Music Video of the Day: Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff by deadmau5 featuring Rob Swire (2009, dir by Colin O’Toole)


Hi!  Lisa here, with today’s music video of the day!

Life as a ghost isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be and if you needed proof, just check out this otherworldly music video.  The video mixes spirits with a good beat, so you know there’s no way that I’d be able to resist it.

This one was filmed in Toronto and it was directed by Colin O’Toole.

Advertisements

Music Video of the Day: Slow Acid by Calvin Harris (2014, dir by Emil Nava)


Hi, everyone!  Lisa here with today’s music video of the day!

I’ve heard a lot of different opinions as to what exactly is being portrayed in the video for Calvin Harris’s Slow Acid.  Some people think that the woman in the video has been passed out in an alley and this video is supposed to represent her dream (or nightmare, depending on how you feel about holding up convenience stores).  Some people think that the blueish tint of the woman’s skin is meant to indicate that she’s on drugs or she’s had too much to drink.  (Personally, I find the tint to be more silvery than blueish.)  There’s a lot of debate as to whether she’s dead or just asleep at the end of the video.  The first time I ever saw this video, I assumed she was supposed to be a robot.

Then again, “she was supposed to be a robot” is pretty much my automatic go-to interpretation for almost everything.  You’d be surprised how often I turn out to be right.

Anyway, I really don’t care what the exact meaning is. I just like Calvin Harris and this song.  You can dance to it.  People sometimes forget how important that is.

Anyway, this was directed by Emil Nava, who has worked on a lot of videos since 2009.

Music Video of the Day: D7-D5 by Blanck Mass (2016, dir by Jake McGowan)


When Benjamin John Power, the man behind Blanck Mass, was asked about this haunting and surreal video, this is what he told Spin:

“D7-D5′ is intended as the second move in a game of chess initially instigated by Manuel Gottsching when he released (and named said release) ‘E2-E4,’ the recording which many believe pioneered techno. The video was made by [my] good friend Jake McGowan, and follows one man whilst he struggles to deal with a flurry of emotions and human states which are common during a battle of any size, including a game of chess.”

For myself, I’ll say that this video immediately reminded me of the work of David Lynch.  Of course, I’m kind of obsessed with David Lynch’s art right now.  Until Twin Peaks has finished its run, I imagine that almost everything is going to remind me of Lynch in one way or another.

Still, this video is almost unsettling as that famous scene in A Field in England, that one that featured Blanck Mass’s Chernobyl playing in the background.  Remember that scene?

Well, unsettling or not, Blanck Mass helps me to focus, which considering the intensity of my ADD, is no small accomplishment!  If not for well-selected background music, I probably wouldn’t have been able to finish 3,000 of the 3,897 things that I have posted on this site!

Enjoy!

 

2016 In Review: Lisa Marie’s 14 Favorite Songs of 2016


Every January, I list my fourteen favorite songs of the previous year and, every January, I include the same disclaimer.  My fourteen favorite songs are not necessarily the fourteen favorite songs of any of the other writers here at the Shattered Lens.  We are a large and diverse group of people and, as such, we all have our own individual tastes.

If you ever visited the TSL Bunker, you would be shocked by the different music coming out of each office.  You would hear everything from opera to death metal to the best of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.  And then, of course, you would reach my office and you would discover that my taste in music pretty much runs the gamut from EDM to More EDM.

Now, usually, I do try to listen to a variety of music.  You can go to my Song of the Day site — Lisa Marie’s Song of the Day — and see that I do occasionally listen to other types of music.  But, I have to be honest.  2016 was not a year that inspired me to really leave me comfort zone.  If anything, music provided me with some much needed consistency in an otherwise chaotic year.  2016 was a year that made me want to dance until it was all over and, for the most part, my favorite songs of the year reflect that fact.

Before I list my 14 songs, I should make something else very clear.  These are my 14 favorite songs of 2016.  I’m not saying that they’re necessarily the best songs of 2016.  I’ll leave that debate for others.  Instead, there are the songs that I found myself listening to over and over again.  These are the songs made me dance.  These are the songs that made me sing.  A few of these songs relaxed me when I needed to be relaxed.  One of the songs made me cry but I’m not going to say which one.

It might make you cry too.

Or it might not.

That’s the beautiful thing about art.  Everyone experiences it in their own individual way.

Here are my 14 favorite songs of 2016:

14) David Bowie — Lazarus

13) Afrojack & Hardwell — Hollywood

12) Cedric Gervais (ft. Juanes) — Este Amor

11) Matoma (ft. Becky Hall) — False Alarm

10) Radiohead — Burn the Witch

9) Gorgon City (feat Vaults) — All Four Walls

8) Penthox — Give It Away

7) Britney Spears — Clumsy

6) Martin Garrix (feat Mesto) — WIEE

5) Tiesto, Oliver Heldens (feat Natalie LaRose) — The Right Song

4) The Weekend (feat Daft Punk) — Starboy

3) Radiohead — Daydreaming

2) Coldplay — Up&Up

1) The Chemical Brothers — C-h-e-m-i-c-a-l

For my previous picks, check out 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015!

Tomorrow, I will be posting some of my favorite things that I saw on television in 2016!

Previous Entries In The Best of 2016:

  1. TFG’s 2016 Comics Year In Review : Top Tens, Worsts, And Everything In Between
  2. Anime of the Year: 2016
  3. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I Saw In 2016
  4. 2016 in Review: The Best of SyFy
  5. 2016 in Review: The Best of Lifetime
  6. 2016 in Review: Lisa Picks the 16 Worst Films of 2016!
  7. Necromoonyeti’s Top Ten Albums of 2016

The Things You Find On Netflix: XOXO (dir by Christopher Louie)


xoxo

I just watched XOXO, the latest Netflix original film and what can I say?  Well, I better figure out something to say because otherwise, this is going to be an extremely short review.

