VIDEO PREMIERE: .Michael. - how could you do that

By Jordan Feinstein

.Michael. traffics in the beautiful threads connecting the overwhelming and the mundane. Michael Buishas and Michael Sachs (now you get their name) write music that can feel delicate to the point of fragility, both in its wandering, sparse instrumentation, and its willingness to spend a whole (usually short) song within a single thought. Through their quest for simplicity, their music finds a way to evoke an emotional truth that can be powerful to let yourself fall into. It’s a focus that leads to a sort of purity, an exploration of feelings edited down to their base components.

Their music video for “how could you do that,” off their upcoming album Crumb Devotion (just look at that album title), perfectly fits this feeling in .Michael.’s music. In “how could you do that,” Michael sings about a girl that he’s broken up with, and thinks about her already dating again. Directed by Sam Taffel and beautifully choreographed / performed by the ever-talented Melodie Stancato, the video shows the girl he’s thinking about performing normal household tasks, but with an elegant dance to her movements. It conveys how he’s thinking about her wonderfully, applying an unrealistic import and beauty to her perfectly run-of-the-mill actions, the product of him building her up in his mind through constant thought. It’s difficult to describe, but conveyed effortlessly through the music, lyrics, and video. The ability to convey this very specific emotional space perfectly, while I sit here struggling to make it work in mere sentences, is exactly what makes .Michael. so special.

You can catch .Michael. on tour with Big Thief throughout October, and pre-order their album “Crumb Collection” here.

VIDEO PREMIERE: Booker Stardrum - Drim Dram II

Gerard Marcus

Booker Stardrum is one of my favorite contemporary musicians. He has a way of layering rhythms that makes them fun to dissect both sonically and visually (if you ever see him live, which you should). I've seen him play with Cloud Becomes Your Hand, Weyes Blood, Landlady, Lee Ranaldo, Nels Cline–the list goes on–and every time, this artistic sensibility has made his performance stand out. His new solo music has been so intriguing because Booker is now fully at the head, creating dense rhythmic compositions lush with sonic textures for listeners to explore. So how do you create a music video for this style of music? There are many ways you could go about creating visuals that complement his style, but I can’t really think of any way to do it better than artist Miranda Javid has in Booker Stardrum’s latest video for “Drim Dram II.”

The name of the game in this video is speed and texture, with Javid's quick flights of imagery flickering like a dream or distant memory. The video is very experiential, morphing and changing just enough to keep the viewer both interested in what will happen next visually, and locked into the rhythm of Stardrum’s complex compositions. At 1:45 it's a relatively short piece. The amount of information thrown at you over this short runtime makes repeated viewings warranted, with the reward in the end being deeper understanding. I couldn’t really tell you of what, but I can say that it’s worth it. Be sure to catch Booker Stardrum live on his up coming tour:

Tour Dates

10/25 SOLO @ 2640 (Baltimore, MD)
10/26 SOLO @ Jerry’s on Front (Philadelphia, PA)
10/27 SOLO @ TBA (Upstate, NY)
10/28 SOLO @ Union Pool (Brooklyn, NY)
10/29 SOLO + trio TBA @ Experimental Sound Studio (Chicago, IL)
10/30 Trio w/ Katie Young + Matt Mehlan @ Comfort Station (Chicago, IL)
11/10 SOLO @ Beatnik Lounge (Joshua Tree, CA)
11/14 SOLO @ Zebulon (Los Angeles, CA)
11/15 SOLO + w/ Sontag Shogun’s Braided Sound @ The Luggage Store Gallery (San Francisco, CA)
11/17 Duo w/ Andrew Bernstein @ Coaxial (Los Angeles, CA)
11/18 SOLO @ SDCP (San Diego, CA)

Pre Order Link:

VIDEO PREMIERE: The Parlor - Blind

By Abigail Clyne

Lately I’ve been trying to step into my life. To fully take ownership of who I am and not care what people think. It’s a difficult process, so much so that I recently spent an hour in Grand Central terminal debating which Metro North train to jump on. I wanted to run away, and spend time in that magical limbo that occurs when you go on a long road trip. To relax in those stolen hours and only worry about arriving safely to your destination, if you even have one. Instead, I went and bought myself lunch. On some level, I knew running away from the city wouldn’t solve anything. 

The Parlor’s video for their new single, “Blind,” captures the freedom and loneliness of running away. Beautiful footage of the American West as seen from a moving car is intercut with the band members, Eric Krans and Jen O’Connor, joyously goofing off for the camera. The stark landscapes bring up the dueling emotions of peace and unease. The repeated lyric at the end, “somewhere near, somewhere far, ‘til we’re blind,” played over the empty vistas, beckons you to sit in the discomfort and ask yourself what’s next?

Check out The Parlor in their upcoming shows!

Thursday, October 11th: Troy, NY // Brown’s Brewing Company // w/ The Moth and the Flame

Saturday, October 13th: Newport, RI // Parlor Bar // w/ Drone Dolores

PREMIERE: The YeahTones - Lightning

By Jordan Feinstein

There’s something about classic rock that’s like a megaphone to my body telling it “sway and bob your head now, it’s not really up to you, away you go.” I’ve always attributed it to the catchy hooks, bombastic guitar, driving drums–all the elements that define rock and roll. “Lightning,” the new single by Brooklyn punk-rockers The Yeahtones, has all of these boxes checked. It’s a fun, loud rock song about a girl making frontman Jake Pinto feel like he’s been struck by lightning. But it got me thinking about what it is in good rock and roll that can make your body not care that you’ve heard all of these elements a million times. What makes it not just a bunch of checked boxes in a list of standard elements of a rock song?

The answer is certainly confidence. The confidence to go “here’s our loud rock song about a girl. It’s got drums, bass, guitar, and a catchy hook” and make it something that doesn’t feel new, but kicks enough ass that it doesn’t really matter. The Brooklyn music scene right now is awash with artists diving deeper and deeper into music as therapy, songwriting as a method of introspection. It’s important to be able to find an artist who writes something that makes you feel less alone, which is at the core of our generation’s attachment to music that we know our parents would find almost nauseating in its depths of self-examination. It’s fun to hear a song not concerned with that, a song that makes you feel only that you’re in dark room with loud music and sticky floors, and a beautiful girl just looked at you for the first time.

Check out “Lightning” on Spotify and Apple Music

VIDEO PREMIERE: JW Francis - When The Train Goes By

By Gerard Marcus

Every year, sometimes more than once, I get the sudden urge to leave New York City. Maybe I step in one too many piles of what I hope is dog crap, or one to many trains are down making it impossible for me to get anywhere, or I’ve gotten tired of listening to my drunken neighbor scream at the TV for the fourth night in a row over a sports match that is happening in a completely different country. The point is I have to go. I’ll run up into the mountains, or down to DC to visit family, or maybe out west. But no matter where I go, I inevitably get to a point where I miss the city. I’ll miss the usual things, the parks, the culture, the manic energy. But usually what I miss the most are the simpler things, the small reminders of what it means to live here.

JW Francis new video for “When The Train Goes By” is a simple love letter to a very complicated place. Made from footage of various NYC trains, this video scratches the perfect nostalgic itch for anyone who’s lived in the city. The simplicity of subject allows JW Francis to showcase a crucial element of NYC life in a tasteful way. Neither the song nor video scream “I’M IN NEW YORK LOOK HOW COOL IT IS,” but instead present it more as a “this is my life, and this is what I see around me.” New York can be crazy and hectic, but if you can find a moment to come out of that and focus on something simple, there’s endless possibilities for beauty. 

For more JW Francis beauty, you can pre-save his upcoming EP on Spotify here!