DID YOU READ

Exclusive video premiere!: Harper Simon’s “Wishes and Stars.”

Exclusive video premiere!: Harper Simon’s “Wishes and Stars.” (photo)

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Sometimes the apple don’t fall far from the tree, and thus seems to be with the case with Harper Simon, son of Paul Simon. Quite thankfully. There are hurdles enough in staking a claim as a singer songwriter in your own right without being the son of a living legend. Were I in his place…Well, I would say that I’m just drifting. Here in the pool.

[Harper Simon. Photo by Autumn De Wilde]

And it seems Simon has done his share of drifting in the past, oh yes. But this was no easy vanity record dropped, just because he could. It wasn’t all simple as a bee/as a melody in C as he sings in this song, but a long journey to this point for a man now in his late 30’s and fresh from a tumultuous past. See and hear for yourself with this viddy for “Wishes and Stars,” directed by Joshua Leonard, off Harper Simon’s self-titled debut album.

“Wishes and Stars,” Director’s cut.

Simon co-wrote this winning melancholy ballad with the poet Ben Okri. There are more wishes than stars. That’s just a tremendous line and a hard truth more recognized today than it was back when Simon’s pops released Graceland and we were all bopping around to “You Can Call Me Al” in our PJ’s. All along, there were incidents and accidents, there were hints and allegations. But don’t let it get you down.

In the end, “Wishes and Stars” is just coming to terms with this as we all do, and we’re all right. Just look at that old guy, the motel owner at the end. See? It’s all right. That’s John Perry Barlow, who used to write lyrics for the Grateful Dead. Those are all various friends of Simon’s you see, actors, artists, writers. The clown that looks like he might lose it any minute is Money Mark best known for his dope keyboard work on Beastie Boys records.

Players on the album include folks like Sean Lennon (who plays celeste on “Wishes and Stars”), Aaron Espinoza (Earlimart), Yuka Honda, and Steve Nieve (Elvis Costello) as well as old schoolers like Charlie McCoy (Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde) and even, Paul Simon. But make no mistake this is the the blood and tears of Harper Simon. It’s also an homage to the 60’s and 70’s and the LP. I’m so pleased about that and his desire to craft an album, something those of us in our 30’s (and 40’s) tend to covet more than most.

“The long playing album is the great artistic medium invented in the second half of the 20th century, [it’s] not just ten songs thrown together randomly. It has an arc. It has a structure,” Simon says. “It is the attempt to make ten songs that are all as good as each other, and fit together in a seamless whole. Long playing albums like Sgt Peppers, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Pet Sounds, Blonde On Blonde, Sticky Fingers — these albums have helped define our culture.”

A culture at risk of being lost, drowned out in a digital din, save for artists like Harper Simon.

CBB_221_ComedyBangBangTonight

Road Trip

Scott Aukerman Is Hitting the Road for a Comedy Bang! Bang! Live Tour

Scott and Comedy Bang! Bang! are coming to a town near you.

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Comprised of countless characters, hilarious guests, and running gags, Comedy Bang! Bang! simply can’t be contained in just its podcast and TV forms. As such, host Scott Aukerman is taking the show and its oddball cavalcade on the road in a brand new live tour. Fan favorites Lauren Lapkus, Paul F. Tompkins, and Neil Campbell will be along for the ride (either as themselves, as their show personas, or both — we’re not at liberty to say!), and there will surely be a few surprise drop-ins as well. And maybe…a little magic?

Scott Magic

Check out the tour dates below and catch the Comedy Bang! Bang! live tour when it swings nearby. And be sure to check back for updates on Comedy Bang! Bang!‘s new season, debuting this spring on IFC with new bandleader and cohost “Weird Al” Yankovic.

