Tuesday, January 19th marks the birthday of the late, great Janis Joplin. Born in 1943, Joplin rose to rock stardom in the mid-‘60s with her raspy, soulful vocals and colorful demeanor as the front woman of Big Brother and the Holding Company. Unfortunately, her life and career were short-lived due to continuous run-ins with various substances, ultimately passing away from an overdose on October 4th, 1970. Regardless, Joplin’s spirit, presence, and voice will be immortalized in her music. Happy 67th, Janis!
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The musical event of the week on TV had to be the Austin City Limits appearance of two of the world’s best rappers, the incomparable and adventurous Mos Def and the Somalian born K’naan. Both produced sterling albums last year that found their way into many top music of 2009 lists, including our Top 60 list, and both create the kind of thinking-person’s hip-hop that has expanded the boundaries of the genre.
K’Naan “Waving Flag”
You probably recognize Ashley Greene as Alice, the psychic member of the sexy, undead Cullen clan in Twilight and New Moon, in theaters now. Yeah, you’ve seen the movies. Just admit it. Soon, you’ll see her in another guilty pleasure, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, due in just a few weeks. Greene sat down with PopMatters writer Ian Chant for a brief interview to talk about body paint, her upcoming film Skateland, and how to have a film career after being one of Hollywood’s most recognizable bloodsuckers for years.
The Blur documentary No Distance Left to Run had its London premiere last night in Leicester Square. British fans can catch the film in theatres now and pick up a copy of the DVD on 15 February. Those of us on this side of the pond will either have to switch our computers to PAL format to play the import DVD or wait until some underdetermined date for the US release. Me, I’m not waiting and will opt for PAL. It’s an easy change in your computer settings.
Bomb the Bass
Back to Light
Releasing: 1 March
Perennial PopMatters fave Gui Boratto produces the new album due shortly from Bomb the Bass. Martin L. Gore (Depeche Mode) drops by to lend his synth chops to Milakia, while Kelley Polar, Richard Davis, and Paul Conboy guest on the album’s other tracks.
01 Boy Girl [ft. Paul Conboy]
02 X Rays Eyes [ft. Kelley Polar]
03 The Infinites [ft. Paul Conboy]
04 Price on Your Head [ft. Richard Davis]
05 Blindspot [ft. Paul Conboy]
06 Start [ft. Kelley Polar]
07 Burn Less Brighter [ft. Paul Conboy]
08 Happy To Be Cold [ft. Richard Davis]
09 Up the Mountain [ft. The Battle of Land and Sea]
10 Milakia [ft. Martin Gore]