We are big fans of the twisted mind that is encased within Eric Wareheim's rainbow sprinkle-dipped skull.
Yeah... that didn't come out right.
We love Eric's work (We interviewed him and Tim Heidecker previously on EPIC FU) and this particular music video, She's Got Me Dancing by Tommy Sparks showcases the amount of craziness and creativity three minutes can contain. It makes you fall in love with the song even more.
The Reeling is a bit more polished than their breakout song Sleepyhead, but it keeps the style and emotion that makes the band unique. The video is pretty amazing as well. The raw rip and tear effect definitely held my attention as it took me from scene to scene.
When N.A.S.A.'s Gifted with Kanye West, Santigold, and Lykke Li came out in Feburary, we had just started our ten week break for the show and I was so disappointed we couldn't get this in front of people earlier. Even a couple of months later, it was so good we had to make it the spotlight video. This is the second time we've spotlighted a N.A.S.A. video. This one was created by Three Legged Legs.
Royksopp is known for their experimental music videos, and Happy Up Here fits that perfectly. To be honest I've probably watched it way too many times. The song is awesome and the video fits it to a tee. The electronic duo is from Norway, and if their music sounds familiar, according to their Wikipedia entry a bunch of it has been used in commercials.
MSTRKRFT (pronounced Master Craft) is made up of Toronto musician Jesse F. Keeler (Death From Above 1979) and Al-P (Girlsareshort). The two have been collaborating on projects together since 1998, mixing sounds to make up a great blend of hip-hop, house, punk and electronic experimentation that will most certainly get you up and dancing.
Bodies of Water is a Los Angeles-based band led by husband-and-wife team David and Meredith Metcalf. In a review from last summer, Slant Magazine said, "Bodies of Water take their sweet time setting up their songs, building them in dense layers, bending and peeling those layers back, and then folding them onto each other."
ELK, an electro-trip hop duo from Helsinki, describe their music as electronic beats and sounds with a twist of northern twilight. Their debut album, Elktronic, was released this past August and their music video for Spanish Eyes is quite powerful. It tells the rather dark story of human trafficking and how one particular woman's destiny falls into the wrong hands.
Metronomy is a group that sounds to me like an interesting cross of their influences, which include David Bowie, Kraftwerk, and Devo. They hail from London, and their newest video, A Thing For Me, (embedded above) has a catchy melody and really fun and imaginative visuals. Metronomy is Joseph Mount, Oscar Cash, and Gabriel Stebbing.
N.A.S.A., which stands for North America/South America, is an ongoing creative collaboration between two lifelong music aficionados, Sam Spiegel (Squeak E. Clean) and Ze Gonzales (DJ Zegon), and their friends, friends of friends and musical heroes.
Their recent release, Money, uses Shepard Fairey's art and was directed by Syd Garon and Paul Griswold.
We've featured Thunderheist previously, but we think they're made of so much awesome that we had to feature them again. Made up of super-duo Isis and Grahm Zilla, Thunderheist has us head boppin' this week to LBG (Little Booty Girl). Yes, it came out a while back, but whatever -- it's freakin' good.
Invaders Must Die, from electronic gods The Prodigy, is freaking kick-ASS! They are already releasing their fifth album (time flies), and Invaders Must Die is the first track.
[ Via: Daniel Merlot via Twitter ]
From The Mighty Underdogs debut full length album, Droppin' Science, we're featuring the video for "Gunfight" this week! It's a pretty awesome video by Ben Stokes they have going on, and I just love the opening verse that contains the lines, "I stepped out the saloon / About a quarter to noon / Might as well have been a quarter to doom!"
The 88, a three-piece rock/pop band from Los Angeles, has been appearing all over your television set in shows like How I Met Your Mother, The OC, Grey's Anatomy, Weeds, Gossip Girl and many others.
Explanation behind the band name, from their website:
88 keys on the piano....88 constellations in the sky....the infinity sign....the most auspicious number in China....88 mph to get Back To The Future...88 cities in Los Angeles...a great French Kicks song. Welcome to the world of The 88.
Let me count the ways I love the song Sleepyhead (embedded above) by Passion Pit. They have a really rich, layered sound with an awesome buildup to the electronic parts of the jam. Awesome. And the video was made with absolutely no computers, purely lo-fi stop-motion, cranked-down goodness.
TZU is hip-hop with a rock aesthetic. Straight out of Melbourne, these guys don't shy away from using instruments like guitars, drums and keyboards in their live performances. Their most recent album, Computer Love, takes their sound to the next level as they experiment with funk, soul and electronica.
Atmosphere is known to many as one of the most commercially successful and long-lived indie hip-hop acts. Originally from Minnesota, rapper Slug and DJ/producer Ant have been musically active in one way or another since the early nineties.
I discovered the video for Feast of the Dead by the Connecticut death metal band Autumn's Eyes through MTV's Headbanger's blog. I'm not much of a headbanger, but how can you not love a low-budget, fun, slasher video with an insane death metal track?
[ Via: Via: MTV's Headbanger's Blog ]
This week's spotlight music video is ID Engager by Of Montreal.
Straight out of Athens, Georgia (no, not Montreal), Of Montreal dropped on the scene over a decade ago with their debut album Cherry Peel.
Fronted by the eclectic Kevin Barnes, Of Montreal's sound has been described as a transformation from lo-fi, psychedelic indie-rock to a fuller multi-layered sound with funk, reggae and afro-beat influences.
The Young Punx are a London-based duo of electronic musicians on the cusp of the mashup/fusion scene - they are known to blend a variety of musical styles in their work, including rock, disco, jazz, and classical. They seem to have a great sense of humor and a Banksy-like appreciation for pop culture.
This week we featured the catchy dance groove "The Disco Song" by the Torpedo Boyz. As their MySpace profile states, the Torpedo Boyz are Kentastic & Rollin Hand and The Torpedo Boyz live band features Returner (vocals), ODD Daisuke (Japanese vocals), Borat (drums), Kurtis Bo (bass) and Kentastic (vocals & guitars).
I first found out about this video from Jay Smooth's twitter and fell in love with the smooth sound contrasted with the raw, honest video.
According to her website, Mishal Moore is based in South Florida (UPDATE: as per Mishal's comment, she's living in the tri-state area in the Northeast now, that's NY-NJ-CT for anyone who doesn't know). This indie singer has butter-smooth vocals that remind me of something between Erykah Badu and Ella Fitzgerald.
Liars make some freakin' trippy ass videos and I think that's why I'm falling in love with them. I admit, I'm a bit ashamed that I hadn't heard of their music before I saw their most recent video for Plaster Casts of Everything, which actually came out last year. Shame on me.
Although Liars -- now made up of vocalist Angus Andrew, guitarist/percussionist Aaron Hemphill and drummer Julian Gross -- emerged during the post-punk revival scene in New York City, they made sure they wouldn't be pigeonholed... and that they did pretty well.
It's a bit funny that we would feature a band which no longer exists, but music knows no boundaries.
Such is Himsa, which means violence in Sanskrit. Himsa, a death metal band, formed in Seattle in 1998, signed with an independent label three years later, toured the world, released four albums and had their last show in August of this year. A pretty intense ten year run.
Partyshank is a UK powergrime duo made up of Howard P. Sausage (AKA Party Sausage) and Christian Shank - hence the band's name. Funny 'cuz I would have thought the name described the visceral experience of listening to their music. The duo is also noted for coining the term toystep to describe their musical genre/style.
While the band remains unsigned (the purest form of indie), you can check out their touring schedule, purchase t-shirts, and keep up with the band on their Myspace page. They also have a blog where they release downloadable tunes from time to time. Right now you can't purchase the track Virgin just yet, but according to their profile it should be available on iTunes "soon." Hope so.
Some of you Midwestern hip hop fans may already be familiar with the Minneapolis-based collective known as Doomtree. I guess it's fitting we spotlight the group as the RNC rages on in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Even though Doomtree just independently released their self-titled debut album this summer, many of the group's 5 emcees and 6 DJs/producers have been part of the hip hop scene for years, particularly in the Twin Cities area. Given the size of the crew, it's hard to get them all together in the same place at the same time for a gig, but every December they gather for the annual Doomtree Blowout.
Empire of the Sun is the new collaboration between Australian musicians Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore. Steele is the vocalist/guitarist for the band The Sleepy Jackson and Littlemore is part of the electro duo Pnau. Walking On A Dream is the first single from their forthcoming as-yet-untitled album. Not a TON of info out there about the group, but The Inspiration Room has a good write-up.
Check out the Empire guys on their Myspace and visit the website for the single at walkingonadream.com where you can download the Sam La More remix. Not sure when the LP will drop but I'll be keeping an eye out for it.
Sickboy, a 3-piece punk band from Dublin, Ireland, brings us today's Epic Spotlight, "Silence in Conversation". When was the last time we had some good Irish punk on the show? Um, never?! I'm so glad we can finally add this track to our Epic Spotlight playlist.
