The Forms released an EP called Derealization back in February, which provides a fresh look at earlier material by the Brooklyn band with remixes and new vocalists. Their song, “Fire to the Ground”, is now helmed by the distinctive baritone of the National’s Matt Berninger. A video treatment was filmed recently on quaint Minetta Lane in New York City, yet it skewers the notion of a cheerful group dance with dizziness-inducing direction by Chunwoo Kae and Ryan Demier of Neue Films. The clean lines of choreography by Lily Baldwin (who has worked with David Byrne among others) belie the underpinning of danger inherent in the music. It all makes for compelling viewing while listening to this haunting tune. And FYI a new release, Choas of Forms, is due out August 16.
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Applause all around for the sheer hipsterism of Nokia’s marketing department, where the boardroom might look more like Vice Magazine than Samsung. Nokia has been using indie rock to hype it’s N8 smartphone with a series of Live Sessions filmed entirely with the phone. The lineup so far includes Cults, Transfer, Portugal the Man, he Vaccines, Mona and Ben Howard.
Released through 502 Recordings, homebase of the excellent DJ Oneman, this collaboration between Desto, Clouds & Jimi Tenor is tenaciously caught inbetween the dancefloor and the chillout room. The familiar jazz flute sounds that have traversed sampledelic music for 20 years now appear, but juxtaposed against fat synthetic bass lurching along an ominous beat. The video takes the song’s name quite literally, showing dancing “birds” (or women, as some us call them) of the silent era moving in synch with the modern sounds.
When Natalie Maines told a London audience in March 2003, “We’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas,” she could not have imagined the fallout. But as she and fellow Dixie Chicks Martie Maguir and Emily Robison discover, her outspokenness had political and economic costs back in the States. That story is traced in Dixie Chicks: Shut Up & Sing, screening on 9 August, as the Closing Night Film for Stranger Than Fiction‘s Summer Season, and followed by a Q&A with Barbara Kopple. Directed by Kopple and Cecelia Peck, the film shows crowds smashing CDs with a tractor and campaigns mounted online and at concerts, as former fans made plain their outrage. The Chicks respond by figuring out who they are, not in relation to a fixed fan base or the “brand” they had come to be, but to themselves and other audiences. Maines observes that the controversy “is a part of who we are as a band now.” And so they make a decision to reframe the controversy as a matter of free speech. With help from producer Rick Rubin, they make a new album and then set to marketing it. The film makes a special point of showing the Chicks on the road and at home (dressing their kids for Halloween, at the hospital where Robison has twins), underscoring how these experiences are intertwined. As much as the film shows their healthy integration of professional and personal politics, it also makes clear the significance of the Chicks in broader contexts, including free speech, the growing anti-war movement, and their experience as women in the music industry.
See PopMatters’ review.
In his review of SXSW 2010 Jayson Harsin described British band Zun Zun Egui as “funked up [Talking Heads] meets Indian folk music and Jimi Hendrix.” as well as agreeing that they may just be “The Greatest Band In Britain Right Now”.
Well, Zun Zun Egui have recently signed to Bella Union in the UK, announced details of their forthcoming debut album Katang, expected on 3rd October, as well as a new 12” single “Fandango Fresh” which will be released in August, and comes with this extra special video.
This is most definitely a band to keep an eye on.