Spike Jonze Made a Surprise ‘Music Video’ for Karen O
On Sunday we made a one-act play for my friend Humberto’s company, Opening Ceremony. The idea was to do a play instead of a regular fashion show during Fashion Week, and, miraculously, we were able to do it at the New York Metropolitan Opera House. (Thank you, Peter Gelb and everyone at the Met!) Also, this week my dear friend Karen is putting out her first solo album of precious, personal love and heartache gems titled Crush Songs. They are songs made so intimately and spontaneously alone in her bedroom a few years ago that they feel more like unguarded whispers from her heart than a traditionally produced album. So on Sunday, during a ten-minute break as we were rehearsing and lighting at the Met, we made a very impromptu “music video” for Karen in the spirit of her album. It just seemed like if you have the Opera House, that song, and Elle Fanning together, you shouldn’t let the opportunity go by. So we made this as a surprise gift for Karen to congratulate her on her album. She is going to see this for the first time as you do. I hope you enjoy.
Crack, Beatdowns, and Baseball Bats to the Face: Behind the Scenes of The Black Lips video “Boys in the Wood”
What are the elements that go into a successful video? How many crack rocks is “just right”? Where is the line between too much and not enough male nudity? What is the right amount of swing to bash someone’s brains in? And for fuck’s sake, who’s goddamn idea was it to have two men wash each other in a coffin? The answers to these and other questions should become a bit clearer after watching the above Behind the Scenes segment on the latest Black Lips video, “Boys in the Wood”. Check that out above.
If you missed the video, that’s OK. But make sure to avoid complete social leprosy by watching it below.
Video Premiere: SAVEMONEY – “Still Alive,” featuring Joey Purp & Kami de Chukwu
Savemoney, the crew at the forefront of Chicago hip hop for 2014, delivers their video “Still Alive,” an anthem featuring members Joey Purp and Kami de Chukwu (Leather Corduroys) along with appearances by Vic Mensa, Chance the Rapper, Tokyo Shawn, Caleb James, Dally Auston, Brian Fresco and producers Thelonius Martin and Stix (Greg Landfair Jr). Originally set for release in 2013, the video directed by Chicago’s own Verluxe was forced to shut down production after members were robbed at gun point during the shoot. As their schedules became increasingly difficult to coordinate due tour plans and recording sessions, the video was put on hold. Recently, the crew got together in Chicago to finish the video. Look out for much more music from this collective including a Leather Corduroys LP slated for release this year, Tokyo Shawn’s “Wave Theory,” and a new Donnie Trumpet project.
Directed by: Verluxe Song produced by: Thelonius Martin and Stix
This Guy Shot a Porno on the Westboro Baptist Church’s Lawn
A week ago, Get Shot! was a relatively unknown punk band in Sacramento, but two days ago they released “Westboro Fingerbang,” a video of their bassist, Laura, masturbating on the front lawn of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. Since then, they’ve received over a thousand new facebook likes and literally become famous over night. I got in touch with the band’s lead singer, J.P. Hunter, to talk about why he made the movie and what’s next for Get Shot!
Why did you decide to shoot porn on the Westboro Baptist Church’s lawn? J.P. Hunter: Everything in the book has been done to Westboro, but no one has actually filmed porn in front of their church. They’re used to going to other people’s sacred territory: gay soldiers funerals, other churches, Bon Jovi concerts, you name it. We’re trying to put a stance out that says, “Don’t be scared, you can fuck with these people.”
How did you make the video? We tour. We went to Kansas City, Topeka, and Denver, and we planned the little Westboro stunt. We were supposed to have a porn star and some other chick do it, but the porn star’s agent called and said it violated her contract with her company, so she couldn’t do it, and the other girl didn’t want to get arrested. We didn’t want to leave Topeka empty handed, and our bass player Laura wanted to leave sticky fingered.
A couple of years ago, in a dumpy discount grocery store in Cleveland, Ohio, you might have seen Jimi Nxir stocking shelves with crap like antiperspirant deodorant and mothballs. The singer-songwriter was probably filling those racks to the fine tunes of groups like Dexys Midnight Runners and Wham! But even then, in full-fail regalia with the employer-provided polyester polo shirt and flat-front pants on, he had a different song in his head—one of psychedelic soundscapes where electronic vibes become soulful and hot-buttered soul becomes ones and zeros. You might not have recognized it back then, if you saw him among the rows and aisles of processed food and useless knick-knacks, but Jimi has always had his own song to sing. And his song would take him from the sleepy streets of Cleveland to the vanguard of a new movement of black artists in New York City.
Important Questions Raised by Miley Cyrus’s New Video, “We Can’t Stop”
Making fun of Miley Cyrus is low-hanging fruit. Completely justified fruit, but low-hanging nonetheless. Because I’m occasionally clever (but mostly just mean), friends and coworkers have been sending me Miles’ new video, “We Can’t Stop,” with an eager “What do you think of this???” all day. But other than being akin to scrolling through your Tumblr dashboard while waiting for the semi-suicidal PCP comedown to subside, this video is so goddamn brain-busting that I cannot even begin to parse together an opinion on it. I only have questions. SO MANY QUESTIONS. Maybe you can help me answer some of them.
Reviewed: The World’s Worst Music Video Ever Starring the World’s Biggest Dickhead
At some point in the 90s, queercore band Pansy Division were interviewed by Kerrang! magazine. In that interview, they compared major pop punk bands like NOFX and Pennywise to 80s party metal scumbags Mötley Crüe—asserting that they appealed to the same type of person (scumbag party bros), behaved in a similar way (were scumbags at parties), etc. They were lamenting punk’s descent into apolitical bro-ishness via the Warped Tour and MTV, and while they were right that the focus had shifted a little from fighting the power to fighting back the puke, they could never have predicted Ronnie Radke. No one could, or would ever want to.
That’s right: Someone out there thought it was a good idea to have a bunch of emo dickheads do choreographed dance routines to metalcore breakdowns, get the most annoying one to rap, then slather a bunch of sub-Skrillex trance synths over the top of it. The synths sound like gangrenous piss. I don’t know if it makes it better or worse that Radke claims to have been sober and drug free for nearly five years. Coincidentally enough, he’s spent the same five years on probation for his role in an altercation that resulted in a shooting death, with two of those spent in prison for skipping out on his parole officer. Yep, he’s that kinda guy.
Disappointingly, for those of us who enjoy watching prima donnas with face tattoos talk shit about people they believe have wronged them, Radke had a tantrum on Twitter, then deleted all his tweets and Instagram photos. In light of such cowardly backtracking, we’ll have to make do with piecing together the psyche of a full-blown fucking rock star by taking a closer look at the video for “Alone”.
We open to the sound of synths and a helicopter dropping off a few emo bros who seem to have been plucked from some “make a band” PC game from the 90s. While considering the helicopter, note that these guys are signed to Epitaph Records, the pop punk Motown founded by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz. That’s right: the same man who wrote “We’re Only Gonna Die (From Our Own Arrogance)" signed off on a helicopter and white suit rental to turn the stinkiest turd lurking in the toilet of Ronnie Radke’s ego a reality. I’m no punk purist, but it seems that Mr Gurewitz might want to take a long hard look at himself.