How vantastic, it's Video Vriday! This week we've got some videos and some non-videos. I'll explain.
Here's a video that's sort of a non-video, by which I mean it's a visual accompaniment to the Minus 5's new song, a nine-minute epic about Michael Nesmith. Wait, the same Michael Nesmith who appeared in the paper this week? Who was a member of the Monkees and has a long and illustrious solo career, only part of which involved music? The same Michael Nesmith who produced Repo Man and inherited the Liquid Paper fortune? The very same. The Minus 5's Scott McCaughey turned a lengthy poem about Nesmith into this song, which treats Papa Nez as the somewhat mythical character he is, imbuing him with everyman humanity, imagining what it might have been like to have been risen to the ridiculous heights of fame that the Monkees reached, and how you sort your life out after something like that. Michael Nesmith performs TONIGHT at the Aladdin Theater; I don't know if Portland will get another chance to see him.
Carrying the non-video theme for one more song, here is the brand-new "lyric video" for Portland thrash metal band Toxic Holocaust. Now, a lyric video is often a cheap ploy to get a band's new song on YouTube without actually having to film an expensive video. But this one looks pretty legit to me, a full cinematic (and spooky) accompaniment to "Agony of the Damned," with some lyrics so you can sing along karaoke-style. This track comes from Toxic Holocaust's forthcoming rarities anthology, From the Ashes of Nuclear Destruction, which comes out Tuesday on Relapse Records. An earlier version of "Agony of the Damned" appeared on TH's Conjure and Command, which was your mother's favorite album of 2011.
Here's a more conventional video-video, shot to honor Fort George's new Tender Loving Empire Northwest Pale Ale—named after the local label/boutique that's become a stronghold of Portland music. The Astoria brewery made a beer for TLE, and now Typhoon have made a video for the beer! (And now I'm making a blog post for the video. If someone would like to make me something, that would be nice.) This lovely clip sees Typhoon performing on the banks of the Willamette at night, performing the oldie "Sea Shanty II," which originally appeared on their 2007 EP Dearborn Sessions. The omnipresent Into the Woods folks are responsible for this one, and more music videos from Radiation City, Y la Bamba, and Brainstorm, made for Tender Loving Empire Northwest Pale Ale are on the way. Which doesn't change the fact that there is none of this beer in my mouth right now. A problem. It shall be rectified soon. (ALSO! Tender Loving Empire just made you a new mixtape. Go and listen.) (ALSO ALSO! The beer gets a local launch party, or release show, or something, at Bunk Bar on May 4.)
Last week Black Prairie appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and it took a few days, but now the video is up for viewing so you don't have to scroll through the whole episode on NBC's site just to see these goods. It's a fine take on "Nowhere, Massachusetts," including Jon Moen on drums, and a solo from Chris Funk on what I think—I'm no expert—is some sort of hammered dulcimer set up with a keyboard rig. It's either that or an ocarina. I know nothing about music!
Lastly, here's one from the Portland based Rare Monk, for the song Underground off their new album Sleep/Attack. This is a striking clip about what looks like a virtual reality experiment gone horridly wrong. OR maybe one of those sensory deprivation tanks? There are worms, and bodies rising from the earth, and an animated bird, and floating nude men, and if I told you I knew what was happening here, I would be a big ol' liar. Still, pretty! The clip was directed by Dylan Wilbur, and is a fine visual accompaniment to the band's dramatic, unusual indie-rock sound.