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by Jane Jansen Seymour

13 Apr 2012


Daytrotter is providing its own Coachella buzz with a playlist of performers in the lineup for both weekends: April 13 – 15 as well as April 20 -22, in a new double dose experiment for the annual California desert festival. This feature by “Mr. Daytrotter” introduces everyone on the bill, a true testament to the Daytrotter mission which captures worthy bands in stripped down, live sessions. This listening opportunity of 34 songs lasts over two hours and of course hearing just one song invites further exploration Daytrotter style, with full set offerings lurking right on the website. (The monthly subscription of two dollars a month is one of life’s greatest bargains.)

Listen to the Coachella Daytrotter Playlist: 2012 here.

by PopMatters Staff

12 Apr 2012


Brendan Benson has been releasing solo records since 1996’s One Mississippi and What Kind of World, releasing 21 April via Benson’s own Readymade label, will make it his fifth. After 2005’s Alternative to Love, Benson took a break from going it alone by co-founding rock supergroup the Raconteurs with Jack White. Both Detroit artists have since made Nashville home and Benson has become a family man, hitching up and having his first child.

Of course, in Nashville has he has found a true musical family as well, as so many more have before him. On What Kind of World, these new friends joined in to lend a hand, including Jon Auer (The Posies, Big Star), Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, Big Star, R.E.M.), Brad Pemberton (Ryan Adam’s Cardinals), Mark Watrous (Loudermilk, Gosling), and Sam Farrar (Phantom Planet). The changes in his life have also led him to explore new themes in his songwriting in a more straightforward style. “I think on this record I’m saying a lot of things I never thought I would say,” says Benson. “Maybe I’m just getting older, but I don’t want to hide now in my songs, I just want to be truthful. And I’m realizing that the truth is really interesting—I’m more attracted to honesty these days than to convolution.”

Today on PopMatters we have the pleasure of premiering the title track from the new album, “What Kind of World”. Benson describes the tune as “one my favorites on the record. I think we captured an ‘80s, new wave sort of sound that I’ve always been obsessed with ala the Cars or Missing Persons.”

You can pre-order the album now via Benson’s website.

by Jessy Krupa

11 Apr 2012


Kelly Clarkson on American Idol (2002)

It may be hard to believe, but American Idol has been on air for a full decade. Debuting during the summer of 2002, the TV talent show became a surprise ratings hit, and almost single-handedly made FOX one of the top three television networks. Despite countless spin-offs and copycats (American Juniors, X Factor, Rock Star: INXS, Nashville Star, Can You Duet, The Voice, etc.), the original series still has a hold on pop culture even into its 11th season.

With its changing roster of celebrity guests and judges, one thing is clear: its all about the contestants. But what have all of those singers been up to lately? So, starting with season one, let’s look back at who made the top five and see what they’re doing now.

by Comfort Clinton

11 Apr 2012


Lana Del Rey has had quite the year. Her first major label album, Born to Die has hit number one on 19 countries’ iTunes album charts, and has gone multiplatinum in several European nations. She recently received the honor of “Best International Newcomer” at the Brit Awards in the UK. Additionally, 8 April saw the release of single “Blue Jeans”, from Born to Die, produced by Polydor Records.

Directed by Yoann Lemoine, the video is as haunting as the song, and echoes a dark side that seems to be characteristic of Del Rey’s music videos in general. She has has been called a “gangsta Nancy Sinatra”, after all. We watch as the singer immerses herself more and more deeply into a pool of water, unaware of the alligators that circle her, and the vicious plan they have to come between the singer and her lover: a plan that ultimately ends in tragedy. The tune itself is lilting and catchy, lulling us as it surrounds us with its melody, much like the water that eventually surrounds and envelops Del Rey.

by PopMatters Staff

11 Apr 2012


Lollapalooza may as well be entitled “The Reunion Fest” this year. The re-united Black Sabbath, with all four original members including Ozzy Osbourne, will headline this year’s Lollapalooza. Meanwhile Red Hot Chili Peppers will return after a six-year festival absence and At the Drive-In will play their first live show in 11 years. And if that wasn’t enough, the Afghan Whigs will appear as part of their first tour in a decade.

Among other major rock talent, the highlights will be Jack White in solo form, the Black Keys, Bloc Party and Delta Spirit. It’s not all rock though, Lollapalooza will be stocked full of electronic artists like Justice, Avicii, Bassnectar, Kaskade and many more.

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