When I took charge of OKSee from Stephen Carradini (who’s currently crashing with me on his first vacation from graduate school at Auburn), the main change I instituted was posting a music video of the day, almost every day.
I’ve spent the last couple days going back through the archives to tabulate the VOTDs you noble OKSee readers watched the most, and the following are the results. Glad to see you all skewed heavily in favor of locals! So we’re going to celebrate by naming our Video of the Day of the Year (VOTDOTY)!
While digging around, I also found some of Stephen’s most-trafficked video posts from earlier in the year and selected a few choice clips from those, as well as a few of my own favorites I felt deserved some recognition, for better or worse. Somebody went to the trouble of re-imagining LCD Soundsystem's greatest song in Lego form, for crying out loud. pictured, clip from The Nghiems' "Dum Dum Dah Dah"
2011, we’re gonna miss you dearly, so we’re celebrating you all week long with a commemorative series that counts down all the way to OKSee’s Favorite Albums of 2011, compiled by myself, Mr. Carradini and Gazette regular Joshua Boydston.
So stay tuned — tomorrow we’ll look back at the year in photos; Wednesday, we’ll be playing with playlists; and Thursday, we’ll have our list of OKSee Honorable Mention albums before the big reveal on Friday.
The dudes at Delo Creative really nailed this one. Broncho’s pop-punk songs inspire crowds to act more like hardcore-punk freaks, as evidenced by this summer show at the Crystal Pistol in Tulsa. Funny story: I went to this show — suit, tie and all — after attending my freshman-year roommate’s wedding. Don’t regret it (the sartorial choice) in the slightest.
Spoiler: Even after stripping down a Maybach and letting the sparks fly, the hip-hop superstars didn’t generate as much traffic as when a certain local singer/songwriter hopped in the back of a van and covered Otis Redding truer. More on that later.
Y’all got really excited when Paul Simon came to town last month. So excited that you watched YouTube user OkieSully’s video of Rhymin’ Simon entertaining a Civic Center lobby-full of fans a couple hundred times.
Tulsa’s Ol’ Savior hasn’t released an album, but thanks to your efforts, it may well soon. Drummer Nathan Price told me a few months ago that he and Ben King (his Broncho co-conspirator) planned to take a bunch more Ol’ Savior songs into the studio, thanks to all the positive feedback they heard when these two leaked. Huzzah!
The day this stop-motion gem premiered, I was afraid all my social-media platforms had been hijacked by Okie video guy Kyle Roberts — not that that’s a bad thing. Gah, re-watching this video just helps reinforce how eternally catchy and perfect this little song is.
Technically, this one wasn’t even a VOTD. But I asked you if you preferred Tulsa singer Ben Kilgore’s Otis Redding cover to Hov and Ye’s “Try a Little Tenderness” sample, and you responded by clicking on this Nathan Poppe-shot video 500+ times. Good work, Oklahoma.
Also I think my favorite part of this video is how Kilgore, just after nearly bursting his awesome pipes on this classic, finishes it by declaring, “Sweet cheese!”
Everybody and their dogs’ imaginary friends absolutely freaked out when Axe Body Spray announced it was sponsoring a Girl Talk show inside Opolis earlier this month. You guys clicked on this ambitious bit of fan art more than any other video on this blog this year, and lucky for us, the fun’s far from over. “Girl Walk // All Day” is currently going strong on its sixth installment. Click through at risk to your work today.
Carradini and I agree this is probably one of the best songs in the last 10 years. I’ve always loved the video that originally went with it, and this Lego rendition really just sends it over the top for me. The little yellow, face-painted James Murphy communicates all the song’s sentiment almost as well as the real guy.
Mastodon — “Deathbound”
Mastodon was really on a roll there for a while, what with completely absurd album and song titles, and this Muppets-from-hell video. It’s too bad I didn’t get a reviewer’s copy of the album, as I probably would really loved all the campiness.
This comedy star-studded clip for a new song celebrates everything the Beastie Boys were about … a decade and a half ago. Love how they actually got Ted Danson in a restaurant for the line about opening up a restaurant with Ted Danson.
This is literally the creepiest thing I’ve ever watched on the Internet. I was so weirded out. Thankfully, Gazette managing editor Rod Lott is unafraid of such things, and posted it over at Rod & Reel.
Thunderbird Casino — “Casino Lady”
Sorry. I really shouldn’t have put this here. Oklahoma, people!
What with last week’s 2011 retrospective, the holiday season and all, I’ve recently
lagged behind in posting local music videos. Important lesson learned: It’s
dangerous falling back of OKC’s creative folk, as they just continue to pump
new stuff out by the hour.
