Category Archives: Music

A body without a soul is just a lifeless inanimate frame

Jaron Albertin Sony 4K TV AdJaron Albertin is a genius. You’ve probably seen the Sony advert that he directed to promote Sony’s new 4K TV, but I’m totally in love with the car advert that he did for Chrysler’s Viper SRT.Viper TV AdJaron Albertin ViperMain Street AmericaDiner CheerleadersJaron Albertin Body & SoulViper Body & SoulIt’s like a pastiche of the most iconic and beautiful films featuring twentieth century America. The advert is called “Body & Soul” and is widely available to watch online, but I’d recommend you watch the one here, because this edit has the music that I feel really completes it. The first time I watched it, it was one of those adverts that I kept on wanting to watch again and again. It’s got such a gorgeous cinematic quality to it. The accompanying symphony is called “River” and is by Alexander Desplat.*

*Just wanted to add that I’m not so pretentious that I’d act as though I knew that all along – I used Shazam on the video because I liked the music so much. Okay, glad we got that sorted…

David Bowie X Louis Vuitton

ImageDavid Bowie has been the star of a number of beautiful videos in 2013 – notably his own, which have been directed by the sickeningly talented Floria Sigismondi. In the Louis Vuitton campaign film ‘L’Invitation au Voyage’, directed by Romain Gavras, Bowie performs a unique version of ‘I’d Rather Be High’ for Arizona Muse at a lavish Venetian party…or does he? You can watch the full director’s cut below.

This luxurious, high end advert is in complete contrast to Romain Gavras’ usual body of work – which includes gritty, controversial videos for the likes of M.I.A and Adidas. I find it quite surprising that Vuitton enlisted him to direct this video, but I’m glad they did.

Review: Storms at Club NME

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© KOKO London / Charlotte Davidson 

Ahh, Club NME at Koko. In its heyday, this weekly guitar-fuelled orgy was a place where trilby-wearers could find a safe haven of acceptance, and spoilt girls who dressed exclusively in the Kate Moss for Topshop range could kid themselves that they were going to find their future rock star husband here. Now, Club NME is a bit stale – indie music just ain’t what it used to be, the playlist doesn’t sound too different from the Geordie Shore soundtrack (okay, that’s unfair, maybe it’s more Made In Chelsea) and the drinks are still horrendously expensive.

Not that tonight’s headliners, Storms, really give a fuck about any of that. They’re not here to relive the, err, ‘glory days’ of The Libertines, nor are they trying to peddle some chart-humping shite that sounds like a collection of rejected Owl City songs. Nope, Storms have drawn their musical influences from arguably the best genres of the ‘90s – grunge, shoegaze and Britpop. As the sound of Kanye West fades away and the band take to the stage, a wave of gratitude washes over me. Opening song ‘Special’ fills the auditorium with heartfelt lyrics, even if these sombre tales of society’s lower echelons are masked by an anthemic riff. The crowd doesn’t seem to mind much though, and they sway along happily in a Jagermeister-induced stupor. “Nobody’s special!” they wail in unison, blissfully unaware of the sad truth they seem to be confirming.

The next track, ‘Words’, with its slow, layered guitars and crunchy reverb, is a definite nod to bands like My Bloody Valentine and Spacemen 3. Launching straight into new song ‘Swell’, lead singer George Runciman showcases stronger vocals that range from high-pitched yelping to Cobain-esque roars, supported by a thumping drum beat and thunderous, guitar-backed choruses. By the time the song is over the band appear to have created a bizarre kind of festival atmosphere, as a noticeable amount of girls have actually clambered onto their boyfriends’ shoulders, hands in the air like they’re trying to clutch on to the last of the summer.

The penultimate song of the evening, ‘Plague Machine’, is easily my favourite. With just the right mix of yearning, lust and anger, it’s got a frustrating familiarity to it; the classic influences are there, but you can’t quite pinpoint what they are. Essentially though, it’s a blend that is all Storms’ own.

It’s clear that Storms already have some loyal fans who showed up especially to see them, but you can’t help but wonder if the depth of Storms’ lyrics and their range of influences might be a bit wasted on the people who also enjoy the likes of Bastille and Everything Everything. Perhaps the idiots are still winning, but the enthusiasm for tonight’s performance shows that this lot at Club NME aren’t lost causes just yet.

