CFP: The Legacy of Radiohead's 'The Bends' 20 Years On [Deadlines: 29 Jan / 12 Feb]

 

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Monday, Jan 26, 2015
British dark folk guitarist Matt Elliott is the subject of the documentary What a fuck am i doing on this battlefield, which you can now rent online.

The music of the British folk guitarist Matt Elliott (of the Third Eye Foundation Fame) has always been unrelentingly bleak. His Eastern European-influenced style, which he refined over the course of his “Drinking Songs” trilogy, reached its apotheosis in 2011’s spare and brutal The Broken Man, a gorgeous and depressive collection that foregrounds Elliott’s superb fingerstyle guitar playing. In 2013, Elliott brought a full band on board for his most sophisticated recording to date, the cheekily titled Only Myocardial Infarction Can Break Your Heart. His shadowy music is equally met by his reticent public persona. Although he gives out few interviews, he is the subject of the 2013 documentary What a fuck am i doing on this battlefield, which filmmakers Julien Fezans and Nico Peltier have now made available for rent via Vimeo.


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Monday, Jan 26, 2015
Featuring what might become the official surf rock jam of Brooklyn, Sarah McGowan's Indian Summer is an EP filled with ebullient sing-alongs and hooks aplenty.

No, you’re not mistaken: on “Williamsburg Boy”, the opening track of her new EP, Indian Summer, New York City-based songwriter Sarah McGowan is indeed singing about the ever-bourgeoning Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg and not the California coast. Such a mistake is forgivable given the tune’s sunny surf rock vibes, in addition to its well-placed Valley Girl-ism (“I would literally fucking die”). Although this sonic isn’t repeated throughout Indian Summer, the rest of it does match “Williamsburg Boy”‘s elating handclaps and effortless hook, resulting in a brief yet undeniably catchy collection of indie pop numbers. McGowan is a singer that fans of twee pop best keep their eye out for.


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Monday, Jan 26, 2015
You wouldn’t think it, but Star Spangled War Stories, featuring G. I. Zombie #6 confronts us, by way of Watchmen, with issues at the heart of the history of comics.

EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW


Maybe the best part of Watchmen, and reading it for the first time there were too many good parts to keep a hold of in a single thought, was how the quotes at the end of most of the chapters shaped your experience and understanding of reading those chapters. Could Bob Dylan have written “All Along the Watchtower” specifically for that near-to-last Ozymandias chapter? “Outside in the distance a wild cat did growl, two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl” reads the Dylan quote at the end of “Two Riders were Approaching…”. And exactly that happens within the story. Bubastis the GM lynx growls at the sight of Rorschach and Nite Owl drawing closer to Ozymandias’s Antarctic fortress on their tiny hovercraft Segways.


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Monday, Jan 26, 2015
Double Take examines Errol Flynn's classic take on this vigilante archer: a bold, impudent rascal that speaks treason fluently, capturing hearts when he isn't shooting arrows into them.

One Steve’s violent vigilantism is another Steve’s interesting open rebellion to a repressive government.


Steve Leftridge: I first watched The Adventures of Robin Hood sometime as a child, but I haven’t watched it since. I’ve seen Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood, Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (a real chore, that one), Mel Brooks’ Men in Tights, and the Disney animated version (with those great Roger Miller tunes) all since seeing the Errol Flynn classic way back when. Still, it strikes me after revisiting it again this week that essentially every concept I have of Robin Hood comes from this 1938 film—or from the Daffy Duck spoof, which itself features a brief clip of Flynn from the movie. There’s a lot to cover here: Flynn, Michael Curtiz, the Golden Age of Hollywood, the swashbuckling genre, Olivia de Havilland’s hair, socialism, Claude Rains, violent vigilantism, the Great Depression, Technicolor, Paleo diets, to name a few. So let me throw it you first, Mr. Pick. What’s your history with this one, and what did you most enjoy about watching it anew?


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Monday, Jan 26, 2015
Low-key bluesiness defines "Beginning of the End", a track by the Canadian folk project Astral Swans, which arose from a disturbing case of seagull cannibalism.

The Calgary, Alberta-based singer/songwriter Matthew Swann, who goes by the artistic moniker Astral Swans, declares on the title of his new LP that All My Favorite Singers Are Willie Nelson. Though that influence does crop up throughout the record, it’s also hard to imagine that legendary country singer warbling out lines such as, “Who told the kids in the yard that they¹re mostly dust? / Now they just stay drunk / Keep getting more fucked up”. Such cynicism about the world is an undercurrent throughout All My Favorite Singers, particularly on the song from which the aforementioned lyrics come from, “Beginning of the End”. The track, built on a basic blues structure, incorporates scratchy bits of distortion amidst Swann’s bleak musings, which derive from an act of violence within nature. To hear more about this morbid story and to stream “Beginning of the End”, read and listen more below.


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