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by Cynthia Fuchs

26 Jun 2011


Leading a film crew through empty streets in the tiny Belarusian town of Bobr, artist and resident resistance fighter Alexander Pushkin observes, “Everyone’s gone. They all hid when they saw us. They’re afraid that they and their loved ones will be punished… If a person appears in a film, he’s persecuted.” And so Pushkin is making his stand, using Andrzej Fidyk’s documentary to express his frustration at his countrymen’s complacency and promising to “explain the nature of a Belarusian.” He uses his art—sometimes painting, often performance—to remind his neighbors of their history, that Belarus did not begin just 60 years ago on “Victory Day,” the end of German occupation. In fact, he insists in his paintings and performances, Belarus has its own language and legacy, repressed by hundreds of years of Russian and Soviet occupation. He fights back as best he can: though Lukashenko banned the Belarusian flag and instituted “Muscovite symbols,” Pushkin insists on flying a red and white flag, the camera tracking him as he scrambles over his rooftop to replace a faded version with a new one. Entertaining and perplexing, the film shows Pushkin to be a decidedly complicated figure, at once energetic and committed, but also easily distracted, narcissistic, and frequently annoying.  It’s hard to tell, however, whether he’s representative or anomalous, which makes the film seem very clever, or maybe elusive… making Pushkin’s case, along with and also in spite of his own efforts.

See PopMattersreview.

by PopMatters Staff

24 Jun 2011


Ian McCutcheon’s past work as a drummer with Slowdive and Mojave 3 prepared him well for the dream pop landscapes he paints as frontman with his new band, The Loose Salute. A relaxed Cornwall beach vibe suffuses the group’s music as we heard on their debut Tuned to Love (2007) and now again four years later on the follow-up Getting Over Being Under, which released early this month via Graveface. The Loose Salute’s influences are deliciously diverse, ranging from the expected West Coast jangle pop and the Beach Boys to the more countrifried sounds of Nashville and a bit of Southwestern desert expansiveness. You get a taste of that Sourthwestern vibe on “Perhaps She’ll Fly” with its Calexico-esque horns. Meanwhile, it’s back to pure dreaminess for “Happy I Don’t Count”, a breathy, atmospheric song custom built for the legions of Belle & Sebastian fans out there.

  The Loose Salute ‘Happy I Don’t Count’ by Graveface Records

by Jane Jansen Seymour

24 Jun 2011


The KEXP Music Blog just posted a session with Peter Bjorn and John, featuring footage from a recent visit to the studio which looks more like a large closet with a few people lining the edges. It wasn’t quite the stage show that PopMatters covered in New York City back in May, but that didn’t keep the indie trio from rocking their tight knit sound – cowbell included of course.  With the cameras on top of them as they played, the bearded Swedes gave an inspired performance which gives new meaning to the term intimate. Pared down versions of the songs also highlight the structured composition of each, as well as the variety of their music.

by PopMatters Staff

23 Jun 2011


British singer Adele’s second album 21 has been the #1 album in the US for 10 weeks, whereas in the UK, the record has been at #1 longer than any other female artist in British chart history. Heady stuff. Adele is headed to the US this August and has made a few schedule changes to her upcoming schedule shown below. In the meantime, enjoy the videos from 21.

Rolling in the Deep

by Timothy Gabriele

23 Jun 2011


This new Starkey song goes through so many phases in four minutes, it’s almost a mini-epic. Starkey’s Paul Geissinger experimented with Auto-Tune quite a bit on his underrated 2010 release Ear Drums and Black Holes, but rarely has he sounded so close to the Drake/Weeknd zeitgeist as he does here. The appearance of Charli XCX in some kind of freeform floating words liminal space is an explosive entry for Geissinger’s lonely astronaut in the video. As everything blows up around the two, it’s clear Starkey has delivered the goods again.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Here Comes the Bloom: Timothy Bloom Takes Hip-Hop to the Sock-Hop

// Sound Affects

"More sock-hop than hip-hop, soulster Timothy Bloom does a stunning '50s revamp on contemporary R&B.

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