Call for Feature Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

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Tuesday, Nov 13, 2007
by PopMatters Staff

Carbon/Silicon —"What the Fuck"
From The Last Post on Caroline Records
     


Filled with top-notch songwriting, propulsive energy and artfully biting lyrics, The Last Post is the rollicking debut uniting punk rock icons Mick Jones (Clash, Big Audio Dynamite) and Tony James (Generation X, Sigue Sigue Sputnik). Friends since 1975, Jones and James began writing together in 2002, the same year Mick produced The Libertines’ groundbreaking debut. With the addition of Leo ‘E-zee-Kill’Williams (Big Audio Dynamite, Dreadzone) on bass and Dominic Greensmith (Reef) on drums, the band gave away a few MP3s on their website, released a few singles and started gigging around. Produced by Mick and Tony and mixed by the legendary Bill Price (Clash, Sex Pistols, Pretenders), The Last Post is a roaring, unruly and infectious return to form that will please and excite fans old and new.


The Radishes —"Good Machine"
From Good Machine
     


The Radishes are a San Francisco/Los Angeles based band with a sound that has been described as Nirvana meets Motorhead. Other influences include such high-energy units as The White Stripes, The Stooges, Ministry, The Hives, Arctic Monkeys, Scratch Acid, and NIN, with hooky, angular guitar lines, ferocious vocals, and a unique, darkly ironic approach to songwriting.


Saturday Looks Good To Me —"Make A Plan"
From Fill Up the Room on K Records
     


Saturday Looks Good To Me is the songs and experiments of Michigan-born songwriter and producer Fred Thomas. Without ever straying from the goal of making perfect pop songs, this record draws deeper into a vault of personal feelings and intimate musical expressions, taking risks and trying to be as honest as possible. All the sounds are warm and urgent, joyful and kind of nervous, like an eerie celebration that starts right after something really horrible has happened. Lush string sections and electric piano lines dance with washed-out samples and bits of tape collages. Bouncy Smiths-like guitar lines stop abruptly and give way to white album-esque melodies. Wordless voices rise up at once then fall away; everything has its place.


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Monday, Nov 12, 2007
by PopMatters Staff
backpack-picnic

Every Tuesday PopMatters will be offering an exclusive early look at a new episode of Backpack Picnic, an online sketch comedy show from ON Networks.


This week: This family rocks! Or rather, this family IS rocks… In a drastic departure from previous episodes, Backpack Picnic takes us to the very center of the Earth. Surely the most harrowing and bewildering adventure yet.



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Monday, Nov 12, 2007
by PopMatters Staff

Taj Mahal singing the Cab Calloway classic “Reefer Man” with a Latin twist. From the new Ropeadope release, The Harlem Experiment. A YouTube Video of the Day.


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Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007
by PopMatters Staff
backpack-picnic

Every Tuesday PopMatters will be offering an exclusive early look at a new episode of Backpack Picnic, an online sketch comedy show from ON Networks.


This week: An epic tale including maps, rocks, fairies, and a dolphin massacre.  If you dare, come along for this incredible and harrowing yarn that explains the origins of a popular holiday character.



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Sunday, Oct 14, 2007
by PopMatters Staff

Ani DiFranco —"Both Hands (brand new studio version)"
From Canon on Righteous Babe
Ani DiFranco to release first ever career retrospective studio album Canon,  on Righteous Babe Records. Experience the evolution of a true original over two discs hand-picked by Ani, including songs from her first album to her 19th, as well as five newly recorded classics.


His Name Is Alive —"Go To Hell Mountain"
From XMMER on Silver Mountain
His Name is Alive is well known for their ethereal, late night moods but on this new album the band picks straight up where last year’s Detrola left off and fires up an army of homemade electronics and freaked out songs that are equal parts organic and mysterious. David Bowie put Detrola in his top ten recommendations for 2006 and said it has “an early ‘70s singer/songwriter vibe plus it comes on like Karen Carpenter.” This year’s XMMER album is all that plus way more. His Name is Alive continues to create an astounding body of work that is exclusively their own.


   Shout Out Louds —"Tonight I Have To Leave It"
From Our Ill Wills on Merge
“Tonight I Have to Leave It” is the first single from Stockholm’s Shout Out Louds upcoming Merge debut full-length, Our Ill Wills. With a video for the title track, two remixes and two non-LP “b-sides” this is a great reintroduction to a Swedish band whose extraordinary 2005 debut, Howl Howl Gaff Gaff (Capitol) garnered worldwide critical acclaim and placed them squarely in the middle of the current Swedish pop explosion.


Carolyn Mark —"The 1 That Got Away (with it)"
From Nothing Is Free on Mint
Nothing Is Free is a woodsy and introspective album. The recording brings an immediacy to the music that conjures up a Sunday evening spent playing instruments and singing songs on the back porch of the cabin. You know, one of those days where everything seems all Emily Carr… and, although the city seems miles away for the moment, it still looms in the corner of your mind, nodding and smirking and saying, “you’ll be back”. Carolyn knows… not even a carefree getaway to the back woods is free, it comes with the price of eventually having to leave. Fortunately for the listener, her introspection finds many other things too, not the least of which is a (sometimes dark) sense of humour and a willingness to throw caution under the truck, have all the fun humanly possible.


C.O.C.O. —"You Think But You Don’t/Tamara Dobson"
From Play Drums + Bass on K
Up from the swamps of the death disco comes a new offering from the minimalist soul group all the heads call C.O.C.O. Olivia Ness (bass, drums, vocals) and Chris Sutton (drums, bass, vocals) have been tapping the primal groove for a while now using only the most basic of instrumentation, but this time our explorers have decided to travel to the outer limits of the beat. C.O.C.O.‘s mission is simple: “Play Drums + Bass” and that credo was the inspiration for their third – without a doubt their best - record. The musical spectrum continues to expand into the nether regions of dub reggae (for a tribute to the late great Tamara Dobson) all the way to the sunny side of surf rock (the album’s closer, aptly titled “The End”).


Seabear —"I Sing I Swim"
From The Ghost That Carried Us Away on Morr Music
This album doesn’t blurt it out: There is no loud “Ta-Dah!”, no exclamation mark. The Ghost That Carried Us Away flatters in a rather unobtrusive way. However, it has encircled you after the third song at the latest. Fragile hymns of nonchalant casualness, created by the 24-year-old Sindri Már Sigfússon. Guitars, piano, his almost bashful and yet so present voice. “Nature, mortality, love”, these are the topics of his debut album.


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