Latest Blog Posts

by John Bergstrom

6 Dec 2011


The signature 4AD band Dead Can Dance are gearing up for a reunion album and world tour in 2012. As a teaser, they are offering a four-track live EP, Live Happenings - Part 1, on their official website. You just need to turn over your email address.

by Ian Mathers

5 Dec 2011


76. A$AP Rocky
“Purple Swag”


There’s plenty of music about getting stoned, and plenty more that sounds like its makers were imparied, but “Purple Swag” might actually get you high. Everything from the md-track irruption of a screwed-down chunk of A$AP Rocky’s “Peso” to the cool, emphatic control of his flow to the queasy lean of the production to the vaguely dream-like video makes your head swim a little. It’s the kind of song where the first time you listen to it you feel like might wake up a few days later in a “FUCK SWAG” t-shirt. Everything will be purple.

by Corey Beasley

5 Dec 2011


77. Drake
“Marvin’s Room”


If you think Drake spends too much time moping, “Marvin’s Room” may not be the track for you… or, maybe it will. Yes, it details Drake’s late night, drunk-texting loneliness, but it does so over one of the most indelible sonic atmospheres of the year, all downcast synths and from-the-next-room bass hits. Drake’s performance here manages to sum up his entire ethos in a single track, lamenting his ironic inability to make a real, human connection while surrounding by fawning admirers. If you don’t buy his complaints by themselves, the music will sell you the whole package. At once lush and minimal, “Marvin’s Room” sees producer Noah “40” Shebib turn in the best production job of the year.

by Cynthia Fuchs

5 Dec 2011


“The psychology of Ghanians, when it comes to governance or politics generally, has been influenced by our history,” notes Baffour Agyeman-Duah, an expert on governance.” While the aim is to construct “a stable democratic government, guided by the principles of good governance,” the route has been uneven. As he finishes speaking, scene cuts from his face to a close-up of a butcher at work: whomp goes his cleaver, splitting red meat. It’s a striking early image in Jarreth and Kenneth Merz’s An African Election, suggesting the high stakes during Ghana’s 2008 presidential elections. Currently at the Quad Cinema, the documentary considers that election (when Nana Akufo-Addo of the ruling New Patriotic Party ran against John Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress), history (the legacy of colonial rule, the decades of increasing corruption), and also points toward a kind of future, that is, the ways that elections have become—more and more, there and elsewhere (say, the US), contests over who can be loudest or least honest while appealing to broad bases. A smart, lively film—beautifully enhanced by a terrific percussive soundtrack—An African Election reveals how entrenched layers of trouble remain, despite and because of the cheering throngs, the advances in media technologies, the hopes for change. As journalist Kwesi Pratt puts it, “None of the parties is offering a paradigm shift. All of the parties will be doing the same thing, but some promise to do it better than the others.” How familiar does that sound? 

by Steve Leftridge

5 Dec 2011


78. The Belle Brigade
“Losers”


The lead single from the Belle Brigade’s thoroughly engaging eponymous debut begins with a mellow acoustic guitar cuff but builds into a slamming tension-and-release anthem that serves as a refreshing denunciation of conformity and competition, threaded to this bro-sis duo’s tribute to ‘70 California pop. With their Everlys-meet-the-the-Chipmunks family harmonies, the Brigade updates There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, but instead of rejecting all the crap they learned in high school, Barbara and Ethan Gruska catalogue all the shit they don’t care about anymore, like being smooth with women, going out on Fridays, being the life of parties, being harder, being daddy’s favorite, etc. What the Belle Brigade achieve most, though, is a sort of irony. In disregarding winning, they’ve made a single that crushed the competition.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

That Ribbon of Highway: Sharon Jones Re-shapes Woody Guthrie's Song

// Sound Affects

"Sharon Jones and Woodie Guthrie knew: great songs belong to everybody.

READ the article