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by Angelos Koutsourakis

30 Nov 2009

The 2009 Cinecity Film Festival in Brighton opened with a preview of Micmacs à tire-larigot, the first film from Jean-Pierre Jeunet since 2004’s A Very Long Engagement. The film proclaims itself to be a satire on the world of arms trading. The official press release states:  “Is it better to live with a bullet lodged in your brain, even if it means you might drop dead any time?  Or would you rather have the bullet taken out and live the rest of your life as a vegetable?  Are zebras white with black stripes or black with white stripes?  Is scrap metal worth more than landmines?  Can you get drunk from eating waffles?  Can a woman fit inside a refrigerator?  What’s the human cannonball world record?  Find out answers to these questions and more.  A comedy in the vein of Delicatessen,  and Amélie.”

by Andrew Martin

30 Nov 2009

1. Jay-Z - “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)”

by Allison Taich

30 Nov 2009

Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Phil Lesh joined forces with John Kadlecik (Dark Star Orchestra), Joe Russo (Benevento/Russo Duo), Jay Lane (RatDog), and Jeff Chimenti (RatDog, The Dead) to create the next chapter in Grateful Dead history. The band unleashed their craft at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California this past September. After much hype and anticipation the band is finally hitting the road, playing limited cities across the U.S. Stream some music over at their site, and check out the tour dates after the jump.

 

by PC Muñoz

30 Nov 2009

“Nobody can be you but you.”
—Steve Arrington

It’s almost inaccurate to call drummer/songwriter/producer Steve Arrington as plain a term as “singer”, as he doesn’t so much sing lyrics as much as he throws his whole being into them, disarming listeners with the pure physicality of swooping acrobatic highs, dramatic growls, and unexpected melodic turns. The former vocalist/frontman for funk legends Slave, as well as his own group, Steve Arrington’s Hall of Fame, Steve Arrington, along with fellow Ohio natives Sugarfoot and Roger Troutman, has long been considered by funkateers to be one of the most distinctive funk vocalists of all time.

With all due respect to the aforementioned vocalists, as well as Larry Blackmon and other groundbreaking funk vocalists, I would actually go one step further and say Arrington is the most unique vocalist in funk, ever. While it is fairly common for funk vocalists to function as the lead rhythm instrument within an interlocking hyper-syncopated ensemble, Arrington, in my opinion, was the only one to use his voice in the same way other funk bands of the ‘70s and ‘80s used squealing, gurgling synths: as an undulating, unpredictable, but still pleasing-to-hear futuristic “sound effect” of sorts. Troutman, whose work I love dearly, of course also deftly and skillfully did things in this vein, but he had the help of his talkbox. Arrington’s vocal flights of fancy are organic, and his drumming background gives each of his texturized vocal performances a rhythmic precision that is funky-to-the-core. And to this day, no one sounds like Steve Arrington but Steve Arrington—nobody can be him but him.

by Cyrus Fard

30 Nov 2009

Whether you love him, hate him, or aren’t sure, Kanye West continued his reign as one of pop’s elite artists in 2009. Working with photographer Nabil Elderkin and introduced by an intimate interview with director Spike Jonze, West compiles his life circa 2008 into the comprehensive Glow in the Dark, cataloging his experiences chronologically using a dazzling array of hyper-color personal and concert photos, insightful captions, and a bonus CD with four backing tracks from the Glow in the Dark Tour.

Elderkin’s high-resolution photos are a real treat, printed beautifully and often spread across two pages. Jonze does his best to reach the heart of West’s divisive persona, such as getting West to reveal that he cried while playing the 2007 hit “The Good Life” during a difficult Brazil show, a sad irony considering his personal turmoil at the time. Fans of West will definitely love the sketches and backstage pictures from the immense tour, while the average pop consumer may enjoy his irreverent humor and expressive personality. Glow in the Dark might not convince you of West’s genius, but you’ll appreciate the sheer amount of labor and passion that goes into his work.

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