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Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010
The kind of show you wished MTV would make.

When music videos first really made their mark in the 1980s, broadcast channels devoted their Friday nights to them. As MTV and other cable channels gained dominance over the field in the 1990s, shows like Pop-Up Video and TRL pushed the networks out. While record labels threw big budgets at flashy videos, knowing that they served as both great publicity and entertainment, the cable channels realized they could profit more from cheap reality shows and “music based programming”.


Nowadays, the majority of music videos are watched on the internet, and their quality has mostly suffered as a result. In fact, some people say the music video is dead. But the music video is not dead. In 2007, OK Go became famous for their inventive treadmill routine in the “Here It Comes Again” video. Currently, Lady Gaga and Beyonce’s nine minute long “Telephone Line” is making a name for itself on the internet.


Nevertheless, aren’t music videos, as a valid art form, worthy of more than a tiny screen on a website or MP3 player? They should be viewed in a larger screen, on a medium that’s free and available to everyone, regardless of bandwidth. While we don’t have the power to add music videos to broadcast television, after all there are infomercials and sitcom reruns that need to be aired, someone is trying.


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Monday, Mar 15, 2010

Christian Prommer
Drumlesson Zwei
(!K7)
Releasing: 13 April


German producer and musician Christian Prommer continues the sort of genre blending we love at PopMatters on his upcoming Drumlesson Zwei. “Sandstorms” is a Carl Craig cover and the album is a mix of old and new tunes. Sample the track below and check out the interview featurette with Prommer discussing the creation of the record.


SONG LIST
01 Sandstorms
02 Groove La Chord
03 Sleepy Hollow
04 Acid Eiffel
05 Oxygène Part IV
06 Jaguar Pt 1
07 Jaguar Pt 2
08 Sueno Latino
09 High Noon
10 Sandcastles


Sandstorms [MP3]
     



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Monday, Mar 15, 2010
by PopMatters Staff

Will the Vampire Weekend promo blitz ever end? Number one on the album charts isn’t enough for these guys or their label. I guess it’s the “strike while the iron is hot” maxim because you may be yesterday’s news tomorrow. This is the latest volley from the band in the late night TV arena, last Friday night’s appearance on Fallon.


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Monday, Mar 15, 2010

She & Him
Volume Two
(Merge)
Releasing: 23 March


M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel bring their second collaboration to light on 23 March, with 11 new original songs and two covers of tunes by Skeeter Davis and NRBQ. The duo recently performed an acoustic version of the lead-off track “Thieves” for the BBC. The duo’s first effort, Volume One, was a critical favorite in 2008. With indie darlings Deschanel on vocals and Ward on… well… everything else, the new album is currently streaming over on NPR.


SONG LIST
01 Thieves
02 In the Sun (Feat. Tilly and the Wall)
03 Don’t Look Back
04 Ridin’ in My Car (NRBQ cover)
05 Lingering Still
06 Me and You
07 Gonna Get Along Without You Now (Skeeter Davis cover)
08 Home
09 I’m Gonna Make It Better
10 Sing
11 Over It Over Again
12 Brand New Shoes
13 If You Can’t Sleep


“Thieves” (live) [MP3]
     



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Monday, Mar 15, 2010
by PopMatters Staff

Morrissey goes all Wings of Desire on his latest video, a tune from the 2009 b-sides compilation Swords. Craig Carson said of this song last year: “‘Ganglord’ takes on the LAPD, and his venom is palpable: ‘They say ‘to protect and serve’ / But what they really need to say is / Get back to the ghetto.’ Never one to mince words, the track reminds me of the vitriol of the Quarry track ‘Irish Blood, English Heart’, but with a more sinister overtone. Not too many musicians of his stature would offer such unvarnished, ugly truth via a pop song. It’s a positive attribute or an Achilles heel depending on the listener, but one that sets Morrissey apart in a sea of apolitical, empty-headed entertainers.”



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