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Archive for the ‘LPMV Spotlights’ Category

Music Video Spotlight: “Pelvis Pusher” by Vintage Trouble

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If you took James Brown and put him together with guitar riffs reminiscent of early rock n’ roll, then you’d have the band Vintage Trouble. The band members include singer Ty Taylor, Nalle Colt providing backing vocals and guitar, Rick Barrio Dill providing backing vocals and bass guitar, and Richard Danielson providing drums, percussion and backing vocals.

In 2012, the band released their debut album The Bomb Shelter Sessions and released their Swing House Acoustic Sessions earlier this year. I recommend both if you like this video for the track “Pelvis Pusher”, which is a bonus track from an encore edition of The Bomb Shelter Sessions.

While this is not one of my favorite tracks, I do enjoy the video. It reminds me of those 50’s or 60’s high school dances where the kids are dancing to Bill Hailey and The Comets or a similar band. It’s a fun video where people are auditioning to be dancers for the band. If the song and that scene doesn’t get you up on your feet, then the scene with the band performing in the gym in front of a dancing crowd will.

Written by Serena Zola

December 21, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Live Performance Spotlight: “Geechy Joe” by Cab Calloway

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I haven’t done many live performance music video spotlights this year, so I will pick it up again now. As I mentioned during Black Music Month in May,  jazz musician Cab Calloway has become one of my favorite black musicians of the past. He was a charismatic performer with a big voice, smooth dance moves, and amazing scatting skills. Not to mention, a cool enough intellect to create his own slang dictionary known as The Hepster’s Dictionary.

This performance is my number one favorite Cab Calloway performance. Taken from my favorite blues and jazz film Stormy Weather, it is one of Cab Calloway’s most famous appearances. The moment he walks out on stage in his zoot suit, you know you are in for a treat.  Showcasing his vocal range, dance moves, and powerful stage presence, this is an iconic performance that everyone should watch.




Written by Serena Zola

August 9, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Music Video Spotlight: “Battle Cry” by Angel Haze feat. Sia

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I’ve been following the work of rapper-singer Angel Haze since I checked out a few of her mixtapes in 2011. If you aren’t familiar with her, check out this Buzzfeed post I did about her using my real name.

The main thing I enjoy about the “Battle Cry” music video is that it shows how far she has come as a person.  In interviews and songs like “Cleanin Out My Closet”, she has spoken about a personal history that has included a religious “cult” and being sexually abused. Yet, this video and song shows that she has survived this and then some to become a strong person.

By giving this video an extremely personal touch, she has shown how humble she can be as a musician and a person. Before I saw this video and listened to this song many times, I worried she would pull the same superficial stunt she did for “Echelon (It’s My Way”). Instead,  she used  her personal history to create a music video that strengthens the song’s empowering message.

Written by Serena Zola

March 24, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Live Performance Spotlight: “Can’t Rely on You” (Acoustic) by Paloma Faith

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In case you haven’t heard of Paloma Faith, she is a soulful singer from the UK who is going to release her third album ‘A Perfect Contradiction’ on March 10th. The song “Can’t Rely On You” will be featured on the new album. For more on her past work, check out this Paloma Faith Buzzfeed post I made last month using my real name.

One of the things I love about this performance is that it is in an actual kitchen! With pots, pans, and no audience! When I saw the link, I thought the performance was going to be on a cooking show. I also love how Faith’s pianist comes on-screen and creates funky beats with a saucepan and wooden spoon.

In addition, the performance is classy (as usual) and low-key. The matching plaid everyone is wearing is so cool and the kitchen setting makes the performance more intimate with viewers.

Lastly, the energy is awesome. You can see and hear it in Faith’s voice and backing band.  The little dancing that they are doing makes you want to get up and join them!

Written by Serena Zola

February 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Music Video Spotlight: “The Stars Are Out Tonight” by David Bowie

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If you are familiar with David Bowie’s music and music videos, then you know that anything David Bowie does will be a bit out there.

The song “The Stars Are Out Tonight” discusses people’s obsession with celebrities and how celebrities or the people who represent them take advantage of that.

