Friday, 7. March 2008 - 2:23 pm
(After the extraordinary response to our first Guest Playlist, who could possibly follow Dan Millar? Who else would dare submit their own current video favourites to the crucible of public opinion? Malachy McAnenny, one of our finest music videos producers, that’s who. Well, he probably thinks he’s safe because he isn’t a commissioner. But then, he doesn’t want to even countenance the B word. Nor did he didn’t send in a photo of himself flicking a V. Frankly I suspect that’s not even his crotch… – ed)
With Neil Young’s blistering 16 minute version of Down By The River live from last night’s gig in Hammersmith still ringing tinnitus in my ears, the thought of getting involved in a prolonged debate about budgets is about as appealing as being stuck in a room with Tarquin and Nigella from across the street for a week solid, feverishly discussing house prices and school catchment areas. I’m that interested. Not that it’s not important, but let’s just enjoy the music, man. Just for today.
Crime (at San Quentin)
First up are these guys, CRIME, filmed in 1978, (released in 1984) playing at San Quentin Prison for the inmates. I’m sorry but we can’t “pace up” the chorus because there isn’t one but hey, we do have a guy with a shotgun in an orange afro, some real criminals and some Californian punk goddess in a leopard print dress stood in front of some men who haven’t seen a woman in 10 years. Will that do?
They looked amazing: Fetishistic wearing of cop uniforms? Check. Great haircuts and shades? Check. Sometimes I lay awake at night dreaming about what it must have been like to have been around in 1978 and to have worked with guys like these. I fantasise about what kind of deal I would have done with their glam squad… Then, if I get really inspired, I will get up and go into my living room, and by the creeping light of dawn, I might try to work out how much that would be in today’s money (excluding mark up and insurance).
Directors: Terri Timely
Watch: Quicktime movie or YouTube
I don’t want to get into lazy stereotypes but whenever I think of California I think of laid back easy-going dudes with an optimistic take on life. Invariably the look is early 70’s, the sunlight is flaring in the lens and Peter Fonda is in there. Don’t take this literally, I’m trying to conjure a mood here. To take you out of a cold winter’s day. Peter Fonda is not in this and there are no flares and it looks very modern. It’s just a reference.
Anyway, the Terri Timely boys are certainly laid back dudes, and criminally underrated in my opinion, and true gentlemen to boot. This is a video they did for a Modest Mouse album track last year and I love it.
Now one of the Terri Timely boys father-in-law is a legendary lyricist and producer. The very mention of his name makes people of a certain age tremble with admiration. To spare blushes I won’t drop his name, just do your own research. The point is that in the early 70’s he set up the first music video dept ever in the world at Warners in LA. It was a more innocent time and I like to think the commissioning process for something like the following Lee Hazlewood gem in 1970 would have been something like this:
“Hey man. Lee wants to make a little movie”
“Far out. Im gonna need a horse, a helicopter and two gorgeous hippies dressed as pocahontas”
“You’re a genius”
“I know. What about approvals?”
“Be free, MTV hasn’t been invented yet so just shoot it then take it straight to the Drive In and show it to the kids. Put plenty of sunny lens flares in there and keep whatever bread you make”
“That’s very generous of you. Can I have your autograph?”
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Is There Spirits In The Room?
Breaking my own rule about mentioning budgets, one of my favourite jobs ever was the Grinderman videos with John Hillcoat I did last year. We did three in two days for not a huge amount. There aren’t many artists I would do that for, but old Nick is definitely one of them. (Radiohead, who go straight to number 1 in America with their warmed over Warp Records pastiches aren’t another one, funnily enough).
Anyway, I’d do 6 videos in 1 day for half the money in a heartbeat for these guys because I’m an old romantic at heart, and despite what a certain someone might say, I think he’s up there with the greats. Buy his album and definitely go and see them live. This little trailer for his fantastic new album made me laugh.
Directed by the band(?)
We all know how Sonic Youth invented synth pop and girl drummers but did you know they also invented the DIY You Tube mash up video with Teenage Riot? This was made in the halcyon days of the late 1980’s at the exact halfway point between indoor plumbing and Broadband internet. Instead of filling it with footage of people falling over they put in loads of stuff of their counter culture heroes looking cool. I said to them at the time: “Don’t do it that way, you’ll never make a dime” Did they listen? Did they fuck.
The Broken Hearts
Direction/Animation/Illustration: Zac Ella & Rob Flowers
My fiancee(!) came in last Friday night clutching a 7” from some girls she’d met DJing somewhere or other.
This is the video for said 7” and I like it because the song reminds me of Love Cats and they look really cool. It’s that simple.
(From TV show The Wedge, with intro and outro by John Cooper Clarke)
If you have or haven’t seen Control but kind of wonder what all the fuss about Joy Division is, then watch this.
If the hairs on your neck are not on end from the get go then you cannot be my friend. If by the end you are not on the floor gasping for breath, then you have no soul and probably cast a very weak reflection.
Either that or you are a cost controller.
Cold War Kids
Hang Me Up To Dry
Directors: The Malloys
My favourite video of the past couple of years. The song is such a passionate blinder that it is hard to go wrong. Even the performance shots are exciting as the band wring the noise out of their instruments with such passion. The humour is subtle and the images luscious.