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Lady Gaga dropped by to chat with the women on The View and perform her hit “Just Dance”. Evan Sawdey said of her recent album The Fame: Though Gaga started out in New York’s tough-to-break club scene, her ability to pick out a good hook (along with her ability to spot a good producer) makes The Fame sound like a unified whole—something that’s truly amazing when you account for the fact that five different producers/beatmakers were brought in to craft this disc.

Stephen Lynch is a Tony-nominated actor (for playing Robbie Hart in The Wedding Singer in 2006) and a successful stand-up comedian, but he considers himself primarily a musician and songwriter.  His latest CD Three Balloons, out March 24 on What Are Records, is as sickly funny as anything you’ll hear at a comedy club. 

Let’s let him describe it, okay?  He says, ““My last two albums were recorded live in concert, just guitar and voice, and I wanted to do something different this time. Whenever I write or perform a new song, in my head I hear pianos and drums and tubas and string sections and jug bands and children’s choirs. I want you to hear those things too. Except we couldn’t find a children’s choir whose parents would let them sing about drug mules and transsexual prostitutes. Maybe next time.”

The album has songs about waiting for AIDs test results (“Waiting”), untended private hair (“Medieval Bush”) and this really objectionable, really shocking, hee hee, really amusing tune about smuggling dope. 

It’s called “3 Balloons”. Enjoy…if that’s the right word for it.

Stephen Lynch
“3 Balloons” [MP3]
     

Kings of Leon

I heard this song on my alt. rock radio station today. Perhaps it was the melody, or the vocals, but I was transported back to the ‘80s. I would have closed my eyes and relished the moment, but I was driving in my car. Some people think the song sounds like something from U2, or Bob Seger. I’m not sure I agree, but I am comforted by the strangely familiar voice that, ironically, I have never heard before.  The band has been criticized for going mainstream, much like No Doubt or Fall Out Boy. However, I know a catchy song when I hear one, and this song has stayed on repeat for about 20 minutes, and I probably won’t be able to get it out of my head for the next couple of days.

Del Marquis, the guitarist for the tirelessly glamorous Scissor Sisters, makes a sharp turn to the dark side with “Character Assassination”, the title track from his forthcoming EP of the same name. We here at PopMatters are thrilled to be able to present the world premiere of the video for this track.

Over doomily cascading Gary Numan-style synths, Marquis explores the extremely thin line between delight and despair.  As for the video, it’s as if Nine Inch Nails had Philip K Dick direct a video using only the cover of Peter Gabriel’s Shock the Monkey as inspiration.  It’s moody stuff, but he can’t be all gold lamé bikini briefs all the time.

Benbecula is one of the most exciting labels in Scotland.  Since 1999, they have delivered to the area and, thanks to the internet, the world some of the finest downtempo, ambient, experimental, glitch, folk, and all electronic variations of each. Not that they only deal with Scottish music, mind you. The electronic free-jazz of Brian Ellis comes from California, while Phrizzm’s IDM flows from Ontario. These six videos will give you a sense of their style. Two of them are from my personal favorite Christ. (pronounced like Christopher), who was an early member of Boards Of Canada.

Christ. - “Happyfour Twenty” from Blue Shift Emissions

Brian Ellis - “Para Ti” from The Silver Creature

Genaro - “Suspicions” from Genaro

Phrizzm - “Minutae” from Phrizzm EP

Christ. - “Always to Play” from Metamorphic Reproduction Miracle

Brian Ellis - “Say”  from The Silver Creature

//Blogs

The Best and Worst Films of Spring 2015

// Short Ends and Leader

"January through April is a time typically made up of award season leftovers, pre-summer spectacle, and more than a few throwaways. Here are PopMatters' choices for the best and worst of the last four months.

READ the article