Monday, October 27, 2014

OK Go - "I Won't Let You Down"

The video for "I Won't Let You Down" was released on October 27, 2014, premiering on The Today Show. Similar to many of the band's past videos, the video is a continuous one shot music video. The band members perform the video while riding Honda UNI-CUBs, personal mobility units similar to the Segway, moving through a warehouse before moving outside for larger choreographed routines with a number of dancers dressed in traditional Japanese school uniforms and using colored umbrella props. The video was filmed on a camera mounted to a octocopter drone, which allows for ground-level and bird's-eye view shots during these routines, including a final high altitude pan of the surrounding landscape. The Japanese electropop group, Perfume also make a cameo at the start of the video.

OK Go was inspired by a trip they had taken to Japan and visited Tokyo's Robot Restaurant, which had numerous robots moving about the large facility in motions set to heavy-metal music; Tim Norwind said that the experience was "the best hour of my life". They obtained help of producer Morihiro Harano would linked them to Honda's internal ad agency, which led to them being put in contact with Japanese choreographer Airman to help plan out the routines. Honda would go on to fund the film and provide the UNI-CUBs and the octocopter for the video. The video was filmed in a vacant warehouse area in the Chiba district of Japan near Tokyo. Frontman Damian Kulash and Kazuaki Seki co-directed the video. The video was filmed in double time, recording the events at half the speed of the song and then sped up for the final video as to allow them to complete the complex choreography. In the near final shots, which show the band and dances from far overhead simulating a large dot matrix display, Harano had set large speakers at the corners of the area to play the song in half-time to help all the performers synchronize with the music. The camera drone was controlled both with GPS and manual control for fine adjustment by Harano and his crew. The video took between 50 and 60 takes to obtain the final one-shot product.

The choreography in the video was inspired by the elaborate routines of musical director Busby Berkeley. The opening sequence, primarily focusing on the OK Go band members, was made to feel like a futuristic version of Gene Kelly's dancing in Singin' in the Rain. The final shot, with the camera panning across the Japan landscape, was inspired by The Beatles use of extended outros, as to give the viewer something "that packed a bit more entertainment even after the main part was over", according to Harano.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Broken Bells - "After the Disco"

Broken Bells have just released a new music video for “After The Disco,” the title track off their most recent LP. Directed by Nelson De Castro, the clip takes “After The Disco” quite literally, featuring band members James Mercer and Danger Mouse trying to make their way home from a party. Mercer cries out “round and round still we go nowhere” as they wander through a series of revolving, repeating rooms with frozen-in-place crowds, and he’s right—the video ends where it starts, with the party still going strong.

Recorded with the seventeen-piece Angel City String Orchestra and a four-piece choir, the album was released by Columbia Records on January 31, 2014. The album follows the band's 2013 single, "Holding On for Life", which features as the third track on the album. After the Disco was written by band members James Mercer and Brian Burton, and produced by Burton.

The album itself was released on January 31, 2014, peaking at number 5 in the Billboard 200.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

GOAT - "Hide from the Sun"

Swedish psych-rock outfit GOAT have just released a frenetic new video for their song “Hide From The Sun,” and it’s a force to be reckoned with. Directed by Sam Macon, the clip complements the feverish psychedelic sound of GOAT’s most recent album, Commune, out now via SubPop.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Nats Lose to Giants 3-2 in Game 4 of the NLDS

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Nationals' World Series hopes came to an end Tuesday night as they lost to the Giants, 3-2, in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, eliminating the club from postseason play.

"This is tough," center fielder Denard Span said. "We didn't play well all series. That's the bottom line. The Giants made the least amount of mistakes. We made too many mistakes. The little things added up. They were a better team for these four games."

Washington's bullpen was reliable most of the season, but in the seventh inning, it faltered, allowing the game-deciding run. With the score tied at 2 and one out, Matt Thornton allowed consecutive singles to Joe Panik and Buster Posey. Manager Matt Williams then decided to bring in Aaron Barrett, who walked Hunter Pence to load the bases. With Pablo Sandoval at the plate, Barrett threw a wild pitch, scoring Panik to give the Giants the lead.

