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by PopMatters Staff

21 Apr 2010


Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls and Jason Webley have teamed up for the high concept, vaudevillian project Evelyn Evelyn, touted as the “world’s first and only conjoined-twin singer-songwriter duo”. The music evokes another time and place, perhaps some warped cabaret or a children’s musical theatre in Weimar Germany. Webley has described the music as sounding “like something the Andrews Sisters might have recorded if they had grown up in the circus listening to new wave music.” I couldn’t have said it better.

On their new video for “Elephant Elephant”, which we proudly premiere today, that vaudeville circus element is omnipresent, channeled through a bit of Sound of Music-esque “Lonely Goatherd” style puppet theatre.

As an added bonus, check out the MP3 for the new tune “My Space” below.

Video by: Jason Webley / Produced by Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley

Evelyn Evelyn
“My Space” [MP3]
     

by PopMatters Staff

21 Apr 2010


Jennifer Davis will be appearing on WNYC’s Soundcheck program today at 2.00pm EST alongside the legendary Specials discussing the history of ska. Last year she penned “The Ska Will Go On” for PopMatters where she claimed, “ska never died… it merely sank back underground to the grimy clubs from whence it sprang, while the genre’s biggest stars took time to rest, regroup, and strategize their comebacks.”

Here’s the description of the planned Soundcheck program: “Ska started as a politically volatile offshoot of reggae in the 1960s. It returned in the Thatcher-era England of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s with seminal bands like the Specials and the English Beat. And it has resurfaced in the songs of groups like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Now, as the Specials and the English Beat embark on major tours of the U.S., we look at the roots of the genre and find out where it’s traveled. Our guests include two original members of the Specials and Jennifer Davis, a journalist who covered the history of ska for PopMatters.com.”

You can listen to the program online here.

by Crispin Kott

20 Apr 2010


After slipping into a heart attack-induced coma late last February, hip-hop artist Guru succumbed to cancer yesterday. The legendary MC, whose real name was Keith Elam, somehow managed to sound both rough and smooth at the same time. In addition to his partnership with DJ Premier in Gang Starr, Guru spearheaded the 4-volume Jazzmatazz releases, which saw him collaborate with jazz musicians, other MC’s and artists from across a broad spectrum.

Guru’s alleged final handwritten message, released by producer Solar, included harsh words for DJ Premier.

“I do not wish my ex-DJ to have anything to do with my name likeness, events tributes etc. I had nothing to do with him in life for over seven years and want nothing to do with him in death. Solar has my life story and is well informed on my family situation, as well as the real reason for separating from my ex-DJ.” (NME)

But rather than speculate on what led to that tension, let’s instead celebrate the musical life of the legendary Guru.

by John Lindstedt

20 Apr 2010


Here’s the latest from the AV Club’s “Undercover” series, which prompted 25 bands to choose from a list of songs to cover in their Chicago office. This week it’s Retribution Gospel Choir covering the Beach Boy’s “Kokomo”. The original was prominently featured in the 1988 Tom Cruise movie Cocktail and is notable for being the first number one Beach Boys single since “Good Vibrations”, a 22-year span. It is generally more of a guilty pleasure than a critical favorite, but Retribution Gospel Choir embraces the song unironically.

by Daniel Roberts

20 Apr 2010


Every week it seems like there’s a new hip-hop mixtape out, creating buzz all over the blogosphere and Twitter. The past few weeks have been good to Fabolous; his mixtape The Funeral Service can be heard blasting from cars all over NYC and elsewhere.

But now there’s a new mixtape from young guy Wiz Khalifa (who first blew up with the single “Say Yeah” in 2008). All the heads are talking about it. An hour after it went up online, the hashtag #kushandorangejuice was one of Twitter’s top trending topics.

Some hip-hop fans weren’t impressed with Khalifa’s full-length album back in January, “Deal Or No Deal” (including our own PopMatters reviewer David Amidon), but maybe the laid-back, free form of a mixtape has allowed him to chill out.

Kush and Orange Juice is a great listen. Khalifa has a funky, lazy flow that, combined with easy beats, might remind you of MF Doom and Danger Mouse’s collaborations. “This little stoner makes some dope ass music,” jokes one online commenter. [via NahRight.]

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