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Creator and Artist Stories

Music Tuesday: Danger Mouse’s Rome project, an introduction to videosongs and more

By Sarah Bardeen

Music Community Manager

This week on, we’re thinking about film and music. The two art forms have a love affair dating back to the 1890s, when piano players were hired to cover up the clattering noise of the film projector. Over the years that relationship has transformed; we now think of film and music as inseparable. This week, we profile two innovative and very different projects that are putting video and music on equal artistic footing -- and we bring you one album premiere!

Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi curate the homepage
You know Danger Mouse. Maybe you’ve heard his Grey Album, which artfully mashed up Jay-Z’s Black Album and The Beatles’ White Album to near-universal acclaim. Maybe you know him as one-half of super-duo Gnarls Barkley. Or perhaps you dig Broken Bells? His restless creativity has found a lot of outlets over the years, but when he teamed up with Italian composer Daniele Luppi for his latest project, the focus quickly turned cinematic. The duo share a love of Ennio Morricone’s spaghetti western soundtracks, and with the help of Jack White and Norah Jones, they turned that love into a spacious, absorbing and slightly mysterious album. Then they took it a step further, inviting director Chris Milk to create a groundbreaking and beautiful interactive web video. (Type into a Chrome browser to see what they’ve done.) Luppi and the Mouse curate YouTube’s homepage today with their favorite Chris Milk films.

VideoSongs: creativity gone wild
If Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi have inspired boundary-pushing video experiments, “videosong” makers are actually dissolving the boundaries between song and video. The videosong has two rules: first, what you see is what you hear (no lip-syncing for instruments or voice). Second, if you hear it, at some point you see it (no hidden sounds). The duo Pomplamoose are now well-known for their charming experiments in this realm, but an entire world of creators has popped up around the form. Whether they’re incorporating skate park videos as percussion instruments or adeptly covering Radiohead, this rapidly burgeoning scene is ground zero for music/video innovation on YouTube. Check it out now!

SMOD album premiere
You probably haven’t heard of SMOD, but here’s why you care about them: Manu Chao produced their album, and one member is the son of Mali’s pioneering blind musical duo Amadou & Mariam. So if you like African pop with a bit of hip-hop in its jaws, this album is for you. Sunny pop, ringing guitars, harmonizing singers...just a little bit of summer, before summer officially starts.