want” as the basis for his song. We saw a couple of mash-ups of the two tracks on YouTube, but frankly they were not terribly good, so we’re going with the original here. It still hasn’t sunk in that MCA is dead. Sigh.

Happy Friday, everyone. Be quirky this weekend. Beck would approve.

  

Friday Video – The Housemartins, “Happy Hour”

Click here to listen to the Housemartins’ London 0 Hull 4 on Spotify

Frankly, we’re surprised we didn’t feature this song in this column earlier. It’s upbeat, it’s catchy, and it’s about having a drink or three with your mates. What’s not to love? Oh, right, that whole misogynist subtext. (Sample lyric: “And then we ask all the questions, and you take all your clothes off, and go back to the kitchen sink.”) Yeah, sorry about that.

But hey, look, Norman “Fatboy Slim” Cook is on the right in the white cardigan sweater! That’s right, Fatboy Slim was the Housemartins’ bass player, and a damn good bass player at that. Funny that he decided to scrap instruments for turntables. Not that we’re complaining, because it led to this giagantic slice of awesomeness.

Sigh. we’re still stinging from the death of MCA last Friday. *pours out 40*

We saw Fatboy Slim open up for the Chemical Brothers in 1999. Cook threw out a ridiculous hodgepodge of tunes, from Prince to the Kinks, and it all worked remarkably well. When he played his own remix of the Beastie Boys’ “Body Movin’,” though, he blew the roof off the joint, and even the Chemicals had a hard time topping it. It was one of those ‘right place, right time’ moments. And we were there, man.

Happy Friday, everyone. May your weekend be one of those ‘right place, right time’ moments.

  

Friday Video – Gaz Coombes, “Hot Fruit,” plus bonus Supergrass video

Few press releases have cause us to lose our breath quite like the one we received last week that referred to Gaz Coombes as “former Supergrass frontman.” FORMER? We get 600 music emails a week, and no joke, this was the first we had heard about Supergrass disbanding. Worse, it happened two years ago. Even after a quick poll of our Anglophile friends, several people admitted that they hadn’t heard the news, either. This is not happening, this is not happening…

Having said that, it doesn’t surprise us in retrospect that the ‘Grass decided to call it a day. They’d come up with a killer tune here and there, and even a solid album – we remember loving Road to Rouen, though we haven’t listened to it in years, which is telling – but by and large the band’s best days were behind them. From listening to the opening of “Hot Fruit,” the first single from Coombes’ solo debut Here Come the Bombs, we’re starting to wish the band had broken up sooner, because the first 15 seconds of the song have more unique ideas happening at the same time than anything Supergrass has released in a decade. The album drops on May 21. The day can’t come quickly enough.

Bonus video: We never miss an opportunity to post this one. “Pumping on Your Stereo” should be mandatory viewing for anyone who wants to get into the music video business. You don’t need hot chicks (though they’re nice) or fast cars (though they’re nice, too) in your clips: you just need to turn the band into giant muppets.

  

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