So, it was a slow week for the Listener and I did not find anything that grabbed my attention. However, for some unknown fortuitous reason, several music videos, all coming from some of my favorite albums this year and last were released . Readers of this blog, and our ongoing column "Picking Up the Slack for MTV," should already be well aware that the music video did not die with MTV switching to an all "original programming" format, but that there are still quite a few enjoyable videos being released. So, in the spirit of mixing things up, here is a special music video edition of "Listener's Digest."
The Sea and Cake - "Harps:" Off this year's excellent Runner, the Sea and Cake's "Harp" is a great distillation of the veteran band's overall style. The video captures the song's twinge of nostalgia by going with a 70's motif as two girls wander a seemingly abandoned and idyllic town collecting field recordings.
Wild Nothing - "Paradise:" There is a surprising local connection for this video, which at one point features Michelle Williams wandering Niagara Falls and going on the Maid of the Mist. Another video that visually captures the tone of Wild Nothing's music and which also suggests a slight retro dimension with the brief appearance of a walkmen, "Paradise" follows a lone Michelle Williams around from airport to airport. Midway through, Williams reads a brief passage from Iris Murdoch's novel, A Word Child.
LA Vampires and Maria Minerva - "Seasons Change:" Off the forthcoming collaboration LP between the two artists, "Seasons Change" is an airy and haunting track that suddenly crystallizes into a dance song half way in with the introduction of a tinny synth driven groove. I am kind of cheating here since I really wanted to put this song in the column a last week but failed to see it in time. It is really an intriguing song and the video - which looks to have been shot on a $10 budget, follows the two electronic artists around a sun drenched Los Angeles.
M83 - "Steve McQueen:" Apparently, M83 is really into psychic children as the two videos before this ( "Reunion" and "Midnight City") all featured psychic children. In this video, a yellow suited kid creates a large scale lawn display using his wits and apparent ability to bring electronic circuitry along with all sorts of inanimate objects to life. You have to wonder where the neighbors are, or the parents, or anyone really. Pretty much all of today's videos feature, in some way, solitary individual(s) wandering empty landscapes. Where did everyone go?
No really, where is everyone? Guys? Guys?