In the music video for "Je Suis la Montagne", psychedelic art rockers Moodoïd have collaborated with director Jérôme Walter Gueguen a true work of surrealist-inspired art. With a relatively minimal budget and ample film school training, they've turned childhood recollections of mountains into a Magritte-coloured world of soil-covered faces and tasteful (as well as tasty) object manipulation. In this two-sided, bilingual Q&A interview, we speak with fast friends Jérôme Walter Gueguen and Moodoïd's frontman Pablo Padovani on their friendship, collaboration, and shared inspirations. Moodoïd's self-titled EP is now out on Entreprise, a division of Third Side Records.

Natasha Kmeto Interview Photography by Patti Miller
Mystics throughout the ages have sought to express the relationship between birth, death, and time through all manner of ritual and philosophy. In Qabballah, we have the Supernal Mother Binah, who crystallizes Force into Form, thus making us subject to time and decay. In the ancient Greek religions, we have the story of Demeter, whose periodic descent into and return from Hades signifies the cycle of birth and death. And in astrological terms, we have the Saturn Return, which signifies the recurring point where the God of Time returns to the position he held on our chart when we were born. This last concept has worked its way into the modern Western lexicon to the point of cliché, but it serves the purpose of illustrating a point in our lives -- which happens around every 27 to 30 years -- when we are seemingly forced by some unseen hand into a state of brutal self-reflection. It is the mid-life crisis; the night journey; the start of C.G. Jung's path to individuation. Regardless of what we call it, this is an ordeal that most people are at least tangentially familiar with. Some event, possibly innocuous at first, becomes the source of friction that challenges us to engage our assumptions about who we are and what we are doing, so that we might make better use of our time on Earth. Now in her late 20s, Portland electronic musician Natasha Kmeto has felt the impact of her own Saturn Return and emerged from it all the better. Though not explicitly dedicated to the topic, her latest album, Crisis, is a highly personal record about love, loss, and longing that marks a maturation point in Kmeto's musical career. It has also lifted her from the status of popular local artist to internationally-renowned R&B singer and electronic music producer.
"It was my career that facilitated me traveling more and starting to experience different things in my mind, [so] that I kind of realized that the trajectory I was on was not the one that I wanted to be on. I kind of did a 180 and had to get really honest with myself and figure out what I wanted, because I wasn’t happy." - Natasha Kmeto

Tripping over sonic palates with spacey, soaring melodies that embrace the essence of pop in all its purposely dated glory, British electropop artist Little Boots returned earlier this year with her sophomore effort Nocturnes. Since then, the record has run through a number of hands for raucous remix treatment, beginning with a wonderfully hypnotic and dubby remix of "Broken Record" by the record's producer and DFA's co-founder Tim Goldsworthy. "Satellite" followed, with an entire accompanying package featuring remixes by Escort, Lindstrom, and John Dahlback, thus beginning the exploration of all possible club-ready territories Nocturnes could possibly offer.
Fast-forward to today -- and in the name of helping out the family, DFA's Larry Gus has offered up his own take on Little Boots' latest single, "Crescendo". Highlighting the track's already unique sound, Gus transforms "Crescendo"'s original percussion and chord-driven foundation into a melty bed of synths, vocals, and tribal drumming, topped with cascading electronic sounds and -- of course -- re-tooled samplings of Little Boots' clear, sing-song-y vocals. The resulting track retains the song's original light-heartedness, while combining it with the vague, exciting feeling of a skipped record and an eclectic collection of regional sounds and styles. See more Little Boots media after the jump, or enter below to win tickets to see her live in Seattle and Portland this week!

Little Boots - "Crescendo" (Larry Gus Remix)

WIN TICKETS TO SEE LITTLE BOOTS LIVE IN SEATTLE & PORTLAND THIS WEEK! LITTLE BOOTS TOUR DATES 9/22: Costa Mesa, CA @ Constellation Room 9/23: Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour 9/24: San Francisco, CA @ The Independent 9/26: Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge w/ MDNR 9/27: Seattle, WA @ Decibel Fest w/ Light Asylum, Young Galaxy, MNDR 9/28: Vancouver, BC @ Fivesixty 11/8: Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun Fest

September 22nd officially marks the end of summer 2013 in the Northern Hemisphere — and to celebrate the passing of time, we’ve decided to create a timeline to forever remember the songs currently trending on our site, as well as take a look back on...

