Flesh Eaters return to life, Shame run for their life, Beans on Toast celebrates new life, Adrianne Lenker enjoys life and more in today’s Roundup. Now serving No. 367!
1 It’s been a helluva long time since I gave a good goddamn about some old band getting back together. But even a jaded coot like me can’t help but get a little amped about the Flesh Eaters reunion. For those who aren’t up to speed, the L.A. punk supergroup were fronted by intense oddball Chris D., accompanied (at one point, anyway) by John Doe, Dave Alvin, Steve Berlin, Bill Bateman and D.J. Bonebrake — all of whom are back for the album I Used To Be Pretty, due in January. But first, here’s a remake of their ’80s cut My Life to Live. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “The video is aimed at a younger generation, but it still gets that feeling across of holding on uncompromisingly to an ideal or a dream, no matter what the cost. Sometimes — like at the end of the video when an older embodiment of the character has to let go of his beloved truck — we don’t always have a choice and dreams are destroyed by forces beyond our control.” Live it up above.
2 A beautiful woman. A romantic drive through the autumn countryside. A rustic old farmhouse. And a quiet night alone. What could go wrong? Plenty, as British post-punk aggressors Shame make frighteningly clear in the suspenseful video for their new single Dust on Trial, from their acclaimed disc Songs of Praise. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “The video pays homage to old school B-movies, subverting roles with a sinister femme-fatale who lures rich, young, handsome men to their death. The fast-pace thrill of the song is addictive and the video’s secrets and subtleties conjure the need to watch it again and again. WARNING: this is not for the faint hearted.” Don’t go in the barn, dude!
3 You would not expect a topical troubadour who performs under the name Beans on Toast to come out with a beautiful, moving song about the miracle (and drama) of childbirth. Then again, you can usually expect the unexpected from British singer-songwriter Jay McAllister, so his latest single Magic — from his about-to-drop 10th album A Bird In The Hand — seems fair enough. Plus, the accompanying video is pretty darn sweet. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “I like my songs to tell stories, but also to draw from real life emotion and experience. This song, about the birth of my daughter in January this year has all three in abundance. I wanted to get across the excitement and the nervousness of the by-standing father and the admiration of the female body, but most of all, this is a love song. A song about the unconditional love between a parent and child. I’ve never known anything quite like it.” A toast:
4 Some artists spend vast amounts of time brainstorming and creating complicated cinematic videos that strive to illuminate their songs in subtle, thought-provoking ways. Others — like Big Thief singer-songwriter Adrianne Lenker, for instance — achieve the same results by roaming around an amusement park on an autumn day and editing the results into a charming clip for a sweetly breezy song called Symbol. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “The sincerity and intimacy of Symbol inspired us to take a documentary approach to the music video,” say the directors. “The project is a sort of tribute and love letter to New York City, Coney Island, and all of the people who make those places so special.” Check out the boardwalk:
5 We all have to go sometime. And for Abigail Lapell, the time is now. Maybe. No, the Toronto singer-songwriter isn’t contemplating a gig at that big coffeehouse in the sky — her latest single Gonna Be Leaving is voiced by someone who’s threatening to leave an unhappy relationship. Will she or won’t she? That is the question. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “This is one of my favourite tunes on the album, and one of the most fun to play live,” says Lapell. “The song started as a guitar part that I couldn’t get out of my head, this insistent line that keeps circling back on itself, doubled by the vocals in a sing-song rhyme all about the contradictions of couplehood: the push and pull of independence versus commitment, trying to make it work even against the odds, or trying to leave and not being able to.” Listen and learn:
6 Here’s how predictable I am: When I saw that Norwegian saxophonist Bendik Giske titled his upcoming debut album Surrender, I immediately started thinking of Cheap Trick jokes. But Giske is no pop culture-quoting buffoon: Based on the overlapping circular sonics of his artsy instrumental single High, he’s a maverick talent reminiscent of Colin Stetson. SEZ THE PRESS RELEASE: “Instrumental music is often at its best when telling a story within the notes it contains, and by that measure Surrender is an absolute triumph — an extremely relatable work of art for anyone who’s ever had a moment in a crowded room and felt themselves changing amidst the chaos of the world surrounding them.” Away: