John M. Tryneski: I finally caught Courtney Barnett live at the Pitchfork Music Festival last month and it changed the way I saw her music. On record she generally sounds like a singer-songwriter at heart with a solid, if unspectacular, backing band. Live, the band comes alive, as does Barnett, with both taking pretty big (and often successful) swings at the fences of squalling rock ‘n’ roll grandeur erected by Cobain and Company. So I was a little disappointed that the “live” music video for “Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to the Party” was a relatively sedate lip-synced run-through of the song on the London streets that captured none of group’s ragged charm. The song itself is probably the most straightforward rock track on Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit but that’s by no means a problem, given its unshakable hook and universally-relatable chorus. So even while it can’t reach the lofty heights of “Depreston” and the video could be so much more, “Nobody Cares” is still an awfully solid third single from an album with all sorts of legs. [7/10]
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Nashville powerpop singer-songwriter Nick Flora is set to release his new album Futureboy in one month. As a great way to both drum up support and bring him closer to his fanbase he’s put together a great little collaborative video for the catchy tune “Take It From the Top” that features not only himself, but other fans around the world chipping in with their own lip-synch clips.
Hilariously masquerading as a sampler, Bubbling Up From Underground: The State of the Art-Rock Pt 1 is in actuality a collection of wide-ranging tunes helmed by veteran punk bassist Steve “Trash” Fishman and featuring a host of guest musicians including Hugh Cornwell (Stranglers), Clem Burke (Blondie), and Pamela Hitchinson (The Emotions).
Timothy Gabriele: I’m glad the kids were having a great time making this video. It completely undercuts the serious tone they’re trying to strike, but when the children all pretend to be flipping out over the bomb and are actually just laughing and yelling it almost makes this overlong charade worth it. This moment, coincidentally, takes place at the moment where the music is supposed to intensify, but spectacularly fails to do so. A grand setup to the closest one might get to a drop in its ‘90s industrial breakbeat rap corollary self-sabotaged and quickly faded.
Is B. Dolan supposed to be a parking attendant here? A sermonizing parking attendant? What are the circumstances that brought him here? The song seems to be about a very specific, very personal moment that’s only being vaguely alluded to. I’m guessing Dolan was grounded after the Malaysian Airliner disappeared and put through some extra scrutiny because of the way he looks? There’s also the weird reference to insurance no covering what you die from and the chorus stealing a phrase from 21st Century Auto (“We’re hear when you need us”). All of this makes the song sound more intriguing than it actually is though. The surface themes of false security and surveillance embed pretty quickly even without the adorable visuals that guide the song. Dolan’s voice is texturally close to El-P’s, but in terms of flow, lyrical inventiveness, and production flourishes, he lags way behind. The sentiment’s in the right place, but like many of his songs one wonders whether it would’ve just functioned better as a Knowmore article. [4/10]