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by Darren Ratner

18 Feb 2010


Released this week was the cover art for MGMT’s Congratulations, and I must agree: someone’s got a thing for Sonic the Hedgehog.

After listening to the band’s first album, Oracular Spectacular, it kind of makes sense. Every track came across as a teenaged identity crisis, where the cool kid who got all the girls could never shake the inner dork in love with his Sega Genesis.

Thankfully, the dork won out. Let’s hope for the same on this second effort.

The new title track live…

An interview with the band from QTV…

by PopMatters Staff

18 Feb 2010


Dinosaur Jr. will be playing a special free show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles this upcoming Tuesday (23 February) as part of a T-Mobile event. The doors open at 8.00pm with the show starting at 9.00pm. It’s a first come, first serve deal, so you’ll need to line up early to get in. PopMatters will be there covering the event, so watch for photos and a review shortly thereafter.

Just to reiterate the salient points here…

- Dinosaur Jr.
- Free
- 23 February @ Troubadour in LA
- Doors 8pm/show 9pm

You gotta love those first two items, right?

by Sarah Zupko

17 Feb 2010


Preservation Hall is both a musical venue and a band and both are vitally entwined within the culture and heritage of New Orleans. This new benefit album features the Preservation Hall Jazz Band playing NOLA classics alongside special guests including Andrew Bird, Terence Blanchard, Pete Seeger, Dr. John, Blind Boys of Alabama, Brandi Carlile, Ani DiFranco, Steve Earle, Merle Haggard, Richie Havens, Jason Isbell, Angelique Kidjo, Del McCoury, Buddy Miller, and Tom Waits. Ben Jaffe, PHJB Creative Director, says “My goal on this project was to create new works steeped in the New Orleans Tradition with artists from diverse musical genres and backgrounds who all share a mutual admiration and deep appreciation for our cultural heritage.” Find out more and donate to the cause at the official site.

by Donal Mosher

17 Feb 2010


Dark figures before bonfires in open fields. Vampires that may or may not be Halloween costumes. Animals with an extra-sentient malice in their toothy snarls… These are glimpses of “The Birthday Party”—works by Scott Daniel Ellison on display at the Clampart Gallery in NYC. These small, folk-style paintings bring together imagery from Scandinavian folklore, heavy metal, and contemporary horror to create a landscape where satanic, or at least decidedly pagan wickedness seems to be the natural state. Viewing Ellison’s work one gets the feeling of being drawn into the logic of folktales and pulp supernatural, the familiar plot line of accidentally witnessing the occult and being caught in its’ machinations. As the title of “The Birthday Party” implies, this is a world where social rituals are transformed into dark magic and seemingly innocent encounters are full of dire implications. 

Ellison is also a musician and the complexity that comes from the meeting of his visual and musical output enhances both. The folk elements that infuse his paintings with menace take on a gentler, more melancholic tone in his songs. Sweetened by guitar, banjo, and sharp harmonies, his lyrics shift from mythic imagery in pieces like “Northern Girl” and “Strange Weather” to the down-home domestic in “Raccoon Song”. In his song “Wilderness”, he asks that his heart be taken “downriver in a dug-out canoe… to a bonfire that burns the whole night through.” After viewing the works that make up “The Birthday Party”, the lyrical, traditional mood of this song is haunted by that vaguely Ozzy Osbourne figure in fringe, skulking by the flames in the painting “Bonfire”. It’s this uncanny tracing of the interactions between folk form and pop reference that makes Ellison’s vision a rich and relevant addition to the contemporary, rural gothic genre.

Scott Daniel Ellison – The Birthday Party is on display from Jan through Feb 20, 2010 at:
Clampart Gallery
521-531 West 25th St
Ground Floor
New York

Songs by Scott Daniel Ellison available on iTunes or from Beatrice Records.

by PopMatters Staff

17 Feb 2010


Lots of great highlights from the Brit Awards last night in UK, which was a truly star-studded affair with the likes of Jay-Z and Lady Gaga, plus some actual Brits like Lily Allen, Dizzee Rascal, Florence and the Machine, and Robbie Williams.

BRITISH MALE SOLO ARTIST
Dizzee Rascal

BRITISH FEMALE SOLO ARTIST
Lily Allen

BRITISH BREAKTHROUGH ACT
JLS

BRITISH GROUP
Kasabian

BRITISH ALBUM
Florence And The Machine, Lungs

BRITISH SINGLE
JLS, “Beat Again”

INTERNATIONAL MALE SOLO ARTIST
Jay-Z

INTERNATIONAL FEMALE SOLO ARTIST
Lady Gaga

INTERNATIONAL BREAKTHROUGH ACT
Lady Gaga

INTERNATIONAL ALBUM
Lady Gaga, The Fame

CRITICS CHOICE
Ellie Goulding

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO MUSIC
Robbie Williams

BRITS HITS 30
Spice Girls, “Wannabe/Who Do You Think You Are”

BRITS ALBUM OF 30 YEARS
Oasis, What’s The Story (Morning Glory)

Florence and the Machine and Dizzee Rascal

Lily Allen

Robbie Williams

Jay-Z

Lady Gaga

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Truth and Other Restrictions: 'True Detective' - Episode 7 - "Black Maps and Motel Rooms"

// Channel Surfing

"Series creator Nic Pizzolatto constructs the entire season on a simple exchange: death seems to be the metaphysical wage of knowledge.

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