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Listening To

Arcade Fire + Chris Milk

creators project

I so wish I had been at Coachella for this.

Director Chris Milk, as part of The Creator’s Project, along with Moment Factory, created this interactive visual experience during Arcade Fire’s last song at Coachella by releasing big “balloons” embedded with LEDs and IR transmitters that they used to make them change colors with the music.

Check out the video to hear/see more!

If you haven’t seen The Wilderness Downtown video/project by Chris Milk for Arcade Fire, definitely check that out too!

Photo at left above by flickr user Critical Thought, others are stills.

Listening To

Make Her Say

make her say

Loving the art direction for the Kid Cudi song “Make Her Say” featuring Kanye and Common– retro and spare with a seriously consistent color palette. I would love to see what the barcode would look like for the colors in this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s really no surprise that this video would be cool, he’s got style.

Also, related but unrelated, I’m obsessed with Vidque, and I think you should know about it. I tweeted about it couple of weeks ago, but in case you missed it, it’s like youtube or vimeo, but with a focus on users curating the content for a focus on really quality video.

All of the content is actually from youtube and vimeo, but videos are only pulled over to vidque if they’re quality (ie, not home videos). You can save videos you like (really useful if you’re researching for a video project!) and follow users you like to see what videos they’re saving. I love trailers, short films and music videos, so it’s sort of my new addiction.

I’m going to stop myself after this, because this is sort of a ridiculously long endorsement, but I also love the interface– you can watch videos right in the search results or “news feed” that you see when you login– it doesn’t take you to a separate page like youtube does.

You can follow me (see the videos I’ve saved) on Vidque here.

Here’s another one from Vidque I liked. I’m all about these conceptual products and technologies!

Listening To

Middle Brother

middle brother

I haven’t done a “listening to” update in a really long time, I’m not exactly sure why that is, but today I felt like I definitely needed share this gem of a band: Middle Brother. Middle Brother is made up of the three frontmen of indie-folk favorites Delta Spirit, Deer Tick, and Dawes– Matthew Vasquez, John McCauley, and Taylor Goldsmith, respectively– who trade off roles throughout the album.

I’d been in a phase of more electronic indie stuff for a while, and in need of something different, I discovered these guys, who immediately tapped into my deep-seated love of rock tinged with folk (what can I say, I’m from the South) and anything resembling Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, or Neil Young (all of whom they proclaim their love for). In addition to loving their sound, their lyrics are some of the best I’ve heard in a while– there are currently more than a couple clever lines rolling around in my head.

I loved this bit from a very well-written piece on NPR about them:

“There’s a singer-songwriter intimacy in many of the songs on Middle Brother, as though band members John McCauley, Taylor Goldsmith and Matthew Vasquez were sharing secrets and anecdotes and decided to set them to music. All three men belong to bands — Deer TickDawes and Delta Spirit — that trade on folk, blues and country traditions; even their up-tempo songs are less rave-up rockers than hand-clapping foot-stompers.

This being a group composed of thoughtful guys with guitars, there’s a certain amount of bad behavior to be chronicled — bouts of drunkenness, hangovers, one-night stands and a general air of doomstruck melancholy. Sometimes it’s maudlin, but more often, as in Matthew Vasquez’s song “Theater,” it can describe dreams with a precision that matches the sharp snap of the drum beat.”

I’ve posted these live videos here since videos were the only embed-able material I could find, but the quality isn’t that great and their sound is pretty different live vs. on the album (more acoustic, softer, and refined on the album), so I’d recommend listening to the streaming clips here. I’m pretty sure you’ll want to download it… and then download the albums of all of their respective bands!

PS- SF people, they are playing here on Sunday! Everyone else, check their tour dates, they’re out and about after SXSW!

Listening To

The Rad Mixes and Album Art of Brian Gossett

brian gossett

I am obsessed with the blog and work of Brian Gossett. Gossett is a freelance designer/art director/illustrator, and he also happens to have great (and eclectic) taste in music, which he has parlayed into a series of mixes created around different moods, themes, seasons, or whatever the inspiration might be that week.

The “album covers” above are from a series of mixes Gossett imagined as soundtracks for heist movies set in various international cities, each with their own little description like the one below. The descriptions of each mix are another thing I love about the blog, I love them like I love reading the description of a dish before reading the ingredients.

Another series, apparently very popular in the blog world (I figured I must’ve been late to this party, this stuff is too good to have gone unnoticed this long), was inspired by Take Ivy (you’re really late to the (blog) party if you missed that boat…) and A Continuous Lean and features solid mixes of current favorites like Phoenix and Grizzly Bear with classics like John Lennon and The Kinks.

