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by Michael Underwood

8 Jul 2010


The first episode in the new web series The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, this short introduces Trevor Drift, a young man who discovered his superpower young in life but has kept it secret (mostly from his father), developing his incredible dancing abilities. 

The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers has been doing promotions and performances for about a year, appearing on So You Think You Can Dance, during the Glee tour, during the Oscars, and at a TED Talk.  They’ve been posting teasers online throughout this lead-up, but this episode marks the true beginning of the web series. The first episodes will show the origins of the members of the Legion and hint at the forces that will be arrayed against them and “The Uprising”.

In LXD, director John M. Chu applies a superhero metaphor/skin to a dance crew, highlighting the seemingly-supernatural abilities of top-end dancers. Motifs of the genre are already at play, from origin stories to inter-generational inheritance of power and secret organization offering training to individuals with incredible abilities.

The storytelling is mostly in service of highlighting the dance, but we’ll see how the story of LXD develops as the cast assembles and they move past the origins.

by Jessy Krupa

7 Jul 2010


On July 7th, 1940, Richard Starkey was born in Liverpool, but from 1959 on, he would mostly be known to the world as Ringo Starr. He gained that stage name while he was a drummer for Rory Storm and the Hurricanes because of the many rings he liked to wear, and the country and western sound to it. In 1962, the Beatles were looking for a new drummer to replace Pete Best. When they asked Starr, who had previously worked with them, what he thought about drum solos, he reportedly said, “I hate ‘em!”, which was the right answer for them.

by PopMatters Staff

7 Jul 2010


The Gaslight Anthem have just released a new video for the title track of their new album that we just recently gave an 8. Andrew Gilstrap said, “American Slang is a big step forward for the Gaslight Anthem, showing more consistency and ambition than The ‘59 Sound. Naysayers might point to them as a band that’s found its niche, and is content to explore all the nooks and crannies of that niche. But a good listen to the way sharp guitars weave their way through the songs, or to the way drummer Benny Horowitz lays down lockstep rhythms that hearken back to a kind of rock ‘n’ roll that not made much anymore, and it’s obvious that the Gaslight Anthem are hammering away at something important. If not for them, then for a lot of us who love straightforward, ragged-soul rock ‘n’ roll.”

by Arnold Pan

6 Jul 2010


If you haven’t been keeping up with Beck’s online-only “Record Club” enterprise, here’s a quick recap: Teaming up with indie luminaries, Beck has created one-day one-off projects covering entire albums, then releasing the studio sessions one track per week via Vimeo clips. The first few efforts gave at least a little insight into his influences, since you’d expect anyone of Beck’s lineage to play such classics as The Velvet Underground and Nico and The Songs of Leonard Cohen with proper reverence. The Record Club just wrapped up a rendering of INXS’s Kick, which might’ve seemed kitschy if not for the real effort put into it by the likes of St. Vincent’s Annie Clark, Liars, and Os Mutantes; check out the surprisingly tender version of “Never Tear Us Apart”.

by Jennifer Makowsky

6 Jul 2010


When considering past Fourth of Julys, the tune that usually brings a star-spangled tear to my eye is Neil Diamond’s “America”. Something about this clip, framed in a tasteless, red, white, and blue banner, showcases Diamond’s whipped-back mane and shredded voice befittingly. The video encapsulates what I loved about my parents’ Fourth-of-July barbecues as a kid. A group of adults could usually be found in the backyard donning similar hairdos, smoking endless cigarettes between highballs and hotdogs. After enough drinks the adults would frequently wind up dancing on the lawn like the middle-aged women in the audience of this clip, lacking rhythm, but full of American spirit.

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