Call for Music Writers... Rock, Indie, Hip-hop, R&B, Electronic, Americana, Metal, World and More

 

Latest Posts

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Monday, Mar 23, 2015
Bond theme chords and seductive vocals merge on the retro "Oh Josephine", the newest number by the UK duo Vienna Ditto.

The Reading, United Kingdom duo Vienna Ditto may be an under-the-radar act at the moment, but they’re unlikely to stay that way for long given the press they’ve been culling over the past few years. The quote merchants in the media have already begun buzzing about the band’s latest single, “Oh Josephine”: BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens calls it “Portishead doing a Tarantino soundtrack.”


Stephens’ description isn’t far off. With frontwoman Hatty Taylor’s alluring vocals and Nigel Firth’s melancholy and darkly romantic guitar chords, “Oh Josephine” becomes something like a would-be Bond theme, a kind of tune that brings to mind inky black silhouettes flowing in and out of an opening credits montage.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Monday, Mar 23, 2015
by Steve Leftridge and Steve Pick
Double Take would like to pitch The Player in 25 words or less, but it took us a little longer to break this one down. So hear us out -- and don't give us water in a red wine glass.

The Hollywood satire in The Player was most sharply observed by those who worked for and with the big studio system, so in some ways it seems like a movie, with all its insider talk and meta-narratives, that was made not just about the industry but for the industry.


Steve Leftridge: I’ll lead off by suggesting that The Player might not be the ideal Robert Altman film by which to discuss the director, but that’s the nature of the Big Randomizer that picks these titles for us. I saw this film when it was first released in 1992, but not until it had already been established as marking Robert Altman’s big career resurgence and was lined up for awards on both sides of the Atlantic. I can’t quite remember how I made sense of The Player at the time as a film on its own terms or how I considered it within the context and style of the classic films that Altman had already made. But re-watching the film this week, with the benefit of knowing where Altman went from here, I can place it in a more complete context. Plus, I had forgotten so much of it, I was evaluating it anew as a free-standing piece of work. I have a lot of questions for you, Steve, but let me start by asking you those I just introduced: Revisiting The Player for this project, how do you feel it works as a film, regardless of who directed it, and how does knowing that it’s an Altman film inform your understanding or appreciation of it?


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Monday, Mar 23, 2015
From artists that have already made a splash (Bleachers) to those hoping to land a record deal (Demi Louise), Friday of SXSW 2015 captured the struggle to make it in the modern music industry.

On Friday of South By Southwest Music, I seek out three artists at very different stages of their careers who are clearly engaging with the festival on different scales. Seeing these artists alongside one another brings to light part of what makes SXSW so unique: it’s a place where you can see an international superstar, a new act touring in support of a highly regarded first record, and an unsigned young singer hoping for a record deal, all in one night.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Friday, Mar 20, 2015
UK hip-hop (Little Simz) and powerful singer/songwriter acts (James Vincent McMorrow) highlight South by Southwest's Thursday showcases.

Having essentially marinated in a stew of rock guitars for the past two days—not that that was a bad thing!—on day three of the 2015 South By Southwest Music Festival I decide to traverse as many genres as I possibly can. From a Korean doo-wop girl group to Long Beach rap, with some detours into neo-soul and freaky British electropop, my findings are stimulating and surprising through and through. I also spend a lot of time in churches, which yields gorgeous acoustics and some new favorite singer-songwriters. For the sake of attempting some modicum of coherence, I’ll group artists according to the broad genre traits that they share, though that’s not at all meant to undersell the distinctive qualities of each performance.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Friday, Mar 20, 2015
This is not just a great Peckinpah film, but perhaps Hollywood’s last great classic Western, a film of tremendous self-reflection and deep sadness.

The year was 1973, and it was Sam Peckinpah’s last chance in Hollywood. Peckinpah had followed up his massively successful western epic The Wild Bunch with a series of films that, while all of quality, were marred by turmoil as a result of both Peckinpah’s increasingly severe alcoholism and his adversarial relationship with studio executives. His never-before-seen depiction of gritty violence was often the source of controversy, with many critics feeling that Peckinpah’s fiery brand of mayhem bordered on the nihilistic. While Bloody Sam loved to let the bullets fly on screen, his time behind the cameras also proved to be similarly combative, as he became notorious for his clashes with studios over budget constraints and shooting schedules.


Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2015 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.