Sweden’s Lykke Li offers up a mini-film for her latest video “Sadness Is a Blessing” starring herself and fellow Swede Stellan Skarsgård, who just happens to be one of the best actors on the planet. I’m just saying. The tune is something of a homage to the sounds of ‘60s girl groups with that Phil Spectoresque wall of sound. It’s yet another fabulous song from an album chock full of them.
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All four tracks, “Can’t Keep Johnny Down”, “Cloisonne”, “Never Knew Love”, and “Old Pine Box” already have a place on the album, so this isn’t going to be like Indestructible Object from 2004 when the EP was three-fifths exclusive material. But TMGB have a “complete my album” program set up for the downloads so that, come July, customers won’t have to pay for these four songs twice.
It’s just a few seconds shy of ten minutes, but these guys have never been much on length.
We as a filmmaking and film-going species are clearly interested in environments, built and found. Kaspar Astrup Schröder’s My Playground features the emerging sport of parkour, or “freerunning”. The film follows a group of young Danish parkour athletes called Team JiYo as it travels to Japan, China and the US to connect with and run along side other like-minded human monkeys.
Two things are required for this sport: motion and architecture. Bodies (no boards, no wheels, no sails and definitely no safety nets) hurtle through parking lots, modernist housing projects and the curious formations in public squares. The athletes are for real, organized around “clubs” and a shared ethos, but without leagues, competitions or clothing label sponsorships.
Rolling Stone is reporting that Smashing Pumpkins are planning an elaborate remaster campaign that will, of course, find them releasing additional rarities and “bonus material”. In addition to wondering whether or not the Pumpkins should be described in the plural—as if they are, or ever were, a collective of any kind—we might also wonder why presumably rarities-collecting collections like Pisces Iscariot need to be reissued with more rarities. Also, are these rarities really rare anymore? Regardless, I suppose the best kind of new Smashing Pumpkins material is old Smashing Pumpkins material. We’ll reserve judgement on that new album.
Argentina’s Soema Montenegro has a haunting and virtuosic voice, one that can utter shivering hushed tones before effortlessly letting loose a plaintive wail. It’s an exceptionally powerful instrument and Montenegro is wise to fully showcase it on her recordings, matching that voice with spare and atmospheric instrumentation that allows her singing all the room it needs. La Blogoteque called her “the best singer on the whole planet” and while that might be a bit premature given that Montenegro is only now on the verge of releasing her second record, we can certainly understand and appreciate the enthusiasm. Montenegro does possess the chops to be one of the latter day vocal greats and her expansive sound seems bound for the stages of Carnegie Hall and the world’s fine concert venues. Montenegro’s second LP and first US album, Passionaria, will be releasing this May via Western Vinyl and we are pleased to present the online premiere of “Cuando Pasa” today. For an even more extensive look at this intriguing young artist, check out the mini-film from Vincent Moon’s “Take Away Show”.