Jack calls on some very famous friends to help perform at "Kidney Now!" starring Elvis Costello, Mary J. Blige, Clay Aiken, Sheryl Crow, Adam Levine, Adam Horovitz, Mike D, Sara Bareilles, Wyclef Jean, Norah Jones, Talib Kweli, Michael McDonald, Rhett Miller, Steve Earle, Moby, Robert Randolph, Rachael Yamagata and Cyndi Lauper
The song: The lead single from Chesapeake, Rachael Yamagata s first album since 2008 s Elephants Teeth Sinking Into Hearts, Starlight cements her transformation from a hushed folky to a full-on rocker in the mold of PJ Harvey. That comparison is going to get tossed around a lot, with Yamagata playing up her whiskey-scratched voice over a driving bassline and moody keyboards.The video: Using a lo-fi, Super-8 aesthetic to great effect, Starlight intercuts home video footage of weddings and circus performers and skydivers with images of Yamagata, run through a battered film-reel effect, crooning into the camera in front of a brightly-colored carousel. There s a young man of her fancy in the picture as well and if the goal was to compliment Starlight s moody tone with a clown-at-the-state-fair aesthetic, they pull it off like gangbusters. The whole thing implies that love is a game for Yamagata, and like most carnival attractions, this game s fixed.The director: Starlight was directed by Laura Crosta, a veteran of the Microsoft Really? campaign, who gets to show off her artier side here. She s got an impressive portfolio of music-oriented still shots, as well, but it looks like Starlight is among her first forays into music video. Starlight doesn t go for a straight narrative video, which suits the song s scattered, more frantic mood. All of the intercut footage and there s a lot of it, mostly old timey shots of crowds and vintage, circus-themed imagery that complements the scenes of Yamagata at the carnival. Most of those intercut shots are pretty neat, too, with tigers crawling out of cages, fire-breathers and classic airplanes taking off and landing. It doesn t quite tell a story, but it doesn t really need to when it comes to setting a mood that matches Starlight, the video does a hell of a job.
Singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata will release Chesapeake, her first studio album in 3 years on October 11th, through her own Frankenfish Records. Chesapeake shows a slight departure from her previous darker piano ballad days, taking a brighter an
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