Car Boys is art and its finale is perfect

Car Boys is art and its finale is perfect

Car Boys finale art by Maxisdrawing

Last night Nick Robinson and Griffin McElroy livestreamed the (pre-recorded) final episode of their Youtube series Car Boys wherein they experiment with the vehicle simulation game BeamNG.drive. What started as an exercise in creatively smashing cars slowly created its own mythology and story around explained happenings of the physics engine. Can’t pry a crash test dummy out of a vehicle? “Busto” has a mind of his own. The graphics implode upon the boys journeying underwater? It’s a tesseract trying to impart knowledge. Nick and Griffin have created a better mythology around glitches and physics than most authors could hope to do with an unlimited palate.

Like many finales, you might not be that touched by the video unless you were along for the journey. But trust me, it’s been a hell of a journey and this is a perfect ending. Not long ago the boys spawned a giant airbag — intended to cushion gnarly jumps, no doubt — and nicknamed it “The Blob” after it fought off all attempts to pop or crush it. Early in this video Nick and Griffin discover the dammed reservoir has a funnel at the bottom of it. They think if they can knock the Blob into it, that might KO their new unstoppable opponent. What results is the 2001: A Space Odyssey version of the Let’s Play genre. As Griffin presciently guesses: “Maybe this isn’t a trap. Maybe it’s a wormhole to a different universe.”

See You Space Car Boys…

Portugal. The Man share interactive video for “Feel It Still”

Portugal. The Man share interactive video for “Feel It Still”

What does it take to bring me out of hiding? Apparently a new album from longtime YANP-favorites Portugal. The Man. The song and video for “Feel It Still” debuted a few months ago and have only grown more and more in my esteem. We’re almost halfway through the year and “Feel It Still” remains my favorite song of the year.

The video is next-level as well. Visit feelitstill.com to see the full interactive version. PTM created a video that’s not only a beautiful visual accompaniment to the song, but also a link to 30 ways to resist apathy and injustice.

Woodstock is out June 16. Head to PTM’s website to preorder it in whatever format you like.

Hollywood Handbook episode #183: “Employee Reviews”

Hollywood Handbook episode #183: “Employee Reviews”


Photo by www.earwolf.com

I won’t bore you with the my months-long journey to really get the characters of Hollywood Handbook — that’s basically a meme of the show by now. But let’s say that this is a show that rewards 100-fold whatever work you put toward it.

Take, for example, Hollywood Handbook episode #183. The boys pick up on hit podcast S-Town’s claim that they have the “best podcast staff in the world.” This drives Hayes and Sean to starts pulling in any Earwolf employee they can find — including people above them on the food chain — and start grilling them about it. They thought they had the best staff. It’s time for employee reviews.

It’s a small miracle that Hayes and Sean’s plan to involve half a dozen staff in their unscripted show works as perfectly as it does. By the end they have a packed room of employees brainstorming ways they could improve.

I doubt I could do a “best comedy podcast episodes of the year” list justice, but this would definitely be my starting place if I did.

Idiot Glee’s Paddywhack LP release show is Friday!

Idiot Glee’s Paddywhack LP release show is Friday!

I kind of feel bad using these photos to represent Idiot Glee. He doesn’t usually dress like he’s ready to do a Fleetwood Mac covers show. But you can see for yourself how he dresses this Friday when he plays his album release show at Cosmic Charlies.

Idiot Glee
w/Matt Duncan, Butchers and Attempt
Friday, June 3
at Cosmic Charlies
9:00pm | $5 | 21+

And since it’s the album release, you can pick up the full length Paddywhack LP that’s out on Hop Hop.

[video] The Weeknd: “the Morning”

[video] The Weeknd: “the Morning”

I’ve had some hangovers, but I’ve never had to walk barefoot through a desert with three sad, catty friends. Life’s tough and bad decisions are made in this video for the Weeknd’s “the Morning.”

My Morning Jacket @ the Louisville Palace 5.31.11

My Morning Jacket @ the Louisville Palace 5.31.11

It’s been so long since I was compelled to say where a show ranks among my all-time favorites that I feel I can safely say this while still in the afterglow of last night’s show: My Morning Jacket’s performance at the Louisville Palace is the best show I’ve seen to date.

I’ve seen My Morning Jacket a decent number of times now and this blew them all away. Only the 4-hour set from Bonnaroo 2008 can come close to the show I just saw.

I won the only two bets I made with myself going into this show: Erykah Badu sang “Tyrone” (more on that later) and the show opened with “Victory Dance.” That was a no-brainer really. It’s too great of a song to skip on its release day show and it’s not one that you can exactly slide into a set anywhere you please. And though there are fans who seem less than thrilled with the new record, I think the one-two opening punch of “Victory Dance” and “Circuital” are a perfect way to open a show. I wondered for a moment if they might play the entire album in order, but they brought out “Off the Record” immediately following, proving that this was no novelty show — it’s a rocker like all the others.

