DID YOU READ

Exclusive Premiere: Chaos Chaos “My Hands”

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Things don’t generally work out well for child stars. There’s Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, Macauley Culkin, the poor cast of “Diff’rent Strokes” and these poor child stars who grew up to become * shudder * lawyers. (Chunk, we hardly knew ya.) Luckily, things look like they’re turning out just fine for former child rockers Smoosh.

Sisters Asy and Chloe Saavedra started making music together as Smoosh (with their little sister Maia) as kids. Before they could see a PG-13 movie on their own, they were opening for the likes of Sleater-Kinney, Death Cab for Cutie, Cat Power, Nada Surf, and other indie rock big whigs in front of huge crowds. At the time of their first album, She Like Electric, came out in 2004, Chloe was 10 and Asy was 12 years old. Now at the ages of 18 and 20, they’ve decided it’s time for a change. In the new tradition, they took to Kickstarter to fund their first album as Chaos Chaos. The forthcoming EP, S, features five songs of the sisters’ trademark synth pop sound with a slightly more mature electro-pop edge.

Check them out for yourself. Here’s the premiere of “My Hands” by Chaos Chaos:

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Trump Funny or Die

Art of the Spoof

Watch Johnny Depp, Jack McBrayer, Patton Oswalt and More in Funny or Die’s Donald Trump Biopic

Johnny Depp just got very classy.

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Photo Credit: Funny or Die

We’re barely halfway through February, but this year’s Too Many Cooks Award for the most bizarre comedy project is already a lock. Blindsiding the world with greatness without any warning, Funny or Die released a 50-minute Donald Trump parody starring an unrecognizable Johnny Depp as Donny.

Ron Howard introduces this “lost” 1988 TV movie adaptation of Trump’s how-to manual The Art of the Deal produced with the retro quality of a Wendy’s training video. Along for the big hair and shoulder pads flashback are Patton Oswalt, Alfred Molina, Todd Margaret‘s Jack McBrayer, Andy Richter, Rob Huebel, Jason Mantzoukas, Paul Scheer, and Michaela Watkins as Ivana — as well as many Reagan-era surprises like a cameo from that loveable cat eater ALF and a theme song by Kenny Loggins.

Much like Eric Jonrosh of The Spoils Before Dying and The Spoils of Babylon fame, “Trump” writes, directs, and narrates his own epic tale of real estate wheelings-and-dealings. Check out the trailer below, and head over to Funny or Die to watch the full Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal movie before the real Donald sics his army of lawyers on Will Ferrell and company. (For more bizarro Johnny Depp characters, be sure to catch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this month on IFC.)

Exclusive premiere: Lost in the Trees “Villain (I’ll Stick Around)”

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Shortly after Lost in the Trees released their debut album in 2009, singer-songwriter Ari Picker, lost his mother to a suicide. I’m not sure exactly when or how he mustered the will, but he eventually set about writing the band’s stunningly gorgeous second record to honor her. A trained classical composer, Picker wrote and arranged, turning grief into tribute with a picture of his mother above his desk, and it became “A Church That Fits Our Needs.”

This great loss informs the whole record, and the singer’s sadness might be the most apparent on this hauntingly orchestral lament, “Villain (I’ll Stick Around),” but the subject is more complex. Picker described it as being “about listening to someone’s troubled past and seeing them through it, rather than being driven away by it. It is about understanding that most situations are not black and white; heroes make mistakes and villains have virtuous qualities.”

“The song was written on a fall day,” Picker said. “The sunlight was coming through the windows and bouncing off the mirrors, creating little golden ghosts all around the room.” He went on to note that not only the lyrical and orchestral arrangements of the song, but also the video’s color palette (directed by Creato Destructo along with the band), “were influenced by these apparitions.”

 

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“All the special effects in the video are ‘handmade,’ Picker told us. “The reflections were created by building a two-way mirror maze, the floating bodies suspended by precarious wagon contraptions.” And as is so often the case, it’s the simple things that not only works to the best effect, but are the most beautiful — a touch of violin, sunlight shining off a mirror, a son’s love for his mother.

“A Church That Fits Our Needs” is out now on ANTI-.

Tell us about your apparitions in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook!

Exclusive Premiere: Fletcher C. Johnson “Messin’ Up My Mind”

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Fletcher C. Johnson is a name to remember. Not only is it the name of the Brooklyn trio’s frontman, but it also refers to the band, who seems bound and determined to make a name for themselves. The group self-released an insanely catchy debut a while back, but since then fans’ have been missing their particular brand of quirky, cake-throwing musical charm.

Luckily Fletcher C. Johnson has a new video to accompany the 7″ they put out on White Iris Records in April. The A-side track, “Messin’ Up My Mind,” is once again impossibly infectious. The band’s garage rock sound is redolent of sun-soaked classic rock and 60s-inspired sounds. Filled with irresistible hooks and raggedy pop rhythms, “Messin’ With My Mind” showcases the band’s ability to make complex songs seem deceptively simple. Paired with an almost hilariously DIY-ish video featuring girl group extras and extraterrestrials, “Messin’ With My Mind” means you’ll undoubtedly remember the name Fletcher C. Johnson.

Watch Fletcher C. Johnson’s “Messin’ Up My Mind”:

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