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by Jane Jansen Seymour

8 Feb 2012


Pretty Lights has released a new song “We Must Go On”, along with a self-produced video. It presents the hip-hop vibe with an uplifting yet reflective vocal hook, saying “times will get better”. The mastermind behind Pretty Lights, Colorado-based artist Derek Vincent Smith, created the video with his girlfriend, visual artist Krystle Blackburn. Together with two Canon 7Ds and about six lenses, they collected footage during their travels in 2011, which included London, Paris, Warsaw, Oslo, Vancouver, Prague, Auckland, Sydney, and across the United States (New York City, New Orleans, Detroit, Denver) plus many more. The video is a collage showing a collective human experience, snippets of lives around the globe. Smith relates this to the name of his musical project, Pretty Lights, as “it embodies the essence of the artistic eye and the idea that almost any moment, anywhere, can be a moment of inspiration and beauty.” Both the song and the video are available for download at the band’s website here.

by Comfort Clinton

8 Feb 2012


Ah the internet. Bottomless pit of knowledge about news past and present, outlet for self-expression, facilitator of human connection, and… mecca of questionably offensive video montage parodies?

Well ok, the last one isn’t really what most people generally think of when connecting to the world wide web, but a current trend of posting these videos in the form of “Sh*t People Say” is, in fact, taking the YouTube world by storm. It seems that the spark that ignited the tinderbox of this trend was a video called “Sh*t Girls Say - Episode 1”, posted on December 12th, 2011. The video, which parodies silly female stereotypes, briefly features singer/actress Juliette Lewis, lasts only one minute, 12 seconds… and now boasts over 13,500,000 views. 

“Sh*t Girls Say” has spawned dozens and dozens of copy-cat videos, ranging widely in subject matter—everything from “Sh*t Single Girls say” to “Sh*t Graphic Designers Say” to “Sh*t Chicagoans say” (and just about every other city in the continental U.S. for that matter). Recently, there have even been parodies of these parody videos hitting the web: “Sh*t Guys Don’t Say” and “Shit Guys Say - Episode 1”, just to name a few. Many of the more popular videos feature people dressed in drag, although a subset of non gender-bender versions are now cropping up as well, and all are snappily edited into a montage of snarky sound bites intended to lampoon the group in question.

by Alan Ranta

8 Feb 2012


Just when you thought the phenomenon of the Weeknd would burn bright and unchallenged on the East Coast, Vancouver duo Evelyn Mason and Jeremiah Klein rise up, armed with their deadly self-titled debut EP that features two originals and remixes by the likes of Andy Dixon and Julien Mier. Claws sharpened and faux-fur flying, Evy Jane is out to battle the Weeknd for the Canadian experimental R&B crown. Their first attack is the sultry yet disturbing ballad “Sayso” set to a frozen yet fuzzy video that perfectly captures the woozy instrumental and seemingly conflicted lyrics. When their EP drops on February 20th, care of the flourishing King Deluxe Records, The Weeknd had better watch his ace. There’s a new kid in town.

by Jane Jansen Seymour

7 Feb 2012


In honor of Roxy Music’s 40th Anniversary, the Vinyl Factory has just released two remixes of the band’s most iconic tracks. The new vinyl 12” features a dub-inspired remix of “Love Is the Drug” by Todd Terje and “Avalon”, remixed as a chillwave experience by Lindstrom and Prins Thomas. 

“Avalon” begins with the sax solo, extending the intro to a slow build of synths (much thanks to Brian Eno, listed on Wikipedia as playing synthesizer and “treatments” for the group).  It continues as an instrumental until the classic warbling guitar solo comes in, and Bryan Ferry’s vocals are deconstructed as if in a preview—definitely could have used more as it makes the listener pine for the original.

Look for a deluxe box set to come out April 2nd, the exact anniversary of the band’s self-titled debut album. Roxy Music: The Complete Studio Recordings 1972 - 1982 will be available through Virgin Records.

by Comfort Clinton

7 Feb 2012


Sinead O’Connor is well known for her soulful ballads as well as her colorful personal life and strong religiopolitical beliefs. O’Connor rose to international fame for her reimagining of Prince’s song “Nothing Compares 2 U”, which topped the charts in several countries and earned her multiple Grammy nominations, as well as one win for Best Alternative Music Performance. During her impressive 25 year career in the music industry O’Connor has released eight full studio albums, and her ninth, How About I Be Me (And You Be You) will hit stores on February 21st of this year. Her newest album grapples with many themes familiar to the singer’s past work: love, loss, hope, redemption, and coming into her own, among many others. The New Yorker even goes so far as to call it “Her most romantic record since her pop peak”.

Below is the video for O’Connor’s new single off the album, entitled “The Wolf Is Getting Married”. The piece is directed and composed by London-based band/outfit Breton. The somewhat avant-garde video begins with a figure covered in a gauzy white fabric, its spider-like tentacles extending upwards in a web of strings, attaching somewhere unseen. As the emotional voice of Ms. O’Connor echoes like a choir and seems to fill the space, it becomes clear that the gauze on the figure is, in fact, lace. We soon understand that the figure in the center is actually a bride, held down by waxy strings, who bears a resemblance to a mummy, and vaguely evokes Miss Havisham from Dickens’ Great Expectations. As O’Connor’s lyrics about freedom and marriage reverberate in the background, the strings pull away. They slowly remove elements of the gauzy lace, revealing the bride’s skin: perhaps a metaphor for the process of O’Connor’s own stripping down to her inner self through this expressive album. GQ (UK) is spot on, in more ways than one, in describing the new album as “A work of subtle beauty, a cavalcade of warm strings and textured, intricate song structures that intertwine with the singer’s unmistakable vocals.”

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