Dunce Flash: Tuesday, August 17

Eek – I haven’t been blogging regularly, as I’ve been on a bit of a chase, journalistically speaking. I’m building a mystery, y’all know? Anyway. So much has happened recently, and I’ve been AWOL. Here are a few things that have led to incredible excitement.

It’s getting hard to keep pretending I’m worth your time

I’m not going to lie. The just-released video for Yeasayer‘s single “Madder Red” is weird. It’s kooky and certainly off-kilter, but it’s also sweet and tender. The gorgeous Kristen Bell of Veronica Mars fame is the leading lady in this video, which New York mag’s Vulture blog calls “the touching story of a girl and her pet blob monster.” And they’re not kidding. The object of Bell’s affection isn’t cute or cuddly but rather totally grotesque and absurd. It looks a bit like the inside of a body, with an oozingly bloody facial cavity thing and piercing blue eyes.

The video, directed by Swede Andreas Nilsson (a long time music video man behind songs by Fever Ray, José González and one of my personal favorites, I’m From Barcelona’s “We’re From Barcelona”) is certainly a bit creepy but it’s also heartwrenching. Check it out below, and definitely give Yeasayer’s full album, the incredible Odd Blood, a listen. [NY Mag]

Let it Sway

Springfield, Missouri's Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin

I really must have been living under a rock these last few weeks. Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin – one of my absolute favorite bands – just released a brand new album today. Their third LP, Let it Sway, is joyous. I’ve been a huge SSLYBY fan since their inception and the release of their first album, Broom, and Let it Sway doesn’t disappoint – it is refreshing. It’s hook-laden with ooh’s, aah’s and ear-pleasing choruses, and the feel is ’90s powerpop, recalling Built to Spill or a softer, more sing-songy Camper Van Beethoven. It’s a record of good-feelings and, while not as stellar as Broom, it has its standouts. Check out the lead single and title track “Sink/Let it Sway” below or give a listen to the anthemic attention-grabber “Back in the Saddle.”

The album is out today via Polyvinyl. [Paste]

Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin, “Sink/Let it Sway”

Weezer loses sense of irony – and gains indie musicality

Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo with album namesake

Weezer is going indie with their forthcoming eighth album Hurley. Rolling Stone reports the band will be channeling “Sixties pop” on the disc, to be released Sept. 14. The band isn’t merely changing their sound – they’re switching labels too. They’ve left their longtime label Geffen/Interscope and are seeking solace at California-based Epitaph, known for hosting bands such as Alkaline Trio (after their parting from Vagrant), Motion City Soundtrack and the Weakerthans. The album art, which Weezer also released last week, actually is a headshot of Lost character Hugo “Hurley” Reyes, portrayed by Jorge Garcia. I’m excited for their alleged return to indie. It’ll be a nice change of pace after the machine-like churning out of Top 40-ready records (though “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” was entirely charming, thanks in great part to producer and lyricist Butch Walker). I’m eager for Hurley – even despite the cheesy (cheeky?) and dated cover work. And despite the rather paltry attempt at a first single, “Memories.” [Rolling Stone]

And in other Weezer news – guitarist Brian Bell hinted in an interview at the Mile High Festival in Denver that the band would be touring in support of their pinnacle album, Pinkerton, which has reached cult classic status since its release in 1996. This one is personally near and dear to my heart. Pinkerton remains one of my absolute favorite albums, and the band is releasing a deluxe reissue of the record October 5 on Geffen. Keep your fingers – and toes! – crossed that Bell isn’t just merely being a tease. [MySpace music]

Weezer, “Memories” (the first single from Hurley)

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