Archive for Video of the Week category
It's been a while since our last "Videos of the Week", which has given some of our friends ample time to put out some incredible work. Video is the new CD, and Vimeo is the new YouTube, so if you want to stay in touch with roots music today, check out these brand-new, stunningly gorgeous, video series:
Natural Beardy's Pickathon Sessions
Dylan MacNab, runs the website Natural Beardy out of rainy Eugene, OR. We had fun hanging out at Pickathon this past week, and while I was just crashing the party, he was hard at work taping beautiful videos of his favorite bands. He just released the first of six videos from Pickathon, and it features non other than a long-time Hearth Music favorite: Joy Kills Sorrow. Videos to come will feature Pokey Lafarge & The South City Three, Cahalen Morrison & Eli West, Breathe Owl Breathe, L.C. Ulmer, and Charlie Parr.
American Standard Time's New Artist Video Portrait
Greg Vandy (KEXP's The Roadhouse) is a visionary of today's indie roots music scene. He's also a Pickathon regular, having contributed essays to the new Pickathon book, and taped a mini-documentary on old-timey prophet Frank Fairfield at Pickathon 2010. He also runs one of our favorite blogs, American Standard Time (which I write for from time to time). He's recently been developing his Artist Video Portrait series and I am completely in love with the results. Working with various directors, he drops by an artist at home or on tour, taping them playing and talking about music. His video portrait of Alela Diane is truly beautiful, and he's got a bunch of other videos up and more coming.
Here's his newest video, an insightful look at the music and legacy of old-time musician John Cohen. Cohen founded the New Lost City Ramblers, was a big influence on an early Bob Dylan, and coined the phrase "high, lonesome sound" after meeting Appalachian singer Roscoe Holcomb. Hear how it all went down on American Standard Time's newest Artist Video Portrait, directed by underground cartoonist/filmmaker Drew Christie in a black and white hommage to John's seminal films:
In other news, Seattle-based, uber-magazine Fretboard Journal, has taken their standard of beautiful production and in-depth articles to the video realm, releasing a series of video shorts and mini documentaries. All impeccably filmed with great sound, these videos are great snapshots of some of the best acoustic roots music. Note: We've been promoting some of these artists, so it's not like we're unbiased, but have a look at the videos and you'll surely agree that they're great.
A sweet story from soft-spoken bluegrass mandolin powerhouse John Reischman about his treasured Lloyd Loar Gibson F-5. There are only 200 of these in the world, and they can sell for up to a quarter of a million dollars!
08/15/2011 | comments (0)
We just found this video on Facebook. It's a beautiful and inspiring jam between three very different and equally adventurous musicians. Yann Falquet is one of the premier voices of his generation in Quebec folk music. He leads the popular group Genticorum and is a powerful guitarist. Jayme Stone is a masterful banjo player whose work with African musicians and his study of the roots of the banjo in Mali led to an acclaimed album with Malian kora player Mansa Sissoko. Sandra Wong is an equally eclectic fiddler, known for her playing both on the fiddle and ont he Swedish nyckelharpa.
This video is everything we're about at Hearth Music: homegrown music making, music made with friends for the sheer joy of playing and sharing tunes. Enjoy!
Yann Falquet, Jayme Stone, & Sandra Wong at Planet Bluegrass
The song is one of our favorite French-Canadian songs, "Voici le mois de mais." It's an ode to Springtime, something which we desperately need right now in the Northwest. The tunes are "Reel d'Issoudon", a classic Québécois tune, and "Breaking Up Christmas", also a classic but in the Southern old-time tradition.
The video comes from Jem Moore of Descant Productions, a cool folk music video producer. Here's another video from them of Yann's band Genticorum. Three French-Canadian tunes to help you get a better feel for the lift and swing of their music.
Genticorum: Violon Guérisseur
And while we were probing the YouTube for this post, we found two amazing videos of Jayme Stone and Casey Driessen playing music from Jayme's new album, Room of Wonders, live. Driessen is the mad genius of the bluegrass fiddle, and we highly encourage you to search through YouTube for more of his music. He does things with the fiddle that we've never seen or even imagined.
Jayme Stone & Casey Driessen: Gap Tooth
Second Video of Jayme Stone & Casey Driessen: Obscure John Hartford song, "You Can't Run Away From Your Feet".
04/21/2011 | comments (0)
I just got back from a great trip to Ottawa to discover some of the new folk sounds coming out of Ontario's francophone communities and I thought I'd share some of these artists. I was invited to attend the Gala Prix Trille Or, an awards ceremony for Franco-Ontarian artists and I got to check out some of these artists at later showcases. Franco-Ontarian music gets short shrift in Canada, as most francophone music is presumed to come out of the province of Québec, but the reality is that every province of Canada has a sizable francophone population, and Ontario numbers about 500,000! According to the wise sages at Wikipedia, Ontario's the province with the largest francophone population outside of Québec.
While there are interesting French-Canadian folk traditions in Ontario (see Ottawa Valley fiddlers like Pierre Schryer), most of the artists I encountered in Ottawa were more contemporary. But most were also inspired by their traditional roots, and certainly weren't afraid to take these roots in very modern directions. The best example of this is the wildly popular techno-trad band Swing. They take the rhythm and beats of French-Canadian mouth music (la turlutte) and spin them up with hip-hop beats, creating a very conscious link between the rhythm of French-Canadian songs and the rhythm of rap. It works surprisingly well, and Swing has been one of the most innovative francophone bands around for quite some time now. Check out their video for the song "La Goutte" (The Drop) off their new album Tradarnac.
