First Look: Prada’s Music-Fueled Spring/Summer 2012 Campaign Video

Oh, if all trips to the gas station were as stylish as this. For Prada’s latest campaign video, the Italian luxury brand brought their killer SS12 collection to life by taking their girls on a journey to ’50s Americana. But it’s not just any retro-themed flick; the film’s soundtrack includes an advanced mash-up of tunes by the likes of electronic wizards Tobacco (ft. Aesop Rock) and Brooklyn-based Sleigh Bells, along with melancholy interludes while the radio station switches sounds.

The rest of the playlist includes "Funnel of Love" by Duck and Cover, "Musaphonic" by Tom Recchion, and "Written All Over Your Face" by Ariel Pink. As far as the video’s setting goes, Prada’s press release states that the gas station "is cast as a central symbol in this post-modern crossroads of new horizons and economic fulfilment, a stage set where fashion, fantasy and the promise of new discoveries collide." Only Prada could make a common chore such as fueling your car look and sound this cool. 

Video: Courtesy of Prada

October 1st in Arts & Culture

Certainly, every writer’s dream is to have a room of one’s own unimpeded by the daunting tasks of everyday life. But these are rough times, and who can afford to put themselves in an aesthetically pleasing solitude for a more than an hour? Well, now, maybe you. The Paris Review has announced today that they’ve partnered up with Standard, East Village to find a new Writer-in-Residence. The lucky recipient of their endowment must be a writer with a book under contract, and will receive a room at the hotel for three weeks of uninterrupted work. Check out the application and details

Last week we listened to Sleigh Bell’s remix of Phoenix’s “Trying to Be Cool,” but when not tweaking and shaking other’s tracks, the Brooklyn duo have been gearing up to release their new album Bitter Rivals. “Even though our music is bombastic and tough and abrasive, this record is super positive,” singer Alexis Krauss tells Rolling Stone. Head over there now to stream the whole album in its entirety before it drops on October 8th via Mom + Pop.

So far this fall, we’ve taken at look at both the best in film events, retrospectives, and premieres happening around New York City as given our essential alternate fall film guide, but as today marks the beginning of a new month and the true start to autumn, plenty of new features will soon be rolling into theaters near you. For a comprehensive list on what to see, check out The Dissolve’s 2013 Fall Movie Preview
This past week, the Coen Brothers’ highly-anticipated new feature Inside Llewyn Davis premiered at NYFF at rave reviews. Based on the memoir The Maymor of MacDougal Street by Dave Van Ronk, the film reunites Drive‘s Irene and Standard (Carey Mulligan and Oscar Isaac) as Llewyn and Jean to tell the story of the titular character, a song-songwriter making his way through the 1960s folk scene in New York City. Justin Timberlake, Adam Driver, John Goodman, and Garrett Hedlund round out the cast. So in anticipation for the film, check out Inside Llewyn Davis’ press conference held at Lincoln Center with Joel and Ethan Coen, Oscar Isaac, and John Goodman, hosted by Kent Jones. 

BlackBook Tracks #39: The New Style

Who’s ready to go dancing this weekend? It’s been another week packed with high-profile remixes, and here are just some of the best ones. (Bonus tracks: French producer Kulkid’s take on Foals’ “Out Of The Woods” and Dave Harrington’s remake of “Why Didn’t You Save Me” by Nicolas Jaar.)


Phoenix – “Trying To Be Cool” (Sleigh Bells remix)
Though they’re getting ready to release their third album, indie rockers Sleigh Bells have found time for remixing duties. The duo takes on "Trying To Be Cool," a highlight from Phoenix’s Bankrupt! from earlier this year.  It’s an interesting choice when singer Alexis Krauss has been one of the coolest people in music for years now, but her bubblegum voice fits well as she sings along with Thomas Mars. Sleigh Bells’ new record Bitter Rivals is out next month on Mom + Pop.

Fryars – “Cool Like Me” (Mike Skinner remix)
London’s Fryars already knows he’s cool. The singer/producer teamed up with Mike Skinner of the Streets fame to remake his acclaimed single “Cool Like Me.” Unfortunately, Skinner doesn’t rap on this remix, but he injects some dancefloor aggression into the original’s chilled-out taunt. The two artists reunited for this slyly humorous video, filmed at London Fashion Week.

