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Wednesday, Dec 5, 2007
by PopMatters Staff

Decomposure
Hour 1 [MP3]
     


Hour 2 [MP3]
     


 


Vertical Lines A began in earnest back in 2005 with a mostly uneventful Friday field-recorded across a stack of 23 hour-long cassettes, each one tagged with a number corresponding to its order of recording. Once committed to tape, I began the process of deconstructing that day and recompiling the fragments into music, one cassette at a time. This is where the titles come from—each song’s sound source material is drawn from the corresponding cassette. And save for a few notable moments, all the album’s music is drawn from the cassettes; it’s mostly devoid of actual instrumentation and nearly all of it is either diced moments from the cassettes or my voice. And exactly a year later, after a detailed process of digitally slicing, sifting, layering and interpreting, Vertical Lines A sat there blinking and awake. So, as you listen to each minute go by, you’re not only hearing the music itself, but also 11 condensed hours in field recordings, and a year’s worth of thought and effort. While Vertical Lines A is fully autonomous as its own creature, it’s actually just one solidified half of an eventual two-album project, the second half still phantom.” -– Caleb Mueller, Decomposure

They Might Be Giants
Friday Night Family Podcast [MP3]


Junk Science
Hey! [MP3]
     


Nicolay
Tight Eyes [Streaming]


Pela
KEXP CMJ In-Studio MP3 [MP3]
     


Wyclef Jean
Sweetest Girl (REMIX) feat. Raekwon, Akon, Lil Wayne


Radiohead
Jigsaw Falling Into Place



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Wednesday, Dec 5, 2007

More and more, I’m seeing that one branch of the entertainment industry is trying to beat down the Net demons that threaten their bottom line by following the lead of another biz branch.  Usually, it’s the music biz that provide clues and leads for film and TV now but the latter have been wising up too, putting content online without strings (or at least many strings).  The best recent example is MTV giving away South Park episodes, all of them, for free.  No doubt, they’ll be stuffed with ads but it seems to run counter to everything that the major labels believe in now.  And as the Slashdot article notes, this kind of strategy hasn’t hurt The Daily Show when they did something similar. 


It’s questionable that the labels will pick up on this quickly (hell, look how long it takes them to adapt to technology in their own biz) but one heartening step is the ‘cut the fat’ program that EMI is said to be implementing now.  This confirms what many of us knew: that the big labels were throwing money around like crazy, with no thought as to whether any of it really made sense or not, acting like grade school kids with credit cards rather than a record company.  The danger though is that they’ll think that this ALONE is gonna solve their problems.  It’s a step in the right direction but until they get their digital house in order, these labels ain’t gonna see the financial returns they want.


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Tuesday, Dec 4, 2007

For barely the price of a family outing to the movies, you can present your family with a collection of movie history in a box. The Legends of the Silver Screen set draws from the compelling A&E biography series to offer in-depth looks at the careers of Katharine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, James Dean and many more. The Robert Redford bio, Hollywood Outlaw is an engaging peek at the enigmatic legend who started the Sundance Institute and Festival, despite being a reluctant matinee idol for most of his career. The most intriguing and unexpected of the set is the documentary on Hollywood’s founding fathers, all Jewish emigres born within 500 miles of each other in Eastern Europe and all instrumental in the cinematic depiction of the American dream and the establishment of Hollywood as the primary means to express those ideas globally in creative terms.


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Tuesday, Dec 4, 2007

Did you know that a mere seven prisoners were freed when the Bastille was stormed in 1789?  The glorious illustrations had you thinking hundreds, didn’t they?  Did you know it was not Marie Antoinette who said “Let them eat cake”? And Hitler was not a vegetarian?  Did you know that World War II did not end until 1990?  For the know-it-all with solid faith in her education, be it from school text book or the common wisdom captured in a Hollywood film, this is a fun book that will rock her world.  Peppered with words of wisdom from those whom we assume know better than the rest (e.g., “Light travels faster than sound—isn’t that why some people appear bright until you hear them speak?”—Steven Wright), this is an eclectic collection of conceptions about our world proven wrong, and then righted. Or so they say.


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Tuesday, Dec 4, 2007

You don’t need to be any kind of Stax freak to get into this music, and this new compilation makes for a great starter drug. It’s awesome for people who do not have the originals all on vinyl or eight-track or lousy CD masters from 17 years ago. It is also probably a good thing for people who do have them all already anyway. Listening to songs like “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay”, “B-A-B-Y”, “Do the Funky Chicken”, and “Starting All Over Again” is like taking a stroll through the garden of sublime American soul music. But the most important thing about it is that it augurs well for the new era to come. If Concord continues to pump out high-class re-issue material like this, then we will see an undreamt-of Stax renaissance in the next few years. The liner and the photos are beautifully done, and the sound is as crisp as the creases in the Mad Lads’ pants.


Otis Redding - Try a Little Tenderness Live

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