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by PopMatters Staff

26 Jan 2012

Two Dark Birds frontman Steve Koester left the 24/7 lights of New York City well behind him and forged a new life deep in the Catskills recently. The move has given him a fresh musical lease on life and infused the band’s latest album, Songs For The New, with a new vibrancy. Or as Koester says, “this whole album is, in a sense, about being born… or being reborn.” The music draws from a vast wellspring of influences and sounds, including folk, Americana, R&B, and pysch rock, as well as employing a broad range of instrumentation, of which horns and strings are prominent.

Keeping with that theme, the new Scott Kawczynski-directed video for “Black Blessed Night” depicts the flight of a bird from the confines of the city to the freedom of nature in the mountains. Obviously, Koester is super pleased with his new residence. The song itself is described as being “about freedom and about how nature or music can pull you out of yourself.”

by Joseph Fisher

25 Jan 2012

I went to Disney World for the first time in my life in November 2011. At that time, I saw, in person, the Joy Division Mickey Mouse T-Shirt. Since I spent the days after the trip attempting to suppress all memories of dancing and singing animals, copious amounts of fried food, and dancing and singing animals eating copious amounts of fried food, I never wrote anything about the truly bizarre nature of this souvenir. So, of course, Pitchfork scooped me.

No matter. The more press this story gets, the better.

All I can add is that the thought of every roller coaster in the park playing Joy Division music—“It’s getting faster moving faster now… Lights are flashing, cars are crashing…”—is either one of the most horrible or most awesome thoughts ever. As they say in an election year, you decide. Cast your votes in the comments section.

by PopMatters Staff

24 Jan 2012

Soso is a rising Swedish singer with true pop star potential and if she plays her cards right, she could be the next heartthrob diva. She’s already drawing praise from Interview Magazine and RCRD LBL, who said “Soso is Swedish superpower composed of Monica Belluci’s face, Robyn’s voice and Adele’s heartbreak.” Her debut album, That Time I Dug So Deep I Ended Up in China will release this coming May 1st and “Who’s Gonna Love Me” is the catchy first single, which you can check out below. The first remix of the tune was produced by Ghost and today we present the premiere of the second remix by Helium Robots, which presents a more mellow vibe with a dreamy and cloudy haze over the song.

Here’s the original track and an additional remix…

by Jonathan Kosakow

24 Jan 2012


January in Colorado, to anyone who doesn’t live on the front range of the Rocky Mountains, seems like the coldest and stupidest time to be outside listening to music. But if you spend some time in or around Denver, you’ll know that’s not true. It might snow a foot on Monday, and hover between eight and ten degrees on Tuesday, but Wednesday, Thursday and Friday still have a chance of hitting 60. In fact, the entire winter is like one long game of frostbite roulette. On January 27, the first ever winter concert at the open air, naturally formed Red Rocks Amphitheater will take place, inviting 9,000 people to play this only-sane-if-you’re-in-Colorado game with some of hip hop’s finest – Atmosphere, Common, and Rocky Mountain State native Grieves. 

It’s the brainchild of Ben Anderson, founder of Icelantic Skis, who couldn’t wait to pair his love of winter with his love of summer. While Red Rocks is flocked to by thousands of concertgoers every summer, it is practically uninhabited during the colder months – except by the most extreme athletes found running the stairs in the thin air every morning. It’s a little crazy to think that the amphitheater will be full of people in snow gear rocking their arms back and forth as Atmosphere rhymes about Lucy Ford, or as Common waxes and wanes over water and chocolate, but it’s also completely believable. To everyone there, it’ll just be a matter of chance if they go home with blue fingers or if they have to shed a couple of layers. As always in Colorado, it’s a time for the risk takers, and there’s no telling what can happen.

by Sachyn Mital

23 Jan 2012

The Boss has an announcement. Bruce Springsteen is releasing a new album (his 17th), Wrecking Ball on Columbia Records in March (5th March UK, 6th March US). The album will was produced by Ron Aniello with Springsteen and includes appearances from Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and former Pearl Jam member, Matt Chamberlain as well as members of the E Street Band.

To coincide with the album, Springsteen has also announced a European Tour with plans for a US tour to come. He’ll be stopping by SXSW as a keynote speaker before then. And out now, is the lyric video for the first single, “We Take Care of Our Own”.

//Mixed media

The Moving Pixels Podcast Looks at the Scenic Vistas and Human Drama of 'Firewatch'

// Moving Pixels

"This week we consider the beautiful world that Campo Santo has built for us to explore and the way that the game explores human relationships through its protagonist's own explorations within that world.

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