One of the most peculiar things about living in Seattle at the moment is the fact that there are not one, but two ridiculously over-the-top psych rock divas here. I mean, what are the freaking odds? Of course, I've probably written about Midday Veil to the point of complete overkill by now, but you know, they continue to do weird shit that amazes me, so until that stops, I'll keep up with it. What I haven't mentioned is the oneiric excellence of their smoky contemporaries Rose Windows. The reason for that probably has to do with the fact that it took several years to congeal their debut album, The Sun Dogs, into existence. Although the band initially blew me away live due largely to the sheer concussive force of vocalist Rabia Qazi, it wasn't until the disc dropped in June (on Sub Pop Records, no less) that I truly processed the depth of songwriting and lyrical complexity going down in that camp. Highly recommended. As it turns out, this depth comes largely from the blazed mind of guitarist Chris Cheveyo, and as I learned when I caught up with him by e-mail, it's channeled primarily from deep meditative states. How do musicians initially trained in oppressive religious traditions end up twerking on stage with Big Freedia (that happened) and making cameos in upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson movies? Weed, that's how. Read on, true believers.

Dawn of Midi Dysnomia Thirsty Ear Recordings (2013) When the American trio Dawn of Midi released their accomplished 2010 debut album, First, the world had gained another practitioner of minimalist free jazz. Two years in the making, and at a reported cost of thirty thousand dollars, Dysnomia is the follow-up to that promising debut, and builds masterfully on First, delivering an exciting blend of acute syncopation and imaginative instrumental counterpoint.
The first track, "Io", opens with resonating bass which is joined by a building rhythm produced by what might be a piano. Muted and muffled, this part works simultaneously with and against the initial deep bass, which is then underscored by the stabbing rhythm of a rich bass drum. From then on this track and those that follow build into a sparse though satisfyingly complex interaction of the three elements that comprise the classic jazz trio. The interplay of drums, bass and piano that make up Dawn of Midi is clever throughout, but in a way that never allows clarity to be lost. Hypnotic, rotating and tightly controlled, a subtle evolution of sound is the watermark that runs through this album. "Io", "Sinope", "Atlas", "Nix", "Moon", "Ymir", "Ijiraq", "Algol", "Dysnomia": each track merges with the next to make an album that is one complete piece of music.

Music video director and writer Saman Kesh is a man with a digitally-enhanced vision. A master of weaving curious theories and tales in with his fast-paced music videos, Kesh uses playfulness and modern technologies as a vehicle for pushing forth interesting ideas. His latest music video for Placebo's "Too Many Friends" is an interactive mystery story narrated by none other than Bret Easton Ellis. Though it is the first in a series of three videos for the band, it is a strong testament to Kesh's remarkable eye and conceptual mind; "Too Many Friends" is so intriguing that it at times dominates a viewer's focus and relegates the music to the background. In this retrospective, Kesh offers commentary on a selection of hand-picked works -- both award-winning and not -- as well as on collaboration, general nerdery, and the future.

Placebo - "Too Many Friends" Music Video (2013)

INSPIRATION BEHIND THE TRILOGY: "All three take place in different eras, and all are unified by examining a given social interaction based on the respective social norms of that particular time period."
As the themes in the “Too Many Friends" video (rich, drug-using youth, as far as I can tell) seem to work well with Bret's general literary themes, I'm curious: at what point was he chosen in the storyboarding process? How directly did you work with him and what was that like? We were always interested in using Bret's voice for the narration, as he brought an academic quality to the table. He became involved when we were in the editing phase of production. As far as recording, it was quite simple. I went to Bret's house with my producer Ross Levine, and awesome sound recorder Michael Miramontes, who both worked on The Canyons w/ Bret. I sat on the floor next to him and directed him line by line. He is actually quite a natural, though [he] was a bit nervous that he didn't have it in him. Overall... Bret's a stud :)

 

Was the amount of interaction from viewers voting on what happened in the music video about what you had expected? Did you receive any interesting responses or find any amusing patterns? I knew most people were never going to write their answers down, but surprisingly about a 1/3 of viewers seem to jot at least a letter down. Option C is for those geeky and analytical people that I would probably call friends if I met them.