Franz Ferdinand – Right Action

Franz Ferdinand Music VideoFranz Ferdinand Saul BassFranz Ferdinand VideoRight Action VideoDiagramFranz Ferdinand Pelican BookI know this song has been around for ages, but I’ve only just seen the video for it and I LOVE IT. It’s such an amazing pastiche of mid-century modern graphic design, referencing Saul Bass, maybe a bit of Kenneth Grange, classic textbook diagrams and – my favourite – those wonderful Pelican book covers.

The video was directed by Jonas Odell, the same guy who did the constructivist-inspired video for ‘Take Me Out‘.

Miley Virus – At It Again

ImageMiley Cyrus’ latest attempt at relevancy sees her team up with pervy hasbeen, Terry “Uncle Terry” Richardson. The attention-seeking irritant stars in the video for her new song ‘Wrecking Ball’ which, predictably, also features a wrecking ball. We know that Miley Cyrus isn’t afraid to fetishise pretty much anything, and when she touched herself with a huge rubber hand at The VMAs, it bordered on surreal. So maybe it’s not actually that strange that she is still being a bit bothersome towards inanimate objects – this time Cyrus appears to be sexually harassing a building site.

First, she gets off with a sledgehammer…Miley Cyrus Kissing Sledgehammer Miley Cyrus Terry Richardson Miley Cyrus Tongue Miley Cyrus NailsAfter that, Miley strips down to her dusty boots and straddles the wrecking ball like some kind of sex swing.MIley Cryus Wrecking Ball New Miley Cyrus VideoI reckon that the shots of her dry humping a cement mixer and groping a forklift truck must have been cut from the final edit. Fortunately, they left in the bit where Miley slaps herself in the face – think that’s her trying to come across as a bit mental and ‘complex’, kind of like what Kate Nash is always trying to do.

Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?

Do I Wanna Know videoArctic Monkeys BlinkInkDo I Wanna Know David WilsonAnimated Arctic Monkeys videoBlinkInk Arctic MonkeysDavd Wilson Do I Wanna KnowCool video for Arctic Monkeys’ newest single. The style and colours remind me of the scene from Dumbo, when he’s drunk and hallucinating! This synaesthetic animation is by David Wilson, who was behind Tame Impala’s brain-melting ‘Mind Mischief‘ video. He also directed the gloriously technicolour IKEA advert, which I posted a while back.

I like the song, too. Looking forward to hearing the rest of the new album – ‘AM’ – which is out on September 9th.

Barry The Platypus

ImageHere’s a very strange TV advert from JWT for First Direct, featuring Barry…a talking platypus from Yorkshire. I quite like it! More adverts should start with great psych songs like ‘I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night’ by The Electric Prunes.

The Black Angels Tour Posters

Back Angels VancouverMatt Cliff Black AngelsBlack Angels Matt CliffBlack Angels HoustonBlack Angels TexasBlack Angels TucsonBlack Angels PortlandBlack Angels CaliforniaBlack Angels San FranciscoBlack Angels DallasGorgeous gig posters for The Black Angels – so many different variations for each location on the American tour. These are all by Matt Cliff, who got in touch with me after I originally posted about how much I liked the branding for the new album and The Black Angels’ Facebook cover.

Reasons To Be Cheerful: Bass Drum Of Death

It’s May and the weather is still awful and a whole load of other stuff isn’t going so well for me either, but I am seeing Bass Drum Of Death at The Black Heart – a tiny venue in Camden – on Thursday. I’ve loved these guys for two years and I haven’t seen them yet so…yay!

David Bowie – The Next Day

ImageAnother amazing new video from David Bowie! Once again, he’s teamed up with Floria Sigismondi – the same director who did the video for ‘The Stars (Are Out Tonight)’ – and this time Bowie plays a prophet. Gary Oldman co-stars as a priest and Marion Cotillard is the leading lady, portraying a prostitute who develops stigmata. The cinematography and styling in this video is brilliant – so many frames make amazing images in their own right.Gary Oldman The Next DayEyeball platterDemonic NunLove this demonic nun look – definitely doing something similar for Halloween this year!Gary Oldman and Marion CotillardBleeding handsMarion CotillardCardinalStigmataGary Oldman The Next DayWhen I first saw it, I thought it was a bit of a shame that people are so jaded these days that it probably wouldn’t be recognised as being particularly scandalous. But then I read some headlines about how it had already pissed off some Catholics and I took comfort in the fact that of course religious zealots and Daily Mail readers are still so easy to shock! To experience it in its full glory you should probably watch it on Vimeo – then you don’t have to see an annoying logo and can watch it on a full screen. Enjoy!