You certainly didn’t ask for it, but those maniacs at Olde English Spelling Bee provided it anyway. After Tri Angle’s unexpectedly awesome Lindsay Lohan tribute last year, here’s a free Creed tribute album starring Autre Ne Veut, Green Gerry, Alice Cohen, Pretty Lightning, Sleep Creep, and Hurrikane Ike.
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To mark the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, If God Is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise comes to DVD from HBO. Spike Lee’s angry and magnificent follow-up to When The Levees Broke tracks how the U.S. exploitation of resources, in particular oil, has shaped New Orleans’ ongoing fragility. As Fred Johnson, Executive Director of the New Orleans Neighborhood Development Foundation, puts it, “America is a capitalist society. All of it is about money.” The four-hour film features testimony from a range of interview subjects—survivors of Katrina, politicians and activists till responding to Katrina—demonstrating that problems remain are systemic, drawing connections not only between New Orleans’ past and present, but also between New Orleans and other places, such as sister city Port au Prince. Sean Penn points out the common point of departure for the devastations of the storm and the earthquake in Haiti. “This problem is poverty,” he says, and “the similarity is race. There’s no way that if this was a white island that this type of incredible neglect by a superpower neighbor could happen.” Lee’s film is pointed and poignant, underscoring the responsibilities abandoned by too many individuals, as well as government and corporate bodies.
See PopMatters’ review.
Submarine is a coming-of-age tale set in Wales about an awkward 15-year-old named Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts). Sally Hawkins, who has recently delivered a range of memorable performances in films such as An Education and Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky, plays Oliver’s mother who is having an affair with an old lover (Paddy Considine of In America). To try to ameliorate his father’s sadness (Noah Taylor), Oliver is set on sabotaging his mother’s affair. Meanwhile Oliver falls for a spunky and blunt pyromaniac named Jordana (Yasmin Paige).
Pale, shaggy-haired Oliver in his toggle coat has an uncanny resemblance to Harold of Hal Ashby’s Harold & Maude. The style and subject matter of the film also recall the quirks and ironies of Wes Anderson’s Bottle Rocket and Rushmore where pain and sadness are veiled by comedy. The film is based on the acclaimed debut novel by Joe Dunthorne, and is directed by Richard Ayoade, who also wrote the adapted screenplay. If that weren’t enough reason to go see this one, in addition, Submarine features music written by Andrew Hewitt and also by Alex Turner, the frontman of Arctic Monkeys.
Brooklyn based Superhuman Happiness recently came to my attention and I want to share them with the world. Last month the seven-piece eclectic collective (fearlessly lead by multi-instrumentalist Stuart Bogie) debuted a video for their b-side “The Hounds”. The song is side-two of Superhuman Happiness’ 45/digital single GMYL/The Hounds, released July 11, 2010 on Electric Cowbell Records. Superhuman Happiness expect to release their next 45/7” sometime this summer.
“The Hounds” was directed by Brooklyn filmmaker/photographer Tatiana McCabe.
The UK dubstep group Magnetic Man is on a tear lately, with the hype reaching a fever pitch as they unleash their self-titled debut album this week via iTunes, with the deluxe CD package arriving on US shores May 10th. Magnetic Man will be burning up the stage at Coachella in just a few days, looking to ratchet up the heat on an already successful young career. Magnetic Man features collaborations with a host of luminaries, including Ms. Dynamite (sure wish she’d put out another album soon), John Legend, and Katy B, who handles the vocals on “Perfect Stranger”. In another honor for the group, pioneering London dubstep producer Benga remixes this glorious dance tune, which we have the pleasure of sharing with you today.