Latest Blog Posts

by PopMatters Staff

11 Feb 2010

The Wire routinely made our TV top 10 lists year after year while it was on the air and it’s one of the shows we most miss. Here’s a nifty little video that condenses the history of the show into a little five-minute view.

by Jennifer Cooke

11 Feb 2010

The Electric Pop Group
Released: 2 February

I’ve been watching a lot of 1970s Pippi Longstocking movies lately. I adored them as a kid, and now I’ve managed to finagle my own children into loving the little ginger moppet with the big shoes and the bad dubbing. Funny thing is, after spending so much time back at Villa Villekulla, I find myself hankering to hear stuff like the Lucksmiths, the Vaselines, the Housemartins. In short, Pippi makes me wanna get my twee on. I can think of no better way to get your twee on today than Sweden’s own Electric Pop Group. The brothers Aamot sound like they are fresh from the Villa Villekula, with those wistful vocals and shimmery, jangly guitars. Their newest album, Seconds, is now available on Matinee Recordings.

01 Not By Another
02 Out of Sight
03 I Know I Will
04 Drawing Lines
05 My Only Inspiration
06 In The Back of My Mind
07 The Way It Used to Do
08 Into Thin Air
09 We Never Made Up Our Minds
10 The Best of Times

“Not By Another” [MP3]

“The Way It Used to Do” [MP3]

by Jonas Jacobs

10 Feb 2010

“I Shall Be Released” is an iconic, universal anthem. It’s been covered by everyone under the sun, from Nina Simone to the Deftones. Below I’ve included several variations on the tune, starting of course with Bob Dylan’s original 1967 version from The Basement Tapes. Dylan’s original (where he is joined by the Band) is followed by the Band’s own rendition from their 1968 classic Music From Big Pink. It’s set to a socially motivated Vietnam YouTube video. The British Beatlesesque outfit, the Tremeloes, recorded their own version of the tune, which reached number 29 on the UK charts. 

Nina Simone’s take on the song is from her 1969 album To Love Somebody. I also had to include a 1969 version from the Mama Cass television program featuring the Mama herself, Joni Mitchell and Mary Travers. Joan Baez’s live performance of the song at Sing Sing Prison in 1972 follows.

by Sarah Zupko

10 Feb 2010

Apparently the UK pub scene is a frightful place because the British ad firm Design Bridge has just designed a new pint glass which is touted to be “safe” in the bars. In other words, they can’t be handily turned into weapons with a swift crack of the glass. Reportedly a resin will hold the glass together even if it breaks. Something tells me football hooligans will still find a way to beat on each other. (via Fast Company)

by Jessy Krupa

10 Feb 2010

Past Life stars Kelli Giddish as a psychologist who teams up with a former cop (Nicholas Bishop) in order to investigate crimes that involve “past-life trauma”. Set in Washington D.C., the show is somewhat similar to another FOX series Bones, in that most of the show focuses on its characters instead of what they are doing. In the first half of the episode, we learn that Dr. Kate McGinn drives a truck, loves dogs, is very particular about her coffee, and has a kooky mom who doesn’t believe in marriage. Meanwhile her partner (and probable love-interest as the series progresses) is former cop turned detective Price Whatley, who was fired after sinking into an alcoholic depression over his wife’s accidental death, which he blames himself for. At the beginning of the episode, he is skeptical about what they’re doing, but “he needs the money” and is superstitious. There are also two other regulars, fellow doctor, Rishi Karna, and their boss, Dr. Malachi Talmadge, but they don’t really add much to the show other than awkward humor.

The show should have focused more on its plot. This week, a troubled teenage boy’s mysterious visions and confusing behavior led to the fact that he was a re-incarnation of a little girl who was abducted and murdered. McGinn explains the concept of past lives as if it were post-traumatic stress, leaving her patient to deadpan, “So you really believe in all this crap?” A FBI Special Agent, who doesn’t even bat an eye in disbelief, aids them in the search for the girl’s killer. Similarly, the boy’s mother and the family of another abducted girl all easily accept this concept, and by the time the murdered girl’s father is found, Det. Whatley warms him up to the idea by saying that he has “seen some amazing things” because of “this case, or the crazy woman standing next to me”.

Even though Past Life has a unique, interesting concept, it seems to be put together poorly. In the end, the only thing original about it is the odd, sunset-like orange tint that most of the scenes are filmed in. FOX showed the first episode on Tuesday night, but that same episode will air along with a new one this Thursday. After that, it goes to its regular time at 8 pm central. Despite the fact that it will attract Bones viewers, Past Life doesn’t really stand a chance against its competitors, CSI and Grey’s Anatomy, in the ratings.

//Mixed media

The Hills Are Alive, But Nobody Else Is in 'The Happiness of the Katakuris'

// Short Ends and Leader

"Happiness of the Katakuris is one of Takashi Miike's oddest movies, and that's saying something.

READ the article