DID YOU READ

Exclusive premiere: Sleeper Agent “That’s My Baby”

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Sleeper Agent just gave this slow jangle, fan-favorite, the loving treatment it deserved. The band’s vocalists Alex Kandel and Tony Smith, perform the song at a karaoke bar with the rest of the band gaping at them with plastic beer cups, and no shortage of trans-dimensional hijinks. Tony Smith (vocals/guitar) also personally took the helm as director.

“The idea came from a lack of sleep and too much time away from home,” Smith said of the video, shot this summer in their home town of Bowling Green, Kentucky. “I wanted it to be dreamlike; something that’s relatively normal but seems ‘off.'”

Smith originally started out with a far more ambitious plan. “It involved time lapse photography, stop motion painting and gremlins (not the Spielberg kind),” he recalled. “Once we figured out this idea was impossible due to time and money, the video was nearly scrapped. Over several cups of coffee, a friend of ours suggested we use karaoke as the backdrop instead of stop motion and time lapse photography and the video was born.”

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Time and money, a believable story, but one can’t help wonder if the unhinged, spandex-clad, punching glove, gorilla masked, lunatics he had to work with, were also a factor in changing direction. Either way it was a good call.

“That’s My Baby” is off Sleeper Agent’s debut album, “Celabrasion,” on Mom + Pop, which you can also find here, and here.

Carol Cate Blanchett

Spirit Guide

Check Out the Spirit Awards Nominees for Best Male and Female Leads

Catch the 2016 Spirit Awards live Feb. 27th at 5P ET/2P PT on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Wilson Webb/©Weinstein Company/Courtesy Everett Collection

From Jason Segel’s somber character study of author David Foster Wallace, to Brie Larson’s devastating portrayal of a mother in captivity, the 2016 Spirit Awards nominees for Best Male and Female Leads represent the finest in the year of film acting. Take a look at the Best Male and Female Leads in action, presented by Jaguar.

Best Male Lead 

Christopher Abbott, James White
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind
Jason Segel, The End of the Tour
Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea

Watch more Male Lead nominee videos here.

Best Female Lead 

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Bel Powley, The Diary of A Teenage Girl
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Tangerine

Watch more Female Lead nominee videos here.

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: 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!

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