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by PopMatters Staff

16 Sep 2010


Phil Kay is a busy man… his main project, Working for a Nuclear Free City, has a new album releasing 12 October and he has this intriguing side musical partnership with French songwriter Idrisse Khelifi under the Motorifik moniker. Like Working for a Nuclear Free City, Motorifik is interested playing with space and texture in their tunes, evoking a certain pastoral sensibility, as well as an obvious nod to their shoegazing forebearers. The idea with this group was to be a bit less experimental than WFANFC and a bit more rooted in a pure pop aestethic. Motorifik’s Secret Things releases 9 November via Modern Language Recordings and we have the premiere today of the title track as well as Kay discussing the song in his own words.

Phil Kay: “Recorded 2007, from an early demo recording made by Idrisse Khelifi. Obvious Phil Spector references happened accidentally, at the time I was recording in a massive echo-ey dining room, with gives this kind of sound. The beat was probably more of an effort to create something like Jesus and Mary Chain than anything else. But when this was put against my very layered style of recording present on most things i do, it started to sound very ‘wall of sound’. Ed from Working For A Nuclear Free City played bass on this track. Contains a sample of the bass guitar crashing on the wooden floor of the living room—sounded good so we used it as a kind of explosion sound through out the track. Initially had a long intro but in the interests of pop sensibilities was cut down.”

by Zachary Houle

16 Sep 2010


It’s either genius at its most inventive or someone with just too much time on their hands. However, Toronto’s James Cochrane took a bunch of old electronic devices and computer parts, including printers, along with a handful of household items, to create the Bit-52s – a robotic cover band of the B-52s. Creating a series of Rube Goldberg-like contraptions, Cochrane was able to replicate the B-52s’ ‘70s seminal hit “Rock Lobster” in its entirety in what appears to be his basement. The only question that really remains after watching this video is: does the “band” take requests?

by PopMatters Staff

16 Sep 2010


British rapper Roots Manuva hooks up with producer Wrong Tom for a collection of remixes of tracks from previous Manuva albums. They play about with the titles as well as the music (full track list is listed after the jump). The album, Duppy Writer, released on 6 September in the UK and is coming out 21 September in the US via Big Dada. The label has released this mini-mix sampler for the album to whet your appetite. Heavy on the dub, Duppy Writer features a new tune from Roots Manuva and Ricky Ranking called “Jah Warriors” among all the re-imagined songs.

by John Garratt

16 Sep 2010


The lead off track for Either/Orchestra’s latest album Mood Music for Time Travellers, “The (one of a kind) Shimmy”, is available for free download provided you give the website allaboutjazz.com a little bit of information about you. The song also comes with a video complete with makeup, bad hats, and some interpretive wall hugging. And in case you were wondering what Russ Gershon and company were up to early in the decade, another track is up for grabs from the their Live in Addis album.

by Jacob Adams

15 Sep 2010


Less than one month after film geeks everywhere mourned the death of At the Movies, the revolutionary movie review show pioneered by legendary Chicago critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, Mr. Ebert has announced that the balcony will soon be re-opened, albeit in a substantially modified form. The new program, entitled Roger Ebert Presents at the Movies, is scheduled to air nationally on public television starting in January 2011. Christy Lemire, film critic for the Associated Press, and Elvis Mitchell, NPR and TCM contributor, will be the principal co-hosts, although film bloggers such Kim Morgan and Omar Moore will also appear regularly. Mr. Ebert himself will appear in a weekly segment called “Roger’s Office”, in which the famed film critic will use a computer-generated voice to review a classic, independent, or documentary film. 

Fortunately, potential audience members need not wait until January to satisfy their curiosities regarding this experiment in criticism. Chicago’s WTTW has made clips from the show’s pilot episode available online. Based upon the seven-minute excerpt, it is clear that Roger Ebert Presents at the Movies has the potential to bring back relevance and intellectual vigor to a unique critical genre, movie reviews on television. While it is unfair to jump to conclusions about the co-hosts based upon such limited clips, we see that Mitchell and Lemire are articulate and passionate about movies. Some of the review excerpts feel a bit dry and mechanical, but it understandably took Mr. Ebert and Mr. Siskel a while to find their grooves. Mitchell and Lemire are clearly unafraid to disagree with one another, and there is hope that they may capture some of the cheerful and respectful professional antagonism made famous by the show’s original reviewers. 

The fact that the program will regularly feature bloggers, respectable film critics who do not live financially by reviewing alone, suggests that Ebert and his production team are in touch with the distinct direction of modern film criticism. The show will also feature regular discussions of uniquely 21st century topics as new media, alternative film distribution methods, and cinema on demand. So far, the signs are good that Ebert and company will produce the type of program that At the Movies in the post-Siskel era tried somewhat unsuccessfully to remain, a relevant and intelligent exploration of movies that casual film-goers and cineastes alike can embrace and treasure.

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