Laughing City

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dwileynewmarket
Sea Post King


Here's the latest music video from the latest Album by Carousel Rogues. I wanna know what all you Eisley fans think of them???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpBg0Dcq_E4
Joined: 03 Dec 2011 | Posts: 5 | Location: Maryland
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wilsmith
Vintage Newbie


Carousel:

The Good

The editing of the shots to the music is well done.
The intermingling of the Performance shots and the narrative of the video is relatively easy to follow.
The staging of some of the interiors shots are well done, like the initial shot of Caitlin reminiscing.
The sound editing in that same shot was a nice touch.
The ghost affect worked, and was used just enough to get the point across but not be overdone and make the video seem corny.

The not-as Good

There flow of the narrative in the video gets a little muddled early on, because the "attic" performance isn't established as a memory or just performance footage of the band. Then it cuts to the ghost looking out the attic window. ( Maybe wardrobe is meant to distinguish the two? For the casual viewer they aren't going to worry about figuring it out, minimal investment and all...)

The framing of a lot of the close ups and individual shots seems to have been purposely cropped too close, or maybe it has to do with screen format on youtube cutting of the tops of heads in shots? In some shots the vocalists/ actors featured are off-center on purpose which is fine. After a while, it seemed there weren't any centered, properly framed shots of the individual singers. Not a big deal, but some of the shots were very well staged, with great lighting, and good foreground and background detail, so getting a "portrait" shot or two out of it would have been a nice touch, a bit of visual flattery for the band.

Time is money so I understand how it can happen, but it looks like the sun didn't cooperate on some of the exterior shots. The lighting changes that happen in the graveyard scene and some of the other location shots steals away from the quality of the video, with it being harsh at times. It stands out in contrast to the static lighting of the interior shots from earlier in the video.

Also, as far as branding and iconography for the band: the fewer wardrobe changes the better in videos. No shame in being remembered for a key outfit, or type of outfit (same color shirt, pants, hairstyle etc). It makes the artist memorable, and with this narrative, further establishes distinctions in time and character portrayal (which you might want to keep to a minimum).

OK, the song itself:

Caitlin's voice sounds so much like Shawn Colvin to me, and the arrangement of the hook of the song flatters that further. There's also a bit of an Aimee Mann vibe, and all this makes sense given both those artists have made their careers playing the East coast (Colvin got some Nashville love too). Zach sounds good, but it seems like he was given more verbose lines, which could just be his delivery style. In contrast to Caitlin he seems to be voicing the lyrics rather than singing them. It makes Caitlin's stand out, but possibly at his expense. Dan's (that's you right?) harmonies are nice, and serve the song well.

The actual song would fit right in to playlists of Adult Alternative stations that were very popular in the mid to late 90s, and that is also the vibe of the video. Other than some of the fashion choices, it's like a time capsule in a way, very VH1 in it's prime, at least to me, someone who went through his college years during that time. It reminds me of Fastball, remember them?

In St. Louis we have a college station that's very good, that still spins a lot of Adult Alternative, so there's a place for songs like Clementine. The song blends in more so than stands out, which does a debuting band a diservice. I'm not for selling out (compromising your artistic vision or personal convictions for commercial success) in any way, but you've got to come out swinging, HARD, and not let up. We've had threads here about bands who worked their first single for a year or longer to break it through, and the songs were good, but it took forever, and in some cases they spent close to a year working their 2nd singles too:

Jewel - Who Will Save Your Soul, You Were Meant For Me
Maroon 5 - Harder to Breath
The Fray - Cable Car, How To Save A Life
The Plain White Tees - Hey There Delilah

That said, if there's a stronger song you're sitting on, but you want to ease out of the gates, Clementine makes perfect sense. If not, it's going to take some inventive marketing & positioning to expand the base for Carousel Rogues. Look at that list of songs, ask yourself, "Is my song as memorable or evocative as any of those?" And then consider that they were all released and promoted as singles at least TWICE before they took a hold on radio and video programmers and become "hits" to some measure, over the course of a year or longer.

It's rough out there. If you don't believe me, do a little research on the efforts Eisley has put forth to get where they are compared to their sales figures. Think about how catchy and evocative their songs have been over the years. Can you name a hit song of theirs? I have a list of them, but I have a skewed view of the universe as a fan. It's humbling, if not exasperating and disenchanting. Batten the hatches, and take your vitamins, or at least set reasonable goals and benchmarks and be as patient as you are diligent and ambitious.

It's a sound Eisley's moved away from in the last few years for the most part, so I think outside of superficial similarities, I need to hear more music to justify the Eisley comparison. For a moment I would have said Rilo Kiley might be a better comparison, but Under the Black Light was musically all over the place, so you can shoot that comparison down fairly easily too. So yeah, more songs, we need to hear more songs to justify the heavy push as far as the Eisley comparison (musically).

So there you go, a little market information from a guy who was in the coveted 18-34 yr. old demographic 9 months ago, so I'm irrelevant Laughing


All the best.

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bigideas
Vintage Newbie


Is it legal to play in a graveyard/on top of grave sites? Laughing

The blue hair is the biggest nod to Eisley/Sherri that I pick out on one partial viewing.

Woah, do you guys own a Fender Rhodes - the electric piano Stacy mostly uses?

I looked at some of the Making Of videos and it looks like there is a Rhodes someone is just resting their feet on the keys. That should be illegal. You can't just go to your local music shop and replace parts for that...unless you live close to some really awesome music shop. Laughing

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