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by PopMatters Staff

17 Jun 2010


With their first album in 20 years, proto new-wavers Devo are hitting the promo circuit hard and stopping by to play for the equally geeky Stephen Colbert is just too perfect.

by John Garratt

17 Jun 2010


Even though the Boo Radleys all went home some years ago and the name Brave Captain seems to be retired permanently, that doesn’t mean that Britpop stalwart Martin Carr hasn’t slowed down. Hot off the heels of his first proper “solo” album, Ye Gods and Little Fishes, Carr still regularly writes and records songs relegated to being online MP3s only. He’s no stranger to digital distribution—under his Brave Captain moniker, he released the entire album Distractions for free.

“Parliament of Owls” is his latest foray, seven minutes of psychedelics that doesn’t get too tie-dyed on you.

by John Lindstedt

16 Jun 2010


As we are flooded with images of the recent Gulf oil disaster, there are some who worry about the future of our planet and its wildlife, while others are concerned with who is to blame in this epic botch job.

Before anyone arrives to these concerns, however, they are reminded of one thing and one thing only—“Pipe Dreams”, the Saved By the Bell episode where Bayside strikes oil. When witnessing the sea of nameless crude-covered ducks we are reminded of Becky, Zack’s close friend and confidant (and duck) who met her untimely demise in the wake of the gang’s capitalistic interests. The episode was generically prescient and made The Onion AV Club‘s list of “amusingly misguided eco-friendly entertainments.” Anyways, someone made this great mash up of the ironically enjoyable episode with the slightly more renowned There Will Be Blood, and it’s awesome.

by L.B. Jeffries

16 Jun 2010


Radiohead’s track ‘Videotapes’ off In Rainbows is a bittersweet love song. It begins with the reflection that the memory of a perfect day will be playing at ‘the pearly gates’, only to be broken by the thought that Mephistopheles will be along to drag the singer down to Hell. The rest of the song repeats that image of perfection spoiled in various ways, a perfect day reduced to footage is just a series of colors (red, blue, green) or losing control of the images as they get plastered onto tape. Yet the necessity of the videotape is still there, “I can’t do it face to face”. The song ends on the note that only seeing the memory of the perfect day will have to be enough.

Finding an image to accompany that is obviously a bit tricky but it came from, of all places, Don Hertzfeldt’s hilarious Rejected Cartoons. The sequence comes up at about 8:16. It’s the scene where Hertzfeldt is destroying his work out of creative frustration and all the characters are trying to escape. The work itself is falling apart because, “Perhaps it was the animator’s creative stagnation in the commercial world, or a deeper loss of individuality therein…the rejected cartoons grew unstable.” While Hertzfeldt is throwing in a dry ‘Fuck You’ to the audience as well as all the commercial cartoon industry by killing all of his strange characters, ultimately it’s still about being frustrated with a medium. In this case these images and characters cannot get out of the cartoon that the creator is destroying because they keep getting rejected. The intensity of seeing those tiny stick figures beating so hard on the screen that they are actually bending the paper compliments the memory in ‘Videotape’ nicely: they are both desperately trying to get out.

This version of the song is from a concert in Boston on June 4th, 2006.

by Arnold Pan

15 Jun 2010


It happens once every four years, then goes away for another four, at least Stateside—World Cup fever. If you lack the attention span to watch a solid commercial-free 90 minutes for maybe a 1-Nil result and don’t want to relearn all the names, rules, and strategies you tried to pick up the last time around, this Lego-ized montage of last weekend’s US/England matchup is for you. Gotta love the way the video immortalizes English goalkeeper Robert Green’s epic case of butterfingers in Lego! More hard-core soccer—um, football—geeks might appreciate that there’s a whole website, Legofussball.eu, devoted to Lego reproductions of German league matches, in addition to a whole slate of World Cup 2010 games coming up. Just wondering when they’ll add the Lego vuvuzelas.

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