Format Archives: Video


Song of the Day #177: Moaning Lisa Smile

Wolf Alice – Moaning Lisa Smile

My Love is CoolI discovered this song recently on Conan, it is the first single off of the debut album of London-based rock band Wolf Alice. This song sounds like it could have come out in the early 1990’s, championing roughly the same sonic palette as Pearl Jam’s Ten and Nirvana’s Nevermind: distorted grunge rock.

A little known fact about this song in particular is that it’s actually about Lisa Simpson, and not the Mona Lisa. Lead singer Ellie Rowsell said “We wanted to write about what Lisa Simpson might be feeling when she was 18.” The sixth episode of The Simpsons, which aired in February 1990 (which is approximately when this song sounds like it’s from) is also titled Moaning Lisa. The episode is about Lisa contending with depression and find an outlet in music, specifically the saxophone, and features a guest appearance from Ron Taylor (Twin Peaks) who plays recurring character Bleeding Gums Murphy.

Published on July 14, 2015

Song of the Day #176: Under Neon Lights

The Chemical Brothers – Under Neon Lights

The Chemical Brothers released this single from their upcoming album entitled Born in the Echoes just two days ago. I haven’t listened to The Chemical Brothers in a very long time, in fact their last album (Further) was released five years ago, which is the longest hiatus that they’ve taken since their first album release in 1995.

In 1999 The Chemical Brothers released an album titled Surrender, which included a song on it called Hey Boy, Hey Girl which had a profound affect on me. I saw them perform at the HFStival in 1999 at RFK Stadium in Anacostia among a mind-blowing lineup which included:

  • 311
  • Blink 182
  • Dieselboy
  • Everclear
  • Limp Bizkit
  • Live
  • Moby
  • The Offspring
  • Powerman 5000
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Run D.M.C.
  • Silverchair
  • Sugar Ray
  • Thievery Corporation
  • Josh Wink

HFStival was the best. Chemical Brothers are great, too.

Published on June 24, 2015

Song of the Day #175: Like a River

My Morning Jacket – Like a River

The WaterfallMy Morning Jacket is a Louisville-based psychedelic rock band which recently released their seventh studio album, The Waterfall.

Recently I’ve come upon a great new way to discover music: watch the musical guests on Conan every night. This has recently become a thing for me because each new episode of Conan is automatically downloaded to a server in my house, making it easy to watch new episodes daily. Recently I’ve been skipping through much of the actual show just to see the musical guests at the end of each day’s episode. Here’s what I’ve found with checking out musical artists on Conan:

Guest performers are top-notch. Each band or singer brings their A-game and plays their best song. In this kind of one-off performance, the stakes are enormously high. This makes it easy to check out the best of a wide range of artists in just a single song, without listening to entire albums, which can be time consuming.

Everything is new. Artists only perform on Conan when they have new releases to promote. It’s a good way to stay current on what’s trending in music and to discover new artist that you might not otherwise check out. My Morning Jacket is certainly one of those, for me.

The production values are remarkably high. Episodes are filmed the historic Warner Brothers Lot 15 in Burbank, California. In a lot of cases, performances filmed on Conan are better than artists’ actual music videos.

Published on June 15, 2015

Song of the Day #174: Pop Music

E.A.S.Y. – Pop Music

E.A.S.Y. is the musical group of two American music producers and turntablists: DJ Enferno and DJ Shiftee. What’s interesting about their production style is the live performance aspect of their music. They produce songs in the studio and then perform them live on turntables, midi controllers, and keyboards. It’s a very impressive song, both musically and in terms of the obvious difficulty of performing this live. The sequence starting at 2:12 is my favorite part.

Check out E.A.S.Y. on Youtube

Published on June 9, 2015

Song of the Day #173: Sleep Sound

Jamie xx – Sleep Sound

This song was released over a year ago, but is also included on the new Jamie xx album titled In Colour. I’ve been listening to this album at least a few times a day since it was released earlier this week, but this song in particular is one that I’ve heard hundreds of times by now. This is one of those songs that I can listen to over and over. Don’t miss this album.

Check out Jamie xx – In Colour on Spotify.

Published on June 3, 2015

Song of the Day #172: L$D

A$AP Rocky – L$D

This is a single from Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky’s second full-length album release, and one of my favorite songs that he has recorded. It’s unusually striking for a rap music video, being a psychedelic interpretation of Tokyo set atop a lackadaisical rhythm that is devoid of actual rapping. For the first time that I’ve heard, A$AP Rocky sings on the entire song. There are no hooks, and no guest features on this song, which is refreshing.

The album that this song comes from goes back to A$AP Rocky’s original roots of making music that is not radio friendly. There’s a noticeable lack of catchy, simple and upbeat songs which the mainstream loves. It’s good to see someone be at the top of their game and reject artistic compromises to increase the commercial potential of album sales (Kendrick Lamar has smartly done the same thing with his last album, To Pimp a Butterfly). The production on this album is tremendous, and the best I’ve heard from an A$AP release: it’s as heavy and hazy as his original 2011 mixtape, with glittery synths, slow rhythms, and and glitchy samples. Overall a very good album that I will enjoy continuing to listen to. It joins the other amazing albums within the hip hop universe that have been released in 2015.

As a side note, this music video was co-directed by A$AP Rocky.

Check out A$AP Rocky – AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP on Spotify

Published on May 27, 2015