Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Various-Assemblage Vol 1.0 DVD

March 1, 2006

greytwoelevenBand Name: Various
Album Name: Assemblage Vol 1.0 DVD
Best Element: Really high quality choices.
Genre: Metalcore/Emo/Punk/indie….all separately, not a mix.
Website: www.greytwoeleven.com
Label Name: Grey Two-Eleven Records
Band E-mail: celeste@solidpr.com

Grey two-eleven’s Assemblage Vol. 1 is a very interesting release. It’s like a compilation album- only it’s a DVD of music videos instead of a CD of songs. I will treat this like I treat comps, because I really can’t think of any other way to review it fairly.

This is simply a stellar release. There are twenty music videos on this DVD, and of those twenty, only two bored me. Ironically, the two culprits of video boredom were two bands that would otherwise be praised: Copeland and Dismemberment Plan.

The Grey Two-Eleven staff did a great job picking these videos on many levels, picking a quality batch of songs in multiple genres that showcase a lot of different styles of video and varying levels of exposure.

After starting off with a bizarre concept video from pop-punkers Name Taken, this DVD launches right into the good stuff- darker punk band The Exit’s contribution “Lonely Man’s Wallet” is a great song with a brilliant story-telling video. The video shows the band in what seems to be a subway, watching various “lonely” people spend their money in various ways: gambling, drinking, whoring, etc. It’s a really well-crafted video and excited me for the rest of the release. Poison the Well’s metalcore contribution is a very well-shot but rather unexciting video of the band playing in a large barn- thankfully, “Botchla” is a good enough song to save the video. Indie-punkers .moneen. contribute a concert video, and while these normally suck, .moneen. shows that they know how to throw a party: doing backflips, surfing the audience, wrecking their equipment, running around the stage, and generally causing mayhem. It’s really fun to watch.

Ultimate Fakebook contributes hilarious satire on their genre of rock-n-roll by teaching a ‘rock-n-roll class’, one-man indie-pop project Onelinedrawing shoots a home video of Jonah Matranga walking around trying to make people smile, The Waking Hours and the Weakerthans pull off geek-rock with fervent abandon, and Blueline Medic partially succeeds at spearing the corrupt corporate and political systems by shooting a very low-key, thoughtful video to a punkish anthem.

These are all highlights, but the two absolute best videos are entered by The Beautiful Mistake and The Jealous Sound. The Beautiful Mistake’s “On Building” isn’t even one of their best songs, but the video for it amazing. It’s a story video that shows a man in a restaurant walking up to the waitress, talking to her, and giving her his card. He leaves. She leaves as well, returning to her abusive boyfriend/husband, who has already messed up her daughter and sets in on her. A montage scene of the man in the diner feeling the woman’s pain ensues- a simply stunning touch. The woman gets a gun, and murders the abuser- she calls the man in the diner. He runs in, takes the gun from her, wipes it of prints, and when the police come, he is the one arrested for the murder. The woman is in anguish. I’m in awe. It’s probably one of the coolest videos I’ve ever seen.

The Jealous Sound has an amazing video as well, but this video shows the band playing in a room lit with lamps that keep flickering on and off, casting weird shadows on the members of the band. The cinematography on “The Fold Out” is painstakingly and beautifully created, as the multiple camera views all have a purpose. The eerie ambience of the scene is only enhanced by the really, really tight indie-rock in the background- exactly how a song and video should play off each other. If the song weren’t as amazing as it is, the video wouldn’t be as powerful as it is, and vice-versa. Excellence.

This is a really excellent way to find out about new bands, and I highly recommend that you check this DVD out. I am a fan of music videos, and this compilation made my day when I watched it. I hope to see more of these compilations in the future, as this DVD’s high quality, quantity, and range make it one of the best ideas to come across my table in a while.

-Stephen Carradini

IndependentClauses@hotmail.com

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

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