Posted by: on July 21, 2008 at 10:44 am

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The Beach Boys, “Wouldn’t It be Nice” (Capitol, 1966)

Check out the Beach Boys getting all Monkees at the beginning of this clip. Well, it’s not like the Monkees invented walking funnily in unison; they were ripping off the British Invasion bands. But given the consistent critical blush for the Beach Boys — and how dearly their music is held by folk types and indie dudes for its intellectual hotness — it’s cool to see them clowning around. And then the performance footage at the end. Look at those stage moves! — Thomas Rooker White

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Posted by: on July 17, 2008 at 9:18 am

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Estelle, “American Boy” (Homeschool, 2008)

When Estelle blew minds on “The Late Show With David Letterman” awhile back, the Kanye-nnoying part of this pretty amazing song was thankfully excised. “Don’t like his baggy jeans but…” this girl’s a hit. Imagine all the fun you’re going to have to this song. — Thomas Rooker White

[tags]Estelle, American Boy, Homeschool, Late Show, David Letterman[/tags]

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Posted by: on July 16, 2008 at 4:00 pm

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Olivia Newton-John, “Physical” (American TV, 1981)

To avoid controversy in the early 1980s, all you had to do was shift the focus of your little sex pop song to the bright synthetics, bunchy leg warmers, and happy-go-lucky headbands of the burgeoning workout movement. That’s what Olivia Newton-John did, as she displays on this episode of “Solid Gold.” Not only did the marketing gag guarantee multiplatinum rack-ups of the Physical album, but Newton-John was now a part of a movement. If she was still releasing music in the mid-1990s, she would’ve found a way to do a swing music album. — Johnny Loftus

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Posted by: on July 16, 2008 at 2:00 pm


Silje Nes, Ames Room (Fat Cat, 2008)

MP3: “Drown”

Her label relates that Ames Room, the full-length debut of Bergen, Norway’s Silje Nes, was recorded at home. Really? She must have easily-roused neighbors, because from the tranquil clicks and throaty whispers of opener “Over All” to the comparatively shouty mood-pop of “Recurring Dream,” this record conducts itself with the carefulness and muffled volume of someone hiding from the authorities.

The frequent bits of negative space and numerous loops and overdubs on Ames actually help Nes’s cone of silence recording technique, as they lend at least some weight to her tiny vocal presence. But something like “Shapes, Electric” helps too, with its cracked and spluttered electronic explorations backing up the layers of Silje that form its central melody. “Magnetic Moments of Spinning Objects” is another highlight — there’s some human laughter in there, and a music box effect, and creaking doors, and maybe a dehumidifier on the fritz. It’s the kitchen sink backing up the quietest repetitive keyboard lilt on top, so if you’ve ever fallen for the gentle melodies, flighty instrumental fancy, and sense of solitude in music coming out of the Nordic countries, you better make room for Silje Nes. Don’t worry, she won’t make very much noise. — Johnny Loftus

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Posted by: on July 16, 2008 at 11:00 am

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Moby, “Disco Lies” (Mute, 2008)

Is this what the feverish murder dreams of vegans look like? One lone chick escapes death by foodstuff, grows up to be bird pimpin’, only to stumble upon the suspect street food joint that totally ate his brethren for lunch. And then it really gets nuts. Feathers fly through a chase scene, and in the meantime the Mobes’ crystalline stab at early to mid-1980s disco/freestyle soundtracks the shit. And in the end, it’s like the clip for Daft Punk’s “Da Funk” meets Death Wish. — Johnny Loftus

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Posted by: on July 15, 2008 at 1:00 pm

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Kings Have Long Arms, “Big Umbrella” (Domino, 2008)

As Candie Payne strolls through the rowhouses, this clip for Kings Have Long Arms‘ “Big Umbrella” really starts to feel like 1970s British television, the sort of light comedy with a bit of the madcap thrown in that, here in America anyway, you’d see on late-night PBS. And hope for boobs. Then it goes color, and cartoony, and it gets into some Monty Python shizz. Not a bad song, either, though it is sort of pleasantly boring. You can always change the channel. — Johnny Loftus

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Posted by: on July 15, 2008 at 11:24 am

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The Corrections, “Barcode” (EMI, 2008)

This is the video for the Corrections‘ debut single “Barcode,” from their full-length Repeat After Me. The band have repeated after plenty of types with this — you’ve heard that spiny guitar line before. That’s probably OK though, in general. Nothing’s new anymore. But even though it’s cool when the band’s vocalist starts to be attacked by a flurry of chalk streaks midway through the clip, the sense here is that “Barcode” belongs in that early to mid-1990s “120 Minutes” zone, when MTV’s alternative warhorse was stocking its waters with so many soundalikes, it contributed to the final saturation of a market. Everything’s cyclical, just as nothing’s new, and even though we don’t want to blame one band for anything, it’s difficult to imagine the Corrections really killing this live. They’re a more earnest Interpol, maybe. But Interpol isn’t much of anything anymore, either. — Johnny Loftus

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Posted by: on July 14, 2008 at 4:09 pm

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Van Halen, “Hot for Teacher” (Warner, 1984)

Detour is too busy redesigning its Twitter page to study the why’s and how’s of it, but there’s a real problem in this country with teachers “having their way with” their students. It’s part of a larger social trend, to be sure. But rather than theorize, or even trot out a few experts to spout their theories, most news outlets just use a reference to this, the iconic 1984 single from Van Halen. Every joke, every shot, every Diamond Dave “WHOOOAAA” – it’s burned in the brains of those who lived through it, or even better, grew up with it. It didn’t make us hot for our teachers in real life, because we went to school when the instructors were either old or nuns. – Thomas Rooker White

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Posted by: on July 13, 2008 at 8:42 pm

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“Excuse me, General. But what about the fucking money?” Tony Todd, the MF’ing Candyman, getting over on Ed Harris like you read about. “…and mercenaries get paid.” Plus Bokeem Woodbine, and that dude with the bulging eyes who may or may not be in every Michael Bay movie ever. It’s a good thing Morse broke all the mirrors in that room during a fit of rage a few hours before they shot this, or he and “the general” might’ve had to deal with Daniel Robitaille. — Johnny Loftus

[tags]The Rock, Michael Bay, Tony Todd, Bokeem Woodbine, Ed Harris[/tags]

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Posted by: on July 11, 2008 at 11:00 am

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Hot Chip, “One Pure Thought” (Astralwerks/DFA, 2008)

The beginning sort of checks “Something So Strong” by Crowded House, and Hot Chip guy even sounds like a Finn brother there for a minute. But then the rest of the dudes start plinking on his cartoon head, and this clip for “One Pure Thought” is suddenly all Hot Chip all the time. The band’s flair for quirk is part of its appeal; it’s part of what makes them occasionally annoying, too, but the latter isn’t something they’ve had to deal with as much with Made in the Dark, their most recent and most infections. “Pure Thought” is no different, combining the group’s organic stoner sensibilities with twittering electro-pop and even a guitar solo. And that ending, with the dancing in unison…well, it’s pretty irresistible, right? — Johnny Loftus

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