For starters, Delo Creative (the dudes behind Change Yr Life OKC) have a new series
they’ve dubbed “Be Nice to Your Kids” (BNTYK, for short), which they christened
with a pair of videos of The Boom Bang playing in a dirty men’s room. For
whatever reason, it just makes sense. Watch “Vietnomnomnom” and “Sugar Ray
More exciting though are these two energetic vids from post-punk-rockers Chud,
who cover themselves in glowing paint while they tear through “Handsome
Vampires” and “Control, Alt, Complete.” Something shatters near the end of the
latter song. What it is, who knows? Check back soon for a BNTYK session with
Also, I’d be remiss to neglect this nutso Flaming Lips cover of John Lennon’s
nutso classic “I Am the Walrus,” also shot by Delo. NYE is coming, folks, and
rumors abound of Beatles covers for the visiting Mrs. Ono. Watch Steven Drozd
completely lose his mind, below.
If you missed this ridiculous Zane LaRue-shot Chrome Pony video for “Christmas
Babes,” his contribution to the Blackwatch Christmas album,
then I pity you.
Also, Nathan Poppe snuck into Blackwatch Studios to do this simple, elegant one-shot of
Beau Jennings covering Woody Guthrie’s lone Christmas song, assisted by the
awesomely-bearded Daniel Foulks. This winsome beauty’s called “1913 Massacre”
and it makes “Blue Christmas” sound about as happy as “Super Bass.”
For starters: How badass a song title is “Spearherder”?
I guarantee you the song and its new, blood-spattered video from Delo Creative match the furious, guttural tone the name suggests. Tyler Huskerson does his best Explosions in the Sky impression and Sethy McCarroll emotes in an impressive range of groans and grunts.
Also, it’s good to see Blake Studdard (he plays the keys and extra percussion on the right) back and rocking again after his old band, The Neighborhood, provided a spirited Norman Music Festival 4 set.
This installment in Delo Creative’s Be Nice To Your Kids series (BNTYK, for short) falls nicely in the category of Full-Scale-Apocalyptic Guitar Onslaughts. Watch:
Rumor has it Delo’s got another, gorier video on the way for a second new Gentle Ghost song. Tough to imagine it’ll top this, but I’ve got my fingers crossed. Excellent work all around, everyone.
John Fullbright’s one of Oklahoma’s finest songwriters and one of our most disciplined students of Woody Guthrie’s school of often-critical, politically and socially conscious lyrics. And he’s not half-bad at tickling the ivories, either.
Fullbright recently performed “Fat Man,” about a selfish prig who “plucks life like a rose,” at the annual Cherokee Creek Music Festival in Cherokee, Texas, where it was filmed by Americana enthusiasts Music Fog:
Neon Indian — “Hex Girlfriend”
Here’s the earlier-promised video of Neon Indian performing at the second night of The Flaming Lips’ New Year’s Eve Freakout, shot by Nathan Poppe and myself. Alan Palomo shows off some serious confidence with those dance moves:
Colin Stetson — “Those Who Didn’t Run” 2011 was Colin Stetson’s year, releasing a lauded album of dystopian saxophone innovations that landed just outside of OKSee’s Top 10. If you can watch the 10 surrealistic minutes of nature shots that comprise “Those Who Didn’t Run” without losing focus, then you are a champion:
POLIÇA — “Lay Your Cards Out” Once a folk singer up north, Channy Leaneagh (formerly Casselle) met up with Bon Iver collaborator Mike Noyce when she joined up with Wisconsin stoner soft-rockers Gayngs. The result is the avant, Auto-Tuned POLIÇA, and it kinda makes me wish she’d have stuck with more natural-sounding ways of making music. But, to each his own:
“Shut Up and Play the Hits”
If such a thing as a “perfect band” existed, or at least a band that acted exactly as it should, LCD Soundsystem was that band. Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace shot a film following front man James Murphy during his last couple days of LCD’s band-ship, which included a Last Show Ever for the record books. If the trailer’s any indicator, it looks fantastic:
Listening to female minimalist vocal trio Mountain Man is more than a little awe-inspiring. Their a cappella harmonizing layers and interweaves upon itself, knitting an old-fashioned sonic patchwork.
Actually watching them perform, however, compares to looking up at a family of well-trained acrobats at the circus, back-flipping off tightropes, tossing and catching each other while the trapeze zooms around the tent.
And they’re kinda cute, sweaty hipster chicks, so that’s nice, too. Here’s “Holy Father,” performed impromptu in a tunnel at this year’s Newport Folk Festival.
'Is David Bowie Dying?' to hear the Flaming Lips' cover of 'She's So Heavy'?
Remnants of The Flaming Lips’ epic, two-part New Year’s Eve Freakout #5 continue their fallout across the Internet with a pair of Delo Creative videos that I proudly helped to shoot.
