Out of Focus: Gloves, SLOOOM, Kitty

Out of Focus

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.

Gloves- “Black Dress”


Last I visually checked in with Gloves, they were droney Hotel Vegas regulars playing a show with the Motel Ball Band, but they’ve upped their game considerably since then, decking themselves out in horrendous black turtlenecks and Bar Mitzvah jewelry to go with their general “anti-garage” attitude. I think the point is “fuck style, here’s poise” in the archaic equilibrium sense, not the grace sense, though there is ample grace in every rhythm this band unleashes. To make it all clearer, the boys brought their turtlenecks on over to “Black Dress,” a video where they rock some James Brown verve as they provide the soundtrack to an exceptionally odd date in the secret Austin space Vinyl. Some creepster gets Lynchian in the red hot room, coming on to the titular black dress clad lady with talk of “gravy,” i.e. “the only thing I do.” But before this goes full Irreversible, it kicks off a twist that recalls that other Gaspar Noe flick Enter the Void, only with ample doge captions. So street. Such hip. Wow.

Gloves play Lambert’s this Saturday, May 16th. Go see them or we can’t be friends anymore.

SLOOOM- “Honey”

SLOOOM “honey” from Ryan Orenstein on Vimeo.

I don’t hate Lana Del Rey but I’ve never gotten the fuss. So it’s Nancy Sinatra with all self-awareness removed and less interesting backing music? Cool, I’ll leave it alone, then, Nancy is doing me just fine. That apathy means I should be predisposed to not caring about “Honey,” the debut work from Les Rav spin-off SLOOOM, the video of which initially reads as a merger of the Lana Del Rey house style and that uber weird Ryan Gosling flick Lost River, set to a 21st century Portishead tone (hello glitchy rhythms subbing in for dusty samples). But hey, this is some genuine artistry here, not as calculated as the Del Rey material I continue to snooze on. Ryan Orenstein’s direction doesn’t just do SLOOOM’s music justice, it amplifies the philosophy of the group’s sound, highlighting the dreamy qualities and also the lurking eroticized horror beneath its surface. I even sent it to comics writer Ales Kot, who knows a thing or two about dreamy fiction, and he liked “the spirit of it,” so I can’t be completely wrong here.


Kitty- “Herzog”


While we’re on the subject of freaky dreamy shit, recently unearthed lost Austin band Kitty unveiled a video for their track “Herzog” and it’s like turning on the station in Videodrome and seeing surveillance footage of an Eyes Wide Shut party going down at Dive Bar of all places. The band’s debut LP got dug up by Seattle-based revival label Medical Records and they’re an intriguing ensemble, sort of a missing link between My Bloody Valentine and Stereolab, shoegazey in their approach and aimlessness but hip to electronics (and drugs and drugs and drugs). I’m not sure what’s in the future for the defunct(?) band, but hopefully Medical Records will resurrect some of Kitty’s contemporaries as well, because this end of the older Austin scene has been criminally neglected.