"I thought I made some pretty good pitches," Barrett said. "I battled back to 3-2 [in the count]. I guess I tried to do a little too much there and ended up walking [Pence]. I tried to slow myself down as much as possible. It was great atmosphere. I just tried to do a little too much. I didn't want to walk him there, obviously. I tried to challenge him there."

San Francisco nearly scored another run soon thereafter. As he was trying to walk Sandoval intentionally, Barrett threw a wild pitch. Posey tried to score on the play, but was thrown out by Wilson Ramos on a close play at the plate that was confirmed by a crew chief review.

"I got lucky, obviously, with the wild pitch," Barrett said. "The bottom line is I didn't make pitches when I had to, and it ended up costing us the game."

Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez started the game and had one bad inning, and it proved costly. Gonzalez wasn't hit hard, but he had serious problems fielding his position.

The Nats would tie the score in seventh inning off right-hander Hunter Strickland. With one out, Bryce Harper came to the plate and hit a mammoth home run that landed in McCovey Cove. It was the 104th home run that went in the water behind the right-field wall at AT&T Park, but just the third in postseason play.

"He was on some fastballs this series," Posey said.

A ninth-inning rally came up short after Harper drew a two-out walk but Ramos then grounded out to second to end the comeback attempt, and the Nationals' season. For the second time in three years, the Nats had the best record in the NL but then came up short in the NLDS.

Game 1
The Giants held off a late charge, quieting the crowd in an NL-record ninth straight playoff W. After Jake Peavy's 5 2/3 scoreless, Hunter Strickland nixed a threat before allowing two Nats shots, one a big blast by Bryce Harper, and the 'pen escaped in the eighth before a clean ninth.

Game 2
Brandon Belt's shot in the 18th decided the longest MLB playoff game (6:23) and put the Giants one win from the NLCS. Nine frames earlier, Pablo Sandoval sent it to extras with a two-out knock off Nats closer Drew Storen, who couldn't save it for a dominant Jordan Zimmermann. The game tied a record set by the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros in Game 4 of the 2005 NLDS, becoming only the second 18-inning postseason game in MLB history. Tim Hudson started on the road in both (and Adam LaRoche played 1B in both). Yusmeiro Petit became the first pitcher to throw at least 6 shutout innings of relief & win a postseason game since Pedro Martinez in 1999. In what will likely prove a footnote to the larger craziness of the game, Nats manager Matt Williams and second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera were ejected from the game in the bottom of the 10th for arguing balls and strikes.

Game 3
Locked in a scoreless duel in the seventh, the Nationals scored two on Madison Bumgarner's wild throw to third on a sac bunt. Asdrubal Cabrera added an RBI, Bryce Harper homered in the ninth and Drew Storen finished it for Doug Fister, extending the NLDS in San Francisco.

Game 4
After a Bryce Harper homer tied the game in the seventh, reliever Aaron Barrett's wild pitch with the bases full in the bottom of the frame allowed Joe Panik to score the go-ahead run, and the Giants' bullpen held off the gritty Nats to secure a spot in the NLCS vs. the Cards.

Sports Illustrated:
Williams' rough showing was a reminder that he, too, was just a rookie, having never managed a team at any level prior to this season, or even served as bench coach. Mattingly was once similarly green, though he did have experience as bench coach with the Yankees under Joe Torre, who mentored him both in New York and Los Angeles prior to Mattingly's taking the reins for the 2011 season. Despite his subsequent experience at the helm, he hardly covered himself in glory during the Dodgers' brief run.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Jordan Zimmermann Throws No-Hitter in Season Finale

"On Sunday afternoon, the final day of the regular season, Zimmermann threw the first no-hitter in Washington Nationals history in a 1-0 victory over the Miami Marlins. The first no-hitter by a Washington major league pitcher since Bobby Burke no-hit the Boston Red Sox on Aug. 8, 1931, at Griffith Stadium came five days before the 96-win Nationals will start the playoffs as the top seed in the National League."
WASHINGTON — As the ball soared toward deep left-center, seemingly destined to end Jordan Zimmermann's bid for the first no-hitter by a Washington Nationals pitcher, the righty threw his head back and thought, "Double. No-doubt double."

