DID YOU READ

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!

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Face Melting Cameos

The 10 Most Metal Pop Culture Cameos

Glenn Danzig drops by Portlandia tonight at 10P on IFC.

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Glenn Danzig rocks harder than granite. In his 60 years, he’s mastered punk with The Misfits, slayed metal with the eponymous Danzig, and generally melted faces with the force of his voice. And thanks to Fred and Carrie, he’s now stopping by tonight’s brand new Portlandia so we can finally get to see what “Evil Elvis” is like when he hits the beach. To celebrate his appearance, we put together our favorite metal moments from pop culture, from the sublime to the absurd.

10. Cannibal Corpse meets Ace Ventura

Back in the ’90s,  Cannibal Corpse was just a small time band from Upstate New York, plying their death metal wares wherever they could find a crowd, when a call from Jim Carry transformed their lives. Turns out the actor was a fan, and wanted them for a cameo in his new movie, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. The band had a European tour coming up, and were wary of being made fun of, so they turned it down. Thankfully, the rubber-faced In Living Color vet wouldn’t take no for an answer, proving that you don’t need to have a lot of fans, just the right ones.


9. AC/DC in Private Parts

Howard Stern’s autobiographical film, based on his book of the same name, followed his rise in the world of radio and pop culture. For a man surrounded by naked ladies and adoring fans, it’s hard to track the exact moment he made it. But rocking out with AC/DC in the middle of Central Park, as throngs of fans clamor to get a piece of you, seems like it comes pretty close. You can actually see Stern go from hit host to radio god in this clip, as “You Shook Me All Night Long” blasts in the background.


8. Judas Priest meets The Simpsons

When you want to blast a bunch of peace-loving hippies out on their asses, you’re going to need some death metal. At least, that’s what the folks at The Simpsons thought when they set up this cameo from the metal gods. Unfortunately, thanks to a hearty online backlash, the writers of the classic series were soon informed that Judas Priest, while many things, are not in fact “death metal.” This led to the most Simpson-esque apology ever. Rock on, Bartman. Rock on.


7. Anthrax on Married…With Children

What do you get when Married…with Children spoofs My Dinner With Andre, substituting the erudite playwrights for a band so metal they piss rust? Well, for starters, a lot of headbanging, property destruction and blown eardrums. And much like everything else in life, Al seems to have missed the fun.


6. Motorhead rocks out on The Young Ones

The Young Ones didn’t just premiere on BBC2 in 1982 — it kicked the doors down to a new way of doing comedy. A full-on assault on the staid state of sitcoms, the show brought a punk rock vibe to the tired format, and in the process helped jumpstart a comedy revolution. For instance, where an old sitcom would just cut from one scene to the next, The Young Ones choose to have Lemmy and his crew deliver a raw version of “Ace of Spades.” The general attitude seemed to be, you don’t like this? Well, then F— you!


5. Red and Kitty Meet Kiss on That ’70s Show

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions

Long before they were banished to playing arena football games, Kiss was the hottest ticket in rock. The gang from That ’70s Show got to live out every ’70s teen’s dream when they were set loose backstage at a Kiss concert, taking full advantage of groupies, ganja and hard rock.


4. Ronnie James Dio in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (NSFW, people!)

What does a young boy do when he was born to rock, and the world won’t let him? What tight compadre does he pray to for guidance and some sweet licks? If you’re a young Jables, half of “the world’s most awesome band,” you bow your head to Ronnie James Dio, aka the guy who freaking taught the world how to do the “Metal Horns.” Never before has a rock god been so literal than in this clip that turns it up to eleven.


3. Ozzy Osbourne in Trick or Treat

It’s hard to tell if Ozzy was trying his hardest here, or just didn’t give a flying f–k. What is clear is that, either way, it doesn’t really matter. Ozzy’s approach to acting seems to lean more heavily on Jack Daniels than sense memory, and yet seeing the slurry English rocker play a sex-obsessed televangelist is so ridiculous, he gets a free pass. Taking part in the cult horror Trick or Treat, Ozzy proves that he makes things better just by showing up. Because that’s exactly what he did here. Showed up. And it rocks.


