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by Cynthia Fuchs

3 May 2011

Like so many faces that look back in so many documentaries, those in A Film Unfinished indicate the subjects’ awareness of their status as such. And as they gaze back at the camera, they are also silent, like all of “Das Ghetto,” an unfinished Nazi propaganda film discovered in an East German vault during the 1950s. Yael Hersonski has reassembled much of that footage for her film, which premieres 3 May on PBS. Some of it is observational and some staged by the German film crew, and Hersonski cuts it alongside readings from diaries and transcripts, as well as shots of ghetto survivors watching that footage. Comprised of more faces, shadowed in a theater, these shots serve as vivid reflections of your own experience, horrified at what they see. And what they see exemplifies one of the most chilling aspects of the Third Reich, “an empire infatuated with the camera,” narrates Rona Kenan, “that knew so well to document its own evil, passionately, systematically, like no other nation before it.”

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by Evan Sawdey

3 May 2011

It certainly took Ben Ottewell a long time to get around to releasing a solo album.  Perhaps it was that first solo tour that threw people off ...

Indeed, while other members of the acclaimed rock outfit Gomez worked on side projects and solo albums during Gomez’s downtime, Ben Ottewell went a different route.  First, he spent a nice slice of the late 2000s doing solo acoustic tours just for the heck of it, playing a mixture of cover songs and Gomez staples, much to fans’ delight.  Yet Ottewell wound up enjoying the experience so much that he soon began prepping songs for his own solo effort, the result of which is the largely acoustic (and quietly beautiful) Shapes & Shadows, which was released earlier this year.

PopMatters caught up to Ottewell when he took his solo acoustic show Schuba’s out in Chicago, and he wound up discussing the genesis of his album, how he doesn’t really have any beef with the Second City, and how he is proud to not have to take on a normal job ...

by PopMatters Staff

2 May 2011

Black Lips
Arabia Mountain
Release: 7 June

Super producer Mark Ronson is behind the knobs for the latest release from Atlanta’s Black Lips. Arabia Mountain will release in early June as the band tour cross-country to promote their sixth full-length album.

by William Carl Ferleman

2 May 2011

The British actor and musician Hugh Laurie recently performed “Swanee River” and “You Don’t Know My Mind” on the BBC. In the U.S., Laurie is perhaps most recognized as the anti-social but unlikely miracle-working physician Gregory House on the hit TV series House. But Laurie also is a multi-instrumentalist, indeed a blues musician. He will release his first proper album, Let Them Talk, on 9 May in the UK.


by Kate Dries

29 Apr 2011

In a valiant attempt to stay hip and current (and probably because there were no Katy Perry songs left), this week’s Glee featured Duck Sauce’s “Barbra Streisand”. This bold move comes on the heels of last week’s stab at Lykke Li’s “I Follow Rivers”.

//Mixed media

Tricks or Treats? Ten Halloween Blu-rays That May Disrupt Your Life

// Short Ends and Leader

"The best of this stuff'll kill you.

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