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by Cynthia Fuchs

12 Apr 2011


Tamra Davis’ thoughtful documentary about Jean-Michel Basquiat premieres as part of Independent Lens on Tuesday, 12 April. At first, the film retells some familiar stories: Basquiat was a genius, ahead of his time and also “too fragile for this world,” as Madonna once described him. He loved women or misread them. He challenged or was foiled by the art world’s corrosive elitism, he was intuitive and authentic, or he fell victim to the monster called celebrity. He died too young, at 27, of a heroin overdose, alone, undone by his father’s disapproval or Andy Warhol’s death, or maybe his endless frustrations with racism. But it also offers less familiar insights. Built on a 1986 interview Davis conducted with her friend Basquiat, it shows him as funny, shy, and frank. Other interviewees—including Fab 5 Freddy and Julian Schnabel—knew or didn’t know him, appreciated his work or know something about his life choices. Some speakers point out what’s both most obvious and least discussed concerning Basquiat’s perennial alienation. Nelson George says, “The guy obviously spent a lot of time thinking and angry about what his place in the world was and the place of black people and black men in the world. It’s all in all his work, over and over again.”

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by PopMatters Staff

12 Apr 2011


Twin Shadow

Lexus has teamed with MOG to spotlight some of music’s best up-and-comers, including PopMatters favorites like Twin Shadow, Yuck, Smith Westerns and the Rural Alberta Advantage. If you head on over to this music hub, you can download tunes, check out tour dates, and watch videos from those bands and more.

by PopMatters Staff

11 Apr 2011


Brooklyn’s Minerva Lions are a young band, having formed less than a year ago, but in that short time they have made some good friends, gaining the admiration of artists as diverse Nicole Atkins and members of Wilco and Antibalas. Wilco’s Mikael Jorgensen likes the group’s contemporary-psych accented pop so much, he let them record their debut EP Great Strides, Priestess & Queen at his studio and also remixed the lead-off tune “For R.A.” Great Strides, Priestess & Queen will release this June via Dubshot Records, meanwhile those New Yorkers reading this can check out the group on April 27th at Union Pool in Brooklyn.

by PopMatters Staff

11 Apr 2011


Joaquin “Joe” Claussell is one of New York’s hottest producers and his Nuyorican pedigree combined with his mastery of the house genre made him the ideal choice for a remix project featuring old classic Fania Records tracks. On Hammock House ‘Africa Caribe’, releasing May 17th, Claussell reworks ‘60s and ‘70s tunes from the like of Lou Perez, Celia Cruz, Eddie Palmieri, Ray Barretto, and Mongo Santamaria, as you hear on the example below. Working with the original tapes, Claussell fully captures the energy of the originals, while adding a modern club vibe into the stew. His enthusiasm for the music is evident in the work and like any true crate digger, he throughly geeked out on working with the old recordings. “When the carrier came to my place with all these boxes, I had an Indiana Jones moment, like when he opens the treasure chest and the glow of gold light shines up on his face.  It was miraculous that they were still around, and the history of this stuff is just amazing,” says Claussell.

by PopMatters Staff

8 Apr 2011


The Antlers’ new album Burst Apart is one of the most eagerly anticipated May releases and the band helped build the early buzz by playing the record in its entirety at NPR’s SXSW party this March. You can catch that performance online and/or head out to one of Antler’s upcoming gigs (listed below).

This week, the Antlers’ premiered a new song, “Parantheses”, from the album. You can stream this at the group’s site.

The Antlers - Parentheses by Frenchkiss

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Virtual Reality and Storytelling: What Happens When Art and Technology Collide?

// Moving Pixels

"Virtual reality is changing the face of entertainment, and I can see a future when I will find myself inside VR listening to some psych-rock while meditating on an asteroid.

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