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by PopMatters Staff

14 Sep 2010


Los Angeles’ Loch & Key was actually conceived in a French launderette, the South of France setting somehow matching the sunny vibes of their Southern California roots to a tee. Meanwhile, the pair that make up the group, former American Music Club member Sean Hoffman and artist Leyla Akdogan, trekked off to Catalonia in Span to pen the first tune for their new musical venture. What a picture perfect beginning for a dose of pure and summery AM pop flavors. The band’s debut album is called Jupiter’s Guide for Submariners and today you can sample the oh-so-whimsically titled ” A Rather Large, Television-Shaped Head” from the release.

by Matt Mazur

14 Sep 2010


Oscar Nominees

Keisha Castle Hughes ... Whale Rider
Diane Keaton ... Something’s Gotta Give
Samantha Morton ... In America 
Charlize Theron ... Monster
Naomi Watts ... 21 Grams

Mazur Nominees

Jennifer Connelly … House of Sand and Fog

by Russ Slater

14 Sep 2010


El Guincho’s first album Alegranza identified him as one to watch, marrying upbeat indie pop music, in the vein of Animal Collective or Air France, with a whole world of influences including tropicália, afro beat and salsa. He continued that rich vein of form with the recent Piratas de Sudamerica EP, in which he covered some of his favourite latin classics in an indie style that he hoped would get more people interested in these artists that he grew up listening to.

Pop Negro will attempt to continue the great publicity he received for his first album. It was deemed “Best New Music” by Pitchfork upon release, obviously quite a high accolade for an artists released on the small Young Turks label, and especially for an artists singing in Spanish. Thankfully you can get an idea of what the album will sound like before buying due to this live stream, provided by Remezcla Musica.

by Matt Mazur

13 Sep 2010


Should have won... Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Oscar Nominees:

Leslie Caron - Lili
Ava Gardner - Mogambo
Audrey Hepburn - Roman Holiday
Deborah Kerr - From Here to Eternity
Maggie McNamara - The Moon Is Blue

Mazur Nominees

Anne Baxter … The Blue Gardenia

by Victor P. Corona

13 Sep 2010


The Yahoo! commercial set to Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights” shows a young office drone escaping his dull gray world via a purple door bearing the company’s logo. The Yahoo! entertainment news portal thereby releases him into the magical realm of modern fame, a world of limousines, red carpets, music video shoots, Jacuzzis, and, of course, the flashing lights of the paparazzi. Actual celebrity photographers have probably grown accustomed to their subjects’ middle fingers as well as the smiles and waves of the would-be famous. On August 31st, the anniversary of Princess Diana’s fatal car accident, the paparazzi also encountered the restraining hand of the state. The California State Assembly passed a measure that imposes a heavy fine and up to a year in jail for violating existing traffic laws “with the intent to capture any type of visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression of another person for a commercial purpose” (Assembly Bill No. 2479). In reporting news of the bill’s passage, blogs vigorously circulated a 2008 video of Kate Moss being mobbed by photographers at LAX. The sight of a 5’7” woman shielding her children from a massive pack of paparazzi might make even the Yahoo! ad’s would-be star yearn for the solace of his cubicle.

Three days after the bill’s passage, Lady Gaga released a video called “The Left Eye” through SHOWstudio.com, a “fashion and art internet broadcasting channel” created by the British photographer Nick Knight. Shot from her point of view, the short video offers a rare sense of what it means to be the subject of the blinding blur of flashes, to have one’s “physical impression” be so desired and so profitable. Amid the clamor of paparazzi calling her name, one hears the frenzied cry of a fan, quickly followed by the hush of a plush hotel lobby. Just a year ago, at the start of her performance of “Paparazzi” during the MTV Video Music Awards, Gaga sang, “Amidst all of these flashing lights I pray the fame won’t take my life.” This prayer apparently went unanswered, given that her performance concluded with a bloody simulated hanging. For this year’s VMAs, to be broadcast on Sunday night, Gaga has earned the most nominations ever received in a single year and is now “the number one pop star in the world,” as Kanye described her in a recent tweet. The middle fingers that she offered to the paparazzi at a Mets game this past June made clear that Gaga shared other celebrities’ annoyance at the camera lenses and shutter clicks that are in step with their every public movement. But if pop commentators’ predictions of Gaga sweeping Sunday’s VMAs prove accurate, those flashing lights will only multiply and grow brighter.

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