The title of this short post pretty much says it all—except that the cover is gorgeous. If you’re looking for something that mixes up Slowdive’s original cut, this is not your cover. Beach Fossils play things pretty straight here, performing “Alison” quite faithfully. There’s a little less flange throughout, and, certainly, Rachel Goswell’s gorgeous harmonizing is absent. Nevertheless, this cover is just as comforting as a freshly laundered blanket. Go ahead. Curl up in it.
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The third video off the San Francisco band Girls’ release Father, Son, Holy Ghost debuted February 27 via the Team Coco website. Its plaintive lyrics are sweetly sung by songwriter Christopher Owen, who wrote the tune along with Chet “JR” White. Owen’s background includes an upbringing in the Children of God cult (which he escaped by following an older sister from Slovenia to Texas at age sixteen) and recent heavy drug addiction, so his rich delivery has a harried history behind it.
The video doesn’t show any band members, but depicts an elderly couple out living out in the wilderness. It was directed and edited by Aaron Brown (Focus Creeps). At least the group can be seen soon on Conan March 22 and along a West Coast tour which includes Coachella. The band also announced the release of a 7” single of “My Ma b/w Love Life” on May 22, a one-time pressing of 1000. Per usual, Owen has designed the artwork for this special edition.
Late last year, Nuon Chea, better known as Brother Number 2, was charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, in a UN-based court in Phnom Penh. On the second day, the prosecution played a clip from a documentary, Thet Sambath and Rob Lemkin’s Enemies of the People.
The film uses multiple interviews with Nuon Chea, conducted over years, to tell the story of the Khmer Rouge from a distinctly, agonizingly personal perspective. Sambath begins by remembering his father’s murder. “They arrested him and took him to the rice field. They killed him by thrashing by knives,” Sambath says. “He did not die immediate. He very, very suffer. My brother, he watch.” Now a senior reporter with the Phnom Penh Post, Sambath has spent years seeking answers to the question that has shaped his life: “Why the killing happened.” His film includes interviews with several killers, now living un-special lives in villages, as well as Nuon Chea. As these interview subjects sift through memories, they sound variously true and delusional, fragmented and self-serving, working their way to confessions in roundabout ways. You can’t know whether this is a function of fading memories, confusion or deliberate obfuscation. “Frankly,” one says, laughing weakly, “Without the wine, we wouldn’t dare kill people.” At the same time, the film’s compositions insist on the layers of storytelling, showing multiple frames within frames, arranged in camera lenses and mirrors, doorways and monitors. The effect is complex, brilliant, and devastating.
It’s been a banner year for Charles Bradley. And with a past as turbulent as his, checkered by childhood abandonment, homelessness, illness, poverty, and family deaths, he couldn’t deserve it more. Now 63, Bradley began his career at 14, by doing covers of late-great James Brown. After dedicating multiple decades to that pursuit, he decided to take a chance at finding his own voice. The gamble paid off, with the public embracing his soulful sound, and Bradley soon found himself opening for soul/funk singer Sharon Jones. Through continuing patches of adversity, Bradley managed to achieve his dream and put out his own album in January 2011, titled No Time for Dreaming. The critical success of the album was astonishing, and it even garnered a place on Rolling Stone’s List of 50 Best Albums of the year. Since topping the charts with No Time for Dreaming, Bradley has embarked on an ongoing worldwide tour, and has made multiple appearances on popular talk shows like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Last Call with Carson Daly.
“Mr. President, Mr. Future President,” says Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh, a researcher and women’s rights activist, “For crying out loud, we have minds, we have powers of discernment, we know how to live, how to spend, how to behave with our husbands, how to dress.” Her assertion is one of many made in We Are Half of Iran’s Population, the documentary that Rakhshan Bani-Etemad put together in the months just before the 2009 elections in Iran. The hope was that women’s voices might be heard by presidential candidates, that their concerns would be addressed. The filmmaker explains that she had been asked many times before why she made films, and who saw her work. And so she made a film with a specific audience in mind.