Empire Of The Sun – “DNA” (Yuksek remix)
Synth-pop duo Empire Of The Sun is still living the dream, following their latest album Ice On The Dune. For new single “DNA,” the Australians handed the track over to remixers including Brodinski, Calvin Harris, and Alex Metric. On his take on the track, French electro genius Yuksek indulges his nu-disco side, pumping up a funky bassline that will make you want to don wizard robes and a fancy headdress of your own.

Angel Haze – “Echelon” (Jagwar Ma remix)
Jagwar Ma did plenty of genre blending on their accomplished debut album Howlin, mixing psych rock and dance music with ease. Now, the Australian duo’s taken on hip-hop with this remix of Angel Haze’s "Echelon," lowering the young rapper’s voice to a threatening pitch. Fans in New York and California will get to see Jagwar Ma come up from Down Under when the band makes its American live debut next week.

Escort – “Cabaret” (Little Boots remix)
Brooklyn disco collective Escort packs a lot into its songs, and latest single “Cabaret” is no exception. On this remix, British synth princess Little Boots stretches the track out to over eight minutes, scrapping the vocals and turning the song into an extended dancefloor trance. Little Boots’ second album Nocturnes is out now.

Death Rattle, ‘Fortress’ EP : The Preview

So it’s funny: when a press release lands in your inbox declaring some band the heir to The Knife, Sleigh Bells, Depeche Mode, Massive Attack, Portishead, Zola Jesus, Fever Ray, and Nine Inch Nails, you’re going to be skeptical. But also, admit it: your curiosity is piqued by the boldness (if not the long-windedness) of such claims.

Such is the case with Death Rattle, a duo who have one goth-pop EP, HE&I, under their belts. Another, Fortress, is on the way. And you know what? They may not be The Knife, but they’ll certainly do the trick. Check out a YouTube sampler of everything you’ve got coming to you:

Promising, no? If you want to hear a full song, though, check out “The Blows” below. Lot of rhyming in that sentence, sorry. You can download this track for free, by the way.

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

Upcoming Hurricane Sandy Benefits Shows From Aziz Ansari, Neil Young, Grizzly Bear, and More

If you still want to help out East Coasters affected by Hurricane Sandy and do so in an environment with adult beverages and high-caliber entertainment, this week, a couple more enticing Sandy benefits have been announced. So if you’re looking for something to do next week and live in the greater New York, Atlantic City, or Los Angeles areas, here you go.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse will perform in Atlantic City on December 6th at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, with proceeds going to the Red Cross.

On December 10th, a group of comedians you might recognize are getting together for “We Hate Hurricanes,” a night of comedy to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy at L.A.’s Nokia Theater. The venerable Jon Hamm is emceeing the event, with headliners Aziz Ansari, Will Ferrell, Sarah Silverman, and music from Beck along with even more acts. All proceeds from the show will go to AmeriCares, and pre-sale tickets go on sale today; general sale starts tomorrow.

One of the biggest announced shows is the 12/12/12 benefit gig for the Robin Hood Relief Fund, on December 12th at Madison Square Garden. The headliners play like an all-star Super Bowl halftime show: Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, The Who, Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl, and, of course, Bruce Springsteen. If you still want to help out and rock out but the idea of a Bon Jovi show at the Garden sounds a bit too overwhelming, New York’s Terminal 5 is hosting a “4Artists1Cause” benefit on December 14th, featuring performances from Grizzly Bear, Sleigh Bells, Antlers, and Cults. More acts will be announced soon. Tickets are $40, with proceeds going to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City

Sleigh Bells Go Emo With New Video for “End of the Line”

Best known for adrenaline-fuelled anthems—and front woman Alexis Krauss’s perfectly tattered hot pants—Brooklyn-based rock duo and denim enthusiasts Sleigh Bells take a dreamy nostalgic approach with their latest video for smoothed-out track “End of the Line.” Sleigh Bells guitarist Derek Miller, who told us back in February that the song is "quite possibly the darkest I’ve ever written," helped co-direct the new vid that features indie hottie Krauss wandering around aimlessly in a so-bad-it’s-good Laura Ingalls-inspired seventies nightie and showing off her mad sidesaddle bicycling skills. Check this twosome on tour this fall in support of their badass sophomore effort Reign of Terror

Photo by Flora Hanitijo

Sleigh Bells & A Brief Compendium of Memorable Musical Guests on ‘No Reservations’

Over the past seven years, the guest list on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations has read like your fantasy dinner party. The author and chef has had a number of cultural icons show him around on his culinary and travel adventures, including authors Gary Shteyngart, Chuck Palahniuk and the late Harvey Pekar; culinary headliners like Thomas Keller, Marco Pierre White and Ferran and Albert Adria of elBulli; and a host of musicians, including Marky Ramone, Queens of the Stone Age, David Johansen of the New York Dolls and Buster Poindexter and Morcheeba’s Paul Godfrey.