Roots Manuva, otherwise known as Rodney Smith, from London is our EPIC Spotlight for today's episode. In this video for "Buff Nuff", Roots plays an ice cream man with the power to throw girls into a frenzy for... ice cream. Maybe it's just my mind in the gutter, but I think the ice cream licking might be a euphemism for something else.
Remember that old Disney movie where the kids flew into a semi-animated world of adventure? That's how the awesome video for Thursday's Epic Spotlight kind of begins... but way more fun! The Black Kids take off from a roller coaster to an odyssey that totally beats what those kids on the flying bed had. We're talking hover boards, laser-emitting goggles, and transforming vehicles here. The song itself? Even cooler! The video for "Look At Me (When I Rock Wichoo)" throws back to Speed Racer and a bunch of other 80's Saturday morning cartoons that I can't name because I fail at that whole decade.
Natalie Portman's Shaved Head is Luke Smith, Shaun Libman, Claire England, David Price, Liam Downey Jr., all hailing from Seattle, where they met in high school. The video for "Sophisticated Side Ponytail" is out of this world. This is what I imagine Lisa Frank's older, hotter, cooler sister would be like, but with way better music. The producers of their video, Noel and Stefan of That Go, gave us some behind the scenes info on the video and how they all hooked up.
Saul Williams is no stranger to EPIC FU. Last year we covered the release of his once-freely downloadable album The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust, co-produced by Trent Reznor. A few weeks ago we explored the controversy around his commercial collaboration with Nike, and today we're spotlighting his latest music video -- Convict Colony off NiggyTardust.
For me one of the standout qualities of Saul's music is the rawness and intensity he achieves while not sounding too experimental or heading into the unlistenable/unenjoyable territory. He's walks a fine line there, and the result is a stand-out experience that tends to stick with you.
NiggyTardust is no longer available as a free download, so you'll have to pick it up on iTunes. It's definitely worth exploring.
Kevin Swaby's smooth, jazzy voice brings us Tuesday's Epic Spotlight, The Heavy. The band's unique blend mix of rock guitar, soulful vocals, plus a funky beat make "That Kind of Man" an office favorite at EPIC FU HQ.
Thursday's epic spotlight for is the video for Manchester Orchestra's single, "I Can Barely Breathe". The five guys - Andy Hull, Jonathan Corley, Jeremiah Edmond, Chris Freeman, Robert McDowell - hail from Atlanta, Georgia. The band reminds me of indie rockers like The Format -- especially on their sweet cover of Annuals' "Brother". In "I Can Barely Breathe," Hull's vocals have a slightly more gritty feel which is balanced out by the ethereal feel of this amazing HD music video.
DJVT is short for De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig, a Dutch phrase that translates to The Youth of Today. They are an Amsterdam-based hip hop group known for being playful with their lyrics, and it definitely shows in their video for Hollereer.
Sometimes you get a song with lyrics like, "the surgery went bad." That's when you know you've got a gem. Thursday's spotlight is Son of Robot, a self-proclaimed "5 piece mock-hop-rock outfit from Brighton." The band consists of Scott Coello (keyboard), Matt Coello (drums), Olly Simmons (vocals), Luke Holmes (guitar and keyboard), and Sam Roberts (Bass).
Polysics is a Devo-inspired Japanese new wave band that combines punk guitar riffs with the bleeps and boops of wonderfully composed computer-generated melodies. The original 4-person crew came together in the late 90s while still in high school.
Pomplamoose's song, "Pas Encore," is our Epic Spotlight for today's episode. Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn are two musicians that combined their talents to form Pomplamoose, derived from pamplemousse, the French word for "grapefruit". The video they put out for "Pas Encore" is set to create a new genre of music video, called a VideoSong. According to Jack, a VideoSong requires only 2 things: that everything you see is real (no lip-synching!), and that we have to see everything we hear. It's a fantastic way to show the many layers of instruments and vocals go into one song.
There is some great music coming out of Berlin and Peter Fox is no exception. His latest song, Alles Neu -- or "All New" -- is getting some serious head bopping from some of us here at EPIC FU HQ. The music video is pretty crazy too, with Peter leading his own personal band of monkeys. Some of the monkeys are played by a very talented Cold Steel Drumline, who Mr. Fox paired up with on the single.
Those Dancing Days is 5 young women: Linnea Jonsson (vocals), Rebecka Roifart (guitar), Cissi Edraimsson (drums), Lisa Pyk (keyboards), and Mimmi Evrell (bass guitar), who got together in 2005 to play music while they were still in high school. The band, which hails from Stockholm, Sweden, was just recently signed to Wichita Recordings, home also to bands like Bloc Party, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Peter Bjork & John. The singer's voice (and hair) is amazing, and its plain to see that the girls have a great time making music. Their video for "Run, Run" is super cute and fun to watch as well.
