David Bowie-Ashes to Ashes (Video)

One of David Bowie's most succesful singles of the 80s, Ashes to Ashes revisits the character of Major Tom, the doomed spaceman from Bowies mid sixties hit Space Odditiy. The video features spectacular costumes and advanced video editing techniques for that time. Not much needs to be said for Bowie's fashion choices for this video, it speaks for itself. Enjoy. Happy New Year!


Lissie: Fat Possum's New Sweetheart

In August of this year a young woman living in LA by the name of Lissie Maurus had put together a few songs and sent them to Fat Possum Records and the EP happened very quickly. There is a lot of buzz around this beautiful young singer songwriter and rightfully so with exquisite soulful songs sung with a voice that cuts like hers. The country/folk scene is burgeoning in LA and with music like this coming out of it you can see why its growing and making an impact. The first song "Little Lovin" may be the appropriate single off the EP and if you watch the second video there is a short interview with her. She has opened for people like Ray Lamontagne and will be at the 9:30 club January 7th opening for City and Colour.


The Runaways

To most Flock Alone readers it’s no news flash that a biopic of the original all girl power punk band, The Runaways is in the works for 2010. That being said we’ve written nothing on the topic and it’s about time we did. The film is based on lead singer Cherie Currie’s book, “Neon Angel” about the meteoric rise of the world’s first all girl punk band. Readers unfamiliar with The Runaways might remember their first megahit “Cherry Bomb” or at least Runaways guitarist Joan Jett’s solo smash hit “I Love Rock and Roll.” As a classic punk enthusiast and avid moviegoer I think it’s about fucking time that a commercially viable film about the early days of the American punk movement was made. Would I rather see a gritty story telling of the genesis of New York Punk in Max’s Kansas City and CBGB’s? Of course I would, but I’ll settle for the sexier, needle free story coming out of LA right around when all the genre’s founders started either OD’ing, killing each other or ending their careers in prison.

The real story to watch here may be that of the movie’s stars. Teeny boppers Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning play the lead rolls of Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, respectively, in their first films as sexy adults playing sexy adults for the enjoyment of adults. The obnoxiously popular Twilight series may inspire hipsters nationwide to protest the selection of Stewart to play the iconic Joan Jett. But the same hipsters need look no further than this summer’s Adventureland to see Kristen Stewart demonstrate her dramatic range, as well as her innate ability to inspire a hopeful hard-on in the oddest of oddballs. It’s easy to point fingers at the suddenly successful, but this Flocker is making a call, Kristen Stewart is as talented as she is hot, and the best candidate to helm a young Joan Jett’s “fuck me or fuck you” persona.

As for Dakota Fanning’s selection as lead singer, Cherie Currie, it’s tough to say how moviegoers will react. Love or hate the Twilight movies, Kristen Stewart enjoys the benefit of having entered the public arena as a love interest, teen or not. Fanning made her first impression on most of us as the adorable baby girl of a retard in I Am Sam, and despite her undeniable talent, most viewers will have trouble looking into that face and seeing anything other than that adorable little girl. Her success or failure relies on the aforementioned undeniable talent. Dakota Fanning’s selection of this role was no doubt a deliberate move to reintroduce herself to the world as an adult you don’t have to be a pedophile to find hot. It remains to be seen if the world is ready to see her that way.

Three things are certain to come of this film. For one, a fuckton of money. Stewart’s and Fanning’s last collaboration on Twilight: New Moon has brought in nearly $300 million in the past month alone, proving the two are financially viable, whether or not the movie sucks. Secondly, you can count on a lot more teenagers taking an interest in 70’s era rock and punk, which is probably a good thing for those of us old geezers sick of hearing the shallow crap that floods the airways these days. Third and most importantly, the trial by fire of two young ladies soon to find out if their acting careers have a future after high school.


Carol of the Bells

ukarine xmas
Carol of the Bells is a choral miniature which was written many moons ago by a Ukrainian composer by the name of Mykola Dmytrovych Lentovych. The basis for the song comes from a traditional folk chant and the language of it was thought to have supernatural powers because of the way it manipulated the number 3. Mykola Dmytrovych Lentovych was murdered in his parents home in 1921 by a man working for Vladamir Lenin's soviet state security. His composition will live on for ages to come. The first video is a version that is a choral arrangement sung by people I cannot name and sounds eerie as I think that it should sound. There is some anime in there for visual stimulation. Also there is George Winston's version done on piano.


Richard Marx-Right Here Waiting

Unlike George Michael who was another 80's sexual icon, Richard Marx clearly has something to hide. His wedding ring isn't convincing anyone. His fluffy mullet and his penchant for playing piano accompanied by spanish guitar say it all.This ballad was the biggest hit off of his 1989 album Repeat Offender and one of the best power ballads of the late 80s.

Wham!-Careless Whisper

George Michaels is undeniably one of the most iconic sex symbols of the eighties. This sultry hit from 1984, entiltled: "Careless Whisper" was one of the biggest hits of George's career and reached the top of the pop charts in over 25 countries and sold 6 million records world wide. The song's elegant video features a very hirsute Michaels singing in a tuxedo while holding onto a somewhat phallic rope (?) and as expected also gallivanting around town with various women...especially one who appears particularly attractive while lounging on a yacht in a white full piece bathing suit . As the story progresses in the video however, you realize she isn't the woman whom George is truly lusting after, and it ends with him sad and alone...fitting for a song featuring a prominent saxophone solo.


