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Monday, Jul 6, 2009
by PopMatters Staff
Sign up with Lala to receive our Michael Jackson playlist for free and be entered to win a complete Michael Jackson discography on MP3.

PopMatters and Lala are happy to present this tribute playlist of some of Michael Jackson’s greatest hits, spanning his life in music from his earliest hits with the Jackson 5 to his final studio album.  They’re songs everyone knows, a testament to their enduring power of Jackson’s impact on popular culture.  And thanks to our friends at Lala, PopMatters is providing the playlist for free to all readers who sign up with a new Lala account by clicking the “Get this playlist - FREE” button on the player below.


Plus, if you sign up with Lala through the player between July 6th and July 12th, you’ll be automatically entered into a drawing to win the Grand Prize: the ultimate Michael Jackson discography on MP3!  That’s each of Jackson’s studio albums, plus compilations, his early work with the Jackson 5, and assorted singles—just for signing up for a free account on Lala.


How Lala Works:
Signing up for Lala is akin to signing up MySpace or Facebook - it’s free and no credit card is required. Simply click the “Get this playlist - FREE” button on the PopMatters Michael Jackson Tribute Playlist above and you’ll automatically receive all of the songs to start your Lala collection. With sign up, you also get 25 songs of your choice from Lala’s collection of over 7 million songs.


Lala enables you to build a web music collection—you can take your music and fuse it with a massive licensed catalog to easily play, buy, and share on the web from any location. You can also add all the music you already have (MP3s, ripped albums, tracks bought on iTunes, etc.) to your collection on Lala.


If you’re at home, work, a friend’s house, where ever… your music collection is there too, all easy to access in a browser.


Once you have signed up, you can stream any song in the Lala catalog, again a whopping 7 million tracks, one time, including all of the albums and songs that appear in Lala player widgets on PopMatters.


What happens after the first full play of a song? Lala is a store that sells MP3 downloads and streams, which they’ve dubbed “web songs.” You can pay $0.10 for the web song and stream it an unlimited number of times from any computer, and an additional $0.79 to buy a downloadable MP3 without DRM protection. MP3s on Lala are typically $0.89 each. Any MP3 you buy on Lala is bundled with the “web song,” which is added to your Lala collection for unlimited streaming.


You can add web songs to your Lala collection from PopMatters by clicking the “add” button, visible by scrolling over the song in the Lala player. Once you add a song to your collection, you can stream it anytime on Lala or whenever you see it on a Lala player. As noted, to start you out, the first 25 web songs are free!


Check out the Lala FAQ for details.


So get started with the free PopMatters Michael Jackson Tribute Playlist!  Sign up with Lala to receive the entire playlist for free be entered to win the ultimate Michael Jackson discography in MP3, courtesy of Lala and PopMatters.


Tagged as: michael jackson
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Friday, Jul 3, 2009
by PopMatters Staff

Last Night in Montreal
by Emily St. John Mandel
(Unbridled Books)
Released: 2 June 2009 (US)


LAST NIGHT IN MONTREAL follows the intersecting lives of four people: Lilia, a twenty-something who mysteriously disappeared during childhood; Eli, who tries to hold on to her and then tries to let her go; Christopher, the private detective who remains obsessed with Lilia’s case; and Michaela, the detective’s daughter, who is as rootless as Lilia—and who knows the answers Lilia seeks. A beautifully written, almost poetic tale of loss and love, of sacrifice and abandonment, and of finding a way home, this novel is an hypnotic read, one that casts a spell.



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Thursday, Jul 2, 2009

Dan Gubbins’ Silent Paper Radios project is a departure from his past work as a DJ and hip-hop/electronic music producer. Gubbins says that the inspiration for Silent Paper Radios was the “Weird Folk” movement of recent years, but his sound is less showy and more traditional than much of what that trend produced.


New Silent Paper Radios album Reborn As a Wind Chime is one of this year’s most pleasant surprises, and the unsigned Gubbins has decided to offer the album as a free download for a limited time. On a MySpace blog entry, he instructs listeners to “Download my album free for a month and spread the silent word!”


Silent Paper Radios
Reborn As a Wind Chime [MP3]


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Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009

Meryl Streep’s devilish turn as a high-fashion editor has got nothing on the real thing: Vogue’s Anna Wintour guides us through just what it takes to produce the magazine’s famed September issue, from which the film takes its title.



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Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

San Francisco and Oakland gansta artists put their beefs aside for 19 tracks as rappers Quincy Brooks IV (aka San Quinn) and Charles Bowens (aka Keak Da Sneak) team up for Welcome to Scokland. Led by rapper Keak Da Sneak’s scruffy flow over a bouncing, synth-based hyphy sonic—the same one that gave Bay Area hip-hop a renaissance in the early 2000’s—the two stalwarts craft an album rooted in west coast rap and drenched in layers of g-funk rhythms and beats.


With a lot filler mixed in between solid tracks, the Scokland collaboration mashes chopped and screwed, southern crunk, dirty south, and hyphy click machines.  The weaknesses show up when the catchy hooks fall flat and lack originality to stand alone amongst the silly pimp rhymes that tout the usual strippers, dealers, and dismissible street slang.


But the brighter moments stand out when Bowen and Brooks try their best to qualm the tensions between the rival Bay cities. On the heartfelt hometown R&B and soul anthem “Back to Life”, they both have their shining moments and flex their emotional vulnerability, showing their capability to tell compelling and honest street stories that manage to overpower the trite rhymes that came before it.


A classic Pink Floyd track gets an inner city re-skinning on ghetto ballad “Comfortably Numb”.  Keak Da Sneak tells a sad street story full of struggles with race wars and poverty. He lets you feel the pain and see his tears flowing down, beautifully breaking down the wall of gangster posturing present elsewhere on an album that’s decent but unbalanced.


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