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by Allison Taich

28 Sep 2009


In 1984, the Talking Heads’ release of Stop Making Sense floored critics and fans alike, securing a place in music history as one of the greatest documentaries and performances captured on film. Pauline Kael of The New Yorker described it as “a dose of happiness from beginning to end.” Now, 25 years later, the film is being re-released on Blu-ray by Palm Pictures, on October 13th.

The film was directed by Jonathan Demme, and filmed over a period of three separate performances at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, in December of 1983. As the concert progresses, the complexity of the music and presentation grows. There are few cutaways and no interviews; the audience doesn’t even appear until the end. The film is focused around the music and the eccentric talents that created it.

Its 1999 DVD release included an audio commentary with Demme and all four band members, David Byrne’s storyboards and notes, bonus songs, Byrne’s self-interview video, text notes and the film’s trailer. The Blu-ray features the same extras as the DVD, plus a never-before-seen, hour-long press conference with the full band, filmed in 1999 at the film’s theatrical re-release.

With an enhanced visual and audio experience, Stop Making Sense is sure to inspire you to throw on an over-sized suit and frantically dance about.

by Tyler Gould

28 Sep 2009


This post is about a video game, but I implore even the non-gamers among us to pay attention, because The Shivah, though it first came out in 2006, is still in a class of its own. You can see right on the cover art that it’s a “rabbinical adventure of mourning and mystery”, which you generally won’t find at your local game dealer. The Shivah is normally a scant $4.99, and is of such a high caliber that it almost feels wrong to take it for free, but Lincolns can be hard to come by these days, and the man (developer Dave Gilbert) is just giving it away.  Go here before midnight tonight and use the coupon code “FreeShivah” to obtain one of the more notable indie games of the past few years.

by PopMatters Staff

28 Sep 2009


Apricot Rail
Apricot Rail
(Hidden Shoal Recordings)
Releasing: out now

Most instrumental rock suggests the apocalypse is coming. If it is, Apricot Rail are too busy crafting beautiful lilting melodies to care. This Australian quintet have the charm, humour and songwriting nous—and a killer live show—to re-ignite anyone’s belief in music’s subtle, giddy powers.

“The album’s (and arguably the band’s) crowning achievement has to be ‘The Parachute Failure’—it’s spine-tinglingly anthemic and really leaps out at the listener. It so beautifully epitomises the band’s key strengths, as evidenced throughout this remarkable debut—powerful and emotive melodies that engage through the push and pull of delicate restraint and blissful abandon In a word: lovely.” –- Drum Media (CD of the Week).

SONG LIST
01 A Public Space
02 If You Can’t Join Them, Beat Them
03 Trout Fishing In Australia
04 Pouring Milk Out the Window (Single)
05 Car Crash
06 Wadnama
07 Rain Falls on Your Nose, It’s Red From the Cold
08 The Parachute Failure
09 On the Trolley
10 Halfway House

Apricot Rail
“The Parachute Failure” [MP3]
     

Photo: Tom Cramond

Photo: Tom Cramond

by Evan Sawdey

28 Sep 2009


For the longest time, Matt O’Hare has paid his dues by taking on one of the most thankless jobs in mankind’s history: theatrical sound designer.

Gathering rare and sometimes impossible-to-find songs, crafting sound effects and elaborate cues meant to be triggered at moments notice, and sometimes even writing songs specifically for a show can be a positively daunting effort. The person who can successfully tackle an effects-heavy production like Mnemonic or The Skriker is worthy of a medal of some sort, but—for the musically-inclined—sound designing is nothing short of the ultimate training ground for bigger things.

It is here where you have to deal with meeting specific challenges, often having to reach far outside your comfort zone to get results. It is through this process that Matt O’Hare has been able to hone his craft, learning everything he can before applying it to his own music. Back in 2006, O’Hare was once quoted as saying that he rarely writes music for himself, simply because he found it much easier to write for pre-existing material, like his score for the Hangar Theater production of Art built almost entirely out of soft guitar harmonics. Yet after tackling an expansive, ambitious design for the Trinity Rep/Brown production of The Maids in February of this year, O’Hare gradually began working on 1983, his first album under the pseudonym Motorcycles Are Everywhere.

What’s amazing about this little electro-rock gem is just how well it all holds together.  Playing every instrument himself, O’Hare manages to keep things propulsive, never once coming off like a laptop-rock project some kid did in his spare time.

by Sarah Zupko

27 Sep 2009


Hush Arbors
Yankee Reality
(Ecstatic Peace!)
Releasing: 6 October

Dinosaur Jr. singer/guitarist J Mascis produces the new Hush Arbors album and shows up playing on a few songs too. The production is straightforward and lets the atmospheric folk music breathe. It’s not noisy and in-your-face like you might have expected with Mascis turning the knobs.

SONG LIST
01 Day Before
02 Lisbon
03 Fast Asleep
04 So They Say
05 One Way Ticket
06 Coming Home
07 Sun Shall
08 Take It Easy
09 For While You Slept
10 Devil Made You High

Hush Arbors
“Day Before” [MP3]
     

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