The ninth and final season of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations begins on September 3rd in Austin, and the first episode has an appearance from blistering indie duo Sleigh Bells, revealed in a teaser clip that was released this week. Here are some other musical artists of note who joined Bourdain for food, shenanigans, sharp voiceovers and the occasional shotgun demo.

Alice Cooper (American Southwest, Season 4)

At the end of the day, you get an accomplished writer and television host and the venerable king of shock-rock together, and you get two dudes talking about baseball. There’s something poetic in this, maybe.

Ted Nugent (American Southwest, Season 4)

The active hunting enthusiast and proud National Rifle Association member has mostly been in the news for his rather outspoken (and outrageous) political statemnts, most recently about how President Obama should be sent to Cuba. But the Nuge’s appearance on No Reservations depicts a more multifaceted side of the Motor City Madman, one that shows a deep reverence for the animals he kills and the ecosystem they inhabit and refers to hunting as a “spiritual erection.” During their post-hunt barbecue, you can almost smell the wild boar bacon. Mmmmmm.

Das Racist (Holiday Special, Season 6)

This is exactly the sort of appearance you’d expect from Das Racist on a sendup of a tacky holiday special. Their entrance, with heads as eggs in Bourdain’s fridge, is one of the most unsettling things that’s been on television in recent years. The actual performance is wonderfully weird.

The Black Keys (Kansas City, Season 8)

On an episode celebrating the finer points of the KC experience — blues, booze and above all, barbecue —Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney “kidnap” Bourdain while on tour, and they stop at a ‘cue joint to trade stories of life on the road and life in the kitchen. Unsurprisingly, the stories are similar, and sometimes involve handguns and cocaine. 

Sleigh Bells (Austin, Season 9)

Turns out Sleigh Bells have really, really nice friends. Friends that will make you fancy cocktails and cook you lobster boils and pig roasts and give you spontaneous tattoos if you ask nicely or are Anthony Bourdain. If this season begins with Bourdain getting a sun tattoo, hopefully the rest will be ride-or-die and feature more musicians with really awesome friends.  

Sleigh Bells’ One-Two Punch of “Demons” Video, Diplo Remix

Demons,” spirit-squad-from-Hell Sleigh Bells’ third single from sophomore album Reign of Terror, is an explosion of chainsaw guitars, knife-in-the-back choruses and a beat that will intimidate you into dancing, or at least head-banging. Naturally, it would have to have a loud, head-banging video to go with it.  

Sleigh Bells’ Derek Miller and Gregory Kohn of Florida Pictures directed the video, which, as Pitchfork reports, was inspired by old performances of Pantera (RIP Dimebag). Footage of the crowd slow-mo dancing and the band rocking out comes from four shows in Oklahoma City, Omaha, Houston and Dallas. Now everyone who was at those shows will be trying to find themselves in the dimly lit slow-mo shots. Sorry, guys.

If that wasn’t enough for you, a Diplo remix of the track was also released today, if you want some extra electric-blippy-dance goodness with your creepy vocal vibes. Watch and listen to both below and turn them way the hell up.

Beach House And Other Bands In Car Commercials

That’s one major car accident for Beach House.

The Baltimore-based band, which just this week released a new album titled Bloom, was allegedly approached recently by an advertising agency looking to license the track “Take Care” for use in a Volkswagen commercial. The band declined, but here we are watching that commercial and the song in it – done by an outfit called Sniffy Dog – well, it sounds an awful lot like “Take Care.”

“The ad agency actively tried to license “Take Care” from us for weeks, to which we politely declined,” the band wrote in a statement on its Facebook page. “People’s comments/anger should not be directed towards VW or us. It was the ad agency that made these moves. I hope this also clarifies to fans and non-fans just how ‘Take Care’ and the VW ad song are related.”

In our review, BlackBook called the album “shimmery and upbeat,” which might be just what got the ad agency so excited. But hey, Beach House could in worse company—bands including The Walkmen, Wilco, Cat Power, Phoenix, Sleigh Bells and Grizzly Bear have had songs in car commercials and no evil has yet come of it.

You can check out some of our favorites below.