In the lead up to this year’s Pickathon, we’ve been sharing an exclusive series of videos from last year’s fest. One of the best things about Pickathon is its musical variety with indie rock nestling right up against Americana, hip-hop, and soul. It’s a potent mixture and the common denominator is that all of the acts are really good. Up today, we have a live performance from rock ‘n’ roller JD McPherson and band that’ll get you up off your seat and dancing around the cubicle. McPherson remains dedicated to the early rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly of the 1950s, updating and enlivening the music for a whole new generation.
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PopMatters is partnering with Pickathon, an independent Oregon music festival that features a stellar line-up of indie rock, hip-hop, soul, country and Americana. We are going to be bringing you an exciting series of exclusive videos over the coming months leading up to the festival dates, August 5th through the 7th.
Los Angeles based singer-songwriter Sunny Ozell got together with some friends to make a record that drew upon all her varied musical influences. Ozell recently performed the first single “Git Gone” from that record, Take It With Me, on New York City’s “Good Day” show ahead of the album’s U.S. release on April 1st. We’ve shared the video plus a few tracks from the album below. If you enjoy “Americana with soul”, you’ll probably enjoy the rollicking song and perhaps her whole record too. The album features her own material as well as covers of classic tunes (from the likes of Hank Williams and Ray Charles) that Ozell selected across its eleven tracks. While in town, Ozell treated a small crowd at Rockwood Music Hall to many of those songs a few days before her television appearance, and we have some pics from that to share too. She will be starting a string of shows in California through the end of the month so check her out in her home state if you can. You won’t be disappointed.
“It’s unbelievable.” The first words spoken in Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story sum up the horror about to unfold. Directed by Chris Sheridan and Patty Kim and released in 2006, the film tells a story that is alarming to this day. In 1977, 13-year-old Megumi was walking home from school in Nigata, Japan, and disappeared. Her mother, Megumi’s younger brother Tetsuya says, “Even though I was just a kid, I knew something big was happening.” Sakie, recalls worrying but not quite absorbing the profound loss before her. The camera hovers over the sidewalk where Megumi walked, looks up at tree branches that likely cast shadows over her. The sun sinks into a distant horizon, and a percussive soundtrack pulses, pushing forward, ever faster. The sea laps the shore, ominously.
Best of Enemies is a fascinating film about brilliant people behaving stupidly. It would be reassuring in a way to think that in the distant past, there was a time when American intellectuals could duke it out on the public stage before a mass audience held rapt by the sight and sound of ideas being wrestled into coherent form. We know such things don’t happen anymore. How many Americans can even name two intellectuals to have such a debate?
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