2. Glenn Danzig on Portlandia

Danzig seems to be coming out of a self imposed exile these days. He just signed with a record company, and his appearance on Portlandia is reminding everyone how kick ass he truly is. Who else but “The Other Man in Black” could help Portland’s resident goths figure out what to wear to the beach? Carrie Brownstein called Danzig “amazing,” and he called Fred “a genius,” so this was a rare love fest for the progenitor of horror punk.


1. Alice Cooper in Wayne’s World

It’s surprising, sure, but for a scene that contains no music whatsoever, it’s probably the most famous metal moment in the history of film. When Alice Cooper informed Wayne and Garth that Milwaukee is actually pronounced “Milly-way-kay” back in 1992, he created one of the most famous scenes in comedy history. What’s more metal than that? Much like Wayne and Garth, we truly are not worthy.

Exclusive: The Raveonettes in the studio

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After agonizing for months, with both physical (a thrown-out back) and mental anguish, The Raveonettes delivered their 6th album “Observator” on 9/11. The Danish duo, who’ve long stood out amid scores of fuzz pop bands wanted this one to be a return to form after their last record which singer/guitarist Sune Rose Wagner described as a more of a “dark score or soundtrack to an as-of-yet-unmade film.”

It only took them seven days to record the album, but it seems to have been a long personal journey for Wagner, who first had to quit drinking, and then take it up again in order to remember what it was that he needed most — to be out meeting strangers and sucking the marrow of life. “I once read that Lars Von Trier writes his films in a similar kind of way,” Wagner said. “He goes home, gets super drunk, and starts writing while his inhibitions disappear. That’s sort of always worked for me too, but this time, I had to go the long way round to remember that.”

Wagner and singer Sharin Foo glamorously decorated their sound with piano this time too. Here they are in those in between moments, having red wine, white wine, reveling in their recovered vibrancy.

 

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US tour dates:
September 26 Triple Rock Minneapolis, MN
September 27 Lincoln Hall Chicago, IL
September 28 The Firebird St Louis, MO
September 29 A&R Bar Columbus, OH
September 30 Magic Stick Detroit, MI
October 2 Phoenix Concert Theatre Toronto, ON
October 3 Corona Theatre Montreal, QB
October 4 Union Transfer Philadelphia, PA
October 5 Webster Hall New York, NY
October 6 Black Cat Washington, DC
October 7 Paradise Rock Club Boston, MA
October 8 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles, CA
October 11 Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach, CA
October 12 Bimbo’s 365 Club San Francisco, CA

To drink or not to drink? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook!

Exclusive premiere: Careful “Quite”

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“It’s my garage, my gas, my car, my time,” Careful’s Eric Lindley sings, from the perspective of a middle aged man trying to kill himself in his garage. It plays like a homage to the libertarian who, after securing some material part of the American dream for himself, is left wanting. As David Byrne once posed, after letting the days go by, “And you may say to yourself; My God!… what have I done?!”

Director Miwa Matreyek’s animated video (which she titles “Lumerance”) doesn’t seem to adhere to that particular reading of the song, and of course it doesn’t have to either. But what’s brilliant is how this song about a small-minded enclosure is launched it into a cosmic perspective. While Lindley sings on about the most desperate, and lonely act, Matreyek depicts it’s antithetical action, the human urge to connect — to others, to the earth, the moon, to the universe.

 

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There’s also a great counter reference to the climate change “debate” hidden within this, though I cannot imagine it was necessarily intended, the fact that it sparked in my mind from watching this speaks of the artistic power of this collaboration: For anyone who doesn’t believe our choices impact our world, that human behavior does not affect it, go sit in your garage with your car running for a while. Your garage is only a microcosm of our shared macrocosmic enclosure, that many of us would love to reach out from.

“Because I Am Always Talking” the third release by Lindley under his Careful moniker, is out now. Apart from animating this video, Matreyek can be found harmonizing with Careful on the track “I Had A Kid.”

All together, or all alone? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook!

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