New York-based The National has been recently receiving widespread critical praise. The 5-man indie band was formed in 1999. In 2001, they released their first album, The National, on their record label, Brassland Records. In 2005, they switched to Beggars Banquet Records and released Alligator, a highly praised album by critics. On May 22, 2007, the band released Boxer, featuring many artists such as Sufjan Stevens and Regina Spektor.
Renowned director Ingmar Bergman created some of the greatest films ever made, influencing directors ranging from Woody Allen to Akira Kurosawa to Chan-wook Park. His films often dissect the abstract ideas of life, death, and faith. Unlike many directors, Bergman expressed these ideas directly. For example, in The Seventh Seal, death actually exists as a person whom the other characters interact with. In his lifetime, he was nominated for nine Academy Awards, won seven awards at Cannes Film Festival, and received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. Although he did not make any films after Fanny and Alexander (1982), he leaves behind many cinematic masterpieces and will be missed by all.
Jazz legend Charles Mingus is still recognized today as one of the great jazz composers and performers. In 1956, Mingus released Pithecanthropus Erectus, his breakthrough album. Since then, he continued to release album after album until his death in 1979. Although he has been dead for 43 years, Blue Note recently released Cornell 1964.
The Charles Mingus Sextet, Live in Norway in 1964 (Partial):
Comedian Zach Galifianakis continues to entertain audiences with his quirky, odd sense of humor. Host of the short lived talk show, Late World with Zach, Galifianakis quickly reached fame as a comedian, performing on the Comedians of Comedy tour with Brian Posehn, Patton Oswalt, and Maria Bamford. On March 6, 2007, he released a DVD of his stand-up act, Live at the Purple Onion. Most recently, Zach, along with Will Oldham, filmed a music video for Kanye West’s new song, Can’t Tell Me Nothing.
Mute Records releases the latest single, “You Don’t Know Her Name”, from Map’s debut this Tuesday. It will be a digital EP and include the following B-sides: “Fall Apart”, “Elouise (Six Toes Mix)”, and The Field remix of “You Don’t Know Her Name”.
“The most astonishing thing about We Can Create is that it was created without the aid of computers. Spliced together on a 16-track, Chapman ends up creating an album that sounds like the love child of M83, Air, and even Stars. Ambitious and moody settings lay out a framework for his own delicate and vulnerable vocals to go down easy. And indeed, this is an easily digestible album. While Chapman may be playing the same game as the aforementioned artists, he is certainly not yet as accomplished or adventurous. Yet, during the album’s best moments it is every bit as satisfying as Talkie Walkie or Before The Dawn Heals Us.”—Kevin Jagernauth, PopMatters review [7/10]