Alex Calder got his start in Canada’s great North, as the drummer for Edmonton’s lo-fi psychedelic outfit, Makeout Videotape. That band’s lead singer, Mac DeMarco, parlayed the intrigue surrounding his band into a successful solo career, leaving Calder on a quest to find his own voice as a songwriter. Turns out, the now 24 year old found it at mom’s house, where he wrote and recorded his debut solo EP, Time, a meandering record that showcased his affection for weird, uptempo pop. Calder eventually joined DeMarco in Montreal, where he eventually wrote and recorded Strange Dreams, his debut album out January 20th off Captured Tracks. Based on the record’s title track, you can except a more focused Calder, a singer songwriter armed with strong sense of both melody and mood. We asked him to share his favorite YouTube videos of the moment, and not surprisingly, they consisted of music-related videos that were all over the map, yet somehow coalesce together nicely.
Billy Joel Goes Crazy in Concert
This is a pretty classic video. It is also one of my favorite youtube freakouts, especially when he kicks his own guitar player.
Porno For Pyros – “Pets” Live at Woodstock ’94
One of my favorite live videos. This song starts out pretty casual. It’s actually a pretty good song. Perry Farrell really kicks things into gear around the 3 and a half-minute mark.
Yngwie Malmsteen – “Smoke on the Water” Cover
This video is a favorite among my friends and I. It definitely takes a few watches to see all the little nuances in how insane this performance is. This is essentially the largest cocaine fantasy taking place on a stage, ever. Key points include: the bass player being introduced into the frame, how many times Yngwie kicks a guitar pick into the audience, and at the very end trying to understand what “it’s a bit Mickey Mouse, but what the fuck” means.
Tonstartssbandht – “Hymn Eola”
Made by Montreal bad boy Spencer Gilley. Really pretty song, really nice video.
Vinny Colaiuta on Joan Rivers
Shown to me by my drummer Conor Donaldson (look him up). I don’t know much about drumming, but I know this guy is HOT. Really sexy drum fills. The Party Boys aren’t bad either.
Stereolab – “Fluorescences”
One of my all time favorite songs. Really good video as well.
Paul McCartney – “So Bad”
This might be another example of a large cocaine fantasy happening in the 1980s. It’s a really good song, and everyone is so stoked on it and making this video, especially Ringo.
The Smashing Pumpkins – “Today”
I recently got really into The Smashing Pumpkins. I really like this song and video.
Classic Albums: Aja by Steely Dan 1977
This is a great documentary, I highly recommend watching it.
System of a Down – “BYOB” Isolated Vocal
Last one. I dare anyone to sit through this whole thing.
Photo by Rebecca Storm.