The music video directed Floria Sigismondi takes the song to another level by showing the viewer what celebrities could do to everyday people. It features not only David Bowie, but also actress Tilda Swinton as his wife and model Iselin Steiro as a younger David Bowie.

This is my favorite music video from The Next Day because of who stars in it, and because it is so weird and creative and so intelligent. The weirdness immerses you in the video and lets you feel things from the perspective of Bowie’s character and Bowie himself.

Bowie’s videos that are set in real life make you think about the lyrics more and how they reflect your life and the world around you.  It is something that Bowie has always done in the past and something I’ve always appreciated about Bowie.

“The Stars Are Out Tonight” is from Bowie’s 2013 surprise comeback album The Next Day. It is also the second of five music singles that have been released so far and the second of five music videos made to promote the album.



Written by Serena Zola

November 9, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Live Performance Spotlight: “Sally’s Song” (Cover) by Amy Lee

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In honor of Halloween, I’ve decided to spotlight Amy Lee’s cover of “Sally’s Song”.  The song was originally sung by Catherine O’ Hara for the Tim Burton movie The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Amy Lee’s version is a part of the Nightmare Revisited album, which features other musicians and bands covering songs from the film.

In case you don’t know, Amy Lee is the lead singer from the rock band Evanescence.  Their sound is a mix of classical and metal and their lyrics are dark yet beautiful. Also, Amy Lee’s voice is like a human violin, mournful yet lovely.

If you listen to Evanescence songs like “My Immortal” or “Bring Me to Life” and then watch The Nightmare Before Christmas, then you can see why Amy Lee is a perfect fit for the song.

The thing that I love about this performance is how Amy Lee makes the song her own. Not only does she sing like she does in Evanescence, but she also plays the piano and harp.

I don’t listen to Evanescence as much as I used to, but Amy Lee’s voice will always haunt me.

Written by Serena Zola

October 14, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Music Video Spotlight: “Many Moons” by Janelle Monae

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This music video originally came out in 2008 and was part of Monae’s EP Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase).  At six minutes long, it was promoted as a short film.

This is my favorite Janelle Monae music video so far. The fact that it is a short film makes the song more interesting because the story in this video is part of a big saga.

In the video, an android auction is taking place and android Cindy Mayweather is the musical entertainment. Yet, something doesn’t seem right in Metropolis. Why is Cindy singing, “Your freedom is in a bind”?

The best thing I love about the video is the dancing. At a certain point in the video, Cindy starts dancing.  if you watch closely, you can see her moonwalk forward and backwards. After that, she starts dancing like crazy. Not only was this a good way for Monae to be herself, but it was also a good way to pay homage to one of her influences.

Related Posts:

Album Review: The Electric Lady by Janelle Monae

Musician Spotlight: Janelle Monae

Written by Serena Zola

September 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Live Performance Spotlight: Pink “Glitter in The Air” 2010 Grammys

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Welcome to a new category I’ve created called LPMV Spotlights! This category will highlight live performances and music videos from the past and present in various music genres. For this category’s first post, I’m spotlighting Pink’s performance of “Glitter in the Air” from the 2010 Grammy awards.

Before I go any further, I want to ask that those who have already seen this performance to not spoil what happens in the comments. This also applies to people viewing the performance for the first time. I want everyone who hasn’t seen this performance to be just as surprised and awed as the people in the audience were.

As a huge Pink fan, this is my favorite performance of hers. She proves she has talent and artistry by doing something beautiful and moving. Not to mention, she puts certain singers to shame by singing live while doing what she does in this performance.

For skeptics, here are a couple of facts that prove Pink is singing live (as she always does). When she sings the lyrics, “Have you ever fed a lover with just your hand?” at the start of the performance, she smiles. You can hear that smile in her voice at the word “hand.” Another thing is that unlike in the studio version, the acoustic guitar is more prominent in this performance. The guitar notes you hear while no one is singing for a few moments are not on the studio version.

Written by Serena Zola

August 22, 2013 at 8:10 PM

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