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MUSIC» Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
Sub Pop recently released Acquired Taste, a compilation of videos by the bands on their roster. A small fraction of the videos on the DVD look amateur, but these are mostly relegated to a very early single in the band's career. In fact, many of them are actually quite accomplished given that they were made with the full knowledge that they would never even come close to having the visibility of something like MTV.
Like many things done on a shoestring budget, a lack of money is often compensated for by a huge surplus of creativity. The videos may not look as flashy as Lil Jon's latest, but they make up for it with charm, humor, and wit. Wolf Parade are ahead of the, ahem, pack with their completely peculiar video for "Shine A Light." I've never felt the shame of having eight floating heads, but after watching this video I can empathize with the pain it would cause. The Postal Service offer a couple of the most polished looking videos without distancing themselves too far from the other oddball selections on the DVD. "We Will Become Silhouettes" in particular is completely kooky and makes Ben Gibbard look like a cross between Napolean Dynamite and a crazy cult leader. The true high water mark of bizarre comes courtesy of Ugly Casanova and their disturbing images that accompany the relatively mild song "Things I Don't Remember." The Thermals use some dramatic lighting and simple editing techniques to make a relatively straightforward video that highlights the band's music and energy.
You pretty much can't go wrong with this DVD. The music is top notch and unless you pay way too much for cable so you can watch Videos on Demand, chances are most of these will be new to you. Of course there are a few clunkers, but there isn't one that doesn't fail admirably. Even though MTV is trying its best to make the music video a lost art form, DVD's like this can give those of us who enjoy an interesting and creative visual with our music hope. SEE ALSO: www.subpop.com
An aspiring global adventurer who cut his teeth on the sandy beaches and dirty bitches of Southern California, Kevin Alfoldy now spends his non-vacation days in Brooklyn, New York, where he occasionally finds the time to rub the crust out of his eyes long enough to contribute reviews and feature articles for LAS. A longtime staff member, Kevin also captains the tattered, often half-sunk raft of EPmd, our irregular column of EP reviews.
See other articles by Kevin Alfoldy.
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