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by Cynthia Fuchs

5 Jul 2011


In 2003, a last herd of sheep made its way through Montana’s Absaroka-Beartooth mountains, taking over three months and covering some 150 miles. That journey is documented in Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor’s superb documentary, premiering on PBS on 5 July. For long stretches, the film observes sheep in motion—trekking along dirt roads, up and down mountainsides, through densely green forest trails or snowy fields. As a parable, the story of sheep seems unsubtle: they are herded, they are unthinking, they go along. As poetry, the film is stunning. With no narration and remarkably little conversation among the herders, it reveals the loneliness and day-to-day difficulty of living among sheep, as human labor and desire are reflected by their surroundings—their bleating charges and also the land they all traverse. “I’d rather enjoy these mountains than hate ‘em,” says one man. You need faith, persistence, and extraordinary patience to herd sheep, whether the job is handed down in families (as it is so often), a refuge or an adventure. The herders spend most of their days apart, that is, on opposite sides of their herd, atop their horses, directing dogs and smiling occasionally at each other. The film is neither nostalgic nor romantic, but instead shows how this hard life has effects, good and bad, that it presses workers to their own edges and also helps them to discover themselves as well as the world around them.

See PopMattersreview.

by Josh Antonuccio

1 Jul 2011


1. “Independence Day” – Bruce Springsteen


Springsteen’s reckons with his father in this utterly mesmerizing and heartbreaking take on the breakdown of Father and Son from The River, with the Boss ultimately lamenting that he has to “say goodbye, it’s Independence Day” as he departs from his father.

by Kate Dries

1 Jul 2011


Britney may not hate the Man, but she definitely hates the paparazzi. Her latest video for “I Wanna Go” is no exception; Britney welds a microphone like its a whip, knocking men to their feet while smiling, and quickly turning from sweet to sour during a press conference.


But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Britney hate on her constant watchdogs.

by Joseph Fisher

30 Jun 2011


On their website, Explosions in the Sky graciously announce the debut of the video for the track “Last Known Surroundings” from their latest release, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care. This is the band’s first official video, and it is embedded below. And just so PopMatters can preempt any snark, no, there isn’t any football footage in the clip. That joke isn’t funny anymore, anyway.

by John Garratt

30 Jun 2011


Jazz-punk smartasses Gutbucket released Flock earlier this year, their fifth album after being together for 12 years. It’s very much a “this-is-what-we-do” statement after trying to justify their existence for so long. Be it saxophonist Ken Thomson’s jazz leanings, guitarist Ty Citerman’s hard rock distortion or the fact that the rhythm section of drummer Adam D. Gold and bassist Eric Rockwin are caught somewhere in the middle, Flock strangely doesn’t favor a particular style, composer or performer. This is democracy, in action.

The below video is a lighthearted look back at the band’s 12 year history and some live footage of these new songs. Titled include “Fuck You and Your Hipster Tie” and “Born Again Atheist Suite: Part Two – Sacrificial Vegan.”

//Mixed media
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Bad Graphics Are Still Impressive in ‘Spirits of Xanadu’

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