Swing: La Goutte
Another artist that intrigued me was folk songwriter Louis-Philippe Robillard. He had an intense presence on stage and his songs managed to mix witty asides with straight-up anger, a great combo in a folk songwriter. It's tricky for Francophone artists whose art is based in song lyrics to have much of a chance in the States, but I'm hoping that Robillard's charming and combatative persona will cross the language barrier. He's kind of like a young Woody Guthrie who grew up around reggae and hip-hop. You can hear great urban music strains in his folky rhythms. Check out his video (which won the prize for best video at the Gala) for the song "Reflexions d'un bon citoyen" (Reflections of a Good Citizen).
Louis-Philippe Robillard: Réflexions d'un bon citoyen
My hope is that some of the great music coming out of Ontario's francophone communities will be picked up and embraced by music lovers who appreciate and follow French chansons. With artists like Serge and Charlotte Gainsbourg enjoying a renaissance, it seems that more and more American listeners are discovering just how sexy music can be when the French language is mixed in with a dash of jazz and lounge. Andrea Lindsay, another popular singer at the Gala with more than a little jazz chanson influence, is a great example of this. Check out her new video for the song "Le temps de l'amour" (The Time of Love).
Andrea Lindsay: Le temps de l'amour
There were other excellent artists at the Gala Prix Trille Or, like Cindy Doire, Le Diable aux Corsets, and Daniel ROA, but I wanted to close with this strangely awesome video from fan favorite songwriter Damien Robitaille. One of the most popular francophone artists outside of Québec, Robitaille won a whole bunch of awards and was beloved by the audience. If his shows have even a fraction of the crazy energy in this video, I can see why!
Damien Robitaille: On est né nu (We're All Born Naked)
04/04/2011 | comments (0)
As the son of public school teachers, I know for a fact that teachers have ridiculously low pay and are constantly in danger of being laid off. Without teachers unions, we will lose even more of our best and brightest. Stick it to the corporations and bankers that got rich off our tragedy, don't stick it to your common man and woman.
Thanks to Mark Moss of SingOut! Magazine for this great video of John Darnielle (The Mountain Goats).
And here's some music from Woody Guthrie, the long-standing hero of the common man/woman.
Woody Guthrie: All You Fascists Bound to Lose
And a final word from Ani Difranco, covering the great "Which Side Are You On".
03/10/2011 | comments (0)
Sadly, our computer at Hearth Music central is pretty sucky, so we don't watch nearly as many videos as we would like. But we still find time to pick out some good uns, and the recent crop of cool indie folk bands have been a bonanza of goodness. So clear your cache, close your tabs, slip on your headphones, and waste some time with us!
Cahalen Morrison & Eli West at KEXP: Of course, you all know by now how much we love this roots duo, but we're not the only ones! Check out these great videos from their live in studio at KEXP. And if you want to just listen to the in studio, here's the link.
Cahalen Morrison & Eli West: On God's Rocky Shore
Cahalen Morrison & Eli West: Jealous Sea
Campfire OK: We just fell in love with this folk ensemble from Seattle. They have a great campfire singalong vibe, but with a more indie attitude. Plus their videos are absolutely endearing. Have a listen to their music. The video is from Christian Sorensen Hansen, a Seattle-based filmmaker whose work is just gorgeous and looks to be defining a Northwest video aesthetic. Check him out.
Charlene Kaye & The Brilliant Eyes: Big thanks to our buddies over at Driftwood Magazine for passing on this great video. Driftwood is a new blog/online magazine that absorbed most of the writers from Dirty Linen when that august folk mag collapsed. We don't know much about Charlene Kaye, but we've heard the classic Brit-folk song Mad Tom of Bedlam about a million times. It's that good for a reason, and their video brings in some great outside influences like swing dance and cabaret torch singing. Fun! Listen to her music @ Bandcamp.
Charlene Kaye & The Brilliant Eyes: Mad Tom of Bedlam
The Heavy: Ok, this one really isn't too folk. It just kicks so much ass! The Heavy are a new band out of the UK. Not sure what kind of music really, but we are completely in love with this track. We listen to it over and over and over. In fact, we like it so much, we think you should just watch the video. You can buy this killer track from the Live at KEXP Volume 6 album.
The Heavy: How You Like Me Now?
Baths: We've got NO idea who this band is or what kind of music this is, but goddamn this is a super AMAZING video. Mental note: add wounded samurais and NW forests to every video we work with from now on.
02/14/2011 | comments (0)
It's been a rough week, so I'm in dire need of something to pick my spirits up. And what could be better than a stunningly inscrutable, million-dollar video that somehow manages to mash Haitian hip-hop star Wyclef Jean with songwriting god Paul Simon in the hyperviolent world of the video game Burnout Paradise? I have no idea how this video was made, what it means, what is happening in the video, but bottom line is I love it! How did this thing come out in 2008 and I just found it by accident on the Tubes of You?
Wyclef Jean feat. Paul Simon: Fast Car
This isn't the first time Wyclef has produced a strangely surreal, sardonic video with all his money. My second favorite Wyclef video is "Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)". The hook is so good in this song that I find myself listening over and over. The video's a bit silly, but a hell of a lot of fun. Dear God they need to make a Hollywood movie like this! Oh wait, they did! Can we vote for Wyclef to be the next James Bond?
Wyclef Jean feat. some crappy hip-hop dudes: Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)