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by PopMatters Staff

12 Sep 2011


Bad Sports’ three-chord, ever-so-slightly-punky, hook-filled pop recalls late ‘70s British pop-punk with a vengeance and this new tune “Can’t Just Be Friends” evokes the tuneful blast of Northern Ireland’s the Undertones most specifically. And they are even a power trio like Britpop gods, the Jam. But this contemporary band hails from the currently fertile musical hotspot of Denton, Texas, not from across the pond. Bad Sports wowed the crowds at SXSW this year and are headed out on the road this fall for a high energy tour. The band’s latest album is Kings of the Weekend, which came out last month via Dirtnap Records.

by Cynthia Fuchs

9 Sep 2011


On September 11, 2001 the Sodhi brothers’ lives changed forever. They were frightened not only by the terrorist attacks, but also by what happened after the attacks. The first few moments of Tami Yeager’s earnest, intelligent documentary, A Dream in Doubt, show why: menacing graffiti (“Kill Muslims 9/11”) and TV reports that underlined the “difference” embodied by the bearded and turbaned Osama bin Laden. Sikhs who emigrated from Punjab to the United States in order to escape persecution, they were now targeted by their fellow Americans, perceived as “terrorists.” On 15 September 2001, Rana’s oldest brother Balbir was shot and killed in Mesa, Arizona. Rana’s nine-year-old son Satpreet describes what happened: “My uncle was talking to some people at his gas station, some man came up and shot him.” While Satpreet expresses a child’s grief and wonder at what’s happened, the adults around him, primarily Rana, struggle what it means to live in America. The film airs on Global Voices on September 11. 

See PopMattersreview.

by Jane Jansen Seymour

9 Sep 2011


Ten different station IDs were created for MTV, but it was the fuzzy progression of power chords used for the station launch that became its iconic signature. Guitarist Ray Foote was on the road in North Carolina with his band, Control Group, when he was booked for his first commercial session. A classmate from Bennington College, Jonathon Elias, was given the task to write several musical cues for the new Warner Brothers channel along with his partner at the time, John Peterson. Elias had always liked the way Foote played guitar, so he invited him to the New York City recording session at RPM studios on 12th Street in Greenwich Village. Foote remembers walking into the professional studio in awe of all the latest equipment and hip vibe. He brought along his Vulcan guitar with a Marshall head, earning $200 for the day (which lasted well into the night).

“Nobody had any idea how big it was going to be,” says Foote, reflecting on the day. “It was just a little gig.” The first time he saw the moon man footage was on television with everyone else. Foote is the co-founder of Big Foote Music + Sound in New York City, specializing in branded music for all media.  The Vulcan guitar still hangs on the wall of his Union Square studios.

by Timothy Gabriele

8 Sep 2011


“You Know You Like It” is pitch-perfect weird pop, the kind of thing that would stand a chance against Chris Brown and Drake in any other era but our own, with its arbitrary and somewhat nonsensical rules. I’ve given up on waiting to hear things like this on the radio. There’s a way in which the title phrase with its addendum of “...but it drives you insane” can be proscribed onto those clueless station programmers who won’t notice the acute skills of novice George Reid’s IDM ‘n’ purple dubstep-honed production skills and Aluna Francis’s unusual voice, a peculiar blend of Baby Fox’s Christine Leach and a more Brit Britney. This single is about to drop on Super Recordings, the label run by the ever-excellent Raffertie (who has also remixed the below tune). Hopefully, this entry will serve as a historical document of how wrong I was. I would enjoy that much.

Oh yeah, in case you were wondering, the black and white video of Francis dancing with herself is pretty killer too.

by Stuart Henderson

8 Sep 2011


140. That’s how many movies are attributed to John Ford over his 50 years in Hollywood. It’s an absurd number, almost impossible to imagine. How does one compare a filmmaker who was prolific to this extreme to someone as stingily unproductive as Terrence Malick? Indeed, and this is the most amazing part, even though most of us has never seen even half of these films (many are lost), what we are left with are at least a few dozen unassailable masterpieces. For a man who was tireless, obviously overworked, tied to a studio system which had him churning out picture after picture at breakneck speed for decades, John Ford managed to compile an unparalleled list of unqualified successes.

Read the rest of the entry within our 100 Essential Directors series.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

U2's 'The Joshua Tree' Tour Reminds the Audience of their Politics

// Notes from the Road

"The Joshua Tree tour highlights U2's classic album with an epic and unforgettable new experience.

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