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by Russ Slater

22 Jul 2010


El Guincho released Alegranza in 2007, garnering many comparisons to Panda Bear’s Person Pitch, also released that year. Now he returns with an EP of South American covers, titled Piratas de Sudamerica. The dense, lo-fi production remains as with previous efforts but his foray into covers now means a more-defined sense of structure on songs originally recorded by Miguel Matamoros and Felix B. Caignet, among others.

The record was recorded by El Guincho (real name: Pablo Díaz-Reixa) in his Barcelona apartment, paying deep homage to the salsa cuts he had grown up listening to with his dad. Piratas de Sudamerica is the first of a series of EPs which will be released on limited edition 12” vinyl concurrently with his main albums. This first EP can currently be listened to in full on Soundcloud.

El Guincho’s second album Pop Negro will be released in the Autumn.

by Jessy Krupa

22 Jul 2010


Anyone familiar with last year’s breakout success Owl City knows the story of how it came to be. Insomniac factory worker Adam Young retreated to his parents’ basement to record catchy synth-pop tunes and happened to share his music with others through the internet. When Universal Republic records saw the attention his creations were getting, they quickly signed him, under the name of “Owl City”, to an album deal.

This is where a lot of “instant star” stories end, but it turns out that was only the beginning. His single, “Fireflies” became an unlikely No.1 hit and his Ocean Eyes album sold so well, it warranted a bonus “deluxe edition” release.

Now the original basement recordings that he first experimented with have been released under the name of Sky Sailing. An Airplane Carried Me to Bed was released as a digital-only download album this week, but Adam Young is giving listeners a free MP3 download of one of the album’s tracks, “Tennis Elbow”. For a limited time, those who sign up for his official e-mail newsletter will receive the link. 

“Tennis Elbow” is similar to Owl City’s light, airy electronic melodies, but it also incorporates acoustic guitar. Some of the lyrics are similar to those of “The Bird & The Worm”, but this has a more subdued, dreamy quality to it. However, the same lyrical imagery and quirky wordplay that Owl City fans are used to is here. As proof of this, most of the YouTube videos devoted to the song feature the lyrics in some form.

by J.M. Suarez

21 Jul 2010


Pearl Jam premiered two videos yesteday: “Unthought Known” live from Berlin and “Amongst the Waves”. 

“Unthought Known” is directed by Wes C. Addle, a pseudonym used by Eddie Vedder, and features the band performing for a huge audience of enthusiastic fans in Berlin. As always, the band knows how to put on a show and their energy translates easily to the crowd.

Pearl Jam has always exhibited an affinity for the ocean with Vedder as an avid surfer and numerous songs on the subject (“Oceans”, “Big Wave”) and “Amongst the Waves” is only the most recent song to highlight this. The third single from Backspacer, the video for “Amongst the Waves” contains some beautifully shot footage of the ocean interspersed with performance clips. The band is surely making a strong statement in favor of ocean conservation, particularly in the wake of the BP oil disaster.  From the Pearl Jam website: “For every sale of the video on iTunes store in the US, Pearl Jam will donate proceeds to Conservation International”.

by Matt Mazur

21 Jul 2010


First Film: Flirting (John Duigan, 1994) opposite long-time friend Nicole Kidman

Must-see: 21 Grams (Alejandro Gonzales Inaritu, 2003); I Heart Huckabees (David O. Russell, 2004); The Painted Veil (John Curran, 2006)

Star Turn: As Betty/Diane in David Lynch’s complicated masterpiece Mulholland Drive

Underrated: Eastern Promises (David Cronenberg, 2007)

Upcoming, Current and/or Recent: A hat-trick of interesting women this year with the recent Mother and Child for Rodrigo Garcia and Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger later this summer, plus she is playing Valerie Plame opposite Sean Penn in Doug Liman’s Fair Game which got good notices at Cannes earlier this year. She is committed to play Marilyn Monroe in a biopic for Andrew Dominink (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford).

by L.B. Jeffries

21 Jul 2010


Of all the video game avatars that provide ample space for the adolescent male psyche to project into, perhaps none is better suited than Kratos from the God of War series. While Darksiders borrows heavily from the classic Warhammer style of hulking armor or Solid Snake nails the perfect soldier, Kratos is just pure seething id. Interrupted only by the occasional sex romp, he does nothing except smash, kill, and destroy anything that crosses him. The character works nicely because underneath all that are a lot of awkward emotions and guilt because Kratos accidentally killed his wife and child mid-kill-a-thon. Every teenager feels a lot of frustration and anger growing up and sometimes it feels good to express those feelings by tearing something ’s head off.

That’s what makes this particular spoof a bit sharper than your average gamer satire. Borrowing from a long list of sad-bastard man films like Garden State, Rushmore, and The Royal Tenenbaums, it takes that basic film formula and mixes it with the characters from God of War. The weird thing is that it works, mostly because both Kratos and the broken males starring in those types of films have a lot in common underneath the surface. Max Fischer might start clubs instead of killing Gods, but there’s still that same basic archetype at work. Joining in with the trailer’s spirit of coming across as a pretentious prick, perhaps there’s a little bit of Kratos in all of us?

The song in the video is ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.

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