April 30 – Theater at the Ace—Los Angeles, CA
May 6 – Convocation Hall—Toronto, ON
May 7 – Wilbur Theatre—Boston, MA
May 8 – Keswick Theatre—Philadelphia, PA
May 9 – The Lincoln Theatre—Washington, DC
May 10 – The Carolina Theatre of Durham—Durham, NC
May 11 – The Tabernacle—Atlanta, GA
May 13 – Gramercy Theatre—New York, NY
May 17 – Texas Theatre—Dallas, TX
May 18 – Paramount Theatre—Austin, TX
May 19 – Pantages Theatre—Minneapolis, MN
May 20 – Athenaeum Theatre—Chicago, IL
May 21 – Royal Oak Music Theatre—Detroit, MI
May 22 – Paramount Theatre—Denver, CO
May 23 – Fox Theater—Oakland, CA
May 24 – Revolution Hall—Portland, OR
May 25 – The Moore Theatre—Seattle, WA
May 26 –Vogue Theatre—Vancouver, BC

Exclusive Video premiere: Jihae’s “Elvis Is Still Alive.”

Exclusive Video premiere: Jihae’s “Elvis Is Still Alive.” (photo)

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New York artist and musician Jihae just created this human Tetris/gaping audience video for her song “Elvis Is Still Alive” as commentary on all our starry-eyed idol worship. It’s true, there are days the Indie Ear is a gasp away from a cheap celebrity blog… we’re all vulnerable. The video is a combination of two other pieces that Jihae has reinterpreted – one by director Marco Brambilla called “Sync” and another by Korean artist, Miri Shin called “Block.”

Jihae, a South Korean who lived in Nigeria, Sweden and the UK before the US, is a bit more worldly than the average Earthling. “We buy into all kinds of lies that are sold to us from advertising to Fox news or from the Vatican to Goldman Sachs. While hundreds of thousands of other people’s sons and daughters have been at war for a decade and most the world is in turmoil,” She said truthfully while commenting on the video. “Many find ourselves in this strange consumerist entertainment bubble where celebrities have become the golden cows of our time that we love to worship and destroy.”

Dig it:

Now if you’re tapped deep into the arts maybe you recognize the name Marco Brambilla who is an acclaimed video artist. The New Yorker called his work “Absorbing and delicate enough to restore one’s faith in the medium.” I knew his name from a different life time. He is in fact the former Hollywood director, who gave us the likes of “Demolition Man” and the kidnapping romance “Excess Baggage” It’s a small world!

Here too is “My Love,” the first single off of Jihae’s forthcoming release, Fire Burning Rain which is due out September 7th via Septem Records – Jihae’s own label.

Download: “My Love” by Jihae.

Check out Jihae.net.

Video Premiere!: Sugar & Gold – “Stay Soft.”

Video Premiere!: Sugar & Gold – “Stay Soft.” (photo)

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Remember the old Cinemax movie intro from the 80’s? This was before your friends started calling it Skinemax and you watched countless lewd B-movies with them late night, laughing at the soft core. I’m talking about the early intro, some call it a bumper – the one with all the flying through space occupied by whirling neon objects and a minimal geometry font that spells movie.

[Sugar & Gold livin’ it. Photo by Wes Rowe.]

Fun with shapes and colors on an Amiga graphics workstation! How far we’ve come. Director Sam Young was inspired by one of those old intro’s (though I might have guessed it was HBO’s instead) when he crafted this new video for Sugar & Gold’s, Giorgio Moroder-soaked jam called “Stay Soft.”

Young adds, “This is the second video I made for Sugar & Gold, and I knew I wanted this one to be a visual departure from the first. Whereas the “Neighborhood” video had a hand-cut paper collage look, I wanted the “Stay Soft” video to be a fluid light show, as if we’re on a roller-coaster at night.”

“Stay Soft” is a track off this hilarious SF party band’s second album, Get Wet!. I read a description of them somewhere that involved electronic workouts being “buttressed” by jumping jacks, and hairy chests in leather vests (or the like) and found that word choice hard to improve upon.

“Get Wet!” is available April 27th, 2010, on CD, MP3, and High Quality Vinyl LP on Antenna Farm.

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