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by Alan Ranta

4 May 2011


After four years of honing her skills in the Australian outback, guitar goddess Abbe May is set to destroy the entire rock world. Her new solo album Design Desire is bursting with the most righteous and gnarly blues-laced guitar sound this side of the White Stripes and the Pack a.d., drifting majestically beneath honest, take-no-prisoners vocals dripping with tasteful effects. This record is destined to break 2011 wide open with truth-bombs. The proof is in the video for the record’s title track, with an rising scale guitar line, deliciously teased bridge and half-time break down, and reverb laden vocals. Heavy, man.

Abbe May “Design Desire”:

by William Carl Ferleman

4 May 2011


Lady Gaga recently performed her latest single, “Judas”, on Ellen. This must have been something of a scandal for William Donohue, Catholic League President and aspiring music journalist. Music fans had to hear his drivel just prior to Easter Sunday in The Daily Mirror: “She is trying to rip off Christian idolatry to shore up her talentless, mundane and boring performances.” (For the record, Lady Gaga is Catholic herself.)

No, sorry, Mr. Donohue, the actual scandal on Easter Sunday was the fact that Catholics, thanks to Maureen Dowd, had to read about a former bishop in Belgium who admitted to child abuse and, too, that during John Paul’s tenure, he apparently turned the other cheek when it came to pedophilia within the priesthood. And Lady Gaga’s performances are not boring.

by Alan Ranta

3 May 2011


Since 2009, Asthsmatic Kitty has been quietly issuing installments in the Library Catalog Music series. With this series, the home of Sufjan Stevens, Jookabox, Fol Chen, and many other genre-bending freak pop artists has easily maintained its standing on the cutting edge of contemporary independent music. Case in point, the label handed the keys to their catalog over to young Jib Kidder, also known as California A/V artist Sean Schuster-Craig, who promptly turned around and reconstituted microsamples of dozens of tracks into stunning new glitch-hop compositions using just a turntable, editing, and respatializing EFX (i.e., reverb, delay). These works are much closer to warm and funky side of Prefuse 73 and Daedelus than the overhyped ADD of Girl Talk. Going one further, Jib made a video for “Blue” also from existing label materials. Suffice to say, Asthmatic Kitty is still at the top of its game. May the Library Catalog Music series never end.

by Timothy Gabriele

3 May 2011


This is probably more of a promo than an actual video as it does truncate the original song, leaving it feeling a bit incomplete. Maybe this teaser though will be enough to hep you to LuckyMe’s Jacques Greene though. For all the sensuality inherent in two-step/future garage, Greene may be the only one openly trying to be the scene’s Sebastian Tellier. From his excellent EP titled The Look, the “Tell Me” video features plenty of women giving “the look”, either seductively or longingly or cathartically. Like the song, it’s relatively simple, but far from dull. Tell me what you like? This, please. Oh, and Greene has already released another EP featuring remixes of The Look EP and a great new song called “Another Girl”.

by Evan Sawdey

3 May 2011


It certainly took Ben Ottewell a long time to get around to releasing a solo album.  Perhaps it was that first solo tour that threw people off ...

Indeed, while other members of the acclaimed rock outfit Gomez worked on side projects and solo albums during Gomez’s downtime, Ben Ottewell went a different route.  First, he spent a nice slice of the late 2000s doing solo acoustic tours just for the heck of it, playing a mixture of cover songs and Gomez staples, much to fans’ delight.  Yet Ottewell wound up enjoying the experience so much that he soon began prepping songs for his own solo effort, the result of which is the largely acoustic (and quietly beautiful) Shapes & Shadows, which was released earlier this year.

PopMatters caught up to Ottewell when he took his solo acoustic show Schuba’s out in Chicago, and he wound up discussing the genesis of his album, how he doesn’t really have any beef with the Second City, and how he is proud to not have to take on a normal job ...

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Double Take: 'The French Connection' (1971)

// Short Ends and Leader

"You pick your feet in Poughkeepsie, and we pick The French Connection for Double Take #18.

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