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by Jessy Krupa

15 Jun 2010


Chances are, at some point in the last couple of years, you have seen animated rabbits re-enact at least one famous movie in thirty seconds. This is because of Jennifer Shiman. In 2004, the independent animator’s website, angryalien.com, already had novel, interactive Flash-animated shorts such as Pigeon Kam, which showed the world through the eyes of a pigeon, and Amy’s Diary, a re-telling of a child’s diary. It was just a tiny blip on the internet’s radar until she debuted a new feature, The Exorcist, as re-enacted by bunnies in 30 seconds. Slowly but surely, the success of this short, and its hilarious follow-ups of Jaws, The Shining, and most notably, Titanic, led to international attention. Spotlighted on CNN and the Today show, the “buns”, as Shiman lovingly refers to them, garnered praise and requests from internet visitors from all over the world.

This led to a deal with Starz, who got exclusive first access to newer send-ups of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Sixteen Candles, No Country for Old Men, March of the Penguins, and others, which they aired on their website and during airings of the original movies on their cable network. In 2005, the Titanic short was included as a bonus feature of the 1997 movie’s four-disc DVD re-release. As her website won Webby awards for Online Animation and the people’s choice, Shiman denied rumors that the buns would move on to their own TV series or movie, saying that she hardly had the time. Still, the bunnies became quite an internet presence, with annual animated holiday “cards” featured on the website and official Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Now after six years and 68 re-enactments, Shiman announced that the upcoming Evil Dead II short would be the bunnies last, but “Never say never; we may be back some day with our interpretation of more movies.” Stating that her partnership with Starz had ended, she left no reasons as to why, but revealed that she would continue work on other projects. Though this could start rumors about an upcoming TV special or series, all bunnies fans can do for now is see most of their work on the “30-Second Bunnies Theatre Collectible DVD”, available at Amazon.com.

by Henry Guyer

15 Jun 2010


One of the finest actors of our time, Sir Ben Kingsley, shows all the young Hollywood starlets exactly how you nail an audition…in less than 30 seconds. Heidi Montag and Chris Klein: just give up. Massive blockbusters aren’t usually synonymous with Sir Ben, but after flexing his theatrical muscles on Lopez Tonight recently, the whole world knows just who should be Megan Fox’s replacement on Transformers 3.

by John Garratt

15 Jun 2010


Bill Corgan, Trent Reznor, and Radiohead got pawned quite a while ago. In the MP3 department, that is. Saxophonist and purveyor of M-Base funk-jazz Steve Coleman has had a great number of his out-of-print recordings sitting in his own corner of the internet, available for download, for quite some time now (the website looks a bit old, doesn’t it?). Coleman defends his generosity in an essay where he rhetorically asks “Why should everything always cost something?”

Not everything is for the taking, but there is literally hours of exceptional stuff here that won’t cost you a dime. Of particular interest is The Ascension of Light, an organic, intense, out-there album previously unreleased in the States. I’ve always wondered why American artists occasionally have certain releases only available as imports…

[download MP3s]

by Henry Guyer

14 Jun 2010


When Light Pollution’s Jim Cicero locked himself inside his hangar one winter, he began building for himself a sonic universe that was untouched from the outside world.  When the ice and snow of the Midwestern plains subsided, the ethereal debut album Appiritions

Joining forces with Cicero is Matth Evert, Jed Robertson, and Nick Sharman and together they combine layer after layer of lush sounds to evoke that exhilarating yet frightening experience of being surrounded by pure darkness, like floating on top of the deepest, darkest ocean and looking down into its unfathomable abyss.  It’s claustrophobic, it’s desolate, it’s overwhelming, and it’s pretty damn good.

The U.S. summer tour kicked off last week (dates below the jump) and check out the haunting song “Good Feelings”.

by Jane Jansen Seymour

14 Jun 2010


For months now I’ve been lusting after a new song by Hot Hot Heat. Never a big fan of the Vancouver group, I didn’t even know what band was playing when I first heard it on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic. “21@12” instantly caught my attention as I reached over to crank the volume and bask in the redemptive quality of discovering a really good tune. When I checked the playlist online I was disappointed to find out it was an advance copy, privy only to DJs to play on demand. I went on to request the song on other new music radio shows and searched the web for an MP3 just to be able to hear it again.

“21@12” opens by sounding an alarm of synths before the band kicks in with a roller coaster of pop rock. The blistering vocals provoke and cajole, espousing the virtues of not being virtuous late into the night.  Then the musicians drop out to catch a breath during a descending swirl, before the drums kick things back in for the catchy hook in every chorus.

KCRW has the entire CD Future Breeds available as part of their Album Preview program through June 29th. The write up says this latest release is a “return to roots” for the band after venturing into indie rock, back to the noisy synths during the genesis of the group in 1999. Not sure how these opportunities for a free listen are affecting sales but I welcome every one, digging into the whole thing like a kid with candy. Although this time, the preview just reinforced my assumption that “21@12” is a hit destined as a solo pick for my next playlist.

When Future Breeds finally came out June 8th, I happily purchased “21@12” online and look forward to many a listen – until the next new favorite tune catches my ear.

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Violin Virtuoso L. Subramaniam Mesmerizes in Rare New York Performance (Photos)

// Notes from the Road

"Co-presented by the World Music Institute, the 92Y hosted a rare and mesmerizing performance from India's violin virtuoso L. Subramaniam.

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