Last month, I came across a music video that Total Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs called, "one of the best music videos I've seen in a long time": a live performance by iFani EWE in the Johannesburg neighborhood of Soweto. Having just seen a South African dance documentary called The African Cypher, this assertion of "best" did not hold true for me; awesome dance is threaded throughout the country's musical and social culture of SA. This reminder did, however, lead me to dig deep into South African music videos to hunt for visual and sonic gems -- the best of which I have shared in this post. (No Die Antwoord on the basis on their being well-known by all.)

Mafikizolo ft. Uhuru - "Khona"

I recently stumbled across this website called OkayAfrica, and it is definitely one of my favorite new internet finds. Of their recurring posts are summaries of notable African fashion designers to watch out for, and the fashion in this music video for "Khona" reminds me of these top designers in some ways. Geometric shapes and bright colors abound, abound, abound, in eye-catching ways galore. Glittered male dancers dive and swoop around a strong female lioness and a hypnotic rhythm, pushing "Khona" hard as a visual highlight and a repeat listen. DOWNLOAD MP3 [audio:/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Uhuru-ft-Mafikizolo_Khona.mp3|titles=Uhuru ft. Mafikizolo - Khona]

 

"I shall make company with creators, with harvesters, with celebrants!" ... so cries Zarathustra, the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's prophetic protagonist in his most esoteric philosophical work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra.1 The July 2010 issue of Yeti Magazine includes a series of photographs taken on tour by Dean Wareham of pop duo Dean & Britta. Among them is a snap of a French newsstand, where Michael Jackson and Friedrich Nietzsche sat side by side on neighboring magazine covers: In his description of the photograph, Wareham went on to imagine a conversation between the two thinkers, sharing the finer points of dancing and the inner child:
FN: Be on your guard against the learned! They hate you; for they are unfruitful. MJ: Lies run sprints, but the truth runs marathons. FN: In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play. MJ: There's a Mother's Day and a Father's Day but there's no Children's Day. It would mean a lot. World peace. FN: I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance.2
Charming, yes, but I believe this comparison runs much deeper than that, into a juxtaposition of two historical figures that is entirely natural and extremely rich. In this article, I will endeavor to delve further into these imagined cahoots between the King of Pop and Nietzsche. The character of my fondness for Michael Jackson and Friedrich Nietzsche is very similar. Despite both of these men being extremely influential and leaving behind highly celebrated bodies of work, they are also both often considered tragic cases on the historical stage. They were driven to obsessive heights, if not madness, by their devotion to their craft and their vision for the world. Yet I have never looked upon either of them with anything short of deep respect. Even in their tragedy, these men are beautiful to me. I hope to expand upon this fictional dialogue, and attempt to reveal two visionaries reaching out to one another from across historical eras and spheres of influence. In the act of aligning these two boldly trailblazing artists, I hope to lend an admirable and rich philosophy to a pop star, and to lend the romance and marvel of pop to the life's work of a philosopher.

One pervy frog man gets down in the music video for Weaves' "Motorcycle", where vaguely sexual lyrics turn into an animated tale of a naughty amphibian's crotch-heavy love for his newfound motorcycle. This animated short is the product of a collaboration between the band and director Jason Harvey, who, for a change of pace, put away his video camera and took out his Wacom tablet. In the featured Q&A, Harvey, along with Jasmyn Burke and Morgan Waters of Weaves, share their perspectives on meeting, the creative process, and the final horny result.

Weaves (Musicians)

 

Jason Harvey (Director)

Weaves - "Motorcycle" Music Video