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“She’s territorial. She doesn’t want people in her territory. She’s a teenager too, she likes to go in her room and close the door.” David Balding is talking about an African elephant. Her name is Flora, and they’ve been together for 16 years. “We just spent so much time together that we’re very close,” Balding says, as Flora appears behind him, playing with his hair and jacket. This closeness proves a blessing and a curse as Balding recounts their lives together in One Lucky Elephant, premiering on OWN Documentary Club on 1 December. As much as Balding and Flora appear to share an understanding, they also face a fundamental difference. She’s a wild animal, brought into his domestic (circus) world as a baby. As she grows older, the film recounts, Balding realizes she can’t be happy in this world, and he devotes himself to finding an alternative. As he comes to terms with his own needs and blind spots, Lisa Leeman’s film follows his efforts to understand Flora’s needs as well. elephant in his life. And, as Flora’s story illustrates the problems of buying and selling and using wild animals in circuses and zoos, it also never keeps focused on an essential insight. Elephants, lucky or not, have minds.
See PopMatters’ review.
A special piece of music created by British alt rock band elbow for the 2012 Olympics in London is now in the final stages of production. The theme will be used in promotional coverage before the games next summer, as well as during the event.
“We are knocked out to be involved and it’s been quite a challenge,” says lead singer Guy Garvey. His warm, distinctive baritone has been the signature of this band since it formed twenty years ago. Their fifth album released last spring, Build a Rocket Boys!, is landing on many top ten lists for the year (for example, KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic” Jason Bentley). It was also nominated for Britain’s 2011 Mercury Prize and debuted at number two on the UK album chart.
Contest is now closed! Please be sure to check pick up SMiLE on compact disc or vinyl!
Today marks the day that EMI releases the remastered versions of The Smashing Pumpkins’ Gish and the Siamese Dream. To celebrate, PopMatters would like to give you a chance to win your own copy of the remastered Gish or Siamese Dream. We’d like to share some details on these exciting new remasters and please be sure to check out the album on iTunes at http://itunes.com/smashingpumpkins and visit the band’s site at http://smashingpumpkins.com/ to join the Record Club.
From the assorted press releases:
As THE SMASHING PUMPKINS get the fully remastered treatment via these reissues, the band is excited to be moving forward by creating new music. After touring America and Europe this fall—the trek launched October 5 in Los Angeles and wraps December 8 in Lisbon—they will release OCEANIA, “an album within an album,” as part of their in-progress 44-song work TEARGARDEN BY KALEIDYSCOPE. Featuring 13 new songs, OCEANIA will be released in early 2012 (further details TBA).
THE SMASHING PUMPKINS’ longtime strong bond with their fans continues… via The Smashing Pumpkins Record Club when the reissues of their first two albums—1991’s Gish and 1993’s Siamese Dream—become available.
If the new single, “Lonely Boy”, is any indicator of what to expect from the Black Keys’ upcoming album El Camino, then you’d better be ready to add another disc to your rotation on December 6. And no, it’s not only because of the awesomely absurd video (below) they’ve put together for it (by “put together” I mean “pressed play”), which by itself is a feat of viral video genius.
“Lonely Boy” is perfectly Black Keys—a grungy, anthemic rock tune with hints of blues, psychedelia, and pop that is destined to be named one of the most memorable songs of the year. Granted, it’s cutting it close to the end of this year, but it would be a fault to leave this one off the Top lists of ‘11—if not for the music, then certainly for the video.