{fv_addthis}

Latest Blog Posts

by PopMatters Staff

7 Jul 2009

Young Galaxy
Invisible Republic
(Fontana North)
25 August 2009 (Canada)

SONG LIST
01. Long Live the Fallen World
02. Oh Sister
03. Destroyer
04. Pathos
05. Light Years
06. Disposable Times
07. Dreams
08. Queen Drum
09. Smoke and Mirror Show
10. Firestruck

Young Galaxy
“Long Live the Fallen World” [MP3]
     

by Jason Gross

6 Jul 2009

Nope, I don’t mean badly-written reviews, though there’s plenty of them online, and offline too (don’t kid yourself).  What I mean is that we need negative ones.  Sometimes.

The thought occurred to me after seeing this tweet from Accujazz in late May: “What do you think? Do bad reviews of jazz CDs help or hurt the art form? Why do you think jazz critics and bloggers are so hesitant to trash”

Around the same time, ace writer Anne Midgette was thinking the same thing in a Washington Post column.  “Loving music, to a critic, cannot simply mean bestowing praise. In fact, I think one of the biggest problems in the classical music field is that there’s too much praise. There’s an idea that our field is so small and beleaguered that we have to band together and all like everything all the time.”

by PopMatters Staff

6 Jul 2009

Pissed Jeans
King of Jeans
(Sub Pop)
Releasing: 18 August 2009 (US) / 17 August 2009 (UK)

SONG LIST
01. False Jesii Part 2
02. Half Idiot
03. Dream Smotherer
04. Pleasure Race
05. She Is Science Fiction
06. Request for Masseuse
07. Human Upskirt
08. Lip Ring
09. Spent
10. R-Rated Movie
11. Dominate Yourself
12. Goodbye (Hair)

Pissed Jeans
“False Jesii Part 2” [MP3]
     

by PopMatters Staff

6 Jul 2009

CéU
Vagarosa
(Six Degrees)
Releasing: 7 July 2009 (US/UK)

SONG LIST
01. Sobre o Amor e Seu Trabalho Silencioso
02. Cangote
03. Comadi
04. Bubuia
05. Nascente
06. Grains de Beauté
07. Vira Lata - Luíz Melodia
08. Papa
09. Ponteiro
10. Cordão da Insônia
11. Rosa Menina Rosa
12. Sonâmbulo
13. Espaçonave

CéU
“Bubuia” [MP3]
     

by Chris Barsanti

6 Jul 2009

A crook-eyed and foppish jerks of jerks, Asterios Polyp is the guy at the university parties whom everybody hates but still self-consciously sidles near to just so they can hear what he’s saying—even if it’ll make them sick the rest of the night. Daredevil and Batman: Year One artist David Mazzucchelli does the amazing in this, his first graphic novel, in not only basing an entire work around such an unctuous creation but actually making him something of a real human being whom one can envision caring about. The result is one of the smartest and most rewarding graphic novels of the year to date.

At the start of Asterios Polyp, we can see that the titular titan of academia has fallen to great depths. On the night of his fiftieth birthday he was lazing about his apartment watching porn in a disheveled manner, right before the whole place went up in flames. Not long before he’d been a guy to be reckoned with, a renowned professor of architecture whose ideas were so uncompromising that he was called (with some envy) a “paper architect”—meaning none of his buildings had ever actually been constructed. One randomly-chosen bus ticket out of town and the novel turns into a series of flashbacks by which we see not only the rigorously applied mechanisms by which Asterios turned himself into such a preening ass of arrogance but the stages of his bona fide romance with a quiet beauty of a sculptor, Hana, who just finally couldn’t take it anymore.

Mazzucchelli fiddles enjoyably with his storylines throughout here, stirring in dream sequences and breezy asides on Platonic logic and the history of architecture. For all the lashings of satire leveled at the pretentious realms of theoretical disciplines, where an unbuilt building is a sign of an architect’s enviable purity, Mazzuccheli evinces a sharp and well-calibrated intellect, seeding his dialogue with the kind of worn-in literacy that such a work requires. The motley gang of supporting characters (particularly those in the nameless small town Asterios holes up in to take stock of his life) hold up strong against the gale-force wind of Asterios’ hawk-like visage and smirking glare. Unfortunately, a secondary device of the author’s which toys with the idea of a shadow brother to Asterios (also functioning as the narrator) plays less well.

The satire weeds out somewhat as the book whips along, Mazzucchelli’s art a vibrant blur of primary color and strong, simple lines that lends itself better to the heart-palpitating romance of regret that the book eventually becomes. By the end of it all, Asterios seems less a terrible bore than simply that worst and most arrogant part we fear is within each of us—which makes Mazzucchelli’s shock ending all the more wrenching when it comes.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

From Hungary to Hollywood: "The Undesirable"

// Short Ends and Leader

"At just over an hour, a lot happens in this broadly gestured, melodramatic story set in Transylvania.

READ the article