BlackBook Tracks #17: A Chill In The Air

It’s cold, y’all. I cannot even deal with this right now. New season, new moods.

How To Dress Well – “& It Was U”

Tom Krell’s vision of stripped-down R&B is warm and cold at the same time. “& It Was U” has a purity to it that’s totally unforgettable.

Dirty Projectors – “About To Die”

Dirty Projectors’ Swing Lo Magellan has received plenty of praise, and for good reason. “About To Die” shifts and twists, delicately revolving around now-trademark female vocal harmonies.

Taken By Trees – “I Want You”

Swedish artist Victoria Bergsman takes wistful sentiment and pushes it into a surprisingly weird place. Her recently released album Other Worlds sees her paying tribute to the sounds of Hawaii unlike you’ve ever heard before.

Interpol – “Next Exit”

Whenever New York starts to feel dreary, it’s time to break out the Interpol.

Dead Man’s Bones – “Pa Pa Power”

Will Ryan Gosling ever rescue me from the hazards of my own life? Will he ever record another album with Dead Man’s Bones? His meme-worthiness may have declined lately, but let’s hope the answer to both is “yes.”

Feist – “Sealion” (Chromeo remix)

Back in the day, Feist’s tribute to the selkie myth received this funked-up remix from fellow Canadians Chromeo.

Diamond Rings – “I’m Just Me” (Yelle DJs remix)

The dancefloor becomes a dark place when French favorites Yelle take on this frank synth-pop anthem.

Foals – “Black Gold”

This seems like a good time to revisit all the feelings evoked by Foals’ 2010 album Total Life Forever. Haunting, gorgeous, and tightly held together.

Nico – “These Days”

In case you’ve been thinking about The Royal Tenenbaums recently.

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Behind Ryan Gosling’s Scenes

As has been previously acknowledged by BlackBook, Ryan Gosling has a band called Dead Man’s Bones. Fittingly for an actor, Gosling inhabits various characters as he sings dramatic songs about stalkers, ghosts, and other spooky subjects. Unfittingly for an actor, his band doesn’t suck. (If only he could’ve sexually transmitted some vocal talent to Scarlett Johansson.) Dead Man’s Bones recently put on a show at New York City’s Le Poisson Rouge, and Pitchfork made a short documentary about it. Behold.

Contrary to what one expects of Pitchfork, the short film’s tone is sincere as it shows what goes into mounting a complicated performance with sets, costumes, variety show and children’s chorus. In fact, sometimes it’s almost too sincere; footage of the kids talking about what a cool, down to earth guy Ryan Gosling is, for example, seems like overkill. Then there is the scene in which Gosling asks a lackey to make one of the weirdos in the “talent show” (a member of a vaguely Dresden Dolls-y cabaret duo) cover her breasts because there are children around. This wouldn’t be so bad but for the fact that he was just talking to her, and was visibly perturbed at the sight of her erect nipples, but was too shy to say anything about it. Depending how big a crush you have on Ryan Gosling, this is either passive aggressive or endearing.

Those harboring a lady-boner for Gosling will find their flames fanned by the Caulfield-esque regard he shows for the kids; at one point he walks around making sure they’ve all eaten. Another adorable moment comes when our man must explain to a would-be talent show crasher why her “Poop Opera” doesn’t fit with the theme. “We try very hard to create a certain vibe,” he says, as gently as possible. And then there is the awesome old yoga contortionist lady. “My roommate is gonna be so jealous that I met you!” she squeals.

This is Spinal Tap this is not, and I wish there were more live concert footage, but it’s definitely interesting enough to merit a viewing. And those who I had at “Ryan Gosling” will surely enjoy it. Just make sure you “enjoy” it responsibly, i.e. not on a plane.

Videos: Hitchcock’s cameos, MGMT’s Infomercial, Wes Anderson’s ‘Spider-Man’

● An ice skater throws on some plaid and triple toe loops the hell out of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” [Boing Boing]

● All of Alfred Hitchcock’s cameos in his own films. [Moviefone]

● MGMT puts together an intentionally cheeseball infomercial to promote their new album Congratulations (comes with scratch off cover!) [Flavorwire]

● What if Wes Anderson had directed Spider-Man? [Guardian ]