 

I’ll leave you with a new favorite song off one of his mixes that will jumpstart your weekend…

And a more mellow tune if you’re still waking up this Friday…

Listening To

Adele

adele

Yes, I’m talking about Adele again. It’s only the second time here on Wonderlust (but for one artist, that is kind of a big deal), but if you follow me on twitter you are probably ready for me to be done with it already!

I knew the first time I heard Rolling in the Deep when it was released months ago as the first single that I was going to love the album, and it did not disappoint. My play counter on iTunes tells me I have listened to the album 29 times. 29. I got it like three weeks ago. (Yes, bootleg, it drops tomorrow in the US.) And that doesn’t include iPhone plays.

Here, the song Someone Like You, which I’m pretty sure would put you on the brink of tears even if you’ve never had your heart broken. But I’m pretty sure everyone has imagined the situation she’s describing… you run into your ex and they’ve moved on… woof.

But anyway, in this video, she performs the song in her own house, so it’s quite cool to get a look at her house, and she gives a little intro on writing the song.

PS- If you’re new to Adele, check her out if you like Etta James, Lauryn Hill, and/or Ella Fitzgerald… she’s along those lines. But white and British. Interesting, no?

Listening To

Listening To: Joe Cocker and Leon Russell

joe and leon

I’ve developed a total fascination with Joe Cocker and Leon Russell’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour from 1970.

Both classics in their own right, Cocker and Russell teamed up for this legendary tour, for which Russell, the musical genius with his iconic long grey hair and top hat, fronted Cocker’s band and was musical director, coming up with all the live arrangements for their 21-person band/chorus (I think this may have inspired Edward Sharpe, don’t you think?).

The tour was also filmed and made into a documentary, tracking the band and it’s hippie-commune 40-member entourage around the country to sold-out shows, complete with backstage footage and interviews.  Sort of a real-life version of the movie Almost Famous, no??

Plus, the set list (which also became the album by the same name, from the show played at the Fillmore East) is incredible, including not only Cocker and Russell’s hits, but also covers of the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and others.

This last video, Darlin’ Be Home Soon, is some of the footage from the film– a backstage rehearsal.  I particularly love the last minute or so with the split-screen of them boarding their plane and the rehearsal, and the little bit of the mom talking to the kids at the very end.  Very Almost Famous.

Listening To

Listening To: Ray Charles Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music

ray

I just do not get sick of this album from 1962.  I love hearing Ray’s arrangements of these classic country songs.

The album was his idea, as he wanted to cover and pay homage to these country songwriters whom he greatly admired, but the studio had little faith that it would have any success.  Thus, they basically left him alone to create it on his own with his recording supervisor, not thinking it would ever go anywhere.

Much to their surprise, the album had multiple hit singles (that went on to become classics in Ray’s repertoire), and created a interesting cross-polination of audiences, from country lovers who never otherwise would have listened to R&B but wanted to hear their favorites reinterpreted, and of Ray fans who never would have been interested in exploring country.

Listening To

Listening To: Adele

adele comp

This stopped me in my tracks.  And made my heart pound.  Or maybe it was just my foot stomping.  The first single, “Rolling in the Deep,” off Adele’s new album, to be released in January.

The seductively hazy, moody, leaves-you-wanting-more docu-style video was put together from studio footage from the recording sessions in Malibu, and the authentic style is perfectly suited to the soulful song, which she describes as “a dark, bluesy, gospel disco tune.” I almost don’t want there to be an official music video, I like this one!

For her second album, she paired up with big-time producers like Rick Rubin and Paul Epworth (Florence and the Machine, Cee-Lo, Phoenix), but don’t let that fool you into thinking that maybe her personal style gets eclipsed by the visions of producers.  If this single is any indication, it is actually quite the opposite– Rubin and Epworth brilliantly capture the power of her voice and pair it with instrumentals just as dynamic and bold as her vocals.

This is not the Adele you know from her previous radio hits. Check it out.

Listening To

Listening To >> The Black Keys

Picture-1
Having listened to this song plenty of times on the album, I sort of had an idea in my head of what I imagined the video might be like.  Well, this is not what I would’ve guessed in a million years.  It’s pretty cute/funny, just not at all what I imagined.  To start with, I didn’t picture something that could be described as cute/funny.  Would you?  I’ll let you judge for yourself.

Listening To

Listening To >> Solomon Burke

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Listening To

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