Before I go off talking about special “treats” that were scattered throughout the night, I want to take a moment to say why this show was so great. It’s not about the guests or even the covers. The Bonnaroo 2008 show had appearances by Kirk Hammet and Zach Galifianakis and about half a dozen covers, but this still topped it. Everything was in sync for this show; everyone was happy to be there; everything clicked. So just know that when I talk about Jim soloing on his knees in front of Erykah Badu, I was just as interested in Bo’s face as he watched the duo interact. There was an electricity on stage that was running through everyone — and it didn’t take long to jump into the crowd.

The first atypical addition to the show was when the often-inseparable duo Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore came out to perform on “Wonderful.” Ben played cello for the song — as he does on the album — and Daniel sang the second verse. It’s not easy to sing a verse that’s bookended by Jim James’ vocals, but Daniel did it like a champ. And more important than how good that collaboration sounded was that it’s just another in a long series of the MMJ guys going out of their way to share their spotlight with some other Kentucky musicians. This was arguably the biggest night in the band’s history and they used it to introduce everyone streaming the concert to two of their favorite local musicians. Now that’s a class act.

Halfway into the set Louisville mayor Greg Fischer came out to announce the song chosen by online fans. You guys have good taste: we were all rewarded with “Steam Engine.” I don’t know that I’ve heard it more than once, but it’s an incredible live song. The mayor’s appearance was “eh” but at least he didn’t stay longer than it took to announce everything.

If you watched the webcast, you know that the encore break is where things started to get really interesting. Rachel Dratch was in the pre-recorded video; she introduced My Morning Jacket to a Elton John’ed-up version of themselves who would play while the original band took a rest. In all the excitement of the show, never once did I wonder if there would be any crazy costumes. As the photos show, it’s sort of an Aztec formal wedding look from the next down and all Elton from the neck up. All it made me think was how glad I was to be catching this band in their prime, when things like this aren’t weird. I’ll definitely go see My Morning Jacket thirty years from now, but nobody wants to see 60-year-olds dressed like KISS.

And yes, this is when the real magic started. For four songs, two from each group, Erykah Badu threatened to single-handedly upstage one of the best live bands in America. Luckily it wasn’t a competition, but a glorious collaboration. Hearing Erykah sing on “Wordless Chorus” was an incredible experience topped only by hearing her and Jim work together on her classic “Tyrone.” When she playfully shoved Jim’s head while he was soloing on his knees in front of her, I knew I’d probably never see a collaboration this great again.

As Erykah left, the back of the stage filled up with girls in black attire. The band brought all the women who sang backing vocals on “Holdin’ On to Black Metal” to recreate it for the show. The touch was appreciated, as I’m sure we’ll be one of the only shows to get live vocals for the song. I was really hoping for a horn section to go with it, but there’s no reason to get greedy. “Holdin…” is another great addition to the live show, along with “Circuital” and “Victory Dance.” I know the live show is going to do a lot of proselytizing for Circuital this summer and I think it’s going to be a great ambassador.

The show ended, as it normally does, with “One Big Holiday.” I swear everyone in the Palace sang along with it, prompting me to later ask if we could legitimately try to get it to be Kentucky’s official rock song, as Oklahoma did with the Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize” Though I’m sure most people at the show had heard that song countless times, I’m just as sure that it was as special of a moment for them as it was for me.

Lots more photos after the break.

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[mp3] Blood Orange: “Sutphin Boulevard”

[mp3] Blood Orange: “Sutphin Boulevard”

Blood Orange offers us a first look at his upcoming record Coastal Grooves.

MP3: Blood Orange – Sutphin Boulevard
This song’s lack of decisiveness in genre is only surpassed by its decidedly awesome nature. As much as a cringe when “chill” is used as an adjective, it really does seem the appropriate way to describe a song that’s 1/4 R&B sly cool and 3/4 sparse rock music.

More details on Coastal Grooves

Memorial Day @ CD Central 5.30.11

Memorial Day @ CD Central 5.30.11

CD Central’s Memorial Day party was a blast. We got psychedelic jazz from Blist Bop, raw punk from All-American Werewolves (featuring CD Central employee Mike Lunsford), the catchy-but-impenetrable rock of Trailblazer and the bluesy rock of Last Duo. Hope you made it to the event, got some free watermelon and had a great time. If not, there’s always Fourth of July and Labor Day!

Blist Bop

All-American Werewolves

More photos after the jump.

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