I saw for the first time a great new show on the Sundance Channel (one of the few reasons why I get cable to begin with). The objective of the 35-minute long program Sonic Cinema is to celebrate "the ways music and movies connect - focusing on the ways that musicians and filmmakers play off each other." The program is hosted by Dimitri Ehrlich, "a music journalist, songwriter, and the author of two books: Inside the Music: Conversations with Contemporary Musicians (1998) and Move The Crowd: Voices and Faces of the Hip-Hop Nation (1999) which he co-wrote with his brother, Gregor Ehrlich." Ehrlich's writing have also appeared in Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and Spin, among other publications. Although Ehrlich might have been the weak point of the show, having lost some cred for showing up in a blue button-down office shirt and khaki pants (I mean, Kurt Loder even looks cooler), the in-depth looks into music video production and audio/video creativity were well worth it.
I watched the third installation of the informative show, which featured Sub Pop's The Shins' video for New Slang, a pretty cool Fischerspooner video (the band sounds more like Depeche Mode than did Depeche Mode itself), and Police drummer Stuart Copeland's recent film score projects. I hadn't before seen the Shins' video, a hip collage of who's who in 80s and 90s indie and punk rock. Essentially what the Shins did "to pay homage" (their words) to their roots, was to recreate album covers of various legendary indie rock and punk bands ranging from The Minutemen to Slint. Music website, Stomp and Stammer wrote:
Perhaps the coolest thing the band has done, however, is the video for "New Slang." Directed by Lance Bangs, it follows the members of The Shins through a surreal world where every scene looks like the cover of some seminal indie-rock and punk album from the '80s and '90s. That's them on a rooftop looking quite scruffy a la The Replacements' Let It Be, driving a VW Bug down the highway, viewed from the back seat, as on The Minutemen's Double Nickels on the Dime, wandering amongst the wreckage like Husker Du on Zen Arcade, and many more. It's a brilliant, clever clip and Mercer is quick to give credit where it's due: