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by PopMatters Staff

11 Mar 2009

Here’s the video from “Dimmer”, the new single off Grrr…. Matthew Fiander said, “from the lilting verses and child-like calling on the choruses in ‘Dimmer’ to the light noodling guitar that sneaks into ‘Oklahoma’, Bishop Allen once again gives us a batch of songs that are so fundamentally poppy that the sound seems both distinctly theirs and oddly universal.”

by Sarah Zupko

11 Mar 2009

Yeah Yeah Yeahs moved up the digital release of their eagerly anticpated new album It’s Blitz! to this week following leaks of the record on file sharing networks. You’ll still need to wait until March 31st for the CD. This week Spinner.com also premiered the new video for “Zero”, directed by Barney Clay who previous shot the Gnarls Barkley stunner “Who Cares”. Frontwoman Karen O ambles and dances her way through nearly deserted New York City Chinatown streets, while we are treated to pounding synth pop that wouldn’t have been out of place on the early new wave drenched airwaves of MTV.

 

by Sarah Zupko

11 Mar 2009

Yesterday on PopMatters, Bill Stewart said of Handsome Furs new album Face Control: “Handsome Furs craft something of a rarity even in today’s independent music scene: a modest, personal album that doesn’t ask for anything more than what you’re willing to give.” Of lead single and video “I’m Confused” he added, “often the repetition of a simple, powerful phrase like ‘I’m Confused’ over a beautifully spiraling guitar figure can say more than all but the most poetic lyric.”

Handsome Furs is Dan Broeckner from Wolf Parade on vocals and guitar teamed with his wife Alexei Perry who mans the synthesizers. The result is a compelling blend of cool synth pop and hot jagged guitars and impassioned vocals. It’s a spare and very effective mixture as you can hear on the debut single “I’m Confused”, which appears on Face Control released this week via Sub Pop.

Handsome Furs
“I’m Confused” [MP3]
     

by Sarah Zupko

11 Mar 2009

Nine years ago this week, Eels released Daisies of the Galaxy, a record of which PopMattersFred Kovey said: “The melodies are old and familiar, the rhyme schemes are Mother Goose-simple, but the off-kilter production and lyrics betray the music in a manner that would be ironic if the whole thing weren’t delivered with so much conviction.”

Eels - Flyswatter

Eels - Flyswatter (Live on David Letterman, 2000)

Eels - Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues (Live on Top of the Pops)

Eels - The Making of Daisies of the Galaxy

by Rob Horning

11 Mar 2009

There’s some sort of metaphor in this, Tetris set in so huge a playing field that it becomes pointless to play. (Via Kottke.) Formal limitations are generative; unbounded free play, not so much. 

This game, for instance, (via Joshuah Bearman) is strangely compelling. It consists entirely of trying to guess geometric centers and align parallel lines. It’s like a training program for membership in some elite band of speculative surveyors. It has built my confidence in hanging pictures correctly, so that they are not crooked. I think eventually I’ll be able to throw away my level altogether.

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