Rush has become one of the most prominent Canadian rock bands today, awarded many Juno Awards and inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Beginning in 1968, Rush consisted of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and John Rutsey, playing blues-rock music. Later Rutsey was dropped and Neil Peart joined, eventually establishing them as the legendary progressive rock band that they are today. Recently, Rush released Snakes & Arrows and is currently on a North American and European tour.
Comedian Bill Maher continues to captivate audiences with his witty jabs at both the American government and American culture. Previously, Bill Maher hosted the political talk show, Politically Incorrect, but after a comment about the 9/11 attacks six days later, ABC cancelled his show. To ensure this does not happen again, Maher moved to HBO to host Real Time with Bill Maher, a show lacking censorship and commercial breaks. Currently, while his show is on hiatus, Bill Maher performs stand-up comedy, bringing the same politically edgy attitude he has always brought.
“As the mainstream dance artists of yesteryear become more and more involved with making “important” music, the throne of Dance Floor Dominance lies wide open (with Justice and Simian Mobile Disco both making triumphant runs for the crown). In the end, Justice has the stronger record over Simian Mobile Disco, but such a statement is dangerously close to splitting hairs: both albums are fantastic, but their individual achievements are undermined by what these artists are representing: a complete overhaul of modern dance music that’s taking Big Beat back to its roots.”—Evan Sawdey, PopMatters review [8/10]
“Blitzen Trapper, you romance my senses. Your mélange of homespun ballads and raucous anthems amuses and delights. It is as though you’ve written the soundtrack to some vivid western picaresque. We traipse merrily from snowboarding exhibition to drug-induced hallucination. Here, an excursion with a brash country maiden. There, a slow wagon-ride to Paw Trapper’s lodge. What joyful adventures! Though I may not understand you, I pay homage to your musical wit. Good show.”—Tyler Womack, PopMatters review [7/10]
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings has released Virginia Roots as a digital-only compilation in conjunction with the 41st annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The compilation highlights artists from Virginia this year as it’s the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, Virginia settlement. Watch for an upcoming review of this intruiging collection by Justin Cober-Lake on PopMatters very soon. In the meantime, check out the classic bluegrass of the Stanley Brothers. Buy at: URGE or Zune.
The Summer Song” (feat. Claire L. Evans) [MP3]
Indie rock band Interpol, transcending beyond the New York music scene, has reached global fame. Interpol’s break came when they released Turn on the Bright Lights, an album considered one of the best of 2002. Their follow-up album, Antics, was released in 2004, attaining greater commercial success than its precursor. On July 10th, Interpol released their latest album, Our Love to Admire.
Critically acclaimed film director Werner Herzog constantly pushes the envelope, requiring audiences to see a new, original light upon an old story. He told a tale of rebellion with a cast of only midgets and dwarves in Even Dwarves Started Small, and illustrated the effects of poverty with Klaus Kinski’s brilliant, yet haunted acting in Woyzeck. Based on Herzog’s 1997 documentary, Little Dieter Needs to Fly, Rescue Dawn tells a tale of the Vietnam War without the use of special effects, relying on only what the director can create with his own two hands, a stunning difference from the plethora of motion pictures.