Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

June Video Playlist

July 1, 2015

I don’t usually do this, but I have so many videos to cover this month (a good problem to have!) that I’ve listed them like I would MP3s. Instead of commenting thoroughly on them, I’ve posted the main takeaway from each video as a description. Enjoy!

1. “Modern Man” – Brian Lopez. Intergenerational friendships are cool.

2. “Ghost (feat. Patrick Baker)” – Lane 8. Love triangles affect even biker clubs.

3. “Something Good” – Dead Sara. If the dancing, the camerawork, and the song all evoke the same era, it’s gonna be a fun video.

4. “Cops Don’t Care, pt II” – Fred Thomas. Concepts as simple as “hey, pour tons of sprinkles on me in slow-motion” can work in the right conditions.

5. “Magnifying Glass” – Girlpool. Sometimes the right conditions for a simple concept is a 36-second song.

6. “Hold Up For” – The Silver Lake Chorus. There are still clever concepts that keep me watching a video to find out what’s going on.

7. “Frayed” – Waterstrider. You can make a rad dance video out of 40,000 still images stitched together.

8. “Underwood Milk” – Kieran Leonard. Self-aware, self-deprecating humor is still very funny.

9. “Secret Friend” – Grounders. You can make a trippy, abstract video really interesting (I’m not sure what the formula is, but they make it work here).

10. “Broken Bones” – Daycare for Jedi. Somewhere in my heart, there’s an small but undying flame for the exaggerated enthusiasm and adrenalized pogoing of the pop-punk performance video.

11. “Pink Blossoms” – Connecting Stars. I am a sucker for a sad, romantic song and video.

12. “Dancing Star” – Lilies on Mars. Digital modeling is way cool.

13. “Moony Eyed Walrus” – Cayucas. It is difficult to surf in a redwood forest.

February Video Recap, Pt. 2

March 10, 2015

Jasmine Kaset’s video for “Lionshare” is a beautiful indie-pop tune set to gorgeous visuals of a natural history museum. Clips like this make me think, “It’s not rocket science, people.” But this sort of stark simplicity is way more difficult than the finished product looks: mad props to the editors.

Jasmin Kaset – Lionshare from 80JD on Vimeo.

Dreamy nostalgia is an effect desired by many, both in the visual and sonic realms. French for Rabbits accomplish the much-sought-after feel with a soft, grainy video style, a gentle indie-rock vibe, and heart-tugging scenes.

This Vienna Ditto song is great, and the accompanying video is bonkers. (The ending is deeply enjoyable.)

Brian Lopez’s “Crossfire Cries” clip is hilarious on its own, but it’s even better if you’re watching for details. If you stop the video on the frame where the contract is offered to our hapless office worker, you can actually read the text, which is a humorous essay all its own on office life. I love detailed in-jokes. Thank you, Brian Lopez and co.

SVALL, pt 2

October 10, 2014

Trebuchet’s “The End” is a magnificent song: a synthesis of everything we’ve learned from The Lumineers, Mumford and Sons, and The Head and the Heart. Instead of being derivative, it feels like they’ve finally unlocked the pattern. The video is fun too.

The Wild Reeds’ “Blind and Brave” is a love letter to Los Angeles in song and video. Their female-fronted folk sound starts in pristine First Aid Kit mode, but swells to a lovely, full conclusion.

Brian Lopez’s “Persephone” video is the sort where I started watching and forgot that the song was playing. It’s a visually interesting piece that tells a good story, and also is accompanied by some great folky music.

Matthew Fowler walks down a city street, strumming and singing. He happens to come across his trumpet player. Great things ensue. His calm, composed songwriting makes me think of Damien Rice’s quietest moments or Rocky Votolato.

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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