Since 2009, Asthsmatic Kitty has been quietly issuing installments in the Library Catalog Music series. With this series, the home of Sufjan Stevens, Jookabox, Fol Chen, and many other genre-bending freak pop artists has easily maintained its standing on the cutting edge of contemporary independent music. Case in point, the label handed the keys to their catalog over to young Jib Kidder, also known as California A/V artist Sean Schuster-Craig, who promptly turned around and reconstituted microsamples of dozens of tracks into stunning new glitch-hop compositions using just a turntable, editing, and respatializing EFX (i.e., reverb, delay). These works are much closer to warm and funky side of Prefuse 73 and Daedelus than the overhyped ADD of Girl Talk. Going one further, Jib made a video for “Blue” also from existing label materials. Suffice to say, Asthmatic Kitty is still at the top of its game. May the Library Catalog Music series never end.
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This is probably more of a promo than an actual video as it does truncate the original song, leaving it feeling a bit incomplete. Maybe this teaser though will be enough to hep you to LuckyMe’s Jacques Greene though. For all the sensuality inherent in two-step/future garage, Greene may be the only one openly trying to be the scene’s Sebastian Tellier. From his excellent EP titled The Look, the “Tell Me” video features plenty of women giving “the look”, either seductively or longingly or cathartically. Like the song, it’s relatively simple, but far from dull. Tell me what you like? This, please. Oh, and Greene has already released another EP featuring remixes of The Look EP and a great new song called “Another Girl”.
Like so many faces that look back in so many documentaries, those in A Film Unfinished indicate the subjects’ awareness of their status as such. And as they gaze back at the camera, they are also silent, like all of “Das Ghetto,” an unfinished Nazi propaganda film discovered in an East German vault during the 1950s. Yael Hersonski has reassembled much of that footage for her film, which premieres 3 May on PBS. Some of it is observational and some staged by the German film crew, and Hersonski cuts it alongside readings from diaries and transcripts, as well as shots of ghetto survivors watching that footage. Comprised of more faces, shadowed in a theater, these shots serve as vivid reflections of your own experience, horrified at what they see. And what they see exemplifies one of the most chilling aspects of the Third Reich, “an empire infatuated with the camera,” narrates Rona Kenan, “that knew so well to document its own evil, passionately, systematically, like no other nation before it.”
See PopMatters’ review.
It certainly took Ben Ottewell a long time to get around to releasing a solo album. Perhaps it was that first solo tour that threw people off ...
Indeed, while other members of the acclaimed rock outfit Gomez worked on side projects and solo albums during Gomez’s downtime, Ben Ottewell went a different route. First, he spent a nice slice of the late 2000s doing solo acoustic tours just for the heck of it, playing a mixture of cover songs and Gomez staples, much to fans’ delight. Yet Ottewell wound up enjoying the experience so much that he soon began prepping songs for his own solo effort, the result of which is the largely acoustic (and quietly beautiful) Shapes & Shadows, which was released earlier this year.
PopMatters caught up to Ottewell when he took his solo acoustic show Schuba’s out in Chicago, and he wound up discussing the genesis of his album, how he doesn’t really have any beef with the Second City, and how he is proud to not have to take on a normal job ...