Tuesday Tune Two-Fer: Now That’s What I Call Music

Two tangentially related tunes each Tuesday. This week’s theme: two bands I maybe haven’t given enough credit to.

Last Sunday I was kind of a jerk to HAIM, you guys. I pretty much dismissed them as “just fine” while posting a link to their performance of “3AM”. Turns out, the joke’s on me, since I’ve had that song going through my head non-stop ever since, and I’ve watched the video over and over. Even more than I’ve watched the video of the super-ripped guy dancing like a maniac with his shirt off, which should tell you something.

HAIM’s remote-directed-and-choreographed video for “I Know Alone” is pretty good too. When I first heard about them, I read that they sounded like Fleetwood Mac, which is something I didn’t hear myself — although I guess any woman singing calmly enough can sound like Christine McVie, maybe? — but figured was the kind of thing that people who knew more about music than me said. Eventually, I realized that was pretty dumb, though: Fleetwood Mac is all over the place, and “Don’t Stop” sounds nothing like “Tusk” or “Gypsy.” Well, this song sounds nothing like the other HAIM songs I’ve heard, so maybe that’s where the comparison comes in.

Anyway, they seem cool. And I think I’ve been doing them a disservice for just dismissing them as “just straightforward 21st century pop-rock music” because I always need some bizarre hook to keep my attention.

A hook like “Wait, is that Busy Phillips?” That’s what made me watch the video for Grizzly Bear’s “Losing All Sense,” which seems to be hinting at a lot about gender, authenticity, sincerity, envy, and social climbing. Grizzly Bear is another band that I’ve tried to get into several times over the years, and gone away thinking, “Yes, that sure is a band that makes music.” It’s possible that I’m just not a fan of the vocalist, and it’s never going to work for me. But I’ve got to acknowledge that even if it’s not speaking to me, it’s doing an awful lot. Like playing bare butts as drums and shooting laser beam out of nipples. Now that’s what I call a video!