City-life vs. backwoods beauty with Bunny Lake, The Raconteurs, Snow Patrol and more in this week's Small Screen Stories
Us city dwellers have it hard. We're stuck in our tiny spaces, doing the rat race, yearning for the great escape. And then once we're out in the open, we panic and realize that we can't ever truly get away from it all. Especially if you're entire band comes with you and decides to set up shop in the middle of a beach. It's a catch-22, it is, illustrated by the following new videos:
I'm a big fan of people just walking in videos. Call me a simple girl, but sometimes a casual saunter through the backstreets of a metropolis can say so much on screen. "Take back the city" by Snow Patrol takes me there - the singer takes an endless stroll through the backstreets of London town, popping in an out of a smoke-machined rooftop performance with the band. There is a technique employed here that makes the frames look like they are photographes stacked on top of each other, kind of like when you try to create a panorama shot out of many small photos. I think the main point of this video is a) Snow Patrol are badass b) but you don't have to be scared of them when you run into them in a dark alley c) the singer really just wants a drink. And if you're sober and you pay close attention you'll realize that the wonky way in which this was shot, envelopes the viewer in the calming confusion of a good buzz.
Love is All
After a long, hard night out in the cold streets of the city, what a better way to relax than a day at the beach. Love is All, who have been supposedly "blowing up" for two years now but never quite seem to catch anyone's attention, do just that. And not only does it capture a perfect vacation-feeling, it actually really is an audio-visual post-card from the band: "We had an hour over on the beach in beautiful Ravenna last month and decided to make a little video for "Wishing Well". Yes, i know it's silly and out of sync - and that there's a band aid on my nose from hitting the wall the previous day". So these are the fruits of the labor of a band on a day off - I wonder if the singer always has that nouvelle vague mime-style dress in her suitcase, just in case? It's very Godard, don't you think?
Marnie Stern is the coolest girl in New York City right now - she is single-handedly, or well, double-handedly if you think about it, responsible for making the extended guitar solo a thing even the ladies might want to start considering doing. Her album "Transformer" marks her as the new Jimmy Hendrix. So where does all that crazy, raw, wild energy come from? It's hard work, but Marnie Stern knows she has to train in order to keep the tunes coming like they do. So for her this means a very early wake-up call and lots of raw eggs. Mmmh! Followed by an entire day spent working out and conquering New York, taking time-out to pet puppies, and most importantly, beating up boys on rooftops. Marnie Stern, you are my champ!
The new Raconteurs video for "Old Enough" is based on one of those concepts where you just think...why hasn't this been done before? Band goes into the woods, "Cold Mountain" style and realizes they are in a, well, forrest of mirrors. Despite it's backwoods-y charm, the whole concept reminds me a lot of the premise of the Bob Dylan film "I'm not there". Self-reflection on the (small) screen, I guess. It's fun to watch this more than once and pick out which images are the actual band members and what's just a reflection. The video was directed by Autumn De Wilde, one of the seminal music photographers currently working. She created this, for instance. Hope to see her doing more videos, I like her ideas.
Matt & Kim
Matt and Kim are cute. Matt and Kim are in love. And Matt and Kim live in a tiny, tiny, tiny New York apartment. So what? Get creative! Don't ever let the space, or lack thereof, of your apartment limit what you can do. You can have a shower-jam session! A closet-jam session! If need be and the weather's nice, a dumpster-jam session! This is pretty self-explanatory and conveys the concept of Matt & Kim quite well. And the pitfalls of city life.
Let's wrap up this back and forth between city and country with a beautiful trip into a mystical field. And by trip, I mean the literal excursion and the one that can happen in your mind. Bunny Lake's dreamy new electropop single calls for an equally dreamy video. Suzy on the Rocks leaves her nightclub persona behind and instead opts for lazily lounging in the tall grass next to her white horse. It reminds me a lot of some stills from Sofia Coppola's "Virgin Suicides" (setting sun, long blonde hair, etc). Her prince charming comes in the form of the remaining band members, dressed in outfits tipping their hats to the Beatles - and well, any other Brit who discovered that old-school military jackets look good. They team up and wham bam, someone gets out the sparklers and it's all a party from there on. See, exciting things can happen in the middle of nowhere, you just have to know where to look for them.