When it was announced that a new novel by Harper Lee would be released this year, one that carries on the story of her classic work To Kill a Mockingbird, a wave of excitement erupted. Not long after that, however, some skepticism was raised. This had to do with a claim made by Lee’s sister, Alice, a lawyer who fiercely defended her sister’s estate, who said: “Harper can’t see and can’t hear and will sign anything put before her by anyone in whom she has confidence.” Because of this, many began speculating that the only reason the novel is being released now is that Alice passed away shortly ago, leaving Lee vulnerable to signing a potentially exploitative contract. Lee’s mental status is often referred to as “senile”, or at the very least seriously impaired.
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Rarely one to break form, Woody Allen is releasing yet another film about the existential angst of the middle class’ oddballs. Irrational Man, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, and Parker Posey, tells the story of a philosophy professor (Phoenix) who, after falling into a slump in his personal life and career, finds inspiration in the buoyant presence of one of his students (Stone).
With psych and krautrock influences aplenty, Mondo Drag’s self-titled full-length, their first for the Los Angeles label RidingEasy Records, is one hazy good time. The band’s psychedelic bonafides, more than apparent in the music of Mondo Drag, has already been established through the music of the retro rock/metal outfit Blues Pills, which features many of the same band members. Swirling, mind-numbing textures meld with the swagger of classic rock—the Rolling Stones in particular—in this potent sonic brew.
Following their performances of “Ghost Ship” and “Song 2” from the Music Hall of Williamsburg, which PopMatters shared yesterday, Blur have made available two other video performances from that gig, in addition to a brief interview with the band. In the interview, Blur explain what it is that makes small shows so special for them, as well as their experience with the city of Brooklyn.
The Light, the new album by Austin, Texas natives Uncle Lucius, has been described as occupied with the “themes of travel, movement, and quests without destinations.” The tune “Don’t Own the Right”, however, features a message that you can and indeed should carry with you no matter where you travel to, no matter your destination. Over a honky-tonk piano and countrified guitar playing, frontman Kevin Galloway spins lyrical threads about the importance of being honest about one’s own standards for himself and others.