Portland-based band Portugal. The Man. recently released a video for their song “So American” off the new album, In the Mountain, In the Cloud. Directed with a slight hand by Nik Zogratos, the footage follows the band through an idyllic day off. It begins with frolicking at the beach, showcasing juggling skills with empty Coors bottles and by nightfall a backyard BBQ with friends turns into a low-key jam session while passing the Maker’s Mark. These relaxing scenes belie singer/songwriter John Gourley’s pleading lyrics, “There’s a madness in us all.” And for now, the band is busy on tour (check them out at dates here).
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“I cannot imagine my life here as opposed to the United States,” says Heidi Bub. She’s traveled back to Vietnam, where she was born during the American war, the child of Mai Thi Kim and an unknown U.S. GI. Instructed by the American government in 1975 that it would be “best” for the children to send them to the States via Operation Babylift, Mai Thi Kim sent her precious baby Hiep away. Raised in Tennessee by a single mother, at 22, Heidi decides to seek out her birth mother—and bring along a film crew when she travels to meet her. The result is the Academy Award-nominated documentary Daughter From Danang (2002), one of several films showing 11 October at Stranger Than Fiction‘s “Tribute to Gail Dolgin.” The event, co-sponsored by Chicken & Egg Pictures and POV, will include a Q&A with Dolgin’s colleagues, friends and family.
At first it’s kind of hard to make out what’s going on in this Rollo Jackson-directed clip for Junior Boys’ “Banana Ripple”—it’s all well-lit ice and feverish design work—but in making a video for the full nine-minute-long original instead of some sort of single edit of the song, Jackson gets to explore his visual ideas as thoroughly as “Banana Ripple” does its sonic ones.
While gearing up for the follow-up to 2010’s And They Have Escaped the Weight of Darkness, Icelandic music master Ólafur Arnalds opted to offer fans a week-long writing and recording series, allowing fans to follow the process as he releases the songs the same day they were written and recorded. Arnalds has done this before. His 2009 sessions included collaborations with fans via Twitter as they submitted artwork to accompany his music. He also collected and released the tracks as Found Songs and he will do the same for this current round of compositions.
This lot, called Living Room Songs, is already available for pre-order, for those who fancy having the songs in one, high-quality package. The sessions, which spanned from October 3-9, are, of course, now over but you can still watch performances from Arnalds’ apartment and even download the songs (albeit in a format unlikely to please audiophiles) for free.
The results are, musically speaking, expectedly strong. Then again, the beauty of all this is that you can decide for yourself. Just watch and/or listen.
You’ve heard pretty much everything you need to know about Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, but what you probably didn’t know before this clip is how close to deportation an earlier version of the band came after a gig with the Grateful Dead. You probably haven’t heard Edith Piaf mentioned this much outside of a theatre luncheon and you probably never thought you’d see Nicole Atkins and Mick Fleetwood jam. But there they are… and it’s pretty damn good. Sponsored by Cabo Wabo Tequila (Sammy Hagar started the company) the Off The Record shows promise even if it’s just an extended booze commercial.
Also: You will fall very deeply in love with Atkins by the end of this clip. You’ve been warned.