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Sunday, Jul 30, 2006

Ever since the Lumiere Brothers mystified audiences with their amazing “moving images”, film has been a confounding, creative force in modern entertainment. The visuals contained inside that bright light emanating from the little window in the back of the theater have frightened and freed us, saddened and saved us. They provide the comedy and choreography that help us escape in times of trouble, while dramatizing issues and events that keep reality and its innumerable variables in proper perspective. Cinema has been so influential, defining our sense of fashion and romance, our concept of thrills and pageantry that it’s no longer a diversion, but a deciding factor in everyday life. And it’s not just a Western conceit—movies literally make the world go round, from the fascinating frenzy of India’s Bollywood to Asia’s current cultural focus on horror, crime, and violence.


PopMatters wants its new blog, Short Ends and Leader, to act as a daily dialogue on the role film plays in our personal and pragmatic existence. Relying on our staff of astute contributors, we hope to offer unique perspectives on the industry—in our Front Page news and Hollywood Babylon gossip sections—movies as art—via the Depth of Field think piece section and our take on classic films, Past Perfect—as well as a glimpse into elements outside the mainstream featured in The Other. In addition, our regular Short Cuts section will highlight theatrical films that you may have missed, forgotten gems that deserve another look, and those horribly addictive guilty pleasures that satisfy something primordial in our otherwise ‘astute’ approach to amusement. Add in weekly guides to what’s new on DVD (Who’s Minding the Store), and films worth catching on the small screen (Viewer Discretion Advised) and you have a comprehensive forum for the discussion, and dissection, of movies and their meaning.


This conversation is not exclusive however, and strives to include as many divergent voices and opinions as possible. The Short Ends and Leader blog will always be open to input—from sources inside the magazine, the business of show and amongst our readership as well. Let us know what you think, what interests or bothers you, what aspects of film are over considered and/or under appreciated. After all, a dialogue is only effective when both sides are communicating. Short Ends and Leader will always be more than happy to start things off. The rest will be up to you.


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Saturday, Jul 29, 2006
by PopMatters Staff

Sunset Rubdown
Absolutely Kosher
Download “Stadiums And Shrines II” (MP3, 192kbps)


“Spencer Krug steps out from under the shadow of Wolf Parade to shine a light on his more morose and introspective inclinations.” PopMatters review [8 out of 10]

So GoneEvangelicals
Misra
Download “Another Day (And Yoor Still Knocked Out)” (MP3, 192kbps)


“The Evangelicals are making up their own sport, with the rules slowly coming along.” PopMatters review [6 out of 10]


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Friday, Jul 28, 2006

Today I saw tourists filming their strolls down Fifth Avenue, as usual, and I started wondering if we have already reached a point where unrecorded experience has become negligible. Why bother doing anything that you can’t record and transform into a souvenir, a precious object that proves your vacationing prowess and power? Unrecorded experience, from this perspective, belongs to someone else—your employer (who may have your time recorded on surveillance tapes), your family, the commuting gods, etc.—and recorded experience is the objectified time that you truly own. In the rush for people to own their own leisure time, they seem to be skipping the direct experience itself, preferring to record it as it happens and enjoy it later, which suggests that unmediated experience now may seem less real than mediated experience. We are used to seeing an event’s appearance in the media as indicative of its relevance,  as a potent symbol of social recognition. So it makes sense we would discount our own experiences that can’t be so configured, and that technology would be seeming to head irrevocably down a path that allows for an ever greater amount of our experience to be digitized and stored—portable digital cameras, etc. Perhaps eventually we will supplant our faulty natural memory with terabyte drives that store everything in a much more reliable searchable architecture.


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Friday, Jul 28, 2006
by PopMatters Staff


La Rocca
“This Life” [MP3]
multiple songs [MySpace]


Nils Petter Molvaer
“Water” [MP3]


Magoo
“Expansion Ride” [MP3]
“Robot Twin” [MP3]


Babyshambles
“The Man Who Came to Stay” [MP3]


Thea Gilmore
“Call Me Your Darling” [MP3]


Laura Veirs
“Green Cowgirl” [MP3]


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Thursday, Jul 27, 2006

It’s more accurate to say that it was her label but the fact that whoever decided that her latest single should be available without any stupid downloading (DRM) restrictions deserves a cigar: DRM under Siege.  How long did it take for the major labels to figure out that music fans want music without strings attached?  They have a track record of taking a long time to get the point, haven’t they?  Let’s see how many other aritsts and labels follow suit now.  If it’s a success, the whole digital music world might become a lot more user-friendly and even more profitable.


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