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by Cynthia Fuchs

7 Oct 2011


“Fishbone could be a band that doesn’t use profanity, goes and does the festival circuit, plays the oldies and rakes in a ton of dough,” observes Norwood Fisher. “But we chose to try to forge new ground, go into uncharted territory on some levels. We are where we are because the path that we walk.” “Where we are” is complicated, like everything about Fishbone. Appropriately, Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler’s documentary, Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone—opening at New York’s ReRun Theater on 7 October—offers a few versions of that story, told by band members as well as their colleagues and relatives.

by PopMatters Staff

6 Oct 2011


Minneapolis’ Sleeping in the Aviary recently released their fourth album, You and Me, Ghost and are currently out on a U.S. tour, while today they are premiering two brand new videos directed by Christopher Heubach with PopMatters. The band has been mining the classic sounds of the ‘50s and ‘60s and painting a contemporary sheen on them since day one. They began with the poppy-punk of Oh, This Old Thing? (2007), began exploring indie-folk on Expensive Vomit in a Cheap Hotel (2008), and expanded into a bit of soul on Great Vacation (2010). This time around they add some doo-wop flourishes to their pop. Is this the year for the doo-wop comeback or what? Despite the wide-ranging musical curiosity and joyful adaptation of classic musical forms, Sleeping in the Aviary remains at their heart, a pop band, offering up instantly catchy and memorable tunes.

Check out the new videos below, as well as a few MP3s and the band’s upcoming tour dates.

Now we’re going to let the band’s frontman, Elliot Kozel, tell you a bit about these two new tunes from You and Me, Ghost...

“‘Talking Out of Turn’ was shot in our old practice space. Little trivia factoid. The song was written for a friend of mine the night before we started recording his album. I was trying to write him a song that sounds like Weezer. He ended up having enough of his own songs for that album so I got use it for ours. Its about a girl who I had a huge crush on that works at a grocery store and trying to get her to talk to me because she was very shy. ‘So Lonely’, Kyle Sobczak wrote in the park one day. Once or twice a week when the weather is nice me and most of the band go to the park and force each other to write a song in less than an hour. This is one of those songs. The demo version is drugged out and twice as slow. The girl sitting next to kyle on the beach is his girlfriend from ‘Karen You’re an Angel’ fame.”

 

by Stephen Rowland

6 Oct 2011


Charles Napier with John Belushi in The Blues Brothers.

Russ Meyer loved him. You may remember him as the maniac in Supervixens, Harry in Cherry, Harry & Raquel, and Meyer’s best-known Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

Jonathan Demme was also a fan. Napier appeared in Melvin & Howard, Philadelphia, The Silence of the Lambs, and uncredited in Beloved.

The 75-year-old Kentucky-born, Bakersfield, CA resident died early on Wednesday, October 5th, after being taken off life support. The cause of death has not been released, but he was treated earlier this year in May for blood clots in his legs.

A prominent actor on the small screen, he lent his voice to the popular Adult Swim cartoon Squidbillies. Other big screen ventures include The Blues Brothers and Rambo: First Blood Part 2.

by Jane Jansen Seymour

6 Oct 2011


When Jason Hammel spoke with PopMatters last year, he promised that a new “Mates” album would be ready soon. With the release of Mountaintops September 13, it’s a promise fulfilled and the married duo are now on tour in support of the new release (dates here). Together with Kori Gardner, Mates of State have also produced an enchanting video for the opening track, “Palomino”. Long gone are the days of sparse production with Gardner playing keyboards and Hammel on drums. “Palomino” begins with a lush cascade of sound, a solid introduction before those familiar synched vocals even begin. The band explained to NPR that the song is a “reflection on childhood and life’s inevitable progression”. Referencing an old zen saying to “Aim for Cold Mountain”, the idea suggests that “there is always going to be another peak in the distance”.

Director Jimi Patterson deftly uses rotoscope animation to tell the story, filming the live-action material first before digitally hand-painting all 3,240 frames. The couple encounters a series of mountaintops, reflecting the theme of this album. Along the way they even come upon little girls that look like the couple’s two tow-headed daughters, as featured on Gardner’s blog “Band on the (diaper) run.” This video follows their musical journey in a vast landscape of visual expression.

by PopMatters Staff

5 Oct 2011


We’ve been all about New Zealand this week with yesterday’s Sola Rosa premiere and today’s entry from Kiwi popster Simon Spire. Though he may be a New Zealander by birth and the DNA is there in his uber-pop sensibility, like so many other creative types, Spire now calls Brooklyn home. Back home, his tunes have been hits on New Zealand radio, while in the US, he was selected as one of the Top 20 artists of the year by U.S. TV Network Channel One in 2009.

Spire’s latest album, Liberate Your Love, released on September 12th and today we bring you the premiere of his latest video for the tune “Liberate Your Love”, which is catchy enough to sound like a hit. Spire says of the song, “‘Liberate Your Love’ is a call to free ourselves from our conditioning and step into the truth of who we are. The song seeks revolution in what our lives stand for -– an individual revolution that reverberates through the collective.” If you’d like a free download of the track, just head over to simonspire.com.

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