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by John Bergstrom

26 May 2011


Crowded House leader Neil Finn has formed a new band, Pajama Club, with his wife Sharon. Pajama Club also includes Anna Skyring, ex-the Grates, and Sean Donnelly.

The band have not yet made any announcements regarding an album, but they have released the track “From a Friend to a Friend”. With Sharon on lead vocals, it has a garagey, almost Sonic Youth-type vibe. You can download it free if you sign up for the official Pajama Club mailing list.

Also, Pajama Club will be playing in Australia and the US over the summer. Dates after the jump.

[Stream “From a Friend to a Friend”]

by PopMatters Staff

25 May 2011


UK producer Cameron McVey, who has produced the work of Massive Attack, Tricky and Portishead, as well as that of his wife trip-hopper Neneh Cherry, formed cirKus back in 2006 with DJ Matt Karmil. They’ve since added Neneh Cherry and Lolita Moon to the mix to become a quartet and just released their second album, Medicine. Today we offer up two remixes of single “Bells”. You check out the original in video form after the jump. The Bedsit remix completely reimagines the piece from the top down, removing the vocals and producing a jagged, techno thumper. Eli Escobar stays truer to the original, focusing on generating a mellow groove.

by Gem Wheeler

25 May 2011


The influence of Alan McGee’s Creation Records on the course of mid-‘90s British music can’t be ignored. The label actually made its name in the burgeoning indie scene of the previous decade, with a roster of bands that included My Bloody Valentine and the Jesus and Mary Chain. As Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie puts it, McGee specialised in the signing of “outsiders, chancers, lunatics…” whose behaviour made them, and their label’s boss, notorious.

During the label’s ‘90s heyday, Oasis’ public feud with mockney rivals Blur made headlines in Britain even as their album What’s the Story (Morning Glory)? came to represent the mod-referencing, self-consciously retro spirit of its times. McGee, meanwhile, was courted by the Labour party before they came to power in 1997, in a bid to keep the younger elements of the electorate on side by playing up to a “Cool Britannia” ethos. Just two years later, however, as McGee’s dissatisfaction with the music business grew, Creation closed. Upside Down: The Creation Records Story tells the label’s riotous tale. It’s now available on DVD in the UK, with worldwide release dates yet to be confirmed.

by PopMatters Staff

24 May 2011


Photo: Ian Witlen

Ki:Theory, known in real life as Joel Burleson, blends electronics and indie rock into catchy pop tunes like “Holiday Heart”. He’s a recording artist in his own right, as well as producing remixes for luminaries like Daft Punk, Ladytron, and Queens of the Stone Age. Today is the official release of his latest single, “Holiday Heart”, which we have the pleasure of premiering. The B-side features Ki:Theory’s remixing talents as he partners with Holy Fuck to rethink UNKLE’s “Natural Selection”. Ki:Theory’s profile will rise ever higher as he scored a remix on the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides soundtrack.

by Cynthia Fuchs

24 May 2011


Frontline: Wikisecrets, can offer no interviews with its primary subject, Spc. Bradley Manning, as he’s currently imprisoned in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Still, the program, premiering Tuesday night and now available online, provides a seemingly detailed portrait of the young American soldier accused of passing restricted information to Wikileaks: among other things, he was frustrated and dismayed by his treatment by his military colleagues and the institution per se, at least in part because he’s gay. More provocatively, the program presents stories from other players in the case, including a hacker named Adrian Lamo (who appears in a rumpled trench coat and offers his personal observations of Manning’s state of mind, whom he met via email), as well as onetime Wikileaks spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg (who has his own observations to make about the way Wikileaks operates).

Julian Assange also speaks, if only to insist that “protecting our sources” remains a priority—this even as Manning has reportedly been tortured, or at least held many months held in isolation, as he awaits trial. The program constructs a timeline for events (with locations ranging from New York to London to Iraq to Oslo) and hints at motives and coverups. If, as Assange and other argue, Wikileaks’ exposures of illegal or otherwise shady exploits might transform the world (and perhaps stop warfare), the show raises questions as to costs, for individuals more than governments and organizations, which tend to go on. Asked to measure effects, Domscheit-Berg says, “I mean, it’s a very hard distinction you have to take. What is more important? Bringing the truth to the light or protecting one person?”

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