First Aid Kit has had a busy and successful 2014, touring hard behind its third album, Stay Gold. To mark Record Store Day/Black Friday, the duo released a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “America”. Covers of well-known songs can be difficult, but here First Aid Kit give the song a new, feminine interpretation.
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Apparently you either love or hate #Selfie, which is a weird hybrid of EDM (electronic dance music) and the spoken verse of a hip young thing in a nightclub. You may love it at first because it is sickeningly addictive, then hate it once you’ve heard it too often, or love it and hate it all at the same time (a little like Jäggerbombs).
Two weeks ago, Australian performance artist Ruby Rose released a short film titled Break Free. The piece, set to a song (“It Pulls Me Under”) performed by Butterfly Boucher, depicts Rose’s transition from an ultra-feminine identity into a hyper-masculine one. The response has been loud, though not always proud. Some of the viewers want it to represent everything for everyone.
However, like any created work, it intends to simply capture and convey the artist’s very singular experience. The hope, presumably, is that others will relate to and appreciate it, but that’s where the creator’s responsibility stops and the viewer’s discernment starts.
Both the support and backlash are examples of how starved the LGBT community—particularly the trans population—is for positive representations of itself in the media. Along with others, Rose and Boucher have teamed up and done their part. But, like Rose says, “We need more people doing and fewer people complaining.”
Despite the fact that her music is filled with deeply contemplative themes, Katie Herzig has a sneakily humorous side, as well. One view of her “Hey Na Na” video proves that, flat out. But, if further evidence is needed, her latest video for “Drug” should dispel any remaining doubts.
In it, Herzig shows those true humor-soaked colors whilst sporting her true school colors. The piece takes place in a high school gymnasium during a PE class. The “students” are played by Herzig, her bandmates, a few friends, and a handful of dancers. Herzig explains that she had the initial concept and director Joel Kling helped her flesh it out: “It really just started with the idea that I wanted to do a video with my whole band because I’ve only done them with just me or maybe one other person in it. I think the idea of my drummer Billy [Brimblecom] being a PE teacher teaching us ‘students’ how to dance was the first idea. It helped knowing I had a band of very talented and hilarious people.”
Singer/songwriter Korby Lenker has to be one of the hardest-working, most all-around creative guys in Nashville. In addition to releasing an album earlier this year, Lenker also just published his first book of short stories, Medium Hero, and is relaunching a live performance web series, Wigby. Still, when he needed a video for his “If I Prove False”, Lenker turned to another local renaissance man, Dawson Wells, who had previously helmed his “Forbidden Fruit” piece. The result is what can, perhaps, be best described as a live-action stop motion love story, even though that doesn’t completely capture it.