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by John Lindstedt

27 Jan 2010

Lost fans still have a couple “Faradays” between them and the premiere of the show’s final season, but there’s no shortage of web goodies to appease those who can’t help but froth at the mouth in anticipation.

First and foremost is the web series Mysteries of the Universe: The Dharma Initiative, a cleverly crafted faux doc filtered through a nostalgic 80’s motif in the vein of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. Within the Lost universe, the series had a short run in 1982 on ABC, and it sheds light on the enigmatic Dharma Initiative that figure prominently in the story’s overall mythology. Released in a five parts over the course of last year, what could have been a disposable bonus feature is both satisfying and more than a little creepy.

by Sarah Zupko

21 Jan 2010

The Avett Brothers had a banner year in 2009, with their latest release, the Rick Rubin-produced I and Love and You, placing high on many year-end top music lists, including here at PopMatters. It was their major label debut and showed a great deal of musical growth as the band embraced the piano to build out and enlarge their sound. This Saturday (23 January) they take the stage in Austin with the garage rockers Heartless Bastards. 

by PopMatters Staff

10 Dec 2009

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by Chadwick Jenkins

2 Dec 2009

Perhaps no band has had a greater impact upon the history of recorded music than the Beatles. The studio wizard George Martin claims that he liked the energy the young four musicians had when he began recording them in 1962 but he never imagined that they had musical ability or the creativity to sustain a long career. His opinion, needless to say, shifted radically over the course of their working relationship. Together, the Beatles and George Martin would produce one of the greatest collections of studio recordings of popular music.

The Beatles on Record, a new documentary on the History Channel, tracks the Fab Four through their recordings. The film is a marvel of editing. It includes filmed footage, enlivens still photographs by giving them a virtual three-dimensional feel, and uses only the voices of the Beatles themselves along with their producer and studio collaborator George Martin as narrators. Obviously the producers of this documentary lavished considerable attention to culling from the various recorded interviews with John, Paul, Ringo, George, and George to find pertinent commentary on each of the record releases. Bob Smeaton, the man behind the Beatles Anthology series, is at the helm here and his attention to detail and his stylish use of archival material creates a truly admirable piece of work.

Those who know something about the recording history of the group may not learn a lot of new information here but the presentation makes for enjoyable viewing nonetheless. Besides, who could ask for better music?

by Ashley Cooper

19 Nov 2009

On Saturday night in LA, pop sensation Lady Gaga performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s 30th Anniversary Gala. She performed the new ballad “Speechless” from her forthcoming album, The Fame Monster. Russia’s world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet also performed that evening. Talk about pop culture slamming into high culture.

Later that week, Lady Gaga appeared on Gossip Girl in an episode, appropriately named “The Last Days of Disco Stick” which combined Gaga’s musical performance with cheesy narrator duties. In a comment to MTV News, Gaga said, “I am the narrator behind what is going on with the characters and make the song part of the moment. We used these ladders, and I’m falling off ladders. Ladders are kind of a monster symbol about bad luck. And I have this 35-foot-long dress on and these X’s, very gothic-inspired. It was great. They let me do whatever the hell I wanted. It was amazing.”


//Mixed media

Notes, Hoaxes, and Jokes: Silkworm's 'Lifestyle' - "Ooh La La"

// Sound Affects

"Lifestyle's penultimate track eases the pace and finds fresh nuance and depth in a rock classic, as Silkworm offer their take on the Faces' "Ooh La La".

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