If there’s one thing indie musicians love, it’s Christmas. Continue reading…
It’s hard not to love Charlotte Gainsbourg. Even the film Antichrist, with its disturbing imagery, rampant misogyny, and charming genital mutilation couldn’t lessen our affection for her. She may not be the only indie musician/actress out there, but she is the only one who does both things well (take that, Deschanel). The ambidextrous Gainsbourg has once again put on her songwriter’s cap for her forthcoming album IRM. Her gorgeous debut, 5:55, was produced by none other than the great Nigel Godrich, but this time around Gainsbourg has enlisted Beck to produce and cowrite all the songs.
The star-crossed pairing has just yielded its first video, the Keith Schofield-directed “Heaven Can Wait”. Beck’s vocals feature strongly in the song, lending further weight to the idea that the record is a Gainsbourg solo album in name only. In the surreal clip, mundane interactions between people and bizarre creatures are interrupted by bizarre bouts of food fetishism and sudden acts of violence. IRM will be available stateside on January 26th via Elektra, and the smart money says it’ll be a good one.
The Avett Brothers are all about feeling. On Emotionalism, their last proper full length, the Avetts certainly didn’t shy away from feeling; they celebrated it. The songs from Emotionalism were mostly led by banjo, upright bass, occasional strings and the just-twangy-enough vocals of one or both brothers. Everything about that setup said these guys were playing bluegrass music, but what came out of the speakers felt different.
That element, that unique style of bluegrass that sounded more like an alt-country-influenced indie band, clearly set the Avetts apart from anything I’d ever heard before. But there was more to them than that. There were also those straightforward and heartfelt lyrics, melodies that felt nostalgic and comforting, and an overall sense that these guys grew up loving American music and wanted to make it their own, to take it somewhere new while keeping everything that was great about it intact. Continue reading
(500) Days of Summer is a formulaic, twee romantic comedy masquerading as an iconoclastic rethinking of the date movie designed to lure in unsuspecting hipsters by flattering their self-perceived sophistication and esoteric musical taste (“You like the Smiths?“) that ultimately perpetuates the same silly, shallow, and juvenile worldview it claims to transcend, and, in doing so, sends the increasingly trite and predictable indie-rock film aesthetic careening even further toward the mainstream whilst offering a version of He’s Just Not That Into You for Buffalo Exchange shoppers.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun.
Case in point: the new video for She & Him‘s “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?” (courtesy of USA Today), which stars (500) Days odd couple Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel (aka the She to M. Ward’s Him) in the charming tale of a mid-heist boogie session. Had this video been included in the movie, it would have stood out as a rare reprieve from watching Gordon-Levitt agonize over Deschanel’s vacuous, Ringo-loving heartbreaker.
You can watch the video, preceded by an introduction from the perpetually
dazed pleasant Deschanel, after the jump. Continue reading
Owl and Bear’s list of albums that almost made the cut in 2008.