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Updated on August 8, 2009

It is sad (but true) that if you want to get most people to listen to music these days, you have to supply more than music.  The upside is that a whole industry has been created around, shall we say, the early MTV aspect of visual and audio.  The downside is that we as a society are becoming so used to watching as well as hearing, music as its own entity seems to be losing its hold on the human psyche.  Keywords nowadays are connectivity and hand-held, actual information being relegated to also-ran status.  Hit a button and your choices are, for all practical purposes, limitless. 

Since MTV began, there has been a movement toward incorporating music into video form, but never has it been so crucial to the musician.  Music practically lives and dies on the Net, it seems, with TV ads and YouTube the new radio.  One well-placed song in an episode of CSI has more Net impact than all of radio, Net and otherwise, combined.  And if you're lucky enough to land a Target or Bank of America commercial, you're on your way.

This modern world belies the fact that music itself is crumbling as a force.  The best may be a bit hard to find, but it is there.  Because the music industry is impossible to navigate comfortably, I have gleaned five of the best combinations of music and video from the Net for your perusal.  Five videos, chosen for what I hope will seem obvious reasons.  Five excellent under-the-radar examples of what the indies can accomplish.  While they may not exactly fry the brain, they should keep you off the streets for a few minutes.  Unless you're addicted to Blackberry's and iPod's, that is.

The Weaver Twins/BritPopPsycheYeah!

I'll trade you a Weaver Twin for all of today's supposed rock stars.   Trapped in a dungeon in some wayward place called Stoke Gabriel in the UK, they somehow escaped under the guise of musicians.  They were last seen playing a string of rock festivals and pubs, bouncing their way around the country, flailing instruments and updating 60s Brit rock, early Animals and Status Quo and Small Faces sweating through the cracks of their inner selves.  Bobbies and M5 have been notified.  This video is only one of several foisted upon the world by the evil twins.  God help us all!

J3/Music To Soothe the Savage Beast...

Or is that 'Breast'?  Well, there are plenty of those in this 'trippy' video pieced together by Jason Shaeffer of J3.  A cartoonish look at rhythm and the subconscious, music recorded live and video synched later.  The other two-thirds of J3, Jeff Gutman (bass) and Jacob Gilchrist (turntable and, what's this, beat farmer?) are presently under sedation and under the care of trained medical professionals.  Shaeffer, it appears, escaped incarceration and is roaming the back streets of San Francisco.  If you spot him, hand him guitar, amp and some video equipment.  In his agitated state, authorities believe that they are the only cure to soothe his savage beast.  Or would that be 'breast'?

Peacemaker/Hard Rock Toward Peace

Speaking of savage, Peacemaker is a  beast all its own.  Currently ensconsced in Dallas, Texas, they lead a serene existence, as is shown in this video.  You will notice their composed and caring demeanor, captured at one of their many performances on the orphan and rest home circuit.  Their favorite color is red.  Am I the only one who finds that a bit disturbing?

For those who have never seen the inside of a recording studio and know little of how the music gets from there to here, they have on their YouTube channel a six-part history of recording the EP from which this track was taken.  Fascinating stuff.

Amelia Jay/A Little Bit Softer Now...

Amelia Jay are the lynchpins of Lynchburg, Virginia, creating beautiful and flowing music, and a bit different from the previous three.  They have a sense of melody and emotion equaling Hem, Jeanette Beswick rivaling Sally Ellyson in voice and phrasing.  This is just one taken from an  album of breathtaking songs, also in the running for my top album of 2009.  And seriously, if this does not soothe the beast, nothing will.  We shall leave the breast alone this time.  A video plug for a concert gone by.

Lisa Parade/What's Not To Love?

People who know me would have seen this coming from a mile away. It is no secret I am in love with Lisa Parade. More specifically, The Lisa Parade. There has been a void in my soul since Michelle Branch stepped toward Nashville and I have missed that melodic modern pop she did so well. When I stumbled upon Lisa, I stubbed my soul and have been wondering how the world could not recognize such talent. While this song incorporates a bit of hip-hop, Lisa is all about the pop. If you aren't careful, the chorus steamrolls right over you. She's a monster!

And in confusion..., conclusion, I shall step away from the weapon, lie face down and place my hands on the back of my head. True, a video or two linked herein might be considered a bit over the edge, but if I know nothing else (and my old girlfriends are pretty sure that I don't), I know music and this is among the best. Say what you will, but I'll trade all of the above for the Top 100 of any chart out there, they're that good.

Charts constructed by people who know and actually love music excluded. Videos may cause blindness, pimples, frequent urination, or cancer. If you are pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant, do not watch. If you become dizzy during the watching of these videos (unless dizzy is a matter of course), stop watching and call your doctor immediately. Actually, call your doctor anyway. Even doctors need to hear some great music now and again.


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      Jason Shaeffer 6 years ago

      They will not stop me. I will not yield. Trust J3

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      warner and maria 8 years ago

      Frank Gutch = these are all EXCELLENT picks. Each, so different from the other, and individually unique, connected only by the excellence of the Art that has been created by these musicians. Thanks for bringing these to our attention.