Last week’s prediction: bald dude, lots of anguish.
Never had the impression that the iTunes free Single of the Week was the equivalent of those bargain cassette bins that used to lurk in the front of record stores, pawning off Filter overstock onto unsuspecting mall-goers, but what other explanation is there for posting a song that’s a full two years old? “Of course this is free now!,” says iTunes commenter sir benjamin, the music review guy: “I already bought it.”
Of course, nothing ever dies in licensing world, which is the realm the Republic Tigers’ “Buildings and Mountains” has clearly been retrieved from, having been featured on not just Grey’s Anatomy but the mother of all licensing opportunities, Gossip Girl. (Thurston Moore, at Sunday’s Brooklyn Book Festival, quoted an unnamed bozo exec as telling Sonic Youth that “The only way your music can succeed is to be placed on Gossip Girl,” so clearly a movement is afoot here—just ask last week’s iTunes Single of the Week, Lenka, who’s presumably still collecting that Courtney-Cox-masturbating-in-Dirt money.) Making this confluence official is the band’s new label, Chop Shop Records, run by one Alexandra Patsavas, a/k/a onetime music supervisor for The O.C. and, yup, Grey’s Anatomy.
This tells you your broad strokes here: post-U2 wide-open-western-sky rock, as envisioned by dudes gunning for as many heartbroken montages as possible. Commentator Love de Freak gets this interesting joke in, though: “BUILDINGS & BANANAS”! Almost enough to make me like it.
The video, oddly, appears to illustrate the band’s empty sense of purpose, the void at the heart of the vague: the band carries a rowboat around land for a while, and then, just as it looks like they may be headed to an actual body of water (spoiler alert!) they just set the boat down in some desert somewhere and then sit in it, motionless.
Next week’s prediction: uh, highly-licensed and on a TV soundtrack?