Narrative: A forlorn hand gets his heart broken and searches for love.
Performance: None. Well, the hand sings. And plays trumpet.
Song: The title track of The Format’s second and last album, “Dog Problems,” is a masterpiece of orchestral indie pop that could just as easily be part of a musical as it could the soundtrack to a Zach Braff film.
Why You Should Watch It: It’s simple, cute, and smartly done on what was probably a non-existent budget. It doesn’t look great, but it doesn’t have to. It nails a homemade look that Spike Jonze or early Gondry would be proud of. The visual gags come in rapid succession, some commenting on the song, others illustrating it
They followed up this by dressing their hands and knocking out a sock puppet video:
The band called it quits soon after “Dog Problems” was released in 2008, but fans of the sprawling sound can find plenty to love in singer/songwriter Nate Ruess’ follow-up project fun. (who just released a new single on their Facebook).
Chris Cullari | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles |@Chris_Cullari | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC |
Remember Drive Thru Records? Label of amazing comps and the cool roster in the early 00s. Something Corporate, Allister, The Early November, Fenix, TX, New Found Glory, The Starting Line – hundreds of high school band’s hopes and dreams hinged on getting that golden arrow slapped on the back of their CD. Unfortunately, they took a nosedive in recent years, and dragged a lot of good bands down in the wreckage of tangled contracts, unfulfilled expectations, and generally miserable business practices.
The last group they had a significant hand in launching was HelloGoodbye, an emo/pop hybrid that served as the hyperkinetic protozoa Owl City would eventually grow from. They had a hit a few years ago – “Here In Your Arms” – that was almost tolerable, but Forest Kline’s unbearably nasally vocals and cheeseball lyrics put a kibosh to that.
After they moved God knows how many units for Drive Thru on the back of that single, the band pretty much vanished. Every once in a while, there’d be talk of a follow up, a b-side would leak, or an interview would be posted, but otherwise, the group seemed pretty much done. The attention I paid to all this was somewhere between “Oh look, it’s raining out,” and “Hey, a bird.”
This is where we’ll stop and take stock of my bad assumptions for a second: HelloGoodbye is a bad band, a dead band, a one-trick pony on a busted carousel. All wrong. So, so wrong.
Would It Kill You, their first release in four years – and on their own label, Wasted Summer – is an illustration of a band in the middle of creating something new. By shedding the (literal) bells, whistles and AIM alert noises from their sound, the group has placed a spotlight on their songwriting chops and come out looking sharp. Tracks like “You Sleep Alone,” come closest to falling backwards, but the dedication to trying clever new acoustic instrumentation elevates what could otherwise be a bleating electronic mess into a legitimately interesting pop song.
“You Sleep Alone”
In general, the production and arrangements on the album seem to take cues from Motown and 50s rock records with washy cymbals and reverb-laced geetars. Kline’s voice is still not launching any ships, but someone’s been practicing and it pays off.
I think it all comes together best on the last track “Something You Misplaced,” where the band takes a second to slow it down and really play with a unique melody. The drums are still spastic, but the quiet, languid performance on top of them suggests an interesting new direction.
Gettin’ into that Beach Boys vibe with Wavves from Southern California as they lay down their latest video for “King Of The Beach”. This is what it would be like if the Beach Boys got ‘Beastie’ on them. These guys really show you how to take advantage of the lovely weather in SoCal, just living life and having a good time no matter what the circumstances. Definitely a really fun video to match the hit people loved all last year. Check out the “King Of The Beach” album along with their latest work on “Summer Is Forever” EP.
Meet the 99s. Their music reflects where they come from. From the foothills of Saddleworth, (Northwest Manchester, UK) the 99s bring a rock/country/whatever-you-want-to-call-it style to their music, inspired by where they came from. As for full disclosure, I dig these guys, not only for their music, but because they are all Manchester United supporters (even their name, the “99s” is inspired by the magical year that United won the treble.) With that said, I hope I didn’t lose any Liverpool or City fans that follow the Beat-Play Experiment. Check out their video “Oh me, Oh my” below:
And the Reds go marching on, on, ON!,
By: Kyle C. Stilley | Online Marketing Strategist | @stillz | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC
Not only is it the title of the song but this sick ‘new beat’ is a great single release to be on Toro Y Moi’s upcoming second album “Underneath The Pine”. Gotta love this uplifting dance feel while mixing a newer experimental feel in between hooks. Check out more here and be on the look out for that new album coming soon!
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