Latest Blog Posts

by Evan Sawdey

13 Jun 2011


[Video directed by J.C. Sciaccotta]

Colin Hay has had a remarkable career.  Actually, he’s had two of them.

The first one was as part of Men at Work, his merry group of Australian pop perfectionists who absolutely dominated the charts in the early 80s, winning a Grammy for Best New Artist while also conquering the charts with catchy hits like “Down Under” and “Who Can It Be Now?”  The band’s two subsequent albums failed to match the intense level of success that their first album Business as Usual achieved, and the group split shortly thereafter.

Colin Hay, however, was not a man to be idle for long, and in short time he was working on solo albums.  A prominent guest spot on the TV show Scrubs and a prominent placement on the soundtrack for the movie Garden State helped give Hay a whole second life to his career, and to this day he still tours and records.

Earlier in the year Hay released Gathering Mercury, one of the more emotional and subdued discs of his career, looking at his relationship with his father following his passing.  Prior to a show at Park West in Chicago, Hay sat down with PopMatters to discuss his new disc, the lawsuit over the flute line in “Down Under”, and so much more ...

by PopMatters Staff

13 Jun 2011


Sylvia Gordon is a musical chameleon changing personas and genres with a natural ease. She has previously worked with Moby and Spank Rock, as well as working in various projects like Art World Killer, Sylvia Black and Vivian Alive! As Betty Black, Gordon steps into the guise of a “Southern gothic chanteuse” channeling the girl pop of the 1960s. Gordon explains her approach, “I used musical elements from the late ‘50s and early ‘60s as the backdrop for this project since people tend to want to look back fondly on this period in the U.S. as a time of simple innocence. Not unlike a good David Lynch film, I wanted to use that illusion of innocence while uncovering its dark undercurrents… which will further reveal themselves in Betty Black EPs to come.” This June she is releasing her debut EP, Slow Dance, as Betty Black and you can sample her new music via the new tune premiering today, “Spring Blossoms”.

by Enio Chiola

10 Jun 2011


The video for Robyn‘s truly magnificent track (possibly the best from Body Talk, vol.3) is a simple one-take video where we see the electro pop artiste writhe around in an empty gym singing to the camera. The video is interesting enough, but not the direction I would have thought the video for this great song would take. Robyn isn’t Catherine Zeta-Jones, nor is she that great of a dancer, but that’s exactly her appeal—she’s a nerdy, sometimes geeky club kid, with a big heart and an incredible knack for singing the most astute lyrics. Did you ever suspect you would hear a song about stealing someone’s boyfriend that was sympathetic to the one being dumped? But that’s what Robyn does best, take ordinary situations that have turned clichéd in the pop world, and flip them on their head. What do you think about the video?

by PopMatters Staff

9 Jun 2011


Swedish twee-poppers, Acid House Kings, have long been a favorite around these parts and their latest record, Music Sounds Better With You, is no exception. John Bergstrom praised the group in March for “streamlining their signature summery pop, focusing more on uptempo songs and a high energy level”. “Would You Stay Stop?” is the band’s latest single, as addictive and irresistible as anything they’ve ever recorded. Bergstrom said it best, “If some pop goes in-one-ear-and-out-the-other, these two tunes (“Would You Stay Stop?” and “Are We Lovers Or Are We Friends”) simply swirl around your head until you’re dizzy, then flutter away.” Today we present the online premiere of a brand-new Perfect Nines remix of that slice of perfect pop confection.

by Sarah Zupko

9 Jun 2011


Photo: Todd Gallopo

Piano pop maestro Gabe Dixon spent a decade fronting the Gabe Dixon Band, an ensemble that found enormous mainstream success, with the bulk of their 2008 release, The Gabe Dixon Band, getting various TV and film licensing deals. Of course, in the new economy of the music industry, that’s the real path to sustained profitability. Now Dixon is forging out on his own and his first solo album, One Spark, will be releasing via Concord Music this coming August 23rd (full tracklist and EPK video below). Marshall Altman (producer for Marc Broussard, Matt Nathanson and Kate Voegele) approached Dixon about working together and they trekked off to London (good idea) to work on new material with Iain Archer (ex-Snow Patrol), James Walsh (Starsailor) and Ricky Ross (ex-Deacon Blue).

Heading to Los Angeles, Dixon enlisted a new band of supporting players and aimed for a spontaneous spirit in the recording process. Dixon describes the process: “When we got down to recording, we’d listen to the last pass from rehearsals and then cut the song for the album. We didn’t have a chance to over-think anything. We recorded it as we felt it, and I think that gives the tracks an immediacy and a freshness I’ve never had on record before. It was great to step back and give a little rein to Marshall and the musicians, spread it around and just see what happens.”

That fresh approach has yielded sparkling results as the single “My Favorite” illustrates. The tune is infectious and expansive, with the chorus lodging in your head and refusing to depart. Contemporary piano pop is made up of a lot more than Ben Folds and Gabe Dixon has staked his claim to the top of that mountain. Let the guessing begin… which TV show is going to pick up this tune first?

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Hitchcock's 'Suspicion', 'I Confess' and 'The Wrong Man' Return in Blu-ray

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"These three films on DVD from Warner Archives showcase different facets of Alfred Hitchcock's brilliance.

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