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Thursday, Sep 10, 2009

Interpolators of literature always try to figure out how we, as readers, glean the book in our hands. Arguments between the likes of Harold Bloom and the New Critics in the ‘50s, whose polemics on whether the book should be read and analyzed for what it is—or taking into account external sources, such as the author’s life—still divide academics today. Then there’s the recluse Thomas Pynchon.


So far, what we have derived about the man on our own terms has been kept to a minimum. Pynchon is painted as a cult literary icon, perpetuated by his classic cache of post modernist literature that inspires fear in the heart and tires the brain, most notably the archetypal Gravity’s Rainbow. To this day, Pynchon maintains a badass status. Pynchon’s relentless protection of his private life gives him more street cred and elevates the mythology surrounding him. Whether this is an emblematic projection, a dogma many writers quietly circumscribe to, or me just being a troglodyte of the media, Pynchon inherits the lineage of writer as vocation, not as celebrity. But when Pynchon himself gives us a small window into his brilliant mind, we must take whatever we can get. In this case, it’s his iPod tracklist.


Released just last August, Pynchon’s new novel Inherent Vice is a comical distillation of the crime fiction genre. The profile of our hero speaks for itself: Name: Larry (Doc) Sportello. Occupation:  Detective and lover of the gonge. Mission:  Investigate the whereabouts of ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend, a prominent land developer. As the action unfolds, Sportello’s case takes detours into the post apocalyptic noir of Pynchon’s familial pedigree. Set against the backdrop of L.A. at the end of the ‘60s, Inherent Vice makes you feel the heat of a strange kind of Americana slowly dying.


Music plays a vital role in coloring the atmospherics of this novel. The plethora of musical allusions span the gamut, from legendary prog rockers the Doors, to obscure surf music from the likes of the Bonzo Dog Band, to the Grand Dame of the Broadway Stage, Ethel Merman. Pynchon compiled the comprehensive soundtrack himself for Amazon.com, with over 20 eclectic tracks all referenced in Inherent Vice.


These songs are by no means a substitute to secrets revealed, or a tell all interview Oprah style, but it does feed, however sparingly, an army of Pynchonphiles who have been hungry for decades. Here’s a partial track listing of the songs in Inherent Vice, the full list can be found on Inherent Vice‘s page on Amazon, a promo trailer for Inherent Vice narrated by Pynchon, and a video of Ethel Merman’s “There’s No Business Like Show Business”:


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Thursday, Sep 10, 2009

Mica Levi’s Jewellry has garnered accolades because of its beautifully constructed bizarreness, a synecdoche of pop atonality.Yesterday, the 21-year-old Levi, performing under the stage name Micachu, released the video for “Turn Me Well”. Ethereal and hypnotic, “Turn Me Well” spellbinds one into sonic reverie: the jagged rip of a chainsaw becomes a clutter of clanks and grimy fuzz becomes a twinkle of a triangle. Yet these incongruous panoply of sounds are made sensible under Levi’s voice, a reverberating chant of disillusionment and just being fed up. With allusions to the mendacity and haplessness of the seasons, “Turn Me Well” makes you feel a desire strung out way too long, left totally derailed. Verses like, “Get to me and turn me well, I’m a tired soul,” get embedded into your consciousness. At a little under three minutes, “Turn Me Well” is a gorgeously sculpted vignette of music, moodily psychedelic, but no less revelatory.



Tagged as: jewellry, micachu, music
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Wednesday, Sep 9, 2009
by PopMatters Staff

The French producer’s new album comes out in just a few weeks and to celebrate, Joakim has just released a 60-minute mix that we have for you right here.


SONG LIST
01 O.M.D. - Electricity (Micronauts remix)
02 E.A.R. - Submarine
03 Dragons of Zynth - Anna Mae
04 John Foxx - Metal Beat
05 Joakim - Fly Like An Apple
06 James Pants - Rhythm Track 9
07 Pom Pom - Untitled
08 Soft Rocks - Black Magic
09 Vanessa Paradis - Des Que J’te vois (Joakim unreleased remix)
10 Red Dragon Band - Let Me Be Your Radio pt 1
11 The Rolling Stones - Undercover Of the Night
12 SPK - Dance Du Metal (I:Cube Edit)
13 Joakim - Watermelon Bubblicious
14 Sweet Exorcist - Mad Jack
15 Yura Yura Teikoky - Hollow Me (Alternate Version)
16 Dj Deeon - Exctacy
17 The Beatles - Helter Skelter (demo)
18 Goslings - Croatan
19 Acid Mothers Temple - Electric Love Machine
20 Dennis Wilson - Farewell My Friend


Joakim
“Milky Mix” [MP3]
     


Joakim
Milky Ways
(!K7)
Releasing: 15 September (US)


Joakim
“Love & Romance & a Special Person” [MP3]
     



Tagged as: joakim
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Wednesday, Sep 9, 2009
The download is available today only!

After touring the US this last year, making stops at festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza, the UK band, Los Campesinos! will be making the rounds in Europe to close out a busy 2009.


For today only, (September 9, 2009) the seven-member band has posted a brand new track, “The Sea Is a Good Place to Think of the Future”, as well as an accompanying video (co-directed by their bassist, Ellen Campesinos!) for free download on their website at loscampesinos.com.


Los Campesinos! will play their first UK shows for a year, in October. Tour dates are posted after the jump.  Additional tour dates to follow very soon.


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Wednesday, Sep 9, 2009
by PopMatters Staff

Air
Love 2
(Astralwerks)
Releasing: 6 October


SONG LIST
01 Do the Joy
02 Love
03 So Light Is Her Footfall
04 Be a Bee
05 Missing the Light of the Day
06 Tropical Disease
07 Heaven’s Light
08 Night Hunter
09 Sing Sang Sung
10 Eat My Beat
11 You Can Tell It to Everybody
12 African Velvet



Tagged as: air
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