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by PopMatters Staff

1 Sep 2015

Is "Wildest Dream " excessively clever? Overly sophisticated? Ironic? Earnest? Anything?

Steve Horowitz: Taylor Swift may not be a Meryl Streep, and the guy many not be Robert Redford, but this meta-version of Out of Africa doesn’t pretend to be more than a travelogue with erotic connotations. Wild animals = wild emotions without having to be any more graphic than a kiss on red lips. The song works more as a soundtrack than a stand alone cut because it functions more as atmosphere than narrative, which makes the whole allusion to the world outside of the movie somewhat syrupy. The framing works to prevent the dream work from being taken too seriously. The romance is only a screen romance, and the performers know it, but still…. For all those who wonder if what they see in the cinema is real, Taylor lets you have it both ways. [8/10]

by Steve Leftridge and Steve Pick

1 Sep 2015

What a time  they had, Charlie and Rosie. They'll never lack for stories to tell their grandchildren. And what a time we had at Double Take discussing the spiritual and romantic journey of the African Queen.

Steve Pick: I’ve seen that image of Humphrey Bogart towing a boat down a river in Africa, but I had no idea how he got there, or why he was doing it, or what Katharine Hepburn was doing at the time. The African Queen is a film quite unlike other flicks I’ve seen. For 95% of its running time, Bogart and Hepburn are the only two characters on screen, not counting stock footage of hippos, monkeys, elephants, giraffes, and other animals, or some animated mosquitoes. I think we’ll find some interesting things to discuss, from the Christian/Western exploitation of Africa to the most literal representation of marriage as a death sentence ever in fiction. Along the way, well, we can bask in the skills of two magnificent actors making us forget, mostly, all the tics and trademarks that had made them famous in the years before and since this one was made in 1951.

by Adrien Begrand

1 Sep 2015

The San Francisco  band skillfully create a hooky indie pop hybrid on their debut album.

So we pronounce it “nervous lovers” then, right?

This latest addition to search-optimized indie band names (right up there with CHVRCHES and Alvvays) San Francisco band NRVS LVRS provide an aptly contemporary twist on indie pop. At its root is the same new romantic-derived sounds Stars have been excelling at for the past 15 years, but with smart additions of chillwave, electropop, and dreampop. The tactic works especially well on their debut album, which can be streamed in its entirety below in advance of its 8 September release date.

by PopMatters Staff

1 Sep 2015

iLoveMakonnen has just  shared his latest video, "Trust Me Danny".

Brian Duricy: Playful tribute to Drake’s oft-cited favorite slang of 2015 and the song’s producer? Check. Swirling, whining synths that pair well with Makonnen’s own unpolished swagger? Check. Pulling an early 2010s slip-hop forgetfulness and then deciding to shout himself out instead? Check. Rap can’t get more fun than ILoveMakonnen. [8/10]

by Adrien Begrand

1 Sep 2015

The young Chicago  band add some welcome funk to their jam band music.

Chicago’s Walsher Clemons is a jam band that know not just how to lock into a strong instrumental groove, but one that knows how to create a groove that actually moves. Described as a combination of Michael Jackson and Phish (with a little Steely Dan tossed in as well) this is sunny, Bonnaroo-friendly music that demands its listeners dance to their irresistible funk beats.

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Double Take: The African Queen (1951)

// Short Ends and Leader

"What a time they had, Charlie and Rosie. They'll never lack for stories to tell their grandchildren. And what a time we had at Double Take discussing the spiritual and romantic journey of the African Queen.

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