Portugal. The Man’s new record Woodstock is out now. To promote their newest single “Rich Friends,” they teamed up with their longtime buddy Glenn Howerton of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia to star in a video inspired by online pop-up ads. It’s a simple, fantastic way to tell a story of excess that echoes the desperation of “Rich Friends.”
What a genius, genius booking by Erin McGathy for her relationship podcast This Feels Terrible. Erin recently divorced her husband Dan Harmon. Around the same time her wedding planner went through a divorce. A couple years later they got together to discuss Erin’s wedding and both divorces. There’s three great parts to this episode: 1) discussion of wedding planning (hey, I just got married. It’s still interesting!); 2) post-mortem on two relationships; 3) exploration of life and love after divorce.
It feels very weird to say that podcasters are at the top of their creative game. But that’s exactly what’s going on with the McElroy Brothers. Their main show, My Brother My Brother And Me, is in the middle of one of the funniest stretches of their show’s history; Griffin’s Youtube series Car Boys is art; and the duo’s TV debut on their SeeSo show is as good as anything else I’ve seen on TV so far this year. But with their dozens of projects between the trio, what makes their new podcast worth highlighting? Because it’s the first “prestige” comedy podcast called-shot audio documentary… and it’s fucking hilarious.
After Justin learned that some Youtube stars did guest voices in the animated film Trolls, he wondered if podcasters could get in on the action for the inevitable sequel. So in the purest distillation of The Secret ever put to tape, the McElroys launched their new podcast and declared that they will be in Trolls 2.
And if the idea of the series is great, Chapter 2 is maybe the perfect episode. The boys call their (real life) agent and start the process of getting in Trolls 2. He’s in on the joke in the exact right way: he’s the agent of three guys who want a job far outside their league, but he’s also providing information and pushback for a comedy show. Everyone’s in on the bit and the bit is that there is no bit — the McElroy brothers will be in Trolls 2.
If we get the show to Number One on the iTunes comedy charts, we’re PRETTY sure Dreamworks will HAVE to put us in. https://t.co/9Iy47VNKyT
— TMBWBIT2 (@Trolls2cast) May 30, 2017
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…
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.
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.
Remember when I confessed that I’d never listened to XTC and everyone pitched several fits? Well get your pitchforks ready (pun intended), because I’ve never heard Stereolab either. The band’s new album, Fab Four Suture is a wonderful collection of songs. Half of the songs were released last year as singles, and half are as-yet-unheard by the general public. The latter half of the album are going to be released as three limited edition vinyl singles. But for now, here’s a peak at the unreleased part of Fab Four Suture.
MP3: Stereolab – Eye of the Volcano
Apparently Spin Magazine listed Stereolab as one of the top 50 most influential pop groups of all time. With songs like this, I can see why. “Eye of the Volcano” is a delightful float through some dreamy vocals. While it might not be the pop masterpiece that I was expecting from such a highly-lauded band, it’s most assuredly a treat for everyone from old Stereolab fans, to newcomers like me.
I was just pointed towards this website that has a bunch of live videos. I suggest taking a peak at the Haley Bonar stuff. She’s talented and cute! How can you resist, guys?
If you haven’t already made your way over to Skatterbrain yet, I’d like to take this time to ask you one thing: “why not?” (Other) Matt posts the best stuff around, these days.
Is Michael Nau a music fan’s dream? The Page France songwriter has been posting unreleased songs on his myspace, complete with back stories for each one. His latest batch consists of one Page France tune and three solo efforts (that might eventually be released on a limited pressing 12″).
MP3: Page France – Everybody Knows (live on WLUR)
This is a different take on a song that will be on the band’s new EP, Pear. I’m hoping the studio track includes a little bit more of the rhodes. It’s a decent enough song, but I think that the studio version might blow this one out of the water. Michael stated that it was a “stripped down” performance, so I’m hoping the EP version will include all their usual tricks.
BONUS MP3: Michael Nau – Heart and Brain
In my opinion, this is the best of all the songs Michael posted today. He hinted at the possibility of a future 12″ of solo songs; and if “Heart and Brain” is any indication, it’ll be everything you could hope for.
BONUS MP3: Michael Nau – As Long
A bit slower than I expected, but still worth having. Again, the piano could stand to be a bit louder in the mix, but it’s not a major problem. Nau’s vocals and lyrics are still enough to drive this crooning love song.
Before I get flood of emails, I’d like to say that I plan on posting most of the “Apple Shaped Songs” on my website very soon. Some will wind up on various releases, so I won’t be uploading them.
Don’t forget to try and catch Page France while they’re on tour. If you live in Lexington, be sure to come out to their 18+ show at The Dame.
You know that feeling when you stumble across a good band? It’s something that just makes you feel good all over, and sometimes can restore your dwindling faith in music. Sure Juror gave me that special feeling earlier this week.
MP3: Sure Juror – The Drive Will Do You Good
I love it when genres can bleed over into one another. Sure, songs that fall squarely into one niche are just fine and dandy; but the bands who incorporate different elements into their work are the ones that usually capture my ear. Sure Juror manage to smash elements of rock with a little dash of jazz to form “The Drive Will Do You Good.” Not only do they have a good little combination of drums and guitar, but they really make good use of a couple other elements. Their bass is on a constant trip around the fretboard–which actually unites the song more than you might think. Also, they’ve got a wonderful piano part that absolutely makes this song the gem that it is.
Don’t forget that I DJ at WRFL tonight. If you happen to be awake at 3-6am EST, feel free to tune in.