ready let's roll onto something new
I know what you're thinking. "Gee kid, this mix seems pretty f**king predictable so far." And you'd be right. With the possible exception of track #2, it's been a fairly obvious bunch of tracks. Hey, it's my year-end mix, so it shouldn't be all that suprising what's on it. Still, I chose to begin The Big Ticket's Mix '04 with a bang, thus all the bombastic indie rock tracks, of which this is yet another. Be patient, I'm getting there...
As 2004 comes to a close, I am still torn about Las Vegas' The Killers. I saw them play an very sparse room when they opened for stellastarr* at the Entry back in the spring, when they were just the blogosphere's buzz band. Then their debut album Hot Fuss dropped, and I had to fend off a packed crowd of obnoxious 16 year-olds when I saw them again at the f**king Quest in the fall. And then they're on last week's episode of The O.C.. But it's not the Killers' burgeoning popularity that seems to bother me.
In a previous post, I pondered my confusion about their song "Indie Rock & Roll", which only appeared on the UK version on Hot Fuss. A more recent example of why I'm conflicted about this band is their new video for "Mr. Brightside", an over-the-top (and costumed) play on the film Moulin Rouge helmed by veteran music video director Sophie Muller & featuring actress Izabella Miko (of Coyote Ugly fame, if you can call it that) as frontman Brandon Flowers' love interest & B-actor Eric Roberts as a bordello owner.
FYI: I watched the video via iTunes, as i was unable to get my Mac to view it properly through the links at Launch or VH1. It can also be seen at the Killers' official site (registration required). For more general info on the video, check out these news links from MTV & MuchMusic.
Once again, I'm struggling to figure out whether Flowers & Co. are sell-outs or advanced mad geniuses. On the surface, this US version of the "Mr. Brightside" video (the original UK version was a black & white performance piece, similar to the "Somebody Told Me" vid) seems extravagant & gaudy, big-budget fluff to push a relatively new band's second single, "celebrity" cameos & all. But on closer inspection, are the Killers just screwing with us, satirizng the eye candy spectacles we come to expect from most videos?
Perhaps there is purpose to the choice of Roberts, who is a kitch icon. I mean, why else is he tossing apples around like that? Perhaps Brandon isn't acting badly, but merely over-acting on purpose ("it was only a kiss!"). Why else are Brandon & Eric Roberts playing a heated game of checkers? If you look closely, you'll see that the kick drum reads "The Genius Sex Poets", the johns are unfazed, even bored, by the dancers lifting up their skirts, and at the end Brandon just walks away from his lady love. All of this is very odd, and yet I find myself laughing my ass off each time I watch it.
But is it brilliant, or merely ridiculous?
Anyway, the Killers seemingly came out of nowhere this year to gain both indie & mainstream popularity, and they keep messing with my head. All of that aside, I was all about "Somebody Told Me" when I first heard it amidst all the blog hype back in March/April. Hot Fuss may not have been all that & a bag of chips, but it did sport a bunch of solid tracks, of which this was the breakthrough single. The Killers aren't "the greatest band in world" as some have claimed, but they don't suck ba**s as others have opined. I will say this - they are intriguing, and it's got a good beat you can dance to.
Track 01: The Arcade Fire - "Wake Up"
Track 02: Frou Frou - "Let Go"
Track 03: The Walkmen - "The Rat"
Track 04: Interpol - "C'mere"
Track 05: Franz Ferdinand - "Jacqueline"
ATTN NYC FOLK
Head on out to Pianos tonite to catch Sam Champion (the Brooklyn-based rock band, not the local openly-gay weatherman), who will be performing along with Demander & Kevin Devine. Details, I got 'em:
Wednesday, December 8
158 Ludlow Street, NYC
8pm, 21+ $5
Kevin Devine @ 11pm
Demander @ 9:30pm
Sam Champion @ 8:30pm
(set times courtesy Good Times Roll)
MP3 Sam Champion - "Now Look At Me" (from Slow Rewind, coming soon)
MP3 Demander - "Wicked World" (from Viva Demanda)