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by Jennifer Cooke

23 Apr 2010

I miss regular-guy music. While I certainly appreciate arty, and theatrical, and over-the-top, sometimes I just want to rock out to some dudes who look and sound like they work a day job at Home Depot. The Gary, out of Austin, TX, fit this bill. I got hooked on their new single, “(Eyes in the) Taproom” because it reminded me of the Replacements and Uncle Tupelo and the Hold Steady, without exactly sounding like any of them. And if you can identify with songs about sitting on a crappy barstool night after night and wondering if you might just die on it, well then, so much the better. There’s a gritty, no-bullshit vibe about this band that is eminently relatable. No guyliner involved. The Gary just released their first full-length album, Logan, on Cedar Fever Records.  Find out more at their MySpace page.

The Gary
“(Eyes in the) Taproom” [MP3]

by Arnold Pan

23 Apr 2010

Raise your hand if you’re looking for a job, but think you’re overqualified and underappreciated, and likely not to be paid enough? McSweeney’s knows how you feel and they’re rubbing it in with a mock-up want-ad for the most work intensive and least rewarding unpaid internship ever. Some highlights include:

* Candidate should be an expert in ALL forms of social media and have a MINIMUM of 50,000 Twitter followers

* Bachelor degrees in communication, new media AND political science required. Masters Degree in Filmmaking preferred. PH.D. in Journalism, a plus. Candidates with a law degree will be given special consideration.

I know what you’re thinking: This parody doesn’t seem to be that much of an exaggeration when it comes to finding work these days.

“A Great Job Opportunity” (McSweeney’s)

by Sarah Zupko

23 Apr 2010

Gogol Bordello is a long-time PopMatters favorite, as we have a serious weakness in these parts for genre-bending music that draws from many of the world’s sounds and has an international sensibility. The New York gypsy punks release their toe-tapping and butt-shaking new album Trans-Continental Hustle this coming week and “Pala Tute” is the infectious lead-off tune.

In this short video, frontman and singer Eugene Hütz discusses the band’s love of recording in Brazil interspersed with live performance segments of this hyper-catchy song. This is feel-good gypsy party music, perfectly suited to the brighter times right around the corner as summer comes and the recession fades.

by PopMatters Staff

23 Apr 2010

Quentin B. Huff will be appearing on WNYC’s Soundcheck program today at 2.00pm EST along with Lah Tere of hip-hop group Rebel Diaz discussing women in hip-hop. Recently Huff wrote for PopMatters in “A Declaration for Female Emcees” that “hip-hop needs a women’s movement ala Seneca Falls. The Declaration of Sentiments used the Declaration of Independence as its structural model (in hip-hop we call that “sampling”).”

Here’s the description of the planned Soundcheck program: “Female emcees, or ‘femcees’, have always been a minority in hip-hop. But in this decade, they became almost an endangered species. The few women in the genre are not nearly as successful or engaged as rappers like Queen Latifah or Foxy Brown, who made inroads in the 1980s and ‘90s.

To examine this question we’re joined by Quentin B. Huff, who wrote a column about the issue for; and Lah Tere, a member of the Bronx-based hip-hop group Rebel Diaz. She is also the founder of Mommas Hip Hop Kitchen, an annual all female hip hop showcase.”

You can listen to the program online here.

by Diepiriye Kuku

23 Apr 2010

Twenty-ten’s Cop Out is chock full of age old western mythology told through the same bunch of modern consumerist stereotypical figures: the loud Negro side-kick, the estranged hard-working dad, the well-positioned step-father, the wife who still loves the guy…and his defeat of some random enemy that somehow proves his love for his daughter. How many times have we seen this movie? Ever notice how little agency women have in these films- just pawns. Indeed, this could describe far too many Hollywood blockbusters that I have seen over the past 30 years. So why all the rehashing?

In Cop Out, we see some of the classic stereotypes play out, and here’s why it’s important to speak about race, because it provides a frame to look at how all characters are rendered abstract for the sake of art. But is it really abstract? Not really. These are noticeably thin stereotypes around gender, class AND race, so to pick out any one characteristic would be disingenuous. For example, the caricature of ‘working class white guy’ into which Bruce Willis seems to fit neatly, is always a dumb brute of a dead-beat dad. Further, we’re asked to sympathize with the sacrifices he makes on the job, so we romanticize daddy’s absence. But the explosions and gun shots too often distract viewers from seeing how ridiculously men are portrayed on screen. For example, in this flick, why wasn’t Willis’ man enough to accept the damn money from the rich freak! Is his ego really so grand as to need to ‘give’ away his daughter with his last penny, even if it kills him? Obviously so, since that ego forms the plot of most of his flicks.

And why are we still so tied to gender-roles that few seem to question giving away a young maiden? How can she attain any independence in her conjugal relationship if she has no respect from her own folks!?! Isn’t this really why Alice chose Wonderland? Moreover, (and interestingly, both in the case of Alice as well as Willis’ daughter in this skin flick), this had nothing to do with daddy love. Neither men had the child’s welfare in mind, and the mom seemed to go where the money rules; here, just like in Taken and hoards of other movies, she is effectively Oedipus’ mother Jocasta, a wealthy queen unable to make any real decisions for herself, including the welfare of her own kids. Isn’t that a classic feminine stereotype? This had everything to do with a dick fight, and the women and children were the prizes. Seen 2012? Seen Taken? Seen so many of these flicks, it’s critical.

//Mixed media

Marina and the Diamonds Wrap Up U.S. Tour at Terminal 5 (Photos)

// Notes from the Road

"Marina's star shines bright and her iridescent pop shines brighter. Froot is her most solid album yet. Her tour continues into the new year throughout Europe.

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