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by Subashini Navaratnam

17 Jan 2011

Usually, Kuala Lumpur is predictably sweltering and humid with the occasional rainstorm to break the monotony. Over Christmas and New Year, however, we had grey skies, rain, and a strange new chill in the air brought on by a slight dip in temperatures. It seemed only prudent to hunker down to some hard work and the ‘80s-era TV adaptations of Dorothy L. Sayers’ mystery novels available on YouTube. Particularly, Gaudy Night, which I enjoyed in book-form and also in its visual adaptation. Edward Petherbridge hits all the right notes as the impossibly fair-haired and monocled Lord Peter Wimsey, prone to yes, whimsy and English excess, and capable of being endearing, compelling, and annoying all at once. Harriet Walters also plays Harriet Vane just as I imagined Harriet Vane to be: intelligent, also mildly annoying, and seething with an undercurrent of anger and proper English passion.

The cloistered all-female colleges of Oxford provide opportunities for plenty of scholarly women to wax lyrical over Socrates, morality, and human nature. There are stereotypical assumptions on female intelligence and sexuality, as well as the unpleasant whiff of distinct class snobbery – the latter being a common trait in Sayers’ novels and British mysteries of the particular era. However, the performances of the actors manage to inject nuance into what is “just” a mystery story (albeit a very compelling one). Furthermore, in the midst of 21st century bad weather and general disenchantment with the new year, the utterly inexplicable and anachronistic yet very apt romance between Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane allow our jaded but still quietly-romantic hearts to keep on beating in hope for our real-life infatuations.

by Jessy Krupa

14 Jan 2011

M.I.A’s controversial music video for “Born Free” is released. In the clip, violence against red-haired people is used as a metaphor for racist hatred throughout the world.


by PopMatters Staff

14 Jan 2011

Mobile, Alabama’s the Sunshine Factory are a power trio with a shoegaze and psychedelic edge. It’s a popular sound in indie these days with Bear in Heaven and A Place to Bury Strangers as the artists closest to Sunshine Factory’s approach. Last December, the band released their latest LP Sugar and today we present the premiere of their newest video, “Twisted and Clover”, full of slabs of their trademark fuzzy, distortion-fueled pop. Check below the jump for the group’s upcoming your dates.

by Crispin Kott

14 Jan 2011

Trish Keenan, R.I.P.

The news yesterday that neo-psychedelic chanteuse Trish Keenan, founding member of Broadcast, had been hospitalized for pneumonia was troubling, but it might not have seemed nearly serious enough. According to a press release from Warp Records, Keenan died in the hospital on Friday morning.

It is with great sadness we announce that Trish Keenan from Broadcast passed away at 9am this morning in hospital. She died from complications with pneumonia after battling the illness for two weeks in intensive care.

Our thoughts go out to James, Martin, her friends and her family and we request that the public respect their wishes for privacy at this time.

This is an untimely tragic loss and we will miss Trish dearly—a unique voice, an extraordinary talent and a beautiful human being. Rest in Peace. - Warp Records

by J.C. Sciaccotta

14 Jan 2011

This charmingly goofy video featuring two lionesses and a tigress (the giveaway? See 1:50 in the video…) getting their groove on to Ratatat’s “Wildcat” has racked up almost 900,000 hits on YouTube. Not too bad considering it was made as a throwaway video project for a summer Computer Arts Media class. Shot and edited over a weekend with little more than a handycam and a 20 minute tutorial in Final Cut Pro, the filmmaker wisely embraced her no-budget aesthetic, coupling crude video effects with the feline hijinks. Highlight: the choreographed dance sequence during the breakdown. As Ratatat would say, classic.

//Mixed media

Tricks or Treats? Ten Halloween Blu-rays That May Disrupt Your Life

// Short Ends and Leader

"The best of this stuff'll kill you.

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