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Video Arts

Thom Yorke of Radiohead and Atoms for Peace, and Nigel Godrich of Atoms for Peace (and Radiohead’s producer) were in the news recently when they took a stance against Spotify by criticizing the music streaming website’s economic model. The musicians pulled out all albums from Atoms for Peace, Godrich’s band Ultraísta, and Thom Yorke’s solo work from the website and sparked a conversation about the modern difficulties of musicians earning a living.

The topic is elaborated in an article for The New Yorker and one in Pitchfork, and the fact that Yorke and Godrich brought attention to this issue reminds me how much I love these artists in addition to their creative work. I discovered Radiohead as a teen and have been a big fan of their work — including non-Radiohead projects such as Yorke’s solo work and Atoms for Peace, and his collaboration with Burial and Four Tet — but Radiohead will always be my first love. And one of my favourite videos by Radiohead is Street Spirit (Fade Out) from their sophomore album, The Bends (1995). The video was directed by Brit Johnathan Glazer whose work for Radiohead includes Karma Police from 1997’s OK Computer and Rabbit in Headlights for Yorke’s work with U.N.K.L.E., as well as two videos for another favourite, Massive Attack. This video, above, is absolutely perfect for the song and was filmed in the desert outside Los Angeles in black and white. The visuals are moving, breathtaking, and beautiful, and is one of my favourite videos of all time. Click above to watch.

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Did you know that May is Asian Heritage Month here in Canada?

I did, but it took forever for me to write a post about this month despite the fact that I am Canadian and Asian. But here is a music video worth sharing by a Korean rock band called Jan Kiha and the Faces for their song, That Sucks. Though I am ethnically Korean, I have never heard of the band — I do not follow any Korean musicians except for Psy, but this is not exactly extraordinary since everyone knows of Psy! Also, I cannot decipher what exactly the band is singing about, but nevermind the lyrics (though the tune is catchy). Look at the food porn!

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The Knife’s fourth studio album, Shaking the Habitual, came out on last week and it is the Swedish duo’s first album since 2006. I have yet to listen to the new album but I did see the music video (which is really a short film running in at ten minutes) for their first single, Full of Fire. Watching the video reminded me of the reasons why I love both the music that The Knife churns out every few years as well as the group themselves: The Knife exemplifies the true artist, penning social and political themes in their music, and producing inquisitive and experimental music videos. Not all of their music is an easy listen but they do produce fun and catchy hits, such as Girls’ Night Out and Heartbeats, both from 2003’s Deep Cuts.

The video above is for NY Hotel from The Knife’s previous album, The Knife, and was the only single from the album. The song and video is short, running at less than three minutes, and the aesthetic is sparse, based on a cartoon of simple line drawings. The viewer observes a couple spending their last day together which ends with one watching out the window while her lover walks away. The simplicity of the visuals makes the message so much more powerful; it is hard not to be moved and feel sadness for the couple. Interestingly the video is not available on YouTube but is available on Vimeo only. Click above to watch the video, directed by Andreas Nilsson and Andreas Korsár.