Zimmermann was one out from history Sunday, and for what must have seemed like forever he watched little-used rookie left fielder Steven Souza Jr. — a defensive replacement in the ninth inning — give chase.

"Once I got closer," Souza said, "I knew, 'Oh, my gosh, this is going to be pretty close.' So I took off."

Souza sprinted, extended his glove and leaped for a sensational overhead grab, using his bare hand to squeeze the ball in his black mitt as he tumbled to the grass. That grab preserved Zimmermann's gem and ended Washington's 1-0 victory over the Miami Marlins on the last day of the regular season.

"The one thing on my mind is, no matter how I'm going to get there, I'm going to get there," Souza said. "Getting there, I kind of blacked out."

He held his glove aloft to show he had the ball. Zimmermann raised both arms. Nationals relievers in the home bullpen lifted their arms, too. So did thousands in the Nationals Park crowd of 35,085, who roared with every pitch down the stretch.

Miami's Mike Dunn said he and other relievers in the left-field visitors' bullpen started cheering as the ball headed their way, certain the no-no was no more.

"When he caught it," Dunn said, "it was just like, 'Really? Did that just happen?'"

Souza's name now belongs alongside those of other players delivering superb catches to save no-hitters. The one that kept coming up in the Nationals' clubhouse was Dewayne Wise's juggling grab in the ninth that saved Mark Buehrle's perfect game for the White Sox in 2009.

"I thought there was no way this would ever happen. My career numbers are something like one hit per inning, so I figure if I can make it out of the first, the hit's coming in the second," said the 28-year-old Zimmermann, a quiet guy who was a second-round draft pick in 2007 out of Division III University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. "But today was one of those special days."

Quite a way to cap a regular season in which the Nationals finished with the NL's best record, 96-66. Washington hosts San Francisco or Pittsburgh in Game 1 of a division series Friday.

"Just an epic day for an epic season," said Denard Span, who set a Nationals single-season record with his 184th hit.

Zimmermann (14-5) threw 104 pitches, had 10 strikeouts and allowed only two baserunners. After retiring the first 14 batters, he walked Justin Bourn on a low, full-count fastball with two outs in the fifth. In the seventh, Garrett Jones reached first base on a strike-three wild pitch; moments later, catcher Wilson Ramos picked him off.

Starting on seven days' rest because his pitching shoulder got bruised by a line drive his last time out, Zimmermann poured in fastballs in the mid-90s mph, used his mid-80s slider to great effect and had his changeup fooling a Marlins lineup without NL home-run champion Giancarlo Stanton.

Zimmermann didn't need a whole lot of defensive help until Souza's memorable play. That might have been a good thing, because Nationals manager Matt Williams pulled his starters as the game went on, making for a series of standing ovations as they left, one by one. It also made for an ever-shifting defensive alignment.

Until leadoff hitter Christian Yelich turned on a 94 mph fastball on a 2-1 count with two outs in the ninth, the closest the Marlins came to hits were three liners in the fifth grabbed by backup infielders — Tyler Moore at first, Kevin Frandsen at third, and Danny Espinosa at shortstop.

"Three rockets, and right at guys," said Zimmermann, who had shaving cream in both ears from the on-field celebration. "That's when I knew there might be something special happening."

Frandsen wasn't so sure, saying: "Fifth inning's a little early to think, 'He's got a no-hitter.'"

Maybe. But all it took was three innings for pitching coach Steve McCatty to pull Williams aside and point out that their initial plan to let Zimmermann have a light day's work with an eye to the postseason might not hold up.

"I said, 'What do we do if we're going to give him six (innings) and he doesn't (allow) a hit?'" McCatty recounted. "He just looked at me and said, 'That's not funny.' I said, 'Well, there's a good chance that's going to happen.'"

More information:
» Washington Post: Jordan Zimmermann throws no-hitter in Nationals' regular season finale

Friday, September 26, 2014