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Friday, Apr 18, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
British singer Shirin brings glampop back front and center, but she can rock too and sounds like the next in the line of great UK dancepop divas.

Shirin‘s debut release is the EP Good Girls Always Surrender and “Take a Bullet” is the first single. The tune is a real dancefloor filler with bangin’ beats and powerful vocals.


Shirin says, “the writing process for ‘Take a Bullet’ happened so quickly for me. I remember sitting in the studio with Michael Stockwell and he had this guitar riff playing round and round, which is the opening riff for the song, and I was thinking ‘this feels like a real movie soundtrack song.’ I had all these images playing out in my mind like I was in a Western film sitting in a saloon, and then the chorus kicks in and it’s like a brawl is happening. It felt really epic and the first like that came to me was “Bang, Bang, Bang Honey, shot you down, down.”


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Thursday, Apr 17, 2014
Meshell Ndegeocello's newest track from her forthcoming album Comet, Come to Me is one of the best she's delivered since she jumped ship from Madonna's Maverick label.

Considering this woman has had one of the most consistently stellar careers of any singer/songwriter/bassist of her time, that’s a tall order to fill! “Conviction” is a fiercely intelligent and touching song about watching your friend make the same mistake over and over to the point where you need to disconnect. The lyrics are smart, touching and deserving of your attention. It would be heartbreaking to be on the receiving end of hearing your friend say: “You choose delusions so you can take him back / Turns out you were right and I was wrong / For me your life is just a sad song.”



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Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Today we have the pleasure of sharing with you an exclusive live performance of Royal Canoe's "Button Fumbla".

Royal Canoe tells us about the production of the video and the aesthetics that drove its creation. “With the ‘Button Fumbla’ video, we wanted all of the production value of a music video without having to lip-sync or lose the spontaneous, vibrant quality of a live performance. We enlisted the help once again of our good friend and frequent collaborator, Mike Maryniuk to direct. He created a “Fortress of Solitude” with sparkling stalagmites, plexiglass mountains and multiple live projections. The Ronnettes from the Future make a cameo.” Sounds groovy and here you go…


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Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Watch the award-winning documentary about the famed Burning Man festival right here on PopMatters. Spark: A Burning Man Story is available for streaming and purchase.

Each year, 60,000 people from around the globe gather in a dusty windswept Nevada desert to build a temporary city, collaborating on a large-scale art and partying for a week before burning a giant effigy in a ritual frenzy. Rooted in principles of self-expression, self-reliance and community effort, Burning Man has grown famous for stirring ordinary people to shed their nine-to-five existence and act on their dreams. Spark takes us behind the curtain with Burning Man organizers and participants, revealing a year of unprecedented challenges and growth. When ideals of a new world based on freedom and inclusion collide with realities of the “default world”, we wonder which dreams can survive.


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Spark


Each year, 60,000 people from around the globe gather in a dusty windswept Nevada desert to build a temporary city, collaborating on a large-scale art and partying for a week before burning a giant effigy in a ritual frenzy. Rooted in principles of self-expression, self-reliance and community effort, Burning Man has grown famous for stirring ordinary people to shed their nine-to-five existence and act on their dreams. Spark takes us behind the curtain with Burning Man organizers and participants, revealing a year of unprecedented challenges and growth. When ideals of a new world based on freedom and inclusion collide with realities of the “default world”, we wonder which dreams can survive.


 



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Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Facing a brief crisis where they thought they may have reached the end as a band, Smoke Fairies emerge with a new album, better than ever and with a renewed focus on the craft of songwriting.

Between 2012 and now, Britain’s Smoke Fairies have gone back to the drawing board, re-assessing their writing techniques. “We scrapped lyrics right from the start if they were too flowery,” says Jessica Davies. “Unless the lyric really got to the point and said something, it got cut.” Katherine Blamire concurs: “As songwriters, I feel we’re really starting to sum things up properly, to nail them down. For me, it was a testament to how long we’ve been together that we could just say to each other ‘that’s shit.’ There really was no ego on this record.”


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