Can I count the number of ways I love this song and video? Lyrics Born is our Epic Spotlight for this Thursday's show, and if you like hip-hop with a party flavor this jam could be your summer anthem. Another great jam submitted to us by Adam Wallenta, aka Illusemcee, who's rapidly becoming a regular resource for the latest in indie hip-hop.
Lyrics' most recent album, "Everywhere at Once," features live band members and other Cali-based hip-hop producers like Jake One and Trackademicks. The awesome video for "I Like It, I Love It" was directed by Neon.
Time Machine hails from Los Angeles and, like Steve mentioned last time, is composed of emcees Biscuit, JetSetJay, and producer DJ Makealek. This song is a nice throw back to old school hip hop and makes me want to cruise around in a convertible with the top down. The video, which is actually produced in part by JetSetJay, makes use of stop motion and neon animations to take us through a night out with two of their friends. It definitely has my foot tapping.
This past Tuesday we shined the spotlight on Time Machine and their jam The Unfortunate Twist featuring Greg Nice off of their new album Life is Expensive. Our friend Adam Wallenta pointed out this one to us, so hat tip to you, sir.
Time Machine is part of the indie hip-hop scene with emcees Biscuit and Jet Set Jay, and DJ / Producer Mekalek. They also recently did remixes of MIA and Kid Sister/Janet Jackson that have been getting a lot of play.
Furry madness prevails in this classic video for DJ Format's We Know Something You Don't Know. DJ Format A.K.A. Matt Ford was pimping furries way back in 2002. This is hip hop at it's most fun. The track features vocals from Chali 2na and Akil of Jurassic 5.
This particular video was also notable for launching the career of director Ruben Fleischer, who would later go on to direct music videos for MIA (Galang -- awesome vid BTW) and Kid Sister featuring Kanye West (Pro Nails).
Video game fans might recognize the name Hadouken from the classic Street Fighter series. That Hadouken was a devastating fireball special move -- this Hadouken is an English grime band with hip-hop and dancehall influences.
The group came together in fall of 2006 and started to get a lot of attention after the release of their music video for That Boy That Girl in early 2007. They just debuted their first full-length album Music For An Accelerated Culture last month.
The Black Ghosts is comprised of British duo Simon Lord and Theo Keating. The two actually met on the internet and wrote the first half of their album before meeting face to face. They sent music and lyrics back and forth in emails... in an interview last year they said it was "a bit like a musical version of chinese whispers."
Thunderheist is an indie dance/hip-hop group based in Montreal and Toronto. Today's spotlight video is one of three finalists in their recent music video contest. They solicited user-generated videos to accompany their new single Jerk It. The video was created by Noel Paul and Stefan Moore. You can vote for it on Thunderheist's homepage.
The Grouch, an independent hip-hop artist and member of the Living Legends rap crew just released a new solo album, "Show You the World," in April. "I worked on this record for almost three years," writes the Grouch. "More, this record was an idea that sprang to mind after the birth of my daughter, Rio, in 2006. As soon as she arrived all I could do is think about wanting to show her everything that I love. I was quickly humbled when I realized I was learning as much from her as she was from me."
I love this video for "Artsy", one of the songs off his album, because so much is going on at once, and the irony of the lyrics is classic. It's like an early "Pork and Beans" of the hip-hop world, borrowing imagery from Eminem's iPod ad, Gnarls Barkley's ink blots, and hand gestures from an HP commercial. According to the Grouch himself, he says the concept "was that we were stealing from other people's artsy campaigns that they had already put out." I think my favorite line is: "'You ain't artsier than me / cause you live in Los Feliz / bitch you ain't Jesus." (sent in by Paul Dateh, thanks!)
Omodaka is a Japanese-based collaborative project between lead musician Soichi Terada and a group of visual artists. The visuals are very much part of the overall Omodaka experience, and Terada himself is said to work closely with the director, dancers, and graphic artists during the video creation process.
James Houston is a student at the Glasgow School of Art in the visual communication program. As he writes on the Vimeo page for the video above, this is his final project before graduating. Quite a way to go out, James.
I don't know how I came across Bluejuice. I was in all probability following some online breadcrumb trail. All I know is that once I clicked on the music video for their song Vitriol, I literally had to be dragged away from the computer in order to stop playing it. Okay, that's a little extreme, but the song is damn good. The video features Bluejuice performing as a religious cult on a city street. You can see by people's faces that most were extremely confused. I mean, since when is it okay to really dig the music of a group who may be totally insane? The answer: always.