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by Darren Ratner

3 Feb 2010


With all the talking set to surround the 2010 Oscar nominations, the loudest chatter (at least for a few days to a week) is typically about the snubs. And which film was snubbed the hardest this year? Crazy Heart, by many miles. Never has an actor, Jeff Bridges, made a downtrodden, whiskey-worshiping country singer look so insatiably cool. Although the film’s concept seems less-than-original, Bridge’s performance, along with that of the vivacious Maggie Gyllenhaal, keeps you riveted from start to finish.

Put Crazy Heart in place of District 9, I say. Those stupid aliens have nothing on Bad Blake.

by PopMatters Staff

3 Feb 2010


Gil Scott-Heron
I’m New Here
(XL)
Releasing: 9 February

Spoken word artist and poet Gil Scott-Heron was a massive influence on the development of hip-hop. His socially and politically conscious work of the late ‘60s and ‘70s and performance style strongly anticipated the more brainy styles of rap and even less obvious genres such as acid jazz. Next week Scott-Heron releases his first album in 13 years with I’m New Here and the first video has hit the Internet. Plus, you can stream the whole album below.

SONG LIST
01 On Coming from a Broken Home (Pt. 1)
02 Me and the Devil
03 I’m New Here
04 Your Soul and Mine
05 Parents (Interlude)
06 I’ll Take Care of You
07 Being Blessed (interlude)
08 Where Did the Night Go
09 I Was Guided (Interlude)
10 New York Is Killing Me
11 Certain Things (Interlude)
12 Running
13 The Crutch
14 I’ve Been Me (Interlude)
15 On Coming from a Broken Home (Pt. 2)

by PopMatters Staff

2 Feb 2010


Tom McRae
The Alphabet of Hurricanes
(Cooking Vinyl)
Releasing: 22 February (UK), 16 March (US)

British master song craftsman Tom McRae releases his fifth album this March and the first free MP3 is now available.

SONG LIST
01 Still Love You
02. A Is for…
03. Won’t Lie
04. Summer of John Wayne
05. Told My Troubles to the River
06. American Spirit
07. Please
08. Out of the Walls
09. Me & Stetson
10. Can’t Find You
11. Best Winter
12. Fifteen Miles Down River

Tom McRae
“Out of the Walls” [MP3]
     

by Jonas Jacobs

2 Feb 2010


I recently made a mix of songs for an old friend where I tried in some way to intellectually and emotionally pool together my interests and passions while still lazily escaping any explanation for myself. 

I remember when OutKast’s Speakerboxx/The Love Below came out senior year of high school, in 2004. It seemed to be the one CD that really made a splash with everyone. My high school was in the heart of Los Angeles, and whether you were taking the bus in from Crenshaw or studying hard for the AP tests, you were bumping OutKast. If you were all about thug life, Big Boi’s Speakerboxx was your thing. If you were more of the sensitive type, The Love Below was the realest thing on the radio in a long ass time.

There’s a deep track on The Love Below called “She’s Alive”. In looking for a mixed media representation of the song, it makes sense that I’ve found a take on the song that mixes in another element of adolescent fun. I used to play The Sims religiously. In fact, anything that Will Wright and Maxis came out with immediately entered my computer game-playing rotation. So, here’s a video of a deep track from The Love Below, “She Lives in My Lap”, set to a certain YouTube user’s homemade Sims video.

by PopMatters Staff

2 Feb 2010


Peter Gabriel
Scratch My Back
(Virgin)
Releasing: 15 February

Peter Gabriel’s long buzzed about covers album is about to be released and Gabriel has made his cover of the Bon Iver tune” Flume” available as a free download in exchange for your e-mail address.

SONG LIST
Disc: 1
01 Heroes (David Bowie)
02 The Boy in the Bubble (Paul Simon)
03 Mirrorball (Elbow)
04 Flume (Bon Iver)
05 Listening Wind (Talking Heads)
06 The Power of the Heart (Lou Reed)
07 My Body Is a Cage (Arcade Fire)
08 The Book of Love (The Magnetic Fields)
09 I Think It’s Going to Rain Today (Randy Newman)
10 Apres Moi (Regina Spektor)
11 Philadelphia (Neil Young)
12 Street Spirit (Fade Out) (Radiohead)

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Call for Papers: Do You Believe in Life After Auto-Tune?

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"Which is better, Cher’s voice before or after Auto-Tune?

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