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(Holiday!) Video(s) of the Moment #2254: Michael Angelakos

By on Thursday, 22nd December 2016 at 6:00 pm

Header photo by Steven Brahms

Last Friday, Passion Pit frontman Michael Angelakos released a new holiday-themed “video album” titled ‘Merry Christmas, Mr. Fields’, in which each musical track on the album is apparently accompanied by a corresponding vignette or segment of a short film. Angelakos has released two video singles from the album so far, ‘Stained Glass Windows’ and ‘Christmas in Your Arms’.

Nothing is more poignantly sad than solemn-faced children, and Angelakos matches that stark visual effect with the muted twinkle of a piano melody in ‘Stained Glass Windows’. His vocals are deliberately childlike and artless, or at least as much so as a grown man’s voice can be, falling gracefully somewhere between Linus Van Pelt and Sondheim’s Desirée singing ‘Send in the Clowns’. It’s an unexpected intersection, to say the least, but emotionally, it finds its target.


‘Christmas In Your Arms’ is a tiny bit lighter in tone, adopting a hazy, electro-jazz cabaret style that somehow fits Angelakos’ mildly strident vocal delivery. Its video adaptation features a familiar cast of youthful characters, who once again appear strangely jaded and made up to look older their years.


Michael Angelakos’ video album ‘Merry Christmas, Mr. Fields’ is available now via Frenchkiss Records. TGTF’s previous coverage of Angelakos in the context of Passion Pit is right back this way.


Video of the Moment #1774: Passion Pit

By on Monday, 30th March 2015 at 6:00 pm

Wait, what? Passion Pit are back? Glad to hear Michael Angelakos has gotten treatment for his mental exhaustion related to bipolar disorder; the band are ready to release a new album ‘Kindred’ on the 20th of April on Columbia Records. Evidently, epileptic seizure-inducing light shows don’t faze him now, and considering those can take down other mortals, we can only take that as a good thing. Watch ‘Kindred’ taster track ‘Lifted Up (1985)’ below.



Video of the Moment #1166: Passion Pit

By on Monday, 1st April 2013 at 10:00 am

The electronics that begin Passion Pit‘s ‘Cry Like a Ghost’ sound very strange. But the video is even stranger. Don’t believe me? Watch it below.



(Valentine’s Day Special!) Video(s) of the Moment #1125: Passion Pit

By on Thursday, 14th February 2013 at 6:00 pm

Passion Pit‘s new video for ‘Carried Away’ chronicles a relationship that isn’t going so well. It’s kind of a welcome kick in the arse on a day like today when everything is all teddy bears and roses. So…nyah!

Watch both it and the video for the Tiesto remix of the song below.



Live Review: Passion Pit with Wild Belle and Youngblood Hawke at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 16th October 2012

By on Friday, 26th October 2012 at 2:11 pm

I made the choice to do this show differently. I was actually going to shoot from the pit and enjoy the show from the back. Everyone says about the 9:30, “the sound is better in the back”, but I am so very short, so for me, it’s “the more front, the better”. While the sound was lovely from the back, what I really noticed was that the bass is really amplified in the back. I could actually feel my earplugs vibrate within my ears. I think I’ll just stick to the front.

First opener Wild Belle, with brother/sister songwriters Natalie and Elliot Bergman, filled up a stage already crammed for the night: three bands, 15 musicians and still the same square footage the venue always has to offer. A bit of West African flavour from Elliot Bergman and the soulful voice of sister Natalie effectively obscured their Midwestern origins. Packed with sax, a tinge of reggae and a bluesy vibe, this act made themselves unique by layering it all over a strong synthesiser base. It was quite fresh.

Youngblood Hawke were who got me interested in this gig in the first place. As one of TGTF Bands to Watch (read here), I was quite excited to see how they translated their shimmery pop onto the stage. I was a little shaken by the appearance of Sam Martin, the lead singer; it seemed to me he was channeling Steve Perry from Journey. Blue and white striped trousers, a sequined shirt and shoulder length curly hair. All he needed was a long scarf on his mic stand to look the quintessential ‘80s rock figure.

They took the stage with an energy that I hadn’t quite expected based on their excellent eponymous EP. In fact, during ‘Protect Yourself’, Martin took a very aggressive rapper-like stance that seemed pretty polar to the sparkly pop found on their record. Their cover of Better Than Ezra’s ‘Juicy’, however, grabbed the crowd and had them singing and dancing before they launched into their single ‘We Come Running’. At this point, they truly had the whole place filled with their infectious enthusiasm with Martin breaching the barrier to join the fans. They ended their set with an exceptional percussion piece that had all five of them with sticks in their hands pounding on something.

I went into the Passion Pit gig thinking that it would be populated by hipsters galore, and while I did see my fair share of plaid, beanies, and overly thick-rimmed glasses, it wasn’t too bad. On the flip side, I also did not experience the same kind of mass jumping I’ve seen at festivals (and indeed was a part of the last time they graced the DC area with a free outdoor set). Not withstanding those expectations, this, the third and final of three sold out gigs at DC’s famous 9:30 Club brought it once again. One thing astonished me, although knowing their music, it shouldn’t have. For 80% of the show, there was no guitar. A bass, yes. But no guitar. I almost don’t know how you can be a band with no guitar. Yes, yes, electronic music is all the rage and you don’t need a guitar, but I guess it’s not my usual thing. Gee, even Goyte had a guitar!

The set started off with the catchy single ‘Take a Walk’ getting the crowd dancing and singing. Despite the fact that the nine previous musicians’ worth of equipment had been removed, the stage fairly burst with the ensemble backing Michael Angelakos. The night belonged to Angelakos, prowling the stage like a caged big cat as he does. He wasn’t chatty, but he kept it flowing as they ripped through new and old. It was especially gratifying to hear a couple tunes off the first EP. But it was the sing-alongs like in ‘I’ll Be Alright’ and ‘Little Secrets’ that identified the night. While I have no idea how many in the crowd were repeat attendees, I do know that by the end of the night, Passion Pit had provided spectacular satisfaction for quite a few thousand people during their time in America’s national capital.

After the cut: set lists from Passion Pit and Youngblood Hawke.

Continue reading Live Review: Passion Pit with Wild Belle and Youngblood Hawke at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 16th October 2012


MP3 of the Day #608: Passion Pit

By on Wednesday, 22nd August 2012 at 10:00 am

Following on from this one for ‘Take a Walk’ a short while ago, here’s another Passion Pit remix, this time for ‘Constant Conversations’ by Jean-Philip Grobler, aka St. Lucia (not to be confused with the holiday locale). Listen to and download the remix below.


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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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