Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Don't Drink the Water

A fiery, fervent anti-colonialist parable that is highly reminiscent of Peter Gabriel's more visceral moments, the Dave Matthews Band's "Don't Drink the Water" has an intensely cinematic promo that displays in vivid detail the persecution of the Native Americans by Spanish conquistadors. Backed by Alanis Morissette on additional vocals and Béla Fleck on banjo, "Don't Drink the Water" went on to become a Number Four hit for the group back in April 1998. Check out its brilliantly constructed video clip here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Throw Your Arms Around Me

A wonderfully convivial performance of the beloved Hunters and Collectors chestnut "Throw Your Arms Around Me" is done by original songwriter Mark Seymour and Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder during an Australian tour by the latter. Check out the engaging live reading of one of the most underrated love songs of all time here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lifetime Piling Up

Simultaneously a razor-sharp critique of rampant capitalism and a classic existentialist-angst rant, Talking Heads' final single "Lifetime Piling Up" remains one of the most under-appreciated gems in the post-punk and new-wave icons' extensive discography. It's also a brilliant summation of the band's mind-bogglingly expansive musical blueprint, with West African tribal rhythms, blue-eyed soul, Middle Eastern tonalities and gospel call-and-response all wrapped up in one neat package. Check out the carefully constructed video clip, which comprises a breathataking montage of all of the band's promos up to their disbandment in 1992.

Monday, November 12, 2007

By This River

In a catalogue strewn with offbeat electronic experimentations, avant-garde ambient soundscapes and spooky world-beat set pieces, veteran prog-rocker Brian Eno's "By This River" is an island of sonic tranquillity that is striking in its relatively straightforward application of commonplace pop aesthetics. Backed by the surprising aid of veteran Kraut-rock exponents Cluster, Eno has created a stately, downbeat elegy that, while boasting none of the wild, improvisatory concepts that informs most of his other works, does possess a certain pastoral charm of its own, manifested in the carefully shaded synth arpeggios, modulated drones and low-key vocalisation. Check out this piece of auditory calmness here, set to a surreal, impressionistic video clip comprising nature-inspired imagery.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Bibo no Aozora

A devastatingly beautiful piece of Chopin-esque piano balladry, "Bibo no Aozora" remains one of the most compelling and emotional tracks in consummate musical Renaissance man Ryuichi Sakamoto's extensive catalogue, and was most recently used during the closing credits for the complex cross-cultural flick "Babel". Check out a live performance of this elegant ballad captured during Sakamoto's 1996 "Trio" world tour, with able support from violinist Everton Nelson and cellist Jaques Morelenbaum.