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Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014
This film is, above all, a technical accomplishment, but it has languished since its 1938 release.

This expensive epic focuses on a little-told historical subject. While the initial California Gold Rush of 1849 has often been used as a background for films and stories, this screenplay by Warren Duff and Robert Buckner (from Clements Ripley’s novel) focuses on the Sacramento Valley rush of 1877, specifically on the use of hydraulic mining to wash away tons of mud onto the farmland below, leading to environmental and legal conflict between farmers and miners. The latter aren’t rugged individualists but employees of fatcat syndicates in San Francisco, who are depicted as shallow and greedy while the farmers are the salt of the earth. Real issues and philosophies are discussed before the destructive climactic action literally washes everything away when everyone disregards the law.


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Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014
Members of Detroit garage rock icons Von Bondies release their debut video, "Folks", under the new moniker PONYSHOW.

Coming out of the Detroit scene, the Von Bondies were one of the aughts’ premier garage rock groups. PONYSHOW is a mix between its progeny and its reincarnated avatar. Formed in the spring of 2014 in Ferndale, Michigan, the trio is composed of Von Bondies alumni Jason Stollsteimer, Leann Banks, and Donny Blum. The group released its first 7” in October, and now have their debut music video to go along with it, in the form of the kinetic rouser “Folks”.


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Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014
Adria, one of the land down under's newest musical exports, offers up her moody first single "Pull Me Under" for streaming here at PopMatters.

Australian singer Adria’s vocals on her new single “Pull Me Under” combine the moodiness of Lorde with the echoey, spacey effects that Lana Del Rey has come to be so famous for. These sonic signposts are hardly surprising, given Adria’s bringing on of producers Matthew Wiggins (Adele, Florence and the Machine, Coldplay, and Lorde, among others) and Viktor Balter-Lundin (Lykke Li) in the creation of “Pull Me Under”. However, Adria’s writing of the song came not out of the desire for the next Top 40 hit, but something more elemental. She cites her fascination with water as an inspiration for the track: “I’m attracted to its characteristics: strength, calmness, roughness, fluidity. It can be ruthless, yet it can also be still and quiet, which I like. It can take on so many different personalities which I think can be mirrored with human characteristics.”


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Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014
Detroit duo TART releases the snarling and foaming single "Rabid Dogs" as a followup to its debut EP.

Right from the outset, TART’s “Rabid Dogs” snares you with its hooks of intrigue. Looped drum beats hit like the soundtrack from an ‘80s new wave dance club, albeit one laced with black lights and a purplish noir haze, as Adam Michael Lee Padden’s metallic guitar riffs start churning. When vocalist Zee Bricker belts out her ominous observations, the song suitably assumes the role of its title. Frothing and snarling like a deranged beast, the tune takes on skittery rhythms and handclap percussion before dropping out to sparse key notes. The guitars then get decidedly more melodic and dreamy near the midpoint before the aggressive fretwork flares back with an increased bedlam.


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Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014
Soul singer Paul Kelly brings a whole bevy of talented singers to cover his tunes for his new album The Merri Soul Sessions. Powerhouse vocalist Clairy Brown gives a spirited rendition of "Keep On Coming Back for More".

Following a long and productive career, soul singer/songwriter Paul Kelly has taken to looking back on his musical legacy in the form of his new album The Merri Soul Sessions. Beginning as a series of 7” singles, the sessions find Kelly and a whole host of collaborators re-interpreting many of his well-established tunes. For the track “Keep On Coming Back For More”, Kelly brought vocalist Clairy Brown, who gives the song a palpable injection of vivacity.


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