This week's soft theme is "Bands That've Kept Us Waiting... But We Shall Wait No More!" Or something along those lines. Anyway, to the A/V splendor!
Ages & Ages, "Divisionary (Do the Right Thing)"
Finally, someone adapted the early Simpsons episode "Bart the General" into a music video! You remember "Bart the General," right? That's the one where Bart leads the bullied kids of Springfield in a well-coordinated water-balloon attack against Nelson Muntz and his band of lackeys. In this new clip from chamber-pop ensemble Ages and Ages, an army of young'uns band together to exact brutal revenge against the shitty teenagers who've been tormenting them, trapping them in a treehouse and raining down furious vengeance via Super Soakers, rotten fruit, water balloons and what looks like rotten milk. A young, sad-faced towheaded boy, whose bike theft serves as the Gulf of Tonkin incident that sparks the conflict, looks on glumly, suggesting the moral complexities of "justifiable war." Still, it's the most satisfying slice of bully comeuppance since Wil Wheaton pulled that gun on Kiefer Sutherland at the end of Stand By Me.
Ages and Ages—President Obama's favorite Portland band—releases its long-anticipated new album, also titled Divisionary, is out March 25. The band plays its release show weeks earlier, on March 1 at Mississippi Sutdios.
Aan, "Somehwere's Sunshine"
Speaking of long-anticipated albums, the experimental pop group Aan is about to drop its excellent (and well-overdue) full-length debut, Amor Ad Nauseum, on Feb. 4 on Party Damage Records. The album's first video, for the lightly glimmering "Somewhere's Sunshine," is essentially the penultimate scene of some imaginary spaghetti western in which the budget ran out before anyone remembered to buy any guns. It's sort of like if the Thumbs and Ammo blog decided to produce a remake of The Good, the Bad and The Ugly.
Aan's album release show is Feb. 1, also at Mississippi Studios.
Eyelids, "Seagulls Into Submission"
Since we're still on the subject of bands who've kept us waiting for formal releases, Eyelids—the Portland indie-rock supergroup featuring members of the Decemberists, the Jicks and Guided By Voices—is just now getting around to putting out its first music, a two-song seven-inch that comes bundled with a download of the band covering the Gun Club classic "Sex Beat" with Jerry A of Poison Idea and Steve Wynn of Dream Syndicate. (Whaaaaa?) Unsurprising given their individual pedigrees, this song is a sparkling ace '60s-via-'90s pop with a tinge of New Zealand-y guitars and '80s college jangle. The visual accompaniment is an assemblage of grainy claymation art that looms like an old Nickelodeon interstitial.
Modern Kin, "Abandon"
Film nerds, prepare to geek out! This new video from Drew Grow's post-Pastors' Wives band, Modern Kin, is an homage to the famous dance sequence in French New Wave provocateur Jean-Luc Godard's 1964 classic Band of Outsiders. Lensed by the band's producer (and Grow's significant other), Sleater-Kinney/Quasi drummer Janet Weiss, it's basically a single shot of the three-piece doing a choreographed dance in a cafe over and over for four minutes, which eventually transcends repetition to become strangely hypnotic. Despite its high-art inspirations, it actually sort of reminds me of those old Van Halen videos, featuring dance routines clearly designed by David Lee Roth, where you can tell the other guys in the background are concentrating hard on not screwing up. Sorry, Jeremiah Hayden, but in this scenario, you're Michael Anthony.
Abadawn, "Bombs Over Bedstuy"
Finally, here's a new video from rapper Abadawn. According to the MC himself, the track "examines humble beginnings, a time not too long ago when none of this existed, and then rapidly transgresses into the absurdities of our current digital world." That translates visually into an uber-DIY update of "Subterranean Homesick Blues," replacing the title-cards of that famous Bob Dylan proto-video with drawings that could've been done by a third-grader…a vaguely disturbed third-grader.