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by Alistair Dickinson

29 Apr 2010

DJ and world-music enthusiast Gilles Peterson takes record-collecting to another level when he visits Havana, Cuba to check out a local record shop. He made a video of his visit to this “goldmine” to help support his upcoming album of Cuban-urban music. Watch it to learn a pro-tip or two from this über-crate-digger, or to see him act like an (adorably nerdy) kid in a candy-shop.

by PopMatters Staff

29 Apr 2010

Loam Arcane
(Hidden Shoal Recordings)
Releasing: Out now

Boxharp are Scott Solter (producer/engineer for the likes of Spoon, the Mountain Goats, John Vanderslice, and St. Vincent) and Wendy Allen (Tarentel, the Ballustrade Ensemble). Their latest release, Loam Arcane, is an EP of two halves. The hallucinogenic pop of the first half springs to vivid life with opener “FanFin”, which ricochets with disorientating beats and refracted vocal melodies as if some sort of life-sized zoetrope. Sparkling single “Rainbirds” follows, interweaving ambient textures with Wendy Allen’s pure vocals, giving way to a harmonised middle eight. The melodies return, crested by sparkling, wavering tones –- and then it’s over.

In the second, more abstract and haunting, half of the EP, the stunning “The Postcard” slowly dissolves the floor from under your feet. The track plays out like a consoling friend who turns into gas just as you need them most. And finale “Who Are Your People (South Shoal)” is a marriage of rhythmic bark, distant ghosted fauna and warm, flowing synths—slow motion tribal music for electric ghosts.

01 FanFin
02 Rainbirds
03 The Postcard
04 Who Are Your People

by Jonathan Simrin

29 Apr 2010

If television has taught us anything, it’s that teen angst is about as enduring a theme as police corruption and overbearing in-laws. Just ask Ryan Murphy, who has seemed to make a nice career out of it, with his bygone WB series Popular and his current Sue Sylvester-ific Glee. Yet, with so many high school shows out there, is there still room for innovation? MTV thinks so and it seems to be ripping a page from one of HBO’s newest dramedies.

The Hard Times of RJ Berger, premiering in June, follows the life of its protagonist, RJ, an awkward, pale guy with glasses who’s just trying to get by in high school. Sexually adventurous parents, bullying jocks, cougar moms with hidden agendas, and rigged school elections are just some of the obstacles he must face. It all sounds pretty typical high school fare, except for the fact that RJ happens to be particularly well-endowed and that seems to be one of his defining characteristics. If the trailer is any indicator, the show has some promise.

by PopMatters Staff

29 Apr 2010

The new Band of Horses album Infinite Arms drops on 18 May and the group has just released their new video to MySpace. Upcoming tour highlights include appearances at JazzFest in New Orleans, the Beale Street Festival in Memphis and dates at Madison Square Garden and Sasquatch.

by Paul Gregory Alms

29 Apr 2010

Avi Buffalo is a quartet from Long Beach, California who puts out sweet, happy, guitar pop music. They are led by 19-year-old frontman Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg. You’ve heard this kind of thing before, but not often is it this well done. Plus, the lyrics carry a bit of a melancholy edge. The CD is out now on Sub Pop and here is a free MP3 of the single “What’s in It For?”

//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