Katey Rich (Cinemablend) and Nathaniel Rogers (The Film Experience) take on the finest offerings of the year, so far, in an engaging, funny vodcast.
Over on MySpace, a scruffy little band called the Heaps emerges from the flaming wreckage of Elvis Costello (now spending several lifetimes in the purgatory of talk show hosting) and Belle & Sebastian (or, How I Found God and Lost Most of My Audience, by Stuart Murdoch) to make two irresistible songs: “Casual Encounters” and “William Baldwin: A Lament”.
The other posted songs work well enough, but these first two gems are not only tuneful, they’re therapy for the unbearable lightness of pop culture and Craigslist. Have a listen.
“Casual Encounters” and “William Baldwin: A Lament” [Streaming]
It is difficult to match the showmanship of Dan Deacon, but Sam Herring and Future Islands did just that with an opening slot on Deacon’s recent Bromst tour.
Front man Herring exudes a Joe Cocker vibe that elevates the band’s sound to something altogether more soulful and unique than much of today’s run-of-the-mill synth-pop.
Joe Stakun’s video for Wave Like Home standout “Beach Foam” places the band in some sort of solarized screensaver baptism. The video is a good introduction to the band’s strange, hypnotic universe.
Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Atlantic correspondent and journalism professor Ellen Ruppel Shell is an engaging and compelling look at the ramifications of American’s desires for endless bargains. The book comes out in July and is an essential read for anyone interested in getting another perspective on both the current economic crisis and how drastically Americans’ lives have been altered over the last 50 years.