September 21, 2020

Clark Gets Psychedelic

Modern Rock
By Kristi Kates | July 20, 2019

Singer-guitarist Gary Clark Jr. has borrowed the likenesses of a shortlist of well-known cultural icons — including John Lennon, Nelson Mandela, Bruce Lee, James Brown, Bob Marley, and Martin Luther King Jr. — as positivity references in his new music video for his latest single, “Got to Get Up.” The icons, and, of course, Clark himself, traverse a lengthy road in the ’60-inspired, partially animated clip, which finds its characters traveling via trains, spaceships, and more. Co-directed by Manu Viqueira, the video is said to be a statement against all forms of oppression. The single arrives from Clark’s latest album, This Land, which he’ll promote on tour this summer, including a stop at Chicago’s Lollapalooza …

The 2019 BET Awards (Black Entertainment Television network) were held last week, and the winners are in. Honored this year: Bruno Mars (Best Male R&B/Pop Artist), Beyonce (Best Female R&B/Pop Artist), Cardi B (Best Female Hip-Hop Artist), Burna Boy (Best International Act), South African rapper Sho Madjozi (Best New International Act), Migos (Best Group), Rance Allen (Gospel/Inspirational Artist), and Lil Baby (Best New Artist.) Donald Glover also snagged Video of the Year for his “This is America,” and Mary J. Blige was honored with the BET Lifetime Achievement Award …

Looking for an excuse to head to Europe this fall? How about the 2019 Pitchfork Music Festival Paris, an offshoot of the Chicago event that draws loads of Michigan indie-music fans each year. Set to take place Oct. 31–Nov. 2 at the Le Grand Halle de la Villette (Paris, France), the event will feature headliners Belle and Sebastian, Skepta, and Charli XCX, along with additional performances from Jamila Woods, Orville Peck, Mura Masa, Chromatics, In Mirrors, Briston Maroney, and Kojey Radical, among others. This year’s fest will also introduce two new stages, making four total. Get tickets and all the info at
Britt Daniel and Spoon are returning — well, kind of — with a new best-of compilation album called Everything Hits at Once. The collection of 13 songs will feature fan faves like “The Underdog,” “The Way We Get By,” and “Inside Out,” plus a new Spoon single called “No Bullet Spent.” Spoon will promote the new set this summer, as Spoon is one of the special opening band guests on Beck and Cage the Elephant’s The Night Running 2019 Tour …
The final album from The Cranberries, In the End, has been released, along with an animated video from the album for its single, “Wake Me When It’s Over.” The video was made in collaboration between the band (minus late singer Dolores O’Riordan) and students of the Limerick School of Art and Design, in the band’s Irish hometown. Watch at 
Detroit-based indie rockers The Raconteurs’ first album in over 10 years, Help Us Stranger, has already notched No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart …

is back on the top of the Billboard 200 too, with her new album, Madame X, making that set the ninth No. 1 album of her career …

Pre-Madonna was Jamaican-American singer and ’80s style icon Grace Jones, who will return to Detroit for a show at the Masonic Temple Theater this week …

Grand Rapids band Lokella has just released its new rock/blues/Broadway/Latin sound mix EP, Censory Overload … and that’s the buzz for this week’s Modern Rock.
Comments, questions, rants, raves, suggestions on this column? Send ’em to Kristi at


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