This week's collection of music videos was quite overwhelming. After minutes upon minutes of tedious deliberation, we finally came to an agreement as to which five should be included in the Roundup. We begin the compilation with The Submarines' charming performance at The Phoenix during our SXSW showcase. Ponytail goes Gallagher on some unsuspecting melons (for smoothie's sake) in "Honey Touches". Alexander Ebert surprises no one as he sings from (and out of?) a mountain in "A Million Years". Lost in the Trees takes you on a trip from bitterness to redemption in less than six minutes, for "All Alone in an Empty House". In honor of April's most notable holiday, we close the Roundup with Garfunkel and Oates' "Weed Card" (Hey! Is that Todd Packer?!).
The Submarines- Live at The Phoenix- SXSW
There's something that seems so insanely easy about what The Submarines do. Listening to the neat and tidy bits of indie pop the husband and wife duo crank out, it's possible to imagine John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard's songs spawning from the most casual inspirations; a spontaneous, melodic passage whistled over morning coffee perhaps, or a simple sentiment scribbled on a napkin. As the morning ticks along, the idea gets pollinated just a bit more, and by lunch time, the tastiest of pop nuggets has bloomed. I can see it now, all happening in the most 'ho hum' kind of way. It's nothing really. It's just what The Submarines do.
Of course it's an illusion...my ill-informed imagination running all too wild, high on the band's breezy, head catching creations. In reality, The Submarines, like most bands in their position, have worked their tails off (trips to Austin and Paris for professional inspiration), all while persevering through the kind of difficulties that plague almost every relationship at some point (break-ups, reconciliations, all that). So if the songs that inhabit this concert performance sound effortless, well...consider it the band's great reward for a job well done. Music this cool, this comfortable, this downright charming is always the result of a long road traveled. Enjoying it, however, is a cinch.
For as long as there's been fruit, there's been man's most primal of urges; to conquer it...to make the perfect smoothie. It's a drama of the oldest order, a timeless struggle that lies at the heart of this video for "Honey Touches"; the first chunk of sound to emerge from Ponytail's third full-length, Do Whatever You Want All The Time.
Alexander Ebert, known by most as his messiah alter ego Edward Sharpe, released his self-titled, solo project earlier this year. Without the accompaniment of the 10-piece Magnetic Zeros, Alexander performed all vocals and instrumentals (from the clarinet to the violin) on the album. To accompany his latest work, he has released the music video for its track "A Million Years".
Similar to the El Topo styling of his earlier vids, "A Million Years" begins in a desert setting. His mythological persona intensifies as he becomes part of the earth that he once bused across.
Lost in the Trees- "All Alone in an Empty House"
Ari Picker, with the help of Jerry Stifelman, directed the recently released music video, for Lost in the Trees' newest album's title track, "All Alone in an Empty House". The song, which is said to be the tale of Picker's dysfunctional childhood, is portrayed visually with both pastoral grace and disturbing tension. Picker describes the video as following "the song's progression from bitterness to redemption."
Be sure to check back for our video of Lost in the Trees at SXSW. But until then, enjoy the "All Alone in an Empty House" vid as well as our photos of their performance.