18th February 2015
Parquet Courts – ‘Dust’
First up this week is Parquet Courts with this decent bit of scuzz-rock, which sounds a bit like a Fujiya & Miyagi single played from the inside of a humming fridge. ‘Dust’ is taken from the band’s upcoming album Human Performance, set to come out in April. Apparently the record is a response to the ceaseless claustrophobia of the band’s native New York, the struggle against the physical, mental and social clutter of the city.
The video to ‘Dust’ comes from Johann Rashid, who has also put together videos for the likes of Ariel Pink. In ‘Dust’ we see and office drone work through some paperwork while scooping noodles into his mouth and calling his mum. He becomes so overcome with the banality of it all that he starts to eat the shards of graphite that have fallen into his pencil pot, an action which results in him daydreaming about a man spreading smoked mackerel pate all over himself. I believe it’s meant as an allegory for the demise of the HB pencil as a writing implement, or maybe for the decline in fish stocks worldwide.
Tinashe – ‘Player’ ft. Chris Brown
There’s an ethical dilemma which is often brought up through art. Can the audience disassociate the output of an artist from their private misdemeanours? Can you watch Sean Connery films knowing full well he advocates the use of violence against women? Can you enjoy Chinatown knowing that its director drugged and raped a 14 year old girl? Will episodes of Jonathan Creek ever be the same since Alan Davies bit the ear off a homeless lad?
Virginia rapper Chris Brown, who in 2009 hospitalised then-girlfriend Rihanna with a bout of physical violence, has cleverly avoided this issue by steadfastly refusing to release any music worth listening to, ever. For the latest version of this trick, he has teamed up with American singer Tinashe to produce ‘Player’. It is so dull. It sounds like the kind of song a dunderhead in the front seat of a Jeep might chuck on while driving down to Krispy Kreme with his mates, Snapchatting a picture with the caption ‘Aux Lead: Nailed It!!!! ;)’. Well played Chris Brown, well played.
White Wine – ‘Where Is My Line?’
Last up this week is White Wine with ‘Where Is My Line’, released ahead of the band’s debut album Who Cares What The Laser Says?, out on March 25th. The band’s sound is full of gnarled guitar lines and unsettling keys, and is fronted by Joe Haege, the man behind Menomena, 31 Knots and Tu Fawning. ‘White Wine’ combines the post-punk backing of Ought with vocal lines which could come straight out of The Strokes back catalogue.
The video for the single sees Haege, a dead ringer for Christopher Ecclestone, wander around some concrete pillars and take part in more costume changes than Lady Gaga. Halfway through, however, it takes a more sinister turn as masked weirdos waggle about in the dark with oven mitts strapped to their hands. And then, um, there are some beavers. All in all it’s pretty decent, and, in the words of Regis Philbin, totally bonkos!