Friday on My Mind: Rabbits!

It’s time again for Friday on My Mind, our weekly blog post where we look at videos centered around one common theme. This is a collaborative effort between KEXP and King 5 News. Easter is around the corner, so we are looking at songs about rabbits.

So let’s talk rabbit facts. A male rabbit is a buck, a female is a doe, and baby rabbits are called kit. A wild doe can give birth up to eight kits a year. As well, female hares are capable of conceiving a second litter of offspring while still pregnant with the first litter, which is called superfetation and so absolutely terrifying. The gestation period for a bunny is 31 days. Another interesting fact about rabbits is that their teeth never stop growing, which is even more terrifying. At the moment, the largest rabbit in the world is named “Darius”. He is approximately 50 pounds, and is 4 feet 3 inches long. This rabbit is insured for $1.6/million. A lot of money, for a lot of bunny.

The tradition of the Easter Bunny is thought to have been brought over to the United States by way of German immigrants in the Pennsylvania area during the year 1700. “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws” was the name of the egg delivering bunny. Children would prepare a nest for “Osterhase” the night before Easter Sunday. Thank God these magical bunnies made it into the country hidden within German luggage. In Switzerland a cuckoo delivers the Easter Eggs. In different parts of Germany they have the Easter fox, rooster, stork, or chick. Obviously all of these theories are nuts to believe since we all know very well that the Easter Bunny is indeed magical.

Now bust out your Easter baskets, because here are some rabbit related songs for you…

Florence and the Machine – Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)

“Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)” is one of the super successful singles from the debut album Lungs. Although successful, there were some sampling issues with this particular song. Part of Gang Gang Dance’s song “House Jam” were used within the song “Rabbit Heart” and Florence spoke freely in interviews about and the influence the Gang Gang Dance song had on the lyrics she wrote. Eventually Gang Gang Dance and their label hit up the Florence camp. From that point, Florence made sure that royalties from the song were shared with Gang Gang Dance thus avoiding a Verve like disaster. Here is the video from her KEXP performance on April 16, 2010.

Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit

Grace Slick based the song’s lyrics on Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and her observation that the book, as well as many other children’s stories made references that could also be interpreted as drug related, which is shocking. I’ve never believed the whole Jefferson Airplane on drugs theory. This idea was fascinating to Slick since at that time she was steeped in the San Francisco drug scene. Oh crap, I guess I believe it now. In fact, her inspiration for the music came from an acid trip she had where she listened to the Miles Davisalbum, Sketches of Spain. AWESOME. I think at some point in our lives we’ve all found ourselves whacked out on acid and listening to Miles Davis. AM I RIGHT? Yeah, I’m right. I should have written a god damn song. This particular footage is from a performance that the band gave during an episode of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, where I’m guessing everyone was on acid.

Frightened Rabbit – State Hospital (KEXP performance from October 2012)

Frightened Rabbit call Glasgow, Scotland home. This is the home of giant 50 foot bunnies, which run wild throughout the villages, terrifying the Scottish and….wait, that’s not true? Weird. That’s how I’ve always pictured Scotland. They’ve been a KEXP favorite from early during their career. Brothers Scott and Grant Hutchinson make up the heart of the band, although Frightened Rabbit began as Scott recording alone in his bedroom. The band name Frightened Rabbit is actually the nickname given to him by his mother from when he was a shy child. Months before their fourth album Pedestrian Verse was released in January of 2013, they stopped by KEXP to perform the lead single from the album in October 2012. Here is the video from that performance:

Honorable Mentions:

Rabbit – Wild Fire

From 1976. No, it’s not Spinal Tap, but a band out of Newcastle, Australia. In 2004, the lead singer fronted a German AC/DC cover band. Everything about this video is awesome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8JWnNo6Ipk

White Rabbits – Percussion Gun

Our next song is from the Brooklyn based group, White Rabbits. This band rocks for many reasons, one of which being that they feature two drummers in the band. Another reason is that an actual rabbit plays one of those sets of drums. He’s insured for 2 million dollars. “Percussion Gun” was first featured on the band’s second album, It’s Frightening, which was produced by Spoon’s Britt Daniel. The song was later featured on the second volume of the soundtrack to the TV series version of Friday Night Lights. Here is the official music video for the song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IClBpch9vmM

UNKLE – Rabbit In Your Headlights

With Thom Yorke on vocals and making use of sound bites from the movie Jacob’s Ladder, “Rabbit in Your Headlights” from UNKLE is our final rabbit song today. From the album Psyence Fiction. The video was directed by Jonathan Glazer, who also directed the videos, “Street Spirit” and “Karma Police” for Radiohead. MTV refused to show the video in its original state. Their reasons being that the actor being hit by the cars was too unsettling. This coming from the same network that brought you Jersey Shore. Despite being censored, the video was awarded the 1999 Best International Video of the Year by the Music Video Production Association.

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