The Alialujah Choir: A House, A Home

The Alialujah Choir: A House, A Home

A House, A Home is a narrative music video from the debut album of The Alialujah Choir, directed by Daniel Fickle and produced by Mark Smith. The song tells the story of two imagined characters, an adolescent boy and girl, who were in treatment at a psychiatric hospital. They were both going through that intense experience together, but since they were never allowed to be alone with each other, and the boy could never express his feelings for the girl, his feelings for her became larger than life. One day, when the boy saw the girl leaving the office from her therapy session, he assumed that it was a rendezvous of a different kind and took his own life.

Smith wanted to create a narrative for the video to help the boy who had committed suicide reconcile his past. A few years after the boy’s death, the girl also died of natural causes and was buried next to him. It was Fickle’s idea to continue the story underground. By keeping the obvious graveyard imagery out of the story, it helped to create a lighter mood and leave room for playfulness, which was a counterbalance to the somber tone of the song and lyrics.

Daniel Fickle previously directed the incredible music video Denmark for The Portland Cello Project.

The Alialujah Choir: A House, A Home

(Best Viewed in HD Full-Screen Mode)

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M. Ward: The First Time I Ran Away

M. Ward: The First Time I Ran Away

The First Time I Ran Away is a beautifully animated music video for M. Ward’s new solo album, A Wasteland Companion, set for release on Merge April 10th. The “Him” from the indie music group She & Him is Matthew Stephen Ward, known by his stage name M. Ward, a singer-songwriter and guitarist who rose to prominence in the Portland, Oregon music scene. The delightful animated video was directed by Joel Trussell and his team of animators, who use M. Ward’s lyrics as a basis to tell the three-part story following a girl who’s run away with her pet llama and fish. The soft, pastel colors are a perfect companion to M. Ward’s soothing voice.

M. Ward: The First Time I Ran Away

(Best Watched in HD Full-Screen Mode)

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Rock Photographer Autumn de Wilde: The Decemberists in Polaroid

Rock Photographer Autumn de Wilde: The Decemberists in Polaroid

Rock photographer Autumn de Wilde and The Decemberists have teamed up with The Impossible Project to create a deluxe box edition for the band’s new album, The King Is Dead. Autumn de Wilde was joking when she first offered to take a couple thousand Polaroid shots of her friends in the folk-rock band the Decemberists. But they called her bluff, and a few months later she’d accumulated more than 2,500 single- and double-exposed photos of the five band members, which were taken during recording sessions for the new album and around their hometown haunts in Portland, Oregon. All of the pictures were taken on Polaroid Type 100 peel-apart film provided by The Impossible Project, a group of former Polaroid employees who banded together in 2008 to rescue the beloved instant cameras from total obsolescence.

Here’s a video-montage of de Wilde’s Polaroid photographs, accompanying the band’s new song from their album, Down by the Water. Then take a look through the slide show presenting more of de Wilde’s unique and dramatic Polaroids.

The Decemberists: Down by the Water

Slide Show: The Decemberists in Polaroid

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

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Denmark: A Stirring Struggle Against Plumes of Invading Toxins

Denmark: A Stirring Struggle Against Plumes of Invading Toxins

Denmark is an incredible new music video directed by Daniel Fickle for The Portland Cello Project.  The animated video hits a timely note, depicting the brave tale of a tiny shrimp that springs into action when plumes of toxins invade its water world.  A plan is formulated, a missing part is fetched, and all goes according to plan, until….

At a deeper level, the video represents an expression of the struggle people go through to reconcile loss.  It’s also a stirring tribute to a friend of the band, who fought a courageous battle with cancer in his/her own, disguised and dignified manner.  Director Daniel Fickle manages to get into the mood of sorrow behind this piece of music from Portland Cello Project, and he makes everything in the video look almost as gloomy.  Watch the video with the music at full volume, and then listen to the music with your eyes closed.  It’s truly magical.

Denmark: A Stirring Struggle Against Plumes of Invading Toxins

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In A Flash: All Your Life Appears Before Your Eyes

In A Flash: All Your Life Appears Before Your Eyes

In A Flash is a 15-second short film by Stephen Fitzgerald, created for the Motion Design tournament of the Cut & Paste Global Championships in New York.  The theme for the competition was “Dear Life, Thanks For Everything, Sincerely Me.” Fitzgerald took the theme and imagined it as that defining moment people talk about when their life flashes before their eyes.

In A Flash: All Your Life Appears Before Your Eyes

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A Golden Memory: Dylan and Simon Sing “The Sound of Silence”

A Golden Memory: Dylan and Simon Sing “The Sound of Silence”

Bob Dylan and Paul Simon have a great deal in common. Each was born in 1941 and they are among the best and most expansive songwriters of our time; both of them have firmly grasped a defining political and intellectual mood.  They emerged together from the 1960’s Greenwich Village folk music scene and have constantly reinvented their sound when their audiences were least expecting it.

This 1969 Portland concert began with Dylan performing a full set.  Everyone in the audience roared each time they heard one of Dylan’s priceless, ageless lyrics.   Dylan’s all grown up and gray now, but when he uttered a familiar iconic line like “Lay lady lay, lay across my big brass bed,” the audience just went mad.  Then he was joined by the legendary Paul Simon for the Simon and Dylan segment.  He and Simon did several memorable duets together, beginning with The Sound of Silence, and then the rest of the set exploded.  Paul Simon has filled us with everything amazing that a songwriter can offer: tenderness, fire, intelligence, and soul.  He is indeed a joy to hear.

Bob Dylan and Paul Simon: The Sound of Silence (Portland, 1969)

Very early in their careers, Simon and Garfunkel played before a huge audience at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival in California.  This is their performance of The Sound of Silence at that concert:

Simon & Garfunkel: Sound Of Silence (The Monterey Pop Festival, 1967)

Viewers may be interested reading some reminiscent thoughts about an early personal friendship with Arthur Garfunkel, as well as about the unusual history of Simon and Garfunkel’s first hit album, Sound of Silence, which can be found here.

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