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by PopMatters Staff

20 Jul 2010


The nominations for the UK’s coveted Mercury Prize have been announced and include a couple PopMatters favorites like the xx, Foals, I Am Kloot, and Paul Weller. Below is the full list along with our ratings, reviews and videos for each release. We’re betting that London’s the xx is going to nab the ultimate honor, but UK bookmakers William Hill are declaring even odds between the xx and Dizzee Rascal. It just doesn’t feel like Dizzee Rascal’s year, as all the momentum has been with the xx and they’ve got far more critical acclaim behind their self-titled debut than Dizzee’s recent effort.

by Ryan Reed

18 Jul 2010


Appalachian Voices, a folk group comprised of singer-songwriter Daniel Martin Moore, cellist/vocalist Ben Sollee, and, most famously, singer/songwriter/guitarist Yim Yames (The Artist Formerly Known as Jim James) of My Morning Jacket, is about to embark on a nine-date tour of the US, starting on July 22nd at the Opera House in Lexington, Kentucky.

Solle and Moore released an album, Dear Companion earlier this year (produced by James), but this month marks the first live performances of this trio formation. 

However, there’s more than just pretty music here—there’s a message, too.  The venture is hoped to raise public awareness about the controversial practice of Mountaintop Removal coal mining, which takes place throughout Appalachia.

According to James’ website, “a portion of the proceeds from the tour will benefit Appalachian Voices, for which the tour was named, an organization devoted to ending mountaintop removal coal mining together with diverse environmental problems impacting the central and southern Appalachian Mountains.”

Be sure to catch them for one of these unique and intimate performances.

07/22/10   Lexington, KY The Opera House US
07/23/10   Knoxville, TN The Bijou Theater US
07/25/10   Charleston, WV Mountain Stage US
07/26/10   Marlinton, WV Pocahontas Opera House US
07/27/10   Charlottesville, VA Jefferson Theater US
07/29/10   Woodstock, NY Bearsville Theater US
07/30/10   New York, NY Music Hall Of Williamsburg US
With Special Guest The Preservation Hall Jazz Band
07/31/10   Newport, RI   Newport Folk Festival   US (Yim Yames Solo)
8/01/10       Newport, RI Newport Folk Festival US (Ben and Daniel)

by Matt Mazur

14 Jul 2010


The Film Society of Lincoln Center celebrates Ken Russell from July 30-August 5, 2010. Regarded as British cinema’s greatest enfant terrible, he’s also an English national treasure. Russell created an intensely imaginative visual language to tell his stories—employing a style that is as poetic as it is ferocious.

Screenings include: The Boy Friend; The Devils; Lisztomania; Mahler; The Music Lovers; Savage Messiah; Tommy; Valentino; and Women in Love.

Join The Film Society of Lincoln Center for six personal audiences with the legendary Ken Russell, British Cinema’s madcap visionary maverick, in person at all evening screenings.

Tickets are on sale Thursday July 15.

by Chris Catania

8 Jul 2010


The surprise show is one of the greatest things that can happen to a concert fan. And one of the reasons I love surprise concerts is because they catch fans completely off guard. Whether the surprise concert lasts for only one song or goes on for an entire set, fans always get lifted off their feet. So, let’s see how Lenny Kravitz, Robert Plant, Jimmy Buffet and Dr. Dre and Timbaland set their fans floating home on cloud nine.

Ask any concert fan and they’ll tell you nothing beats being surprised at a show when one of your favorite artists walks on stage unexpectedly. Because the moment is so intense and unbelievable, the surprise concert instantly becomes unique from any other concert that you’ve experienced before.

I don’t know if it’s just that time of year, but these last few weeks have been prime time for surprising concert fans all over the globe. So, here’s a list of artists who gave their fans a memorable moment of rock and awe.

by Jessy Krupa

1 Jul 2010


This past Sunday night, the Daytime Emmy Awards managed to do something that many televised awards ceremonies only try to do: create a truly moving moment.

The show set aside nearly ten minutes to honor TV personality Dick Clark and the show he hosted for nearly 32 years, American Bandstand. Friend and business associate Ryan Seacrest ushered in video clips containing words of praise from Garth Brooks, Cher, Frankie Avalon, American Idol’s Simon Cowell, and Barry Manilow, whose “Bandstand Boogie” served as the show’s theme song from the 1970s onward, and others. After Tony Orlando, Marie Osmond, Chubby Checker, the Spinners, and the cast of Jersey Boys gathered together to sing that theme, the cameras cut to Dick Clark. He was so moved that he began to cover his face with his hand to hide the tears.

As CBS cut to a commercial break, I first wondered why this was a part of the Daytime Emmys, of all shows. It was only then that I realized that years ago, Bandstand aired during the afternoon. Looking back on all of the musical history that show contained, and looking to what modern daytime TV is, I was shocked. Although there has several attempts to bring the show back since its cancellation in 1989, none of them has succeeded. In 2005, some of these efforts resulted in FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance, but that show barely resembles the original. 

The real question is why we haven’t seen a similar tribute on other, music-themed award shows. The American Music Awards, produced by Dick Clark Productions, probably doesn’t want to seem like its honoring a part of itself, while the Grammy’s seem to be reluctant to link musical history with television history, despite the fact that their ceremonies are televised. Either way, The 37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards’ have laid down the gauntlet on how tributes should be done.

//Mixed media
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St. Vincent, Beck, and More Heat Up Boston Calling on Memorial Day Weekend

// Notes from the Road

"With vibrant performances by artists including St. Vincent and TV on the Radio, the first half of the bi-annual Boston Calling Festival brought additional excitement to Memorial Day weekend.

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