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by Jessy Krupa

22 Jul 2010


Anyone familiar with last year’s breakout success Owl City knows the story of how it came to be. Insomniac factory worker Adam Young retreated to his parents’ basement to record catchy synth-pop tunes and happened to share his music with others through the internet. When Universal Republic records saw the attention his creations were getting, they quickly signed him, under the name of “Owl City”, to an album deal.

This is where a lot of “instant star” stories end, but it turns out that was only the beginning. His single, “Fireflies” became an unlikely No.1 hit and his Ocean Eyes album sold so well, it warranted a bonus “deluxe edition” release.

Now the original basement recordings that he first experimented with have been released under the name of Sky Sailing. An Airplane Carried Me to Bed was released as a digital-only download album this week, but Adam Young is giving listeners a free MP3 download of one of the album’s tracks, “Tennis Elbow”. For a limited time, those who sign up for his official e-mail newsletter will receive the link. 

“Tennis Elbow” is similar to Owl City’s light, airy electronic melodies, but it also incorporates acoustic guitar. Some of the lyrics are similar to those of “The Bird & The Worm”, but this has a more subdued, dreamy quality to it. However, the same lyrical imagery and quirky wordplay that Owl City fans are used to is here. As proof of this, most of the YouTube videos devoted to the song feature the lyrics in some form.

by J.M. Suarez

21 Jul 2010


Pearl Jam premiered two videos yesteday: “Unthought Known” live from Berlin and “Amongst the Waves”. 

“Unthought Known” is directed by Wes C. Addle, a pseudonym used by Eddie Vedder, and features the band performing for a huge audience of enthusiastic fans in Berlin. As always, the band knows how to put on a show and their energy translates easily to the crowd.

Pearl Jam has always exhibited an affinity for the ocean with Vedder as an avid surfer and numerous songs on the subject (“Oceans”, “Big Wave”) and “Amongst the Waves” is only the most recent song to highlight this. The third single from Backspacer, the video for “Amongst the Waves” contains some beautifully shot footage of the ocean interspersed with performance clips. The band is surely making a strong statement in favor of ocean conservation, particularly in the wake of the BP oil disaster.  From the Pearl Jam website: “For every sale of the video on iTunes store in the US, Pearl Jam will donate proceeds to Conservation International”.

by PopMatters Staff

20 Jul 2010


Vevo has the video of “Pala Tute” from the PopMatters approved Trans-Continental Hustle. It’s one of the year’s best singles so far.

by PopMatters Staff

20 Jul 2010


New York’s No Surrender are true genre mashers, not content to reside happily in any one category. Blending hip-hop, banging electronic beats, R&B and even indie pop is their stock and trade. They seem programmed to appeal to the OutKast and N.E.R.D. audience as the new video for “Godda Get It” proves. “Godda Get It”, produced by Radioclit, is surely more overtly dancey and electro-poppy than OutKast and shows off a psychedelic aesthetic that shares more in common with electronic music and indie pysch, but it’s got the soul and flow that would make the Atlanta crew proud. No Surrender will be releasing their sophomore full-length Medicine Babies this fall on ZerOKilled Music. The group brags about making “future music” in this tune and, guess what? They actually deliver it.

by PopMatters Staff

20 Jul 2010


In an upcoming review of Mahjongg’s The Long Shadow of the Paper Tiger later this week, PopMatters’ Scott Branson says the record is “noisy and repetitive, without neglecting pop hooks. Mahjongg incorporates interesting elements of pop music without confining the songs to a typical structure. The result is an uncompromising sound in which harsh verges on sweet.” That intriguing mixture is on full display in their new single “Whoop”, which we have the pleasure of premiering today. The Chicago band is clearly indebted to ‘80s new wave with their pop friendly electronic beats, but the sound is also more spare and the songs less traditionally structured than that earlier musical form and is completely contemporary as a result. The group coined a term for their artistic approach, “Chicagotronics”, which they describe as “a wall of sound command center with drums and humans”. Dig into the fractured beats and rather discoey vocals of “Whoop” and check them out at an upcoming show (dates after the jump).

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//Blogs

In Defense of the Infinite Universe in 'No Man's Sky'

// Moving Pixels

"The common cries of disappointment that surround No Man’s Sky stem from the exciting idea of an infinite universe clashing with the harsh reality of an infinite universe.

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