Jeremiah Tucker: Keeping a band going with a job is challenging
Last week, my college roommate's band, Cocktails, put out its first album, released on the independent San Francisco label Father/Daughter Records. "Adult Life" is the kind of record -- bright, unabashedly uncool guitar pop -- that I would rep even if I wasn't friends with the lead singer and songwriter.
Benji Tunnell: 'Budapest's' problem a good problem to have
There seems to be very little middle ground when discussing the works of Wes Anderson. He is a man who established his style early on and does little to vary from it. But in that choice, he has also become one of the most consistent directors working today.
Joe Hadsall: Internet ushers in golden age for music videos
It's too bad MTV doesn't show a lot of music videos anymore, because digital technology has ushered in a golden age.
I grew up watching MTV for hours on end, flipping channels when a terrible vid came on and crossing my fingers for an awesome one. But I wouldn't trade that era for now, an era where music videos are just fantastically creative and compelling.
Seriously: Can you picture OK Go releasing a music video in the late '80s or early '90s? If the band did, I'm sure it would have been wild enough to put Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" to shame.
OK Go became famous arguably for a music video: "Here We Go Again" was a homemade effort that featured nothing but the band performing a choreographed routine on treadmills. Since then, the band has become the undisputed king of making an awesome video.
Last week, the video for "The Writing's on the Wall" debuted, featuring a series of optical illusions performed in rapid succession. Maybe there's some congruence with the lyrics of the song, but it sure looks like its only purpose is to look awesome, and it succeeds wildly.
The word "awesome" is key for me here. Because artists are making their videos for YouTube and Vimeo now, they are not bound by time limits or other restraints that MTV or other video channels established. That means videos are more artistic statements than ever before.
And sometimes those statements are all about the controversy and publicity. OK Go got pub for making a visually eye-catching video. Robin Thicke got pub for having a bunch of naked models prance around. Would Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop" have gotten as much attention without its video of barely-legal debauchery, twerking and teddy bears?
Getting videos away from corporate channels and onto video sharing sites has been liberating and innovative for the art form. When MTV was king, there would be maybe one or two eye-popping, incredibly iconic videos released a year. Videos such as A-ha's "Take On Me," Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice," Daft Punk's "Around the World," Beastie Boys' "Sabotage," Genesis' "Land of Confusion," Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun," Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up," or Weezer's "Buddy Holly" were few and far between.
Now the Internet is filled with Top 10 or 20 best videos lists for a single year. It is way too easy to spend hours browsing through videos -- I could barely get this column written because I kept getting distracted. And all those videos I loved on MTV, I can watch 'em whenever I want on YouTube.
Here are some of my favorites:
Black Moods to play Kitchen Pass Saturday
An Arizona band with Missouri roots will play Saturday night at the Kitchen Pass.
Neosho fireworks show leads off holiday displays
For the third year in a row, the City of Neosho plans to light up the sky this weekend with its annual Celebrate Neosho festivities.
Brutal vacation: Members of Brutally Frank kick off tour with album release
It's a working vacation -- the best kind for a band that has been playing together since 2002. They may come back having made a profit, but even if they don't, that's OK because they gladly save up to play across the country. Klyntt calls it "therapy."
Blue October singer booked for solo Joplin show
The lead singer of Blue October will make a stop in Joplin for a solo acoustic show.
Marta Churchwell: Some quilts belong on a wall, not a bed
I'm talking about quilts that have as much in common with fine art as they do with traditional quilt-making. These are works of art that are rich in texture, technique and statement. They may incorporate photographs and digitally printed fabrics or beadwork and thread painting.
Jeremiah Tucker: Jack White, Black Keys see red over blues rock, but who wins?
Recently, Jack White accused The Black Keys of biting his sound, saying to Rolling Stone, "There are kids at school who dress like everybody else, because they don't know what to do, and there are musicians like that, too."
Benji Tunnell: 'How to Train Your Dragon 2" dazzles with a great story
It takes a little work to get through to my hardened heart. Most of the time, a movie feels as though it is trying too hard to stir emotion or elicit some type of response. Yet, on occasion, something will get to me.
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