Washing Away’s “Getting The Story Straight” Music Video Out Now

Fast and furious music accompanies suspicions of cheating, leading to a confrontation. It’s hard to find truth in a tangle of tin can phones.

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“Getting the Story Straight” is the second track off Washing Away’s Part Three – EP (2016), with lyrics about gossip and a confrontation over rumors of cheating. The video uses three sets of tin can telephones separated by a wall to illustrate different parts of the song (or story). The props and scenes are limited to what I could do alone in my apartment. Here’s how it worked.

I got six tin cans and punched holes in them to tie off the strings. I used three ten-foot lengths of string, because that’s maximum length where they would still work. according to the directions I found on the internet. I tangled up the strings on the floor and hitched the last string on a splinter from the door as if it was caught. I used two microphone stands to hold up my iPhone to film and to string up the tin can for my singing. I draped a tin can over my bass amp and plugged in my guitar. I was limited for what I could do for the percussion, so I just stomped on a 2×4 board that I kept around as a balance beam. Since there are two characters, but just me, I used two changes of clothes (including glasses). Lastly, the door between my bedroom and living room provided  mysterious separation between the performer and listener.

I hope you enjoy it. You can click on “CC” in the video to see the lyrics.

For further viewing, check out my Vimeo Channel or other Washing Away posts. Feel free to  e-mail suggestions for other music videos you’d like to see. And if you like these posts, consider buying my music.

Washing Away’s “Even The Score” Music Video Out Now

The girlfriend’s spinning bottle takes aim at multiple guys’s hearts, letting them fall and shatter in this video twist on spin-the-bottle. 

“Even the Score” is the first track off Washing Away’s Part Three – EP (2016), with lyrics about a cheating girlfriend now looking to seduce an ex-boyfriend.  The video’s theme is a take on the youthful game of spin-the-bottle, with much different results. The props and scenes are limited to what I could do alone. Here’s how it worked.

I needed five bottles of soda, floss, pink sponges, a nickel, tape, and card stock. I cut five hearts out of the sponges and tied four of them up with floss. The floss was a sample from the dentist. The fifth heart got shoved in an emptied soda bottle. The empty one is the spinner, but it is tough to keep a bottle spinning in one place. A nickel taped to the bottom stabilized it for the camera (the other coins didn’t work as well). I taped up the other four strips of floss to my cabinets to hold up the full bottles in a lose knot with the heart around the top. I used soda instead of beer to keep a sense of innocence and youth. The bottles balanced on the edge of my kitchen counter on slips of card stock taped underneath so I could stealthily pull them off. I used a sheet as a backdrop and put couch cushions and blanket on the floor so the bottles wouldn’t break until I was ready to film them.

I hope you enjoy it. You can click on “CC” in the video to see the lyrics.

For further viewing, check out my Vimeo Channel or other Washing Away posts. Feel free to  e-mail suggestions for other music videos you’d like to see. And if you like these posts, consider buying my music.

Video Appreciation – Thao & The Get Down Stay Down’s "Astonished Man"

This groove- and beat-oriented song about tracking down the singer’s lost father is given a new perspective with a mock B movie horror video.

“Astonished Man” is the lead-off track from A Man Alive (2016), the fourth album from Thao & the Get Down Stay Down (2003 – ).  The song (and album) is about her relationship with her estranged father.  The vocal groove and sharp beat drive the song. Repeated words and phrases emphasize the rhythm with the cracking drums. The simple guitar riffs and buzzing synth bass further emphasize the rhythms. The guitar is mostly choppy, but does include some swirling effects in the background. The music builds and breaks down and builds again. Throughout the song, auxiliary instruments add more texture to the song. There’s a shaker, tambourine and a cowbell-like sound from the percussion. Violins add to the atmosphere and intensity along with layered vocals.

The video creates a different kind of atmosphere, a seeming of murderous pursuit.  It’s setting is the stage of a horror film, complete with eerie lighting, fog, skulls, stained glass, and dramatic camera movement to set the scene. The video highlights weapons like an ice hook, ax, chainsaw, butchers knife, switch blade, and tenderizer mallet suddenly casting shadows in the lightning or breaking through walls and doors. Thao sings to the camera alone, in parts with a prop knife in her head and covered in fake blood. She even appears headless on the floor, though the camera reveals her attached body underneath.

