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Thursday, Sep 10, 2009
by PopMatters Staff

These United States
Everything Touches Everything
(United Interests)
Released: 1 September


SONG LIST
01 I Want You to Keep Everything
02 Will It Ever
03 Everything Touches Everything
04 Night & the Revolution
05 The Secret Door
06 Conquest & Consequence
07 I’m Gonna Assemble a City
08 Good Bones
09 The Important Thing
10 End
11 Good Night Wish


These United States release their third full length album in 18 months with Everything Touches Everything.


These United States
“Everything Touches Everything” [MP3]
     


WOXY Session [MP3]
     



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Thursday, Sep 10, 2009
by PopMatters Staff

Richard Hawley
Truelove’s Gutter
(Mute)
Releasing: 22 September


SONG LIST
01 As the Dawn Breaks
02 Open Up the Door
03 Ashes on the Fire
04 Remorse Code
05 Don’t Get Hung Up in Your Soul
06 Soldier On
07 For Your Lover Give Some Time
08 Don’t You Cry



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Thursday, Sep 10, 2009
by PopMatters Staff

Gates of Slumber
Hymns of Blood and Thunder
(Rise Above)
Releasing: 29 September


SONG LIST
01 Chaos Calling
02 Death Dealer
03 Beneath the Eyes of Mars
04 The Doom of Aceldama
05 Age of Sorrow
06 The Bringer of War
07 Descent Into Madness
08 Iron Hammer
09 The Mist in the Mourning
10 Blood and Thunder


Gates of Slumber
“Blood and Thunder” [MP3]
     



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Thursday, Sep 10, 2009

Interpolators of literature always try to figure out how we, as readers, glean the book in our hands. Arguments between the likes of Harold Bloom and the New Critics in the ‘50s, whose polemics on whether the book should be read and analyzed for what it is—or taking into account external sources, such as the author’s life—still divide academics today. Then there’s the recluse Thomas Pynchon.


So far, what we have derived about the man on our own terms has been kept to a minimum. Pynchon is painted as a cult literary icon, perpetuated by his classic cache of post modernist literature that inspires fear in the heart and tires the brain, most notably the archetypal Gravity’s Rainbow. To this day, Pynchon maintains a badass status. Pynchon’s relentless protection of his private life gives him more street cred and elevates the mythology surrounding him. Whether this is an emblematic projection, a dogma many writers quietly circumscribe to, or me just being a troglodyte of the media, Pynchon inherits the lineage of writer as vocation, not as celebrity. But when Pynchon himself gives us a small window into his brilliant mind, we must take whatever we can get. In this case, it’s his iPod tracklist.


Released just last August, Pynchon’s new novel Inherent Vice is a comical distillation of the crime fiction genre. The profile of our hero speaks for itself: Name: Larry (Doc) Sportello. Occupation:  Detective and lover of the gonge. Mission:  Investigate the whereabouts of ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend, a prominent land developer. As the action unfolds, Sportello’s case takes detours into the post apocalyptic noir of Pynchon’s familial pedigree. Set against the backdrop of L.A. at the end of the ‘60s, Inherent Vice makes you feel the heat of a strange kind of Americana slowly dying.


Music plays a vital role in coloring the atmospherics of this novel. The plethora of musical allusions span the gamut, from legendary prog rockers the Doors, to obscure surf music from the likes of the Bonzo Dog Band, to the Grand Dame of the Broadway Stage, Ethel Merman. Pynchon compiled the comprehensive soundtrack himself for Amazon.com, with over 20 eclectic tracks all referenced in Inherent Vice.


These songs are by no means a substitute to secrets revealed, or a tell all interview Oprah style, but it does feed, however sparingly, an army of Pynchonphiles who have been hungry for decades. Here’s a partial track listing of the songs in Inherent Vice, the full list can be found on Inherent Vice‘s page on Amazon, a promo trailer for Inherent Vice narrated by Pynchon, and a video of Ethel Merman’s “There’s No Business Like Show Business”:


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Thursday, Sep 10, 2009

Mica Levi’s Jewellry has garnered accolades because of its beautifully constructed bizarreness, a synecdoche of pop atonality.Yesterday, the 21-year-old Levi, performing under the stage name Micachu, released the video for “Turn Me Well”. Ethereal and hypnotic, “Turn Me Well” spellbinds one into sonic reverie: the jagged rip of a chainsaw becomes a clutter of clanks and grimy fuzz becomes a twinkle of a triangle. Yet these incongruous panoply of sounds are made sensible under Levi’s voice, a reverberating chant of disillusionment and just being fed up. With allusions to the mendacity and haplessness of the seasons, “Turn Me Well” makes you feel a desire strung out way too long, left totally derailed. Verses like, “Get to me and turn me well, I’m a tired soul,” get embedded into your consciousness. At a little under three minutes, “Turn Me Well” is a gorgeously sculpted vignette of music, moodily psychedelic, but no less revelatory.



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