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by William Carl Ferleman

15 Sep 2010

The Smashing Pumpkins have released “Spangled”, the second song from the band’s forthcoming EP Teargarden By Kaleidyscope Volume 2: The Solstice Bare . “Spangled” is a brief but rather endearing love song, and more particularly, it underscores singer Billy Corgan’s impressive vocal ingenuity. His softer side is definitely on display here. For a chance to win a Fender guitar signed by Corgan, donate to Sweet Relief, an organization that helps musicians that have serious conditions.

by PopMatters Staff

14 Sep 2010

Los Angeles’ Loch & Key was actually conceived in a French launderette, the South of France setting somehow matching the sunny vibes of their Southern California roots to a tee. Meanwhile, the pair that make up the group, former American Music Club member Sean Hoffman and artist Leyla Akdogan, trekked off to Catalonia in Span to pen the first tune for their new musical venture. What a picture perfect beginning for a dose of pure and summery AM pop flavors. The band’s debut album is called Jupiter’s Guide for Submariners and today you can sample the oh-so-whimsically titled ” A Rather Large, Television-Shaped Head” from the release.

by Russ Slater

14 Sep 2010

El Guincho’s first album Alegranza identified him as one to watch, marrying upbeat indie pop music, in the vein of Animal Collective or Air France, with a whole world of influences including tropicália, afro beat and salsa. He continued that rich vein of form with the recent Piratas de Sudamerica EP, in which he covered some of his favourite latin classics in an indie style that he hoped would get more people interested in these artists that he grew up listening to.

Pop Negro will attempt to continue the great publicity he received for his first album. It was deemed “Best New Music” by Pitchfork upon release, obviously quite a high accolade for an artists released on the small Young Turks label, and especially for an artists singing in Spanish. Thankfully you can get an idea of what the album will sound like before buying due to this live stream, provided by Remezcla Musica.

by Victor P. Corona

13 Sep 2010

The Yahoo! commercial set to Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights” shows a young office drone escaping his dull gray world via a purple door bearing the company’s logo. The Yahoo! entertainment news portal thereby releases him into the magical realm of modern fame, a world of limousines, red carpets, music video shoots, Jacuzzis, and, of course, the flashing lights of the paparazzi. Actual celebrity photographers have probably grown accustomed to their subjects’ middle fingers as well as the smiles and waves of the would-be famous. On August 31st, the anniversary of Princess Diana’s fatal car accident, the paparazzi also encountered the restraining hand of the state. The California State Assembly passed a measure that imposes a heavy fine and up to a year in jail for violating existing traffic laws “with the intent to capture any type of visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression of another person for a commercial purpose” (Assembly Bill No. 2479). In reporting news of the bill’s passage, blogs vigorously circulated a 2008 video of Kate Moss being mobbed by photographers at LAX. The sight of a 5’7” woman shielding her children from a massive pack of paparazzi might make even the Yahoo! ad’s would-be star yearn for the solace of his cubicle.

Three days after the bill’s passage, Lady Gaga released a video called “The Left Eye” through, a “fashion and art internet broadcasting channel” created by the British photographer Nick Knight. Shot from her point of view, the short video offers a rare sense of what it means to be the subject of the blinding blur of flashes, to have one’s “physical impression” be so desired and so profitable. Amid the clamor of paparazzi calling her name, one hears the frenzied cry of a fan, quickly followed by the hush of a plush hotel lobby. Just a year ago, at the start of her performance of “Paparazzi” during the MTV Video Music Awards, Gaga sang, “Amidst all of these flashing lights I pray the fame won’t take my life.” This prayer apparently went unanswered, given that her performance concluded with a bloody simulated hanging. For this year’s VMAs, to be broadcast on Sunday night, Gaga has earned the most nominations ever received in a single year and is now “the number one pop star in the world,” as Kanye described her in a recent tweet. The middle fingers that she offered to the paparazzi at a Mets game this past June made clear that Gaga shared other celebrities’ annoyance at the camera lenses and shutter clicks that are in step with their every public movement. But if pop commentators’ predictions of Gaga sweeping Sunday’s VMAs prove accurate, those flashing lights will only multiply and grow brighter.

by Chris Catania

13 Sep 2010

The Gorillaz concept album Plastic Beach has been coming to life in Europe these past few months, and now their quest for total Northern Hemisphere domination continues as the Escape To Plastic Beach Tour looks to conquer North America this fall.

Confirmed as support for the North American dates, N.E.R.D. will join the tour at Boston’s Agganis Arena and will be performing all the North American dates except Montreal, QC and Wallingford, CT.

Who’s joining the Gorillaz crew on this side of the pond? The current “partial” line up of guests scheduled to appear on the tour includes: Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Bashy, Little Dragon, De La Soul,  Roses Gabor, Bootie Brown, Bobby Womack, Kano, Miho Hatori (to appear in Los Angeles and NYC only).

The Gorillaz Plastic Beach band, which features Mick Jones and Paul Simonon of the Clash, will only be appearing in select cities. You can visit for a full list of scheduled appearances.

And to get fans ready for the tour, a live chat on Ustream and Facebook will be happening this week. The interactive and virtual preview will be hosted by fictional character/bass player of Gorillaz Murdoc will be chatting live from Plastic Beach on Thursday, September 16th at 5pm EST, 10pm London BST via Ustream. It can also be viewed on the band’s Facebook page, You can submit your questions in advance via Twitter using the hashtag #gorillazlive.

//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

READ the article