The Unicorns, Sea Ghost

Posted in The Unicorns, Youtube Favs on March 20th, 2012 by Willie

I was walking to my new office in Sheepshead Bay this morning when “Sea Ghost” by the Unicorns popped into my shuffle.  As I was strolling down the dirty street towards my destination, I found myself hypnotized by the maritime swing rock of the nautically themed song.  The guitar tone has that perfect garage band crunch, and the melody is both catchy and unpredictable.  In short, its a perfect rock and roll song.  The video below is some crazy fan made video of people running around in ghost costumes, miming the opening piccolo solo, and making merry times to one of the world’s greatest unknown songs. Check it out.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Unicorns, Jellybones

Posted in The Unicorns, Youtube Favs on January 3rd, 2012 by Willie

I was given the Unicorns’ album, Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone?, way back in late 2004, and I still have not gotten over it.  Since then, I’ve collected all the demos, music videos, Islands records, Clues records, and bootlegs possible, and am still hungry for more.  The creative genius of Alden Penner, Nicholas Thorburn, and Jamie Thompson still resonate with me, all these years later.  The Unicorns were a frightfully talented trio of Canadian rock perfection; an indie rock band that had ambitions of pop glory and transcendental coolness.  The group’s lead singers and songwriters, Penner and Thorburn, formed a duo of talent and excellence rarely seen in rock and roll.  Frankly, they reminded me of Lennon and McCartney.  A bold and crazy comparison, but hey, they are that good.  The future retro indie rock they made was beautiful, unpredictable, and inspired.  The aesthetic construction of their group’s image was homespun, honest, and original.  I hate that they broke up after only record, because these guys had a chemistry that played to their strengths.  The future seemed unlimited.  Anyway, here is their major music video, “Jellybones.”  It’s fantastic and gorgeous, matching the songs brilliance.  Enjoy.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Doors, Kids in the Hall, Waiting for the Sun

Posted in Kids in the Hall, The Doors on November 8th, 2011 by Willie

The Kids in the Hall were a sketch comedy team formed in the 1980s by a group of talented and semi-demented Canadian geniuses.   SNL guru, and fellow Canadian Lorne Michaels gave them a show that pushed the limits of comedy to frightening new edges of hilarity.  Playing out like an uncensored SNL, the Kids in the Hall tackled drugs, homosexuality, counter-culture ideas, religion, and raving lunacy with breathless confidence, finding humor in very dark places.  In many ways, its no surprise they were Doors fans.  The Doors were a group who too were unafraid to push boundaries, and they did both musically and socially with their manic psychedelic rock and with the outrageous behavior of lead singer Jim Morrison.  So, Kids and the Hall and the Doors?  Match made in heaven.  Check out the hilarious clip below where the Kids in the Hall teach you exactly how to be a Doors fan, and then watch the clip of “Waiting For the Sun,” preferably at dusk.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Islands, Vapours Review

Posted in Islands, Record Reviews, The Unicorns on July 1st, 2011 by Willie

Nick Thorburn, leader of Islands and co-founder of the now deceased Unicorns outfit, is my favorite young songwriter.  His 2009 LP, Vapours, is my favorite record of 2011, and the more I play it, the more I love it.  In the world of indie rock, Islands is big but have yet to transcend the “scene,” whatever that is.  It’s a shame because Thorburn and his gang should all be big pop stars.  He’s watched groups like Arcade Fire and Vampire Weekend achieve mainstream success and cultural breakthroughs when he knows he is just as good, if not superior.  He’s jealous, and he’s justified.  Take a look at this clip where he tears into Vampire Weekend with dry sardonic viciousness.
Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Islands, Rough Gem

Posted in Islands, The Unicorns, Youtube Favs on June 15th, 2011 by Willie

Part 90 of my countdown blasts forward with one of my favorite group, Islands, and there video “Rough Gem.”  From their debut record Return to the Sea, “Rough Gem” is a beautiful kaleidoscopic indie pop song that swirls, spirals, and cyclones all over your ears.  It’s a gorgeous cacophony of genius modern pop.  I’m not entirely sure what the song is about, but I’m guessing its Islands leader Nick Diamonds mission statement about his soul or his fake last name.  I just discovered the video this morning, and I think its great as well.  Its a nice lo-fi astronaut adventure where the Islands spaceship is shot by a floating laser diamond.  Pretty typical of the group spawned from the legendary Unicorns.  Check it out.  SPECIAL MESSAGE:  This post represents the first of the last ten posts in my youtube favorites countdown.  When I hit #100, there will be a special retrospective look at the entire list, so get ready!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ween, Mutilated Lips

Posted in Ween, Youtube Favs on May 1st, 2011 by Willie

Welcome to part 51 of my ever expanding youtube countdown.  For this spanking new edition, I bring you more Ween playing on TV shows that no longer exist.  I have no idea what this show is.  I think it’s from Canadian MTV, but I don’t know, the internet isn’t telling me.  Anyway, they are playing their nautical psychedelic acoustic jam, “Mutilated Lips,” from their 1997 masterpiece album The Mollusk. Ween gives a beautiful performance while a large dancing monkey trades moves with awkward 90s hipsters and a fat shirtless dude.  It’s pretty much par for the course for Ween, and as such, its fantastic.  The Mollusk is one of the greatest albums of the 90s.  A pastiche of psychedelic sea shanties mixed with transcendent pop all adorned with the best studio production Ween ever achieved.  If you don’t have it, I suggest making it one of your records of the coming summer so you can bask in its sun baked glory.  Enjoy.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Neko Case, Buckets of Rain

Posted in Bob Dylan, Neko Case, Youtube Favs on April 9th, 2011 by Willie

In part 32 of my youtube countdown, we find Neko Case covering Bob Dylan’s Buckets of Rain from Bob’s “Blood on the Tracks” album.  There are two things you need to understand.  First, Neko Case is my favorite female singer in the world.  Her voice is just a soaring laser beam of power and clarity.  Second, Buckets of Rain is among my favorite songs ever.  It’s just a gorgeous poem of love and devotion.  I was planning to record a video of me playing Buckets of Rain, but there’s some guy operating a power drill outside my window right now, so that will have to wait for another day. In lieu of such activities, you’ll just have to enjoy Neko’s golden voice giving life to Bob’s golden words for now.  I’m so sorry. ; )

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Unicorns, Tuff Ghost

Posted in The Unicorns, Youtube Favs on March 11th, 2011 by Willie

If you’ve been visiting my site, you realize that a lot of my youtube favorites come from another era.  Well here’s one from a more recent time.  Part 18 of my countdown continues with the Unicorns, Tuff Ghost.  Hailing from Montreal, the now defunct Unicorns were fronted by silly pop geniuses Nick Diamonds (real name Nicholas Thorburn) and Alden Ginger (real name Alden Penner,) and backed by creative drummer J’aime Tambeur (real name Jamie Thompson.)  They had one major record release Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone, an awesome concept album about fear, death, dying, ghosts, camping, and airplanes.  I love the Unicorns because they were fronted by two incredible pop singer/songwriters who do nothing but remind me of a modern day Lennon/McCartney.  The Unicorns would sadly break up, and Diamonds, the more Lennony one went on to form the incredibly underrated group Islands, and Ginger, the McCartney one went on to form the equally interesting Clues.  I still dream of a reunion record one day, but until that happens, I’ll have to make due with videos like of Tuff Ghost.  It’s a hard bass driving pop gem with Diamonds and Ginger alternating verses about a weight lifting ghost who doesn’t sweat.  I love The Unicorn’s stage presentation, costumes, and most of all, incredible music.  So here you go, Tuff Ghost!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,