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by Sarah Zupko

23 Apr 2010

Gogol Bordello is a long-time PopMatters favorite, as we have a serious weakness in these parts for genre-bending music that draws from many of the world’s sounds and has an international sensibility. The New York gypsy punks release their toe-tapping and butt-shaking new album Trans-Continental Hustle this coming week and “Pala Tute” is the infectious lead-off tune.

In this short video, frontman and singer Eugene Hütz discusses the band’s love of recording in Brazil interspersed with live performance segments of this hyper-catchy song. This is feel-good gypsy party music, perfectly suited to the brighter times right around the corner as summer comes and the recession fades.

by PopMatters Staff

23 Apr 2010

Quentin B. Huff will be appearing on WNYC’s Soundcheck program today at 2.00pm EST along with Lah Tere of hip-hop group Rebel Diaz discussing women in hip-hop. Recently Huff wrote for PopMatters in “A Declaration for Female Emcees” that “hip-hop needs a women’s movement ala Seneca Falls. The Declaration of Sentiments used the Declaration of Independence as its structural model (in hip-hop we call that “sampling”).”

Here’s the description of the planned Soundcheck program: “Female emcees, or ‘femcees’, have always been a minority in hip-hop. But in this decade, they became almost an endangered species. The few women in the genre are not nearly as successful or engaged as rappers like Queen Latifah or Foxy Brown, who made inroads in the 1980s and ‘90s.

To examine this question we’re joined by Quentin B. Huff, who wrote a column about the issue for; and Lah Tere, a member of the Bronx-based hip-hop group Rebel Diaz. She is also the founder of Mommas Hip Hop Kitchen, an annual all female hip hop showcase.”

You can listen to the program online here.

by Diepiriye Kuku

23 Apr 2010

Twenty-ten’s Cop Out is chock full of age old western mythology told through the same bunch of modern consumerist stereotypical figures: the loud Negro side-kick, the estranged hard-working dad, the well-positioned step-father, the wife who still loves the guy…and his defeat of some random enemy that somehow proves his love for his daughter. How many times have we seen this movie? Ever notice how little agency women have in these films- just pawns. Indeed, this could describe far too many Hollywood blockbusters that I have seen over the past 30 years. So why all the rehashing?

In Cop Out, we see some of the classic stereotypes play out, and here’s why it’s important to speak about race, because it provides a frame to look at how all characters are rendered abstract for the sake of art. But is it really abstract? Not really. These are noticeably thin stereotypes around gender, class AND race, so to pick out any one characteristic would be disingenuous. For example, the caricature of ‘working class white guy’ into which Bruce Willis seems to fit neatly, is always a dumb brute of a dead-beat dad. Further, we’re asked to sympathize with the sacrifices he makes on the job, so we romanticize daddy’s absence. But the explosions and gun shots too often distract viewers from seeing how ridiculously men are portrayed on screen. For example, in this flick, why wasn’t Willis’ man enough to accept the damn money from the rich freak! Is his ego really so grand as to need to ‘give’ away his daughter with his last penny, even if it kills him? Obviously so, since that ego forms the plot of most of his flicks.

And why are we still so tied to gender-roles that few seem to question giving away a young maiden? How can she attain any independence in her conjugal relationship if she has no respect from her own folks!?! Isn’t this really why Alice chose Wonderland? Moreover, (and interestingly, both in the case of Alice as well as Willis’ daughter in this skin flick), this had nothing to do with daddy love. Neither men had the child’s welfare in mind, and the mom seemed to go where the money rules; here, just like in Taken and hoards of other movies, she is effectively Oedipus’ mother Jocasta, a wealthy queen unable to make any real decisions for herself, including the welfare of her own kids. Isn’t that a classic feminine stereotype? This had everything to do with a dick fight, and the women and children were the prizes. Seen 2012? Seen Taken? Seen so many of these flicks, it’s critical.

by Alex Suskind

23 Apr 2010

Hailing from Toronto, the Canadian rockers’ third studio album Make It Bleed combines hard-charging, catchy vocals with a grunge aesthetic. Distorted guitars and a steady backing beat showcase the album’s standout track, “Move On”. Check it out on Dearly Beloved’s MySpace.

01 Acceptance Corporation
02 Move On
03 The Ride
04 Candy-Coated
05 When Slow Is The New Fast
06 Carnivale (Onze)
07 Dress It Up
08 Make It Bleed
09 Fire Escape
10 Who Knows?
11 The Butcher’s Dog
12 Unsee
13 Move On (Cookie Duster Remix)

by Jonathan Simrin

22 Apr 2010

To quote the official synopsis, “our inspired and gentle-natured dreamer is quickly taken in by a motley crew of junkyard dealers”. If that’s not enough to pique your interest, just watch the trailer for Micmacs, and you’ll quickly remember why anything Jeunet makes is worth watching. Perhaps best known for the amazing visuals of Amélie, Jeunet has delivered solid films, like Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children. Micmacs follows Bazil, whose bad string of luck with weapons leaves him orphaned and with a bullet lodged in his head. Having found a hodgepodge crew of characters living in a junkyard, Bazil sets out for revenge on the mega corporations who are responsible.

//Mixed media

Con Brio: The Best New Live Band in America?

// Notes from the Road

"There’s a preciousness to McCarter and the rest of the mostly young band. You want to freeze the moment, to make sure they are taking it all in too. Because it’s going to change.

READ the article