For further viewing, check out Thao & The Get Down Stay Down’s video for “Holy Roller” or more Video Appreciation posts. Feel free to  e-mail suggestions for other music videos you’d like to see covered. And if you like these posts, consider buying my music.

Click “Continue reading’ to see the lyrics.  Continue reading “Video Appreciation – Thao & The Get Down Stay Down’s "Astonished Man"”

Video Appreciation – Beach Houses’ "Wishes"

The band creates a dreamlike atmosphere for a stadium performance with lip-syncing, dancing, spraying, martial arts, fireworks, and horses.

“Wishes” is the third single from Beach House‘s (2004 – present) fourth album, Bloom (2012). Eric Wareheim, of Tim and Eric, directed and has a cameo in the video. It begins with a synthesizer’s bright chord’s swell, followed by electronic drums and a descending keyboard pattern. An older man emerging from a the stadium’s horse-embellished curtain. He sings to the crowd, but the vocals are a woman’s, low and drawn out. The crowd watches motionless.

Next, a guitar comes in to compliment the keyboard. Combatants with ball nets hanging from their waists are on the sideline. Martial artists spray water in their mouths. Then, three cheerleaders run through a horse-embellished banner on the field and do a routine as the coach sings on. The crowd begins cheering. Horse masks begin appearing in the crowd.

Synth bass, drums, and background vocals fills out the music. The martial artists take the field and do flips, spinning kicks, poi ball spinning.  The crowd cheers intensely.  They dance while spraying water (even mimicking urination), before tearing away each others pants and their own jacket as the cheerleaders gawk.

The music builds to a guitar solo. One cheerleader spins a guandao, security chases a painted streaker across the field, and the guys spins nunchucks and   a double-sided light saber. Another cheerleader dances with shimmering translucent wings.

After the solo, the music changes. It drops out from behind the singer for a moment, then kicks back in with a showering keyboard line and drums. Fireworks explode each time the music comes back in and the winged dancer keeps twirling, her wings enveloping her.

The music repeats the beginning of the song, but builds quickly. Two cheerleaders escort the singer to a horse, while the other and martial artist place flowers at his feet and another guy does flips into a step up to the horse. The singer finishes off the song and all are applauding, even using signs. The horse rears up as fireworks explode in the background to the end.

For further viewing, check out Beach House’s video for “Heart of Chambers” or more Video Appreciation posts. Feel free to  e-mail suggestions for other music videos you’d like to see covered. And if you like these posts, consider buying my music.

Video appreciation posts this year highlight and seek female musicians to inspire diversity in our music playing and listening pursuits.

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Continue reading “Video Appreciation – Beach Houses’ "Wishes"”

Video Review – Tame Impala's Feels Like We Only Go Backward

The colorful, psychedelic animation and bouncy bass hook makes Tame Impala’s lamentation of a hopeless romance a soothingly sweet catharsis.

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“Feels Like We Only Go Backward” is the second single from LonerismTame Impala‘s 2012 full-length album.  The singers’ lyrics are the downbeat poetry of a hopeless romantic.  The music is hardly gloomy, though.  The bass leads with a groovy riff over sustained keyboard chords and the great drum sound fits well with the spacey vocals.

The video compliments the song using rough pop art animation. Swirling, exploding, and flowing shapes in mostly primary colors fill  the left-facing (backward) heads floating slowly away.  If you look closely, you may even catch the primate heads, an evolutionary leap backward. Other imagery of water, stairs, hallways and brick walls animate the screen.  Though edited to coordinate with the music, the only solid link to the song is the disembodied lips singing along.

Tame Impala has created many interesting music videos, but none have really grabbed me.  “Elephant” and “Mind Mischief”, the other singles from Lonerism, are worth a look.

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Continue reading “Video Review – Tame Impala's Feels Like We Only Go Backward”