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So, as usual, the job has been insane this month, and has kept me away from here for a week and a half.  But, upon seeing this spot, the first trailer for HBO’s upcoming series Treme,  I have come running back.

My reaction?  Oh.  Hell.  Yes.  I can’t even put into words how stoked I am about this show.  I have heaped tons of adulation on David Simon in the past, and probably have even mentioned that based on The Wire and Generation Kill, he has earned enough good faith from me that I will pretty much geek out on anything he does.  However, looking at this first teaser, I don’t think there exists a world where I wouldn’t be super excited based on what I’ve seen.

The whole thing is light on characters and dialogue, but oh-so-heavy on mood and music.  I really like the the direction that this show looks to be heading in.  Hell, the final title shot with the trombone was enough to have me grinning from ear to ear.

New Orleans is a city that’s rich with culture and history, not to mention recent social and political developments, and that has always been largely reflected in its music.  This spot suggests to me that Treme is going to crush the musical aspects of the series right out of the park (for those of you who wonder whether David Simon knows his music as well as he knows his words, I suggest you check this out).

April 11th can’t come fast enough.  Here’s the official site for the show over at HBO if you want to check out more.

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Tegan & Sara “Alligator”

If you’ve read this blog, it’s probably not news to you that I really enjoyed Tegan & Sara’s last album Sainthood (though I recently was with a lady friend who accused me of being girly for liking it). All of the songs were such tightly spun pop-masterpieces that any one of them easily could have been released as a single.  Well, the sisters Quin haven’t exactly been testing that theory with a whole flood of videos, but at least the ones that we have gotten have been of a high quality.  The video is a fun, if somewhat sparce, semi-arctic affair that really fits the tone of the song.  Give it a watch and then, as always, head over to the band’s MySpace page or their official website for more music and information on where you can see them live.

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Oh, the rambunctious Vampire Weekend kids, just always getting into shenanigans (I feel like I may have misused shenanigans there).  Here is the latest video (courtesy of Spinner) to come from their awesome album Contra, and you may notice that it features some unconventional personalities like the RZA (aka Bobby Digital) and Jake Gyllenhaal.  The song is “Giving Up the Gun,” and is one of the stronger tracks on a very strong album (check the HItV review, which I am too lazy to link to, for more details on that), and the video is suitably weird. After checking out the fun videos for songs like “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” and “Cousins,” I guess that’s something I should come to except from the band.  Weird and fun.  A wonderful combo.  Check out the band’s MySpace page or their official site for more details about where and when you can see the super-popular ivy-leaguers live.

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Okay, so speaking of trade paperbacks that are coming out…  If you went to some place that happens to sell comic books today, you probably saw the hardcover for Mark Millar’s much-ballyhooed Kick-Ass prominently displayed on the shelves.  The book, which in full disclosure I have never read a single frame of, has become something of a phenomenon.  Millar’s work has always been on the flashier side.  His work in Marvel’s Civil War, Wanted, Ultimate X-Men, and Old Man Logan were all pretty much “event” series that demanded the attention of even casual fans, so perhaps it was only a natural that this latest series practically left fans foaming at the mouth.  In fact, the book even spawned a film adaptation before the first volume was even finished from underrated director Matthew Vaughn (who you might have noticed previously adapted Neil Gaiman’s Stardust).

The series, which features art from John Romita Jr, is supposedly a Millar book through-and-through, as it combines hyper-violent action pieces with more everyday characters and some wickedly profane humor.  If you somehow, like me, haven’t read it yet… well, it’s basically almost mandatory that you go out and do so.  The book is now available in hardcover volume one form everywhere.  If you would like to find out a little more beyond what I’ve told you, the best places for such investigation are Mark Millar’s official website, or the official website for the book’s publisher Icon, which is a division of Marvel.  Oh yeah, and in case you haven’t seen it yet (and don’t mind some minor spoilers), below is the trailer for the upcoming Kick-Ass film.  Enjoy both.

UPDATE: Perhaps after I’ve read the trade I bought today, I’ll post some thoughts in the comments section.

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Lissie “In Sleep”

I realized when looking back over my year-end lists somewhat recently, that there was one particularly glaring oversight on my part.  That, of course, was that I left Lissie’s fabulous EP Why You Runnin’ off of my “best EPs of 2009” list.  Her brand of spirited country-rock proved to make for one of my very favorite releases last year, and one that I’m still listening to all these months later.  Above (thanks to Under the Radar for the heads up) is a live performance video for an unreleased song by the title of “In Sleep,” which has all of the gritty down home elements that I absolutely love about Lissie’s music.  Heck, the video itself seems to be drenched in a haze that really fits the material.  Hmmmm, unreleased track…  a full length LP to follow perhaps?  Let’s hope so.  To hear more of Lissie please head to her MySpace page, and for the love of everything sacred, buy Why You Runnin’ for yourself!

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I’m a bit late on the repost of this video (via Stereogum) for Phenomenal Handclap Band’s latest video for the song “Baby”.  Now the group really started to garner some serious attention and quietly build up a pretty sizable fan-base last year, so I’m expecting to see some pretty big things out of them in 2010.  The humorously dark video for “Baby” is something of the inverse of the cheery and soulful song, but somehow the band (and director Stephen Agnew) manage to make the whole thing work in a cool little 1970’s horror/Stephen King kind of a way.  If you haven’t already heard the band’s self-titled debut from last year, you should probably head over to their official website/MySpace page and check it out now, as well as find out where and when you can catch the group in person sometime in the coming year.

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The Antlers “Bear”

Is there a band that has been more wonderfully depressing than the Antlers?  Don’t get me wrong, I love me a track that’s uplifting and fun to dance to, but there’s something to be said for a band that can skillfully drag you right down into the doldrums.  “Bear” is actually one of the more light-hearted tracks on last year’s standout release Hopsice, but that doesn’t mean you should be ready for giggles and grins when you sit down to watch the band’s latest video (which comes courtesy of Pitchfork and their always sleek video player).  You should definitely give the video a watch as the Antlers are getting more and more popular, and deserving every fan that they attract. Also, word on the street is that the live performances of Hospice have grown into something of an art form, so if you want to find out where you can check that out for yourself, head to the band’s MySpace page or their official site for more details.

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