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by Comfort Clinton

7 Feb 2012


House of Blondes is an up and coming electronic duo comprised of John Blonde and Chris Pace, based in New York City. Their vibe is electro synth, and their sound is akin to the likes of Daedulus, Holy Fuck, Amon Tobin and Hot Chip. The group relies heavily on improvisation in the studio for their creative process. In fact, their current album began as 20 minutes of ambient riffing, and is inspired by GAS, an ambient techno project by Wolfgang Voight. Some of House of Blondes’ past singles include “Shadows” and “Do it Yourself (Landscape)”, both of which will be featured on their debut album, titled Clean Cuts, available on February 28th through Glowmatic Records.

Below, check out the new video, premiering here on PopMatters, for House of Blondes’ single “Come Running”. It was directed and edited by band member John Blonde, and produced by Kurt W. Sawilla. The video is shot entirely in black and white, with block color occasionally flooding the screen to provide emphasis and mood. Sometimes in fast motion and sometimes in slow, the video plays with speed the way “Come Running” plays with tempo. While the characters’ actions echo the methodical pulse of the song, don’t get too comfortable… the end is a shocker! 

by Cynthia Fuchs

7 Feb 2012


Stanley Nelson’s exceptional documentary tells the story of the Freedom Rides, from their initiation in May 1961, by James Farmer and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), to the Interstate Commerce Commission’s (ICC) ruling that September, that passengers on interstate buses could sit wherever they wanted, “the first unambiguous victory in the long history of the civil rights movement.” Freedom Riders—airing on PBS on 7 February—offers some incredible images from the period to show how this victory was the result of months of struggle, including assaults on the freedom riders by angry citizens as well as police officers. Boarding commercial buses (Trailways and Greyhound) in Washington, DC and intending to ride through the Deep South, the riders set out deliberately to violate Southern segregation laws. Each CORE member signed a formal agreement, stating, “I understand that I shall be participating in a nonviolent protest… against racial discrimination, that arrest or personal injury to me might result.” They had little expectation of the violence that would be inflicted on them.

See PopMattersreview.

Watch Freedom Riders Theatrical Trailer on PBS. See more from Freedom Riders.

by Comfort Clinton

6 Feb 2012


Dailymotion, the internet’s second largest video destination, which boasts 1.2 billion video views worldwide, introduced its latest offshoot: Music in Motion on February 1st. The new music movement will emphasize pairing music with charity causes, and will feature unique artist presentations, as well as exclusive playlists created by various artists. The focus of the debut series for Music in Motion is music from protest movements, and so fittingly, Hal Willner’s Freedom Rides Concert: Music of the Civil Rights Movement inaugurates the franchise.

Willner’s concert event, which took place on September 15th as a benefit for the Clinton Foundation, served to honor the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders who, facing certain racism and adversity, courageously rode interstate buses all over the nation to protest segregation policies. As Lenny Kaye put it, the event was to “celebrate some very brave people who went down South at a very critical time in the Civil Rights Movement and put their lives on the line”.

by Jessy Krupa

6 Feb 2012


Advertisers fought for the favor of one of the biggest TV audiences of the year with heavily hyped commercials, and it mostly paid off for viewers. Though last year featured some great ads, 2012’s crop was just as good, if not better. Some viewers (including myself) complained of sexist overtones in some 2011 spots, but things finally seem to be somewhat headed in a new direction. Though there were far too many underdressed females (as in the annual GoDaddy.com sleaze-fest), there was also some male tackiness to go around, too—as in H&M’s close-ups of David Beckham in his underwear. However, the vast majority of commercials steered clear of controversy, and fell into one of the following seven categories…

by Comfort Clinton

6 Feb 2012


M.I.A.’s new single “Bad Girls” hit airwaves on January 31st when the song premiered on Pitchfork to positive reviews, including a declaration that “her pop instincts and talents remain as sharp as ever”. That’s saying a lot for someone who has been nominated for an Oscar and two Grammys, hailed by Rolling Stone as one of the ten defining artists of the 2000’s decade, and labeled one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. 

While we have to wait until summer for her fourth album to drop, as of Friday, the heart pounding video for “Bad Girls” is available exclusively on VICE’s new original music channel Noisey, on YouTube. The video, directed by Romain Gavras (also director of M.I.A.’s “Born Free” video), was shot on location in Ouarzazate, Morocco and the cultural influences are obvious. As Black Book Mag noted, it has the markings of M.I.A’s past work: “Punjabi-tinged production, deadpan delivery, booming drums, lyrics about having sex in cars, etc.”, not to mention a beat that you can’t help but nod your head to.

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