Jay Z: Empire State of Mind

Jay Z

Jay Z in this photo is keeping warm at the Inauguration of President of Barack Obama back in January. Here in DC with the Snowpocalypse this weekend I could have used his hat. He has also released a song this year that may just be the most likable song of the year and makes me miss my hometown of New York.

Surfer Blood: Swim (to reach the end)

surfer blood

Surfer Blood's music fits conveniently into the coined term "beach music" and this year with bands like Ducktails and Real Estate has become one of the most overused terms of the year. If you are looking for a lengthy review please visit www.obscuresound . The song below is now what some are considering the hit.

Surfer Blood: Swim (to reach the end)

Bonus: The Grizz Weighs in on Surfer Blood. "Hold on Firenzi Imma let you finish but.." This band blew em back at last years CMJ festival in NYC and was declared "the winner" by way of the fact that they acheived the most press out of the event. My personal favorite jam off their forthcoming release "Astrocoast" is Floating Vibes, which mines the same powercords, song structure and basic style of Pavement (minus the self satisfied snark of Stephen Malkmus' pre-ironic self conscious posturing) and sticks to the subject matter of surfing before devolving into a facemelting guitar solo.

Surfer Blood: Floating Vibes

Vandaveer: DC Locals

Vandaveer is from the Washington DC area and this two piece act is on their way. They recently opened for Holly Golightly at the Iota Club and Cafe. With the power of the two harmonizing voices and very good songwriting they have become local darlings.

Robyn Hitchcock: Up to Our Nex (Fan Made Video)

Robyn Hitchcocck

Robyn Hitchcock has been making great tunes for many years now and I felt it was about time we gave him some love. This is a video that is made by a fan and the song "Up to our Nex" will lift spirits.


Paul McCartney-Wonderful Christmas Time (Video)

I would like to thank Paul McCartney for turning in a video for his sweet upbeat Christmas jingle that is more like a drugged out psychedelic horror film then a holiday celebration. From the group of Santas that come flying out of the back of a van like they're about to commit a home invasion, to the groups of floating lights that hover and morph around McCartney's body as he lip synchs the words to this hit from 1979.


MGMT-Art is everywhere (Video)

This originally aired on Nick jr on a show called Yo Gabba Gabba, which People magazine says is a favorite at Brad Pitt and Anjelina Jolie's house. I wonder if they saw this, and I wonder what they thought. I'm at a total loss on this one.


Red Fang: Prehistoric Dog

Red Fang
Red Fang is a sludgy hard rock band out of Portland. The music is loud and the battle between the nerds and the beer warriors is outstanding in this video of theirs. I especially enjoyed the intro with the line, "Hey...Gandalf nice dress." The video also has a very unlikely conclusion. Tell us what you think.


Foreign Born: Early Warnings (NEW VIDEO)

foreign born
Foreign Born is the band responsible for one of the best albums of 2009 "Person to Person". Below is the new video for the song "Early Warning". The finger picking in the song has an almost african feel to it. This band has gone unnoticed for too long, even after their song appeared on NBC's sitcom "Chuck" in 2007. Also in 2006 they toured in a van that they called Dios Malos and it was powered by vegetable oil. They stole the vegetable oil from restaurants and lead man Matt Popieluch is quoted saying "We had special clothes, we had grease clothing that we used. It was a very messy process. And it’s methane free. We didn’t have any financial support, so we needed to do everything we could to save some dough. Also, politically it’s good, I guess."

Foreign Born - Vacationing People


Chromeo-My Girl is Calling Me a Liar (Prince Klassen Re-Edit)

Chromeo is one of those bands that get remixed to death, they're the predominant purveyors of Blue Eyed Soul, and their campy take on 80's pop funk is light hearted enough to not be too weird, without losing a decidedly tongue in cheek approach. You can tell that they're just having fun, and that's what counts. No one uses a vocader seriously, no one.
Prince Klassen is a DJ out of texas who first came to my attention by re-editing classics by Arethra Franklin and Roxy Music. He stands out of the way of the tracks and accentuates the bounce of the original, retaining the flavor of the original while enhancing it's danceability. Many people have taken on Chromeo tracks, but Klassen is one of the few who manages to make them better.

Chromeo-My Girl is Calling Me a Liar (Prince Klassen Re-Edit)


Foreigner-I Want To Know What Love Is

When i was a young boy, my mother didn't trust me to spend time at the house by myself for long periods of time, and who can blame her after I broke her station wagon's front windshield with a slingshot. So, she would take me with her when she ran errands and went shopping. The supermarket she went to was always playing a radio station with an adult contemporary format called WBEA ("Light on the bays").
It's Because of WBEA that I know all the words to "I want to Know what Love is", an absolutely epic power ballad from the multi-platinum selling British-American band Foreigner.
"I Want To Know What Love Is" builds to a soft rock climax with lead singer Mick Jones pouring his heart out as the New Jersey Mass Choir repeats the chorus over and over and over again while Foreigner's unintrusive synthesizers and drums color this fantastic vocal performance. It's timeless song, that absolutely everyone knows; and only the most hardened cynic can deny.