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by Cynthia Fuchs

23 Feb 2011


Martin Scorsese’s documentary makes clear how Fran Lebowitz both lives in and embodies New York City. Not only is she repeatedly pictured on sidewalks, in her favorite West Village restaurant (the Waverly Inn), or driving her 1978 Checker cab, but she also performs an attitude associated with the city. Sardonic, impatient, and incisive, she explains here how she came to her art—writing—as this is a function of her worldview. As a cabdriver, she says, she worked just enough to “hang out.” She goes on, “It’s very important for getting ideas or thinking new things, sitting in bars, smoking cigarettes: that’s the history of art.”

See PopMattersreview.

by Sarah Zupko

22 Feb 2011


New York’s Sleepy Rebels are an über-catchy pop trio who offer a timeless formula of infectious melodies, memorable choruses, and an intriguing visual look, never something to discount the importance of in pop music. The group is Jeremy Adelman along with siblings Bruce and Erica Driscoll. Not surprising given their sound, the band has put forth “positivity” as the basis of their message and music. We could all probably use a bit of that just about now as the political wars in the US and around the world flame on and lingering recession is putting a damper on what could be happier times. “Magic Girl” perfectly encompasses this upbeat aesthetic and the video’s producer, Powerful Company, has created a lovely depiction of the group as street performers in some vaguely 19th century setting. This is the first of several planned videos for Sleepy Rebels by this production group. Stay tuned for more and for the band’s May release of their album Yellow Tree.

by Cynthia Fuchs

22 Feb 2011


Wherever it begins or ends, Paul Green’s act is a compelling one. “My ego,” he says, “is as big as the whole universe. I invented something so I could be the best at it.” His invention, launched in 1998, is the Paul Green School of Rock Music. He means to teach his students how to rock, to absorb and spit out the rockin’ spirit typically attributed to the devil: Jack-Blackishly, he demands to know, “Do you love Satan?” That is, he wants the kids (ages eight to 18) to feel the awesome power of Music with a big M. Green’s irrepressible theory and practice are on display in Don Argott’s lively, smart, and weirdly enchanting 2005 documentary, Rock School. It screens at the IFC Center on 22 February at 8pm, as part of Stranger Than Fiction‘s Winter Season, followed by a Q&A with Argott.

See PopMattersreview.

by Jessy Krupa

21 Feb 2011


This Friday, many Beatles fans will be celebrating what would have been George Harrison’s 68th birthday. But he was far more than just “the quiet Beatle” who penned memorable hits; he was also a talented actor with a deep love of cinema, a loyal friend to many influential people, and a deeply spiritual man.

He started out life as a regular working-class kid in Liverpool, but things soon changed after meeting an older classmate on the bus who shared his love of American R&B and rockabilly music, Paul McCartney. He was so impressed by George’s guitar playing that he got him into his friends’ skiffle group, the Quarrymen.

by PopMatters Staff

21 Feb 2011


Kanye West continues his big-thinking ways in his video work with another mini-movie from the video meister Hype Williams. Rihanna and Kid Cudi make appearances in the video and the tune itself features vocals from a veritable who’s who of pop music, including Elton John, Alicia Keys and John Legend. This is West’s fourth single from the critically heralded My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which clocked in at #4 on our best album list last year.

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