Latest Blog Posts

by Jimmy Callaway

10 Aug 2010


The premise of the cartoon Super Chicken is deceptively simple.  A send-up of the comic-book superheroes also found on the small screen and large, the cartoon aired on Jay Ward’s George of the Jungle in 1967, and fit nicely with the show’s simple silliness, also found in other Ward shows like The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

But as with much of Ward’s output, there was something more sophisticated lurking beneath. Put aside the thematic correlations between Super Chicken and the war in South Vietnam. On a less politicized level, the parody of superheroes often times (and certainly in this case) is as much a jab at the source as it is at the recipient. The intended audience for much superhero fare tends to be the young, the unathletic. The ineffectual. The weaklings who, despite the astronomical odds against them, want so desperately to be heroic, to be seen as heroic. It is precisely because he is neither the brightest nor the most admirable that Super Chicken is a true hero for the disenfranchised.

In the insanely catchy opening theme, we can see two very quick shots that strengthen this claim. First, within the opening seconds, during the lyric “When you’re threatened by a stranger”, an elderly woman is pounding on an over-sized thug with her purse. Simple reversal of fortunes equals a quick laugh. But pause the YouTube video here and think about it: do we know this “thug” was at all threatening this woman? What if he had been offering her assistance across the street? Asking for directions to the local charity hospital so he could volunteer? That ever-present polarization between the elderly and the young was probably never more at the forefront of the American mind than it was during the late 1960s, and here Jay Ward has, however briefly, captured that. Who else to save a “thug” from a “granny” than Super Chicken?

This notion of the generation gap is reinforced with the very next lyric/image (“When it looks like you will take a lickin’”). A young man is about to be spanked. We know not his dastardly crime, but we all know that position, that feeling of terror: “An authority figure is punishing me!”  Ineffectual.  Weak.  It hits an immediate emotional core, and that extended caaaaaall for rescue reverberates from within.

Even if it is for a chicken and a lion in an egg-shaped flying car.

by Steve Horowitz

10 Aug 2010


It’s St. Paddy’s Day at the White House. Nancy Pelosi introduces the musicians. Speaker Pelosi says she agrees with the Wall Street Journal in its high assessment of the duo, the one time she agrees with the paper’s assessment of anything. President Barack Obama watches with interest, while the rest of the crowd seems oblivious to the great music performed as the guests munch of cookies and chat. But the musical duo seems genuinely inspired to be there. They play fast and loud and clear. You don’t have to be Irish or from Chicago to enjoy the show!

by William Carl Ferleman

9 Aug 2010


Recently, Canadian band Blurred Vision covered (or, re-released) Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” in order to protest the brutal, autocratic and clerical regime in Iran; the indie group released a video and changed a key lyric to “Hey Ayatollah, leave those kids alone.” 

From Blurred Vision’s Facebook page: “The video and single was released in support of the youth in Iran and their fight for freedom against the oppressive regime of the Islamic Republic.” Roger Waters supported the curious move alongside the overall endeavor. Does Gilmour approve? 

Could this video spur the much-needed Iranian revolution against the clerical bullies? Would Roger Waters consider playing this song on his current tour?

by PopMatters Staff

9 Aug 2010


Toronto’s hard-hitting, scuzz fuzz, psych band, Quest for Fire, are releasing their eagerly awaited sophomore album August 31st and we’ve got the premiere today of “Set Out Alone”, the ideal encapsulation of their sound. Quest for Fire emerged from the remains of two previous bands, the Deadly Snakes and Cursed, and released their self-titled debut last year. Vocalist and guitarist Chad Ross describes the musical vision for Lights from Paradise as “a heavy meeting of all the music we love. It’s filled with wide open spaces of dreamy hard rock, quiet sweet moments, and pounding psych straight from the Canadian heart.” That last bit describes “Set Out Alone” to a tee. Release details and track list are after the jump.

by Michael Underwood

9 Aug 2010


This episode features the LXD series debut of Glee dance ringer Harry Shum Jr. Shum plays Elliot Hoo, who pulls out a hollow wall to discover a pair of sneakers which pull him out of bed and compel him to dance.

Elliot is at first just a witness to his shoe-directed moves but gives in and becomes one with the movement, participating willingly then gaining control of the movements.

In true superhero fashion, Elliot wears glasses in the beginning and takes them off as he gains control and confidence in his new-found role as a super-dancer, ala Clark Kent (who removes his glasses when changing into his Superman persona).

This is a pure dance showcase episode, and a one of the best of the season. Shum is a tremendously engaging and skilled dancer, and it’s good to have him on-board the LXD, both for the ratings he’ll draw from Glee fans and his talented pop-and-lock style.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Best of the Moving Pixels Podcast: Further Explorations of the Zero

// Moving Pixels

"We continue our discussion of the early episodes of Kentucky Route Zero by focusing on its third act.

READ the article