Category Archives: bands

Top 10 Music Videos of 2012

This post is syndicated from Yahoo! Music.

It’s that time of year again when we get to count down the best musical content of the past twelve months! 2012 offered many video goodies from new artists like PSY to established singers like Taylor Swift; from colorful creatures like Nicki Minaj to the demure songstress Lana Del Rey. Below, the top ten songs of the year that not only rocked but had outstanding visual merit to boot!

10.) Matt & Kim – Let’s Go

Matt & Kim upped the nostalgia factor on the second version of their video for the single “Let’s Go” (the first version was a viral vid featuring basketball trick-dribble virtuoso Pat The Roc).  The duo incorporated a crushing 80’s style Sears family portrait studio with an assortment of characters — including the band members themselves!

9.) Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch – Sweet Nothing

Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine stars in this video from electro-pop star Calvin Harris. She rocks a pompadour and tailor-made tuxedo while performing at the Working Men’s Club located in Dalston, London. Not surprisingly, clothes fly off and the action intensifies as a second storyline emerges that eventually includes our heroine!

8.) Alicia Keys – Girl On Fire

Check out this scorching video by Alicia Keys — fourteen-time Grammy®-winning singer, songwriter, and producer. The girl can do no wrong!

7.) Best Coast – Do You Love Me Like You Used To 
Taped live from the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California, Best Coast does a stellar job of integrating their fans into the music video for this catchy tune. The song and accompanying video perfectly capture the spirit of summer love and beachy fun. We miss summer already!

6.) Mumford & Sons – Lover Of The Light

We follow one man’s daily journey in this somewhat dark, cinematic and ultimately moving tale.

5.) Jack White – I’m Shakin’

Directed by Dori Oskowitz – who also directed videos in 2012 for the likes of Passion Pit and Adam Lambert – this impeccably stylish video features White facing off against himself in the ultimate battle for reigning guitar supremacy.

4.) Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes

Abstract electronic music producer Flying Lotus previewed his latest album, Until The Quiet Comes, with this moving short film directed by Kahil Joseph. Warning: graphic content towards the beginning of the piece. 


3.) David Guetta & Nicky Romero – Metropolis

French producer David Guetta teams up with Dutch counterpart Nicky Romero on “Metropolis,” one of six brand new songs on Nothing But The Beat 2.0 – a follow up on 2011’s Nothing But The Beat.  The artistic video is a reflection of the popular street art movement and is directed by artist and filmmaker Mr. Brainwash. You’ll see imprints of his work throughout this energetic piece!

2.) Temper Trap – Trembling Hands

A beautiful video from Aussie indie rockers Temper Trap, this one is an engaging story of sacrifice, loss, hard work and reward.

1.) Katy Perry – Wide Awake

“Wide Awake” is the second single from the re-release of Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection — and was originally written for the documentary Katy Perry: Part of Me. Just like the film it was written for, the video is poppy, powerful, and demonstrates whether it’s getting past a bad breakup or a tough time at work, sometimes all you really need to do is look within!

Show Review: The Black Keys in Anaheim

The Black Keys @ Øya 2012

A crisp fall evening brought us to Anaheim to see The Black Keys, show number three in So Cal during their massive worldwide stadium tour.

Two nights earlier the duo from Akron, Ohio — also home to basketball superstar LeBron James, Alcoholics Anonymous, and the first breakfast cereal (Quaker Oats) — arrived in LA where they played back-to-back shows at the Staples Center.

To give you an example of how far the duo has come since their days back in rural Ohio, the LA dates were sandwiched between engagements from Justin Beiber and Madonna.

I hadn’t seen The Keys perform since 2008 when they came through the KCRW studio for their second live performance and interview with Nic Harcourt (the first time they came to the station was nearly a decade ago, in 2003).

I remember when they played the Roxy, and a few years later when they returned to dazzle the crowd at The Wiltern — a slightly larger venue with a capacity of roughly two-thousand.

I remember how thrilling the performance was back then, even when it took place in a tiny, sun-drenched recording studio early in the morning.

When Dan Auerbach (guitar, vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums) deliver their signature blues-meets-rock sound it always seems to immediately grab everyone in the room. Excessively hooky or not, it’s really hard to not pay attention.

And it’s not the music alone. Something about the concept of a strong musical duo produces a tight-knit and intimate energy that’s oftentimes hard to replicate. Think Jack and Meg, Alison and Jamie, even Matt and Kim.

Years later they infused the exact energy to the present tour, performing for tens of thousands of fans every night.

That night in Anaheim, the band seamlessly translated their reverb-laden, soaring rock sound to a stadium setting complete with trippy visuals, HD cameras, and the pricey beer and hot dogs to match (sadly, no cereal was present at this particular show).

