Back in November, Swedish band jj dropped their first post-jj nº 3 single, “Let Them”. Now comes the accompanying video, which features vocalist Elin Kastlander at the pulpit in a rural Swedish church. In other jj news, Christmas Eve saw the release of the band’s kills mixtape—which features a version of “Let Them” titled “Kill Them”—for free download from the Secretly Yours website.
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Starz released its brief behind-the-scenes trailer for Camelot, a new series from Chris Chibnall (possibly best known among SF circles for Torchwood but also well known in the UK for Law & Order: UK). Unfortunately, there’s so much “behind the scenes” that we don’t get to see a scene illustrating this cast’s take on the familiar characters. My first impression is that Camelot is the anti-Merlin, or the “adult” as well as “young” version, striving to be realistic for the time period (lots of swordplay!) and different from the many other Camelots, Excaliburs, Merlins, Sword in the Stones, First Knights, and Holy Grails before it. It may have to be distinctive to survive, but this brief preview does look intriguing. I worry more about its late-February sneak-peek first episode being shown more than a month before its April debut. Still, I was a fan of Xena and Highlander (lots of swordplay!), and the Arthurian legend is my favorite mythology. Perhaps Camelot will do Arthur proud.
It is entirely fitting that just after all of the New Year’s Eve fireworks ended in New York City, Explosions in the Sky would announce that they are bringing their own brand of instrumental pyrotechnics to the Big Apple—specifically to Radio City Music Hall. I won’t mince words about this one: This show will kick ass.
To boot, the band has posted a maddening teaser entitled “New Sounds by Explosions in the Sky” (embedded below) alongside of their concert announcement. A new album, apparently, is in the works and is due out later this spring.
The married musical couple Ben + Vesper offer up their second LP of pop adventurousness this month with the release of Honors coming on the uber-packed released day of January 25th via Sounds Familyre Records. The group has taken its time over the past few years to compose these new pop gems in the four years since the lauded debut, All This Could Kill You. Despite the time Ben Stamper spent writing the new songs, the couple opted for a five-day recording session to lend immediacy to the performances. Ben + Vesper’s is filled out with John Mosloskie on bass and Steve Oyola on drums, as well as the incomparable Sufjan Stevens lending vital keyboard work throughout the record.
Now that the Christmas season has passed and the gifts have already been received, let’s take a nostalgic look at popular gifts through the years. During the 1990s, technology created all sorts of new gifts, but the most sought after toys were often refreshingly simple.
Tickle Me Elmo: It was the hot toy of the 1996 Christmas season. Squeeze Elmo’s stomach and he would vibrate and laugh. “Tickle Me Elmo Xtreme”, which also lies down and rolls around all on its own, was released ten years later.