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by Jimmy Callaway

4 May 2010

Volumes could be written about You Can’t Do That on Television, the Canadian kids’ show which ran in the States on the cable channel Nickelodeon all through the 1980s and into the ‘90s.  Subversive in its silliness as great comedy often is, YCDTOTV offered a brand of children’s sketch comedy that has yet to be duplicated to this writer’s knowledge. And the intro to the show fairly neatly captures all that makes the show itself great. 

The theme music is bizarrely catchy, an odd marching-band arrangement punctuated by screams. This gives a very definite Monty Python feel to the intro, as does the use of cut-out animation. Then, there is the cutting imagery of the “Children’s Television Sausage Factory”, mechanically cranking out “product” of child actors on an automated assembly line. This ought to resonate with anyone who has ever noticed how insultingly bland and rote a lot of children’s televison can be. Then, the kids are loaded onto a bus and cut loose in a TV studio. The face of Les Lye, the actor who played all of the adult male roles on the show, in various costumes and with various voices, is stamped with the show’s title. This is a fairly empowering image for the young viewer, a sort of “We’re Not Gonna Take It” for the Romper Room set.

One often wishes to take care to not tread down the glittery lane towards nostalgia, lest one gets stuck living in the past. So it is nice to see that something one grew up watching turned out to be far more layered and interesting than one could have articulated at the time.

Just watch for the green slime.

by Arnold Pan

4 May 2010

Wolf Parade
Expo 86
(Sub Pop)
Releasing: 29 June

There has probably never been a bigger week for fans of Canadian alt-rock collectives than this one. Not only have the new Broken Social Scene and New Pornographers albums hit the stores, but the first songs from the forthcoming Wolf Parade full-length, Expo 86, have been leaked. If you thought the group’s “difficult second album” At Mount Zoomer sounded sprawling, the two new tracks, streaming courtesy of Pitchfork, hint at something even more ambitious on Expo 86. Both “Ghost Pressure” and “What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had to Go This Way)” have almost proggish qualities to them that have smoothed out the scruffiness of Wolf Parade’s earlier work, even as the band’s sound seems as full and brimming over as ever. Expo 86 is set for release on June 29.

01 Cloud Shadow on the Mountain

02 Palm Road

03 What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had to Go This Way)

04 Little Golden Age

05 In the Direction of the Moon

06 Ghost Pressure

07 Pobody’s Nerfect

08 Two Men in New Tuxedos

09 Oh You, Old Thing

10 Yulia

11 Cave-o-Sapien

by Maria Schurr

4 May 2010

For your enjoyment—a (surprise surprise) string-laden return to form from the Divine Comedy, who release Bang Goes the Knighthood, their first album in four years, on May 31. Spot all the references in this song and you may just win the heart of the indie tart of your dreams at the discotheque.

by PopMatters Staff

3 May 2010

Christopher R. Weingarten delivers a humorous, but on-target, critique of the Internet hive mentality as relates to new music. True criticism is imperiled under the rush to be first and the move of blogs and websites to become virtual music and lifestyle marketers, rather than places for journalism and critical writing.

by Jonathan Simrin

3 May 2010

Dystopian portraits of our planet’s future continue to inspire today’s filmmakers, producing quality works ranging from Children of Men to District 9 to Wall-E. Wanuri Kahiu adds her short film, Pumzi, to this fascinating genre, exploring a world ravaged by water shortages that forces East African survivors to live in contained communities. Pumzi follows its protagonist, who must protect a germinating seed from government officials. Earlier this year, Wired did a piece on the short film and Kahiu, a promising filmmaker in Kenya’s evolving film industry.

//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

READ the article