This time around they brought bassist Gus Seyffert and keyboardist John Wood on board to assist on material from later albums. About halfway through the set, the group stripped back to the original twosome as they proceeded to dive into older material.

Perhaps it was a sigh of relief to witness a real rock show at an arena (the last two I saw were the Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga). Or maybe, it was the energy of the crowd I was vibing from. Or maybe, just maybe, it was the wash of the originality, the rhythm and sound, of what we drove an hour and a half to experience. The music. Completely original and synergistic, just as it was back then.

Show Review: Maximo Park in LA

shot with my iPhone 4GS

A mellow Friday night in Los Angeles, CA assembled a veritable mix to see two very different bands at the El Rey as part of the Moheak and Goldvoice Presents – local newbies The Neighborhood and Mercury Prize-nominated Brit-rock band Maximo Park.

Local teens, college kids, music supervisors, and what appeared to be family members of the band gathered to see The Neighborhood who performed songs from their debut album I’m Sorry…..

Not having heard the entire album prior — outside of considering the single “Sweater Weather” to be a catchy tune — the repertoire sounded surprisingly different from what was previously envisioned in my mind.

Their sound had a harder edge to it, and as the singer bounced around in a do-rag and gold chains, I couldn’t help but admire the new band and their seemingly quick ascent to mainstream popularity. It’ll be interesting to see which direction the band chooses to go in next.

Promptly after The Neighborhood ended their set, the Newcastle, England-based band Maximo Park took the stage. This was their last show as part of a short North American stint in support of their fourth album The National Health.

The band was in top form. Paul Smith, the effervescent frontman of the group, jumped across the stage commanding the show with his presence as he danced, yelped, sang, shouted, and chatted along the way. The show could have easily entertained thousands of people rather than the smaller occupance of the El Rey (not a sold out show). It was a treat. The band performed music from The National Health alongside older, familiar songs to Maximo Park fans – “Girls Who Play Guitars” and “Apply Some Pressure.”

All in all, a good night!

Record Review: Virtual Boy

This post is syndicated from Indie Shuffle

Sounds like: Ratatat, Nosaj Thing, Caribou What’s so good?By  | August 2nd, 2012What happens when classically-trained musicians go head-to-head with electronic instrumentation? Answer: a place where theory clashes happily with informed chaos.

Meet Virtual Boy: the duo comprised of Preston Walker and Henry Allen, two former music students from Chapman University. Recent grads studying under the infamous talent and mad scientist Steve Nalepa, they’re part of the East L.A. scene that gave birth to the rise of other prominent electronic music artists like Flying Lotus, Nosaj Thing, and The Glitch Mob.

Regulars at Low End Theory and promoters in their own right for a new project called Team Supreme, Virtual Boy are part of a movement that shakes up electronic music in a big way.

The self-titled album, released earlier this year, is a thoughtful and meticulously constructed blend of the old informing the new. Each song flows into the next, sequenced and with a particular movement in mind – not dissimilar from material of the classical variety. The album remains varied yet consistent. Songs like “Empty Place” are arresting from the start, grabbing one’s attention with a deep bass line; while other tracks like “Memory of a Ghost” are haunting and slightly more textured.

The informed present of a musical past – the future is here.

You can grab a download of the first single from the album, “Memory of a Ghost,” in addition to remixes of Grimes and more at their SoundCloud page.

“Virtual Boy” is out now on Alpha Pup Records.

MPSO – Can I Convince You

Sounds like: Memoryhouse, Sparklehorse, Brian Eno, Slowdive, Foxes in Fiction

What’s so good?

MPSO, or Mount Pleasant Sympathy Orchestra, is the side project of Toronto-based Daniel Gray of the dream pop band Memoryhouse.

Self-described as “atmospheric, indie electronic, folk, minimalist-maximalist doom,” Gray’s work ranges from gentle musings to a smart cover of indie singer à la mode Lana Del Rey. In this, he demonstrates not only a diverse range but a certain niche-defining panache.

His talent doesn’t immediately make clear his expertise in Memoryhouse as first and foremost a drummer. What it does bring to mind is the broader function of the backbone of any group – the relationship of a rhythm section to the band that begins with a beat parlaying into bass rippling outward, leadership qualities often sprouting behind the scenes. In MPSO, Gray makes his craft loud and clear as producer at-large with great things on the horizon.

Tumblr blog serves as home to each song alongside personal and mostly casual notes from the author. It serves as his public sketchpad – a place for musings and revelations, new demos and fresh reworks. Each post is a gem in which we discover the backstory behind each new bit of music as it’s published. Even if you’re not looking for music, the blog is an excellent example of the 1:1 connection every musician should have with his or her audience.

The first MPSO album, Wisdom Teeth, is coming as a free download this month. See the announcement along with tracklist here.