In support of full disclosure, the first note-to-self jotted down regarding Kacey Musgraves’ cheeky lead single “Biscuits” was a simple, soul-searching rhetorical query: “Contemporary pop-country can be good?” I gave up (most of) my goth ways along with immunity to joie de vivre a long time ago -- these shades of Dolly, Reba and throwback Hee Haw hoedown showmanship are decidedly downright righteous. And she’s lassoed irreverant sweetness and my ticker with the (co-written by Grammy award-winning songwriter Shane McAnally) lyrics, “pissin’ in my yard ain’t gonna make yours any greener.” With unapologetic earnestness, I hope all our lives will be gravy. Because yum.
French producer Surkin’s offshoot GENER8ION, alongside M.I.A., bestowed a joint soundscape for an adapted, Inigo Westmeier-directed short film featuring 36,000 badass Kung Fu students of Shaolin Tagou, the largest fighting school for kids in China. All footage is plucked from Westmeier’s sobering 2012 feature-length documentary Drachenmädchen (Dragon Girls) in which the lives of three young female wushu master hopefuls unfold. If anyone needs me, I’ll be watching The Shaolin Temple while going on my second year of training just to execute proper splits.
London-based writer/director Luke Roulstone paints with distinctively dreary strokes in the video for Polish outfit L.Stadt’s stirring, chanty-esque “Kathleen.” In it we follow a lonesome vagabond through a hazy British landscape on a cinematic and slightly stalker-y journey to find the titular object of yearning. Off-track but of note is an endearing bit of trivia regarding storyteller Roulstone: he once wrote to the queen a humble request for Game Boy money. It’s said that she kindly and promptly replied, but neglected to deliver the cash. He credits her deservedly for the lack of distraction that propelled his passion for film.