If you’re anything like us, you’ve been waiting impatiently for this day: “The Hunger Games” has finally arrived in theaters! (We’ve seen it, and it’s awesome.) In honor of the film, we are doing a double shot that only tangentially relates to the movie itself. But a tangent is all we need. First up, Duran Duran.
This is the one that started it all for them. Gorgeous, luscious clip, with an interracial kiss, horrors! (Seriously, that was kind of a big deal at the time. Isn’t that silly?) Duran Duran lost their way a few times over the years, but their 2011 album All You Need Is Now is damn good, as in ‘their best since Rio‘ good.
As for the second clip, well, this one’s for a certain Bullz-Eye spouse. Al right, it’s my wife.
Julie Brown wouldn’t last five seconds against Katniss Everdeen – at least while Katniss has a bow and arrow on her – but we love her anyway, because she has large breasts. Hey, just being honest. By the way, if you think you’re too manly to watch this clip, you should know that it ends with Brown and a cute blonde wrestling in a kiddie pool filled with whipped cream. Score!
They’re one of the last bands, if not the last band, on this writer’s ‘must see before you die’ list. And they’re playing Coachella, along with Pulp, Squeeze and the Kaiser Chiefs. We’ve seen the other three, but Madness has become the (*whispers*) Great White Buffalo of live shows. If only we lived in southern California. Sigh.
The real reason we’re posting this song, of course, is because the NCAA tournament started yesterday, and whenever we hear March Madness, we think of Madness, plain and simple. And speaking of the NCAA tournament, the Bullz-Eye staff would like to say “Go Bobcats,” as several writers and editors are Ohio University graduates. Doug Gottlieb seems to think that OU can take down Michigan. Man, wouldn’t that be sweet.
This was the #1 album in country when the terrorist attacks on 9/11 took place. Funny what a difference a decade makes.
It wasn’t one of those fly-by-night #1 records, either; this puppy sold three million copies. That will probably never happen again, certainly not in the current climate of popbots, and fake, well, everything.
Here’s the one question that we can’t shake while watching this clip, though: why were so many kids so angry back then? Remember, this was shot before 9/11 happened, so that’s not to blame. Thanks to the internet, the country had just experienced financial boom like no other. What the hell did they really have to be upset about? Is it like the Ben Folds song “Rockin’ the Suburbs,” where someone cut them off in line at McDonald’s? “You better watch out, because I’m gonna say ‘fuck’!”
All questions and kidding aside, this song, which was originally called “Suicide” and was included on Clear Channel’s post-9/11 list of banned songs, kicks some serious tail. Hey, nearly 90 million YouTube plays can’t be wrong…unless you’re talking about Rebecca Black. Then it’s wrong.
Here’s our Single of the Year, for the moment. It is also one of the most difficult videos to watch, ever.
Not unwatchable in the normal sense of the word, mind you – just extremely challenging on the eyes. See, the director had this crazy idea to keep running the camera on repeated bullet cam-type zooms towards the members of synth rock trio Bear in Heaven, kind of like a hyperkinetic blend of the videos for Beck’s “Devils Haircut,” which employed the off-center zoom, and Simple Minds’ “All the Things She Said,” where the band members repeated a certain movement while staying in sync with the audio, which must have involved dozens upon dozens of lip sync jobs put together. The key to watching this clip, we learned, is to keep blinking. Stop blinking while watching this clip, and you’re probably going to fall out of your chair. Those susceptible to siezures, just press play and close your eyes. It’s for your own good.
Why post such a polarizing and potentially life-threatening video, you ask? Because the song is AWESOME. The drums tell you something’s different from the very beginning, as the snare drops on the 1 and 3 beats rather than the standard 2 and 4. The keyboard tracks, meanwhile, should serve as an instructional manual on what keys should sound like (M83 and your yip dog synths, we’re looking in your direction). Gorgeous stuff. We can’t wait to hear the rest of the record. Happy Friday, everyone.
If you’re wondering what Depeche Mode has to do with the Academy Awards, the answer is: they don’t. Ah, but silence, that is another matter.
If you haven’t filled out your Oscar pools yet, take this to the bank: “The Artist” is going to win Best Picture. Not because it’s particularly the best film of the year – truth be told, the movies of 2011 are as weak a batch as we’ve seen in ages – but because it has a lot of things working in its favor, namely two captivating performances by the two leads Jean Dujardin (he’s this writer’s pick for Best Actor) and the lovely Berenice Bejo, but that’s not all. It has the advantage of being the one movie that is truly like no other nominee in any category – seriously, a black and white silent film in 2011, that takes balls of steel to make – and most importantly, it’s being distributed by the Weinstein Company, and if anyone can turn a film like this into an Oscar winner, it’s Harvey Scissorhands.
