U.N. Jefferson get down, Daniel Romano gets his freak on (again), Bad Animal get destructive, Jean-Michel Blais gets kicked out and more in today’s Roundup. A man, a plan, a canal: Panama!
1 | When singer Ajay Massey says, “Now hold on just a minute … I need to catch my breath,” in the middle of U.N. Jefferson‘s Testify video, you will not doubt him for a second. Mainly because he has just spent the previous two minutes and change moving, grooving, shucking, jiving, slipping, sliding, rocking, rolling, cutting, strutting and generally getting down like the Canadian offspring of James Brown, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and Peter Wolf from the J. Geils Band. And that’s before his bandmates join him onstage to blast their way to the finale of this booty-shaking, earth-quaking, heart-stopping, pants-dropping, justifying, death-defying stick of OG R&B dynamite. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “With Testify, it was specifically about “that moment of being overcome with feeling and emotion where the only thing you can do is let it all out.” Great googly moogly!
2 | According to the press release that arrived with The Long Mirror of Time — the weird cinematic new video promoting idiosyncratic troubadour Daniel Romano‘s Nov. 30 album Finally Free — the Canadian singer-songwriter has dedicated the clip to “the freaks.” Which raises one obvious question: Who the hell does he think has been listening to his music until now? The insurance adjusters? SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “The song celebrates “the unconformities of the natural and supernatural worlds,” says Romano. “The tangible world can often suppress our inherent instincts to shift our shape and transcend our surroundings. The long mirror of time is in fact not a mirror but a passage of prisms. This song is for those who do not see themselves in these monotonous rays of light and instead remain unseen or further yet, push on into a realm imperceptible to those trapped in the mirror. The long mirror of time, reveals the prism faces, but not mine.” Thanks, Captain Obvious:
3 | Ever since a young Pete Townshend first felt the oh-so-satisfying crack of a guitar splintering in his hands as he swung it against the stage like a pickaxe, breaking stuff into tiny pieces has been a fundamental part of rock ’n’ roll. Calgary troublemakers Bad Animal honour this timeless tradition — and kick it up a notch — on the video for their wiry little punk firecracker Blackout (not to be confused with the Scorpions). Along with the requisite guitar and other instruments, they send various household items and foodstuffs — all painted black, natch — to their untimely demise with the help of hammers, bats, swords and good old gravity. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “Blackout is the result of pure excitement from discovering new sounds to work with. It stood out to us from all the past songs we had written, and set a clear standard for anything going forward with our new album.” Put the pieces together.
4 | I have no idea what pianist Jean-Michel Blais did to get kicked out of his Montreal apartment. But based on the video for his song Sans Titre Andante — from his home-recorded live EP Eviction Sessions — I can only presume that creating elegantly flowing works of contemplative contemporary minimalism were a violation of his lease. Either that or his landlord is just a jerk. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “I would host one show a year in the intimacy of my bedroom. Eviction Sessions is a recording of my final pop-up concert in that apartment, and my way to say goodbye to that room, “he continues. “Friends and family, side by side on the floor, on my bed, sharing the silence of their breathing, I wanted to record a live album in a unique way that would capture the presence of them being.” No damage deposit required:
5 | Too few metal bands these days appreciate a good pun. Australian brutalitarians Thy Art Is Murder may be the exception that proves the rule — and their video for the single Death Perception (get it?) is the evidence. Bonus points: It’s a lyric video, so you can roar along with the otherwise-indecipherable vocals. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “Australia’s premiere incendiary musical export.” G’day, hate: