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by Jessy Krupa

30 Aug 2010


In recent years, Rolling Stone has found itself in quite a dilemma. Throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s, they were part of the voice of America’s counterculture, making a mark on music history with their infamous articles, interviews, and photography of the greatest artists of our time. However, the Rolling Stone of today is some sort of mismatched hybrid between Entertainment Weekly, Maxim, and Newsweek. For example, its most recent issue featured in-depth interviews with both Chuck Berry and the WikiLeaks hacker, but the cover glamorized a short, splashy interview with the nude, fake-blood splattered cast of HBO’s True Blood.

Still, despite their love of putting naked people on the cover, the magazine still tries to continue their musical credibility with special editions devoted to things that they were already supposed to writing about. Last month saw the release of the updated “500 Greatest Songs” list, in which for twice the price of a regular issue, you essentially got a great book about the past 60 years of popular music in a fancy magazine format. Unfortunately, that was somewhat spoiled by their publicity-seeking approach of presenting those articles and photography in a holier-than-thou list ranking the songs in order of their greatness. Many people out there shook their heads in disbelief at the notion of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” being deemed greater than Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” or the Beatles’ “Penny Lane”.

Now, perhaps in an effort to make up for that misstep or in order to become the talk of the town again, Rolling Stone has put out a special issue entitled “The 100 Greatest Beatles Songs”. “A Day in The Life” is deemed the greatest Beatles song, even though “Hey Jude”, “Yesterday”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, “Let It Be”, and “In My Life” all ranked higher than it on the 500 list.

Here are their picks for the top 10 greatest Beatles songs, though, and I’ll accept any excuse, no matter how inconsequential, to listen to and talk about the Beatles.

by Joseph Fisher

27 Aug 2010


It is mid-morning on August 23, 2010, and school bells all over the mid-Atlantic region are ringing once again. My academic year does not begin for another week, but, essentially, my summer is over as well. This week marks the beginning of my annual scramble to get prepared for the onslaught of the fall (and eventually spring) term. Finalizing my course syllabi, reading all the new books that I have assigned for the upcoming semester, triple checking the campus bookstore to ensure that all of those books have been ordered—all tasks that will keep my busy this week and that will bring my summer to a screeching halt.

Since I have been at this teaching thing for just about a decade now—and since I had a career as a student than spanned pretty much 2/3 of my life prior to purchasing large packets of red pens—I should not continue to be surprised when mid-August finds all manner of stress and trepidation bubbling to the surface of my consciousness. I have found that being “on the opposite side of the desk”, as the saying goes, does not make the beginning of any academic year significantly less anxiety-inducing than when I was searching for the latest Trapper Keeper design, or pair of Reebok Pump shoes, or copy of OK Computer, or edition of Foucault’s Discipline and Punish. Therefore, it never fails that the barrage of Back-to-School advertisements that flits across my television screen from roughly July 5 to about right now still causes me to cry out in anguish. (At the same time, snow days still bring me immeasurable amounts of giddy joy.)

Having said all that, I have to give credit to Brigham Young University, specifically the members of the Harold B. Lee Library Multimedia Production Crew, for producing what is probably the best Back-to-School ad this season. Riffing on the popular Old Spice campaign, Stephen Jones and co. make studying sound immensely more delicious than, say, the folks over at Ross do—despite the cotton candy:

Regardless of where and when you study, here’s to a great academic year for teachers and students alike. May the upcoming months bring all of us many celestial sandwiches. Oh, and a few A papers, too.

by John Bergstrom

26 Aug 2010


Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) are set to release their first album in 14 years, History of Modern, on September 17 in Europe, September 20 in the UK, and September 28 in North America. In the meantime, here’s the video for the first single, the very OMD-ish “If You Want It”.

by Daniel Tebo

26 Aug 2010


The video for Twin Shadow’s “Slow” is tagged NSFW yet it’s nowhere near as creepy as the legendarily misbegotten Calvin Klein commercials it gently parodies. The Alex Markman-directed clip finds Twin Shadow loverman George Lewis Jr. fidgeting uncomfortably in front of the camera while an unseen interrogator asks Lewis for peek at his big… talents. The full spectrum of those formidable talents will be on display when Twin Shadow drops Forget, their stunner of a debut album, September 28th on Chris Taylor’s (Grizzly Bear) Terrible Records.

by PopMatters Staff

26 Aug 2010


This is some seriously awesome Latin funk crossed with post-punk from Chile’s Panico. The band trekked to Scotland to record their new album Life in Franz Ferdinand’s studio. Releasing 12 October via Chemikal Underground Records, Life includes this frenzied and propulsive tune “Reverberation Mambo”. Director James Schneider shot the video in the Chilean desert as part of a larger documentary project on ghost towns. You can also pick up a free remix by Joakim over on Panico’s website.

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