There is a great story surrounding the arrangement for “Enjoy the Silence,” which serves as the best argument anyone will ever need for why Alan Wilder was the most significant contributor to Depeche Mode’s success. (We even told him as much when we interviewed him in 2010.) As they were recording the tracks for their then-new album Violator – in a studio housed in rural Denmark – principal songwriter Martin Gore had turned in a tender ballad called “Enjoy the Silence” But they couldn’t get it off the ground; each time they tackled the track, it didn’t work. Finally, Wilder and producer Flood told the rest of the band to get out, hit the town and have some fun. We’ll figure this out. When the rest of the band came back, Wilder and Flood had taken Gore’s demo – which consisted of a vocal and a harmonium – and transformed it into a dance track. Immediately, the band realized that this was going to be massive. Flood got Gore to play that signature guitar line, and the rest was history, as “Enjoy the Silence” became the band’s biggest hit to date, hitting the Top 10 in eight countries.
For those who are curious to hear what Gore’s original version sounded like, check this out. Pretty, but holy cow, Gore should give Wilder a co-writing credit for his contributions.
Their other videos may have taken more discipline in terms of getting those one-take shots right, but one could make a valid argument that this is OK Go’s most ambitious video yet. Music on wheels!
Here’s the story: OK Go teamed up with Chevrolet – funny how this used to be viewed as a sellout move, but in today’s musical climate, it’s not just survival, it’s savvy business acumen – to produce a two-mile track in the desert outside of Los Angeles where the band strategically placed instruments so that, when the band drove the new Chevy Sonic at a certain speed, it would play a bare-bones version of their song “Needing/Getting” while they sang along in headsets and wearing race car-type crash gear, of course. Once again, each member is wearing his own color, but they’re not the same colors they wore in the videos for “End Love” or “This Too Shall Pass.” Actually, guitarist Andy Ross is wearing red for a second time, but by and large, these guys have a thing about making sure they do not repeat themselves.
As a friend of ours said, they’re the hardest working band in music videos. That may not sound like much, but there is something to be said for creating something indelible. Pop music has given up on immortality, and instead focused on the now. At least someone is still looking at the long term. Don’t be surprised if nearly everything about this generation’s music is forgotten, while OK Go’s videos live on and on.
All right, so there is no video to speak of here – all you see is a cover of the single. But we had to highlight this track because it’s AWESOME, a surefire Single of the Year candidate…if we still made lists like that.
The first single from their new album The Church of Rock and Roll, “I Like It” isn’t the biggest sounding Foxy Shazam song ever recorded (though not by much), but it sums up their passions and goals better than pretty much anything they’ve done up to this point. Big, Queen-like harmonies: check. Slightly off-kilter arrangement: check. Swagger: check. Sex: checkmate. Good luck getting that so-simple-it’s-brilliant chorus of “You’ve got the biggest black ass I’ve ever seen / And I like it, I like it” out of your heads between now and Monday morning. The one question is: how on earth are these guys from Cincinnati? They arrested two guys in Cincy for holding hands once.
We would not bank on this, but we’re fairly positive that one time, while watching a New York Jets game, we heard this song in the background leading up to the kickoff following a Jets score. Which, if true, is awesome on a number of levels. One, because we love that mile-wide “Heeeeeey, Oooooooooh, Ahhhhhhh” hook in the chorus. Two, because it’s called “Suburban Knights,” and the New York Jets play their games in New Jersey. Those jokes just write themselves.
Hard-Fi lead singer and principal songwriter Richard Archer is a funny bloke. We spoken with him three times, and each time he seemed to be talking faster than he had the previous time, which is pretty impressive considering that he talked really fast the first time we spoke. (Eventually, we got playback equipment that allowed us to slow the tape down. Man, what a godsend that was.) Sadly, the band’s most recent album, 2011′s Killer Sounds, is import-only, a growing trend with UK acts (Kaiser Chiefs, The Feeling). Luckily for us, it’s available on Spotify. Seriously, how did we live without Spotify?
Speaking of which, yes, the above Spotify link does not point to the album that features “Suburban Knights.” There is a reason for that – Stars of CCTV is better. It also features a nifty cover of the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.” Dig in.
Man, is this a nice breath of fresh air – high-energy pop rock without the snark.
This Baltimore/Chicago quartet has surely run into dozens of comparisons to Weezer and Jimmy Eat World, and they are both apt and fair, but there’s something different here; the vocals aren’t pinched. There is an effortlessness in singer Justin Gilman’s voice that Rivers Cuomo will never know, and the hooks are gargantuan. Between this and the upcoming album from Cheap Girls, 2012 is already off to a good start for pop that rocks, and thank goodness. We were running out of patience for all of those hipster folkie outfits with a full-time ukulele player.