First up is a trippy new track called “Is David Bowie Dying?” It featured special guest Alan Palomo, whom you may know as Neon Indian. I spoke with Palomo after his second-night opening set before the Lips went on, and the guy was one of the most endearing, friendly musicians I’ve ever encountered. Watch him and Steven Drozd get into a fight to see whose instrument can make more video game bleep-bloops:
And second is The Lips’ Nels Cline-assisted cover of The Beatles’ blues-addicted guitar standard “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).” They played it both nights, each with the jam stretched for more than 15 hypnotic minutes. I seriously thought my arms were going to give out from holding my camera up for that long. My personal challenge to you: Watch this thing all the way through. If not, then here are a couple of highlights:
• Alan Palomo’s nerdily enthusiastic fist-pump. • A signature Nels Cline-contorting-his-body-so-frenetically-that-you-think-his-neck’s-gonna-snap-right-off-his-shoulders-’cause-he’s-kinda-old crazy extended guitar solo. • Fans looking pissed because of all the instrumental wanking going on.
Samantha Crain — “It’s Simple” Saucy Oklahoma singer Sam Crain gets a little help from Penny Hill and an elevator shaft on her excellent, true-to-title pop song “It’s Simple.” Love the handclaps and cooing, guys. It’s another quality installment in the above-par Be Nice To Your Kids series by Delo Creative.
Brother Gruesome — “Cut it Out” Norman's Brother Gruesome live up to their name with a gnarly sound and live performances. Here they spend a whole music video making graffiti that fits right in.
Dr. Dog — “Be the Void” And speaking of Delo Creative, they got tapped by Philadelphia indie-pop dudes Dr. Dog to shoot the lead single for their forthcoming album, which you can stream over at Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco website, of all places. This video’s definitely one of the more ambitious things I’ve seen from these dudes (the videographers) and it looks like they had a ton of fun shooting it.
Madonna, featuring M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj — “Give Me All Your Luvin’” What starts out like an episode of “Glee” starring the Material Girl almost gets hijacked by a typically robotic Nicki Minaj. I wonder how much it cost for M.I.A. not only to dress up like a cheerleader, but actually learn a traditional, American dance routine? Glad to see she’s still poppin’ fake guns, though.
M.I.A. — “Bad Girls” As if that weren't enough M.I.A. for you, Miss Arulpragasam's (My first attempt to spell her her last name, unaided by Wikipedia, resulted in 'Arumplagasm') got a Middle Eastern banger promoting her fourth, currently untitled album. I imagine the only other way they could've cobbled together a video like this was if somebody gave Crime Mob a crew of stunt drivers, a flight to Syria, half a million dollars, and all the gaudy, leopard-print crap in Prince's closet. Watch:
With congratulations to Okie Grammy winner (kinda) Sugar Free Allstars!
Despite my earlier predilections, Maroon 5’s performance of The Beach Boys’ classic “Surfer Girl” was actually kind of awesome. I think this was mostly due to Adam Levine’s severe discipline in keeping his shirt on. I won’t defend Foster the People’s take on “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” or terrible band name, however. Singer Mark Foster looked about as petrified as Brian Wilson’s craggy old face.
And speaking of Brian Wilson, I’m just kind of amazed that his voice can still get that high.
Glad to see Adele’s voice survived that vocal cord surgery. I think she’s still just a couple servings’ worth of charisma shy of being a top-tier pop star, though. “Rolling in the Deep” has always struck me as a little bland, even more so after Jennifer Hudson came out and yanked tears out of everybody’s faces later in the evening.
“Songs About Your Girlfriend” from last year’s excellent “Hello Sadness” is just one more convincing exhibit in this case, which had to have been just as weird an experience for the band as the viewer. I’m not even going to try to describe it, so just go somewhere your co-workers can’t catch a glimpse of this over your shoulder and watch:
Never mind the girl dancing with no underwear around the midway point. The most off-putting thing about this video is the pairing of guitarist Tom Campesinos!’ face against these very, um, talented ladies’ writhing bods. Talk about sexually confusing.
But there’s nothing confusing about pretty ginger keyboardist Kim Campesinos!. That girl can sing harmonies on my tracks any day.
New Pornographers leader A.C. Newman covers a Leonard Cohen classic.
With the bevy of on-the-go, takeaway-style performances these days, it’s sometimes really refreshing to hear great musicians play in an actual recording studio. As opposed to, you know, a dirty bathroom, a tree, or a brand-new Chevy Sonic outfitted with pneumatic arms. Not that these locations are inherently bad, it’s just that too much of trying to find a funky place to play sometimes distracts from the pure, simple goodness of a richly written song.
“Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” is such a song, and it gets a terrific treatment with a some beautiful cinematic video to match its rich traditional arrangement. A.C. Newman’s anecdote is pretty poignant, too.
Leonard Cohen’s latest album, “Old Ideas,” is out now.