There are a lot of videos coming out of Austin these days, so we’ve decided to make life easier for you by compiling some of the most notable into a recurring feature called Out of Focus.
Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders- “The Giving”
On his new song “The Giving,” Matthew Squires seems to have reconfigured himself as a twangy indie chronicler of small town disintegration, like Phil Elverum fronting Modest Mouse, heartsick lyrics sung with choked back longing not for any specific era, just times long gone on the whole. The video for the track makes that more literal as director Patrick Nichols depicts the melancholic adventures of a 21st century Walker Evans, finding art in the wastelands of small towns on their way towards consumption by an unspecified metropolis. The photographer protagonist sets up impromptu dark rooms in anonymous motels off major highways, shooting portraits of rural decay then burying them in shallow graves in empty lots, to be discovered or built over or forgotten in some other way. Like Evans’ real life photography, “The Giving” isn’t tragic, it’s merely haunting, a reminder of the subtler ways time advances without our knowing.
Good Field- “Business”
When I wrote about Good Field’s single “Business” a while back, I didn’t exactly have a specific visual accompaniment in mind but even if I had, A Clockwork Orange with luchadors instead of droogs likely would not have been it. “Business” the track is an airy power pop number but Good Field made the curious (but great) decision to film it as a home invasion thriller, as two lucha masked bandits break into some Travis Heights millionaire’s oddly empty abode. The illegal luchas bust open rich guy’s head and then raid his liquor cabinet and safe, eventually heading off to what looks like another victim but turns out to be a rad house party. I’m not condoning violence or anything but I got bills by the bushel and so this video might double as my new “escape debt” fantasy.
Kydd Jones- “Patience”
A lot of what I love about LNS Crew comes down to their willingness to play with different sounds and concepts. Kydd Jones and his collaborator Scott Pace mostly stick to the poppier end of the hip hop spectrum but even there they work in a lot of experimentation, with Pace’s recent beats showing off some Eric Dingus-levels of spaciness but with more flavorful samples and textures. “Patience,” the newest effort from Kydd, is especially indicative of this, Kydd’s vocal going almost anti-rhythmic, anchoring itself to the empty spaces between beats. The video is less experimental, though, drenched in somber black and white as it depicts kids struggling to get by as Kydd hops around as the embodiment of their frustration with the constant pleas for “patience.” Like the clip for “The Giving” that kicked off this week’s Out of Focus, it’s got a Walker Evans feel, but here it is explicitly melancholic, King Vidor gone urban and colorless.
Nick Hanover got his degree from Disneyland, but he’s the last of the secret agents and he’s your man. Which is to say you can find his particular style of espionage here at Ovrld as well as Loser City, where he mostly writes about comics. You can also flip through his archives at Comics Bulletin, which he is formerly the Co-Managing Editor of, and Spectrum Culture, where he contributed literally hundreds of pieces for a few years. Or if you feel particularly adventurous, you can always witness his odd .gif battles with his friends and enemies on twitter: @Nick_Hanover