XOXO is the latest attempt to capture the American EDM scene on film and, if nothing else, it’s better than We Are Your Friends.  In the style of Richard Linklater, the film takes place over one night at the XOXO Music Festival (which should not be confused with the real-life annual festival that takes place in Portland) and follows the adventures of several different characters, all of whom are linked together by their love of a track called All I Ever Wanted.  In real-life, All I Ever Wanted is the work of Michael Brun.  In XOXO, it’s the work of a YouTube sensation named Ethan Shaw.

Krystal (Sara Hyland) comes to XOXO specifically so she can meet Jordan, a boy that she has previously only talked to online.  Despite having never met him face-to-face, Krystal is convinced that she is in love with Jordan and she wants to hear All I Ever Wanted with him by her side.  While her friends run off without her, Krystal wanders around the festival, trying to meet up with the continually elusive Jordan.

(Should I mention that Jordan was also the name of the online predator who attempted to molest Emma in the first episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation?  I guess I might as well…)

And then there’s Neil (Chris D’Elia).  Neil is old.  Neil is burned out, almost as if he spent two years co-starring in a sitcom with Whitney Cummings.  Despite having rented a party bus to take people to the festival, Neil claims that he hates the whole scene.  Neil, it turns out, is still stuck in the 90s.  Is it possible that, after making a lot of cynical comments and wandering around looking glum, Neil will eventually start to dance and get caught up in the redemptive spirit of PLUR?  (If you already know what PLUR stands for, you’ll probably enjoy XOXO more than someone who doesn’t.)

Shannie (Hayley Kiyoko) and Ray (Colin Woodell) are attending their final festival together.  Shannie will soon be moving away and she and Ray are going to have to try to do the dreaded long distance thing.  When they lose their tickets and then discover that the festival is sold out, they don’t riot like everyone else.  Instead, they duck into the sewers and try to sneak into the festival.  Of course, they get lost along the way but that gives them a chance to talk about their relationship.  Shannie and Ray didn’t get as much screentime as some of the characters but I liked them.  I related to their relationship and you know what?  I also would have found a way to sneak into the concert and hear All I Ever Wanted too.

DJ Avilo (Ryan Hansen), who is hopefully not meant to be a stand-in for the real DJ Avilo, is a superstar but he’s also a jerk.  He and his manager (LaMonica Garrett) are notorious for cheating up-and-coming young artists.  Fortunately, Avilo does get punched in the face at one point.  He deserves it.

And finally, there’s Ethan Shaw (Graham Phillips)!  Ethan has suddenly been given a chance to perform at XOXO but he only has 8 hours to get there and get prepared to perform!  Will Ethan make it and, once he arrives, will he be tricked by Avilo?  Ethan, of course, is an idealist whereas Avilo brags about how he just views everyone in the audience as being a dollar sign.  But, Avilo also says that he can make Ethan a star.  It doesn’t help that Ethan’s current manager, Tariq (Brett DelBuono) shows up late for the festival and is then kissed by a random girl who just happens to have a tap of LSD on her tongue.  While Tariq trips, Ethan struggles to maintain his integrity.

XOXO has been getting a lot of negative reviews but I actually kind of liked it.  It’s not a great film by any means but it does a good job of portraying an admittedly exaggerated version of American EDM culture.  (If you go to the film’s imdb page, you can find all the usual dismissive comments from Europeans bitching about American and western culture.  Any film that pisses off a snooty European can’t be all bad.)  The film’s totally predictable but the cast is pretty and the music’s great and really, isn’t that all that really matters?

As one character says, “I created this festival because I like to dance.  Dancing is important.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

The Joy Of Under the Electric Sky


EDC

There’s a moment in the documentary Under the Electric Sky that moved me beyond belief.

For the first 90 minutes of the film, we’ve followed different people as they experience the 2013 Electric Daisy Carnival.  Some of them are sweet, some of them are oafish, some of them are people that I would want to hang out with, and some of them I definitely would go out of my way to avoid.  The one thing that they have in common is that they love EDM and that love has brought them to Las Vegas.

One of the more likable of them is a young, wheelchair bound man named Jose.  Up until this point, we’ve seen Jose wheeling his way through the crowd, having a good time but still frustrated by the fact that he can’t see the stage from his wheelchair.  And then, while Hardwell is performing on stage, a group of strangers lift up Jose’s wheelchair, literally holding him on their shoulders so that he can see the stage.

And you know what?  I fully realize that this could have been arranged beforehand.  I understand that someone involved in production could have asked those people to lift up Jose because he or she knew it would make a perfect film moment.  But I don’t care.  It’s such a wonderful moment and it perfectly encapsulated everything that I love about the EDM scene.  It’s a moment that brought tears to my eyes when I saw it and it’s still bringing tears to my eyes as I write about it.

EDC2

As far as the rest of Under the Electric Sky is concerned, if you’re into EDM, you’ll enjoy it.  And if you’re one of those people who doesn’t get EDM — well, sucks to be you, doesn’t it?

Admittedly, the film was produced by the same people who put on the EDC and, at its weakest, it felt like a mix between an infomercial and an A&E reality show.  But at its frequent best — like in the moment described above and in the brief moments where artists like Avicii, Armin Van Buuren, and Above & Beyond open up to the camera — it’s a wonderful and heartfelt tribute to one of the most loving and misunderstood subcultures in the world.  At it’s best, Under the Electric Sky is a blast of pure musical joy and, with the world the way it is right now, we could all use a little joy.

Under the Electric Sky is currently available on Netflix and yes, I recommend it.

EDC 3