Psych-folk rockers Yellowbirds released a new music video for their third single “The Reason”. Directed and animated by Yellowbirds front man Sam Cohen, the video employs stop motion collage animation, featuring 10 years worth of notebook drawings and sketches by illustrator Michael Arthur. “The Reason” is off the band’s February 2011 release The Color.
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Another slice of Retromania at its finest, Com Truise‘s latest is an ode to the digital emulation synth that purists would argue “ruined electronic music”, or at least killed analogue off for a brief period until it was written back into continuity like a beloved superhero character. Oddly enough, I’m reminded of the all-analogue DMX Krew in this cut’s delectably gooey synth cheese factor. The video’s not your standard copy and paste Youtube pillage project. It looks like it was carefully choreographed to create some stunning recombinant neon psychedelic eye candy. Their debut album Galactic Melt on Ghostly International is available to download now.
Kangding Ray have always made intricate lapidary electronic slices. Their latest album OR is no exception, as evidenced by this video of their title track. The narrative of the piece is slow, giving the listening ample time to immerse themselves in the textures and detailing of the song, including a keyboard line by the similarly poetic Ben Frost. A man dangles idly in space in the video, that’s pretty much it. Yet, watching the video as filmed in ultra slow-mo HD shows that that’s actually far from all. Likewise, Kangding Ray sound pretty simple in print, but listening to them closely shows that this is hardly the case.
Lots of young jazz pianists like their Nirvana and their Radiohead, don’t they? Israeli-born Yaron Herman is no exception. His album from earlier this year Follow the White Rabbit contained covers of “Heart-Shaped Box” and “No Surprises” alongside a big helping of exception contemporary originals such as “Saturn Returns” and “The Mountain in G Minor”. But, back to Radiohead—what is it about them that make jazz pianists want to cover them? It must have something to do with Jonny Greenwood’s incredible knack for those tiny yet unforgettable passages like the main guitar line in “No Surprises”.
So, on that note, enjoy this clip of the Yaron Herman Trio performing the song at the Cully Jazz Festival from late March of this year.
“It was a pretty major shock when I got here,” says Dr. Tom Krueger. “You can’t describe the smells, the heat on your body, the sweat down your back, the smell of the pus that hits your nose… the smell of your own panic. You’re not sure what to do. You can’t share that stuff.” And yet, Mark Hopkins’ superb documentary does exactly that: it shares the horrific and impossible experiences of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, or Doctors Without Borders), who travel from crisis to crisis in order to provide temporary aid, to save some lives, and leave—before an infrastructure or system is put into place. In vivid glimpses of diagnoses and surgeries, the film illustrates the “tough choices” facing doctors in dire conditions. In shot after shot, roads are muddy, rooms are small, and faces are strained. Observing that doctors volunteer for any number of reasons, some noble and some less so, Australian anesthetist Chris Brasher says, “I think some people do it to run away from where they’re from.” He smiles, sort of, when he adds, “As far as I was looking to make myself homeless, I think I’ve succeeded.” The film doesn’t smooth over what goes wrong and leaves unresolved the stories of its four primary subjects, all doctors. Such messy narrative structure is to the point, exemplifying the disorder and difficulty of each day, briefly and brilliantly. The DVD is available from First Run Features on 21 June.
See PopMatters’ review.