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by Tyler Gould

5 Oct 2009

Lowell Brams
Music for Insomnia
(Asthmatic Kitty)
Releasing: 8 December

Sufjan Stevens has been busy lately, debuting new music and giving old projects a resplendent release, and here he is again as a guest on this album by his stepfather and co-founder of Asthmatic Kitty, Lowell Brams. Music for Insomnia also features Bryce Dessner of the National, and is part of a whole new series of background music.

01 Chattering Garden Trolls
02 Alpha to Theta
03 Short Circadian Partita
04 Hypnagogic Hallucination
05 Melatonin Lullaby
06 Horse Spindles
07 Dream About Vince Guaraldi
08 A Cross Section of Clown Mountain

Lowell Brams
Alpha to Theta [MP3]

by Sarah Zupko

5 Oct 2009

London’s the xx played Jools Holland’s show last week in advance of their US release of xx. The buzz is building on this young group of 20-year-olds who traffic in a minimal form of pop that’s unusually mature for their tender age. Look for a PopMatters review later this week.

by Ashley Cooper

5 Oct 2009

This Is It is the culmination of hours of footage from the late Michael Jackson’s final tour, appropriately named “This Is It”. The series of concerts was made up of fifty shows, all set to take place at the O2 Arena in London, from the end of 2009 into 2010.

Made up of rehearsal footage, interviews, dance sequences, and other special effects that only concert attendees would have witnessed, This Is It promises Michael Jackson fans all across the globe one final chance to see the Gloved One perform some of his most well-known and respected music.

This Is It premieres in theaters worldwide on October 28th, and will only be shown for two weeks.

by PC Muñoz

5 Oct 2009

“Where Did You Sleep Last Night” - Nirvana
Attributed to Huddie Ledbetter
From MTV Unplugged in New York (Geffen, 1994)

This V-C-V originally ran on August 23, 2005 on pcmunoz.com

I have a picture of Kurt Cobain on my desk. It’s a pretty well-known shot: a sort of sad close-up, with Cobain sporting a scruffy beard and looking directly into the camera, a few blonde locks falling over his face. At the bottom it says KURT COBAIN, 1967-1994. It serves to remind me that we never know from where our great artists will come, or when they will leave us.

I thought Kurt Cobain was an astonishingly expressive vocalist. I’d put his screaming up there with Prince, his emotional voice-breaks up there with Hank Williams, and his commanding way with a melody in there with any of the great pop singers. I liked his original songs quite a bit, especially “Come as You Are”, “All Apologies”, “Heart Shaped Box”, “In Bloom”, and the more recently released “You Know You’re Right, which has a great, unique vocal.

by Diepiriye Kuku

4 Oct 2009

In his recent talk with Holocaust survivor Rita Lurie, NPR’s Michel Martin conducted what has to be one of the most sensitively handled interviews on talk radio these days. Moreover, the powerful words in this interview and the books discussed here find new meaning as more Americans scramble to find ways to deal with trauma—terrorism, modern cultural pluralism, the recession, the sandwich-generation taking care of kids and parents, loss of work, resources, benefits and status. The authors graciously and courageously bequeathed us powerful inspiration.

This interview was incredibly powerful, and reminded me of reading Linda Brent’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, first published in 1861. The writer seems better able to recapture her voice on paper after being holed up in a space too small to move her limbs for seven years during her journey to escape the slave-holding American South, amidst the uncertainly of freedom in the North due to the active Fugitive Slave Law. Nowhere felt safe, and like the Holocaust survivor Rita Lurie—holed up in a Polish farmer’s attic—each day was riddled with the fear of “not knowing if we were going to live another day.”

It also occurs to me that Blacks and Jews should come together in remembrance in spaces of reverence for the purpose of breathing new life into the present, charged with the energy of our ancestors and loved ones gone by. We must pray together and help each other—and the wider/whiter America—to remember our past, not to be consumed by forgetfulness, and not to fear being overwhelmed with grief (guilt or shame) from accepting our past.

//Mixed media

Saul Williams Commands Attention at Summerstage (Photos + Video)

// Notes from the Road

"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.

READ the article