Showtime has struck gold once again with its newest drama, Shameless. The show centers around a dysfunctional family lead by a hard partying William H. Macy and a heart breakingly responsible Emmy Rossum as Fiona, his oldest daughter. Fiona attempts to care for this motley crew of children as well as her irresponsible father after their mother abandons them. With equal parts humor and raw honesty, Shameless had no other option than to be an instant hit.
Shameless debuted to a stunning 982,000 viewers, making it the network’s highest rated drama in seven years. Check it out yourself Sundays at 10 ET on Showtime.
For those not familiar with the Daytrotter website, it’s a gold mine of live sessions created for fan consumption. Their mandate of minimal production during the recording process offers listeners an especially intimate look at bands, plus most sessions are available as free downloads. No overdubs or other enhancements filter the experience – everything is captured on analog tape just as it happened that day. The songs are stripped bare and therefore wonderfully raw.
Daytrotter posted a MGMT session on January 3rd, this year’s first signature offering. It was recorded not at the Rock Island, Illinois headquarters, but during Moogfest at Echo Mountain in North Carolina last October. Listening to MGMT’s complex arrangements explained why the group looked like they were concentrating so hard up on stage at the Asheville Civic Center when PopMatters caught their performance at the festival. The band kicks off with “Song for Dan Treacy”, full of meandering musical parts that are glossed over on last year’s release, Congratulations. “It’s Working” showcases a driving beat which seems to carry the band along happily in its wake. “I Found a Whistle” utilizes a more upbeat tempo than the studio version and swings with new energy. The closer, “Only a Shadow” is an obscure cover by the ‘80s band the Cleaners from Venus, a fun highlight on the band’s latest tour.
Strikingly original, and catchy to the point of irritation, “Maggie’s Last Party” is a curious post-rave oddity thrust onto a dazed Britain nursing a serious comedown in early 1991.
A fusion of then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s uncompromising speeches with a slowly-evolving post-acid house backing, something in unknowns V.I.M.‘s first crack at club stardom is proving irresistibly addictive, even to these dad rock-hardened ears.
But what’s it all about? A blatant party political broadcast or gentle, poking satire? Proto-Guido Fawkes-esque marrying of Thatcherism with the spirit of the Second Summer of Love, or clever critique of the incumbent government’s tough line on illegal raves? A fond farewell to the departing Iron PM, or a hearty “good riddance”?
Personally, my money’s on the latter—rightist politics and popular music are rarely comfortable bed-fellows—although with lines like “I’m not prepared to restrict our legitimate freedom to party” and “everyone can see / and everybody knows / that this party is best”, your guess is as good as mine. To be honest, I don’t really care.
So then, a challenge: listen to this, say, three or four times one morning, and try to not keep blurting out “the bass goes on” and “acid party!” at inappropriate intervals throughout the day. You don’t win anything. But betcha can’t do it. And if you do, you’re a better man than I am (Gunga Din).
All together now: Rave, rave, rave, murder… Acid party!
And don’t get that confused with the Mary Jane Girls’ “In My House”.
The video, re-creating a low-budget dance party/music program from what could be the late 1980s or the early 1990s, is complete with glitchy video (NOT film), an introduction from the “host”, cringe-worthy fashions of the era, and even a commercial break with hilarious, faux-local advertisements.
Think what you may about the song, but you gotta see this embarassingly perfect video!
Grails, the prolific Portland based out-sound band (with Emil Amos of Om and Holy Sons), just dropped a track from their upcoming record, Deep Politics (out 3/8 on Temporary Residence). The song, titled “I Led Three Lives”, is an instrumental rock epic, with swirling Morricone-esque guitar lines that steadily build toward a howling crescendo over the course of nearly nine minutes. Download it now from the embed below.