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by Thomas Britt

2 Jul 2010


The Wilderness of Manitoba fulfills the promise of last year’s well-received EP Hymns of Love & Spirits with debut full-length When You Left the Fire. The Toronto band draws influence from 1960s folk acts, but in a fresh way, as the familiar elements of the album serve to provide a pleasant context for the otherwise original and memorable arrangements. Guitars, bass and drums are augmented by ukulele, cello, lap steel, and singing bowls, but the songs never seem overcrowded. At the center of the band’s well-crafted sound are remarkable vocal harmonies and stirring lyrics that recall those of Low’s Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker, reimagined as a modern folk outfit. Although final track “Reveries en Couleurs” is a bit of an overlong indulgence, When You Left the Fire is a stunner from beginning to end and should be regarded as one of the year’s best debut albums.

by David Abravanel

2 Jul 2010


While the identity of the person(s) behind iamamiwhoami remains uncomfirmed, the music keeps coming monthly, with the latest being “t” for July.

The video sees the return of the female protagonist, this time playing a tin-foil covered queen of the sea, who emerges to explore the shore and dance seductively with a foil-covered car. Also, there are a group of shadow-obscured dancers who may or may not be naked. And the singer still may or may not be Jonna Lee.

It’s also worth checking out the other video linked in the description to “t” (here), which appears to be a child preacher.

At this point, the single-letter titles of the full-length iamamiwhoami tracks spell out “B-O-U-N-T.” So, is this “bountiful?” A “bounty?” Twitter chatter suggests this site has something to do with it: iambounty.com.

by Thomas Britt

2 Jul 2010


As disco goes, Norwegian producer Prins Thomas (popularly known as Lindstrøm’s other musical half) has always outpaced LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy. In a more even-handed critical landscape, Thomas’s self-titled debut solo LP would be received with the level of enthusiasm that surrounded LCD Soundsystem’s recent This is Happening. Easily the better album of the two, Prins Thomas references some of the same 1970s rock influences that Murphy integrates into his current sound, but the result is much more self-assured and dynamic. Across seven lengthy tracks, Thomas melds his electronic and rock music impulses into proggy, funky, and above all rhythmic compositions that are actually quite relaxing and often tuneful, even as they rely on regimentation and the motorik beat. Although the album is mostly instrumental, the use of occasional vocals is effective, especially on the stunning “Nattønsket”. “Wendy Not Walter” and “Åttiåtte” are the two tracks with the clearest relationship to modern dance music, but on the whole Prins Thomas is a delightfully revivalist affair that revisits the age of Neu!, Can, and Cymande with a great deal of credibility and skill.

by PopMatters Staff

1 Jul 2010


We loved Janelle Monáe’s The ArchAndroid. Quentin Huff said, “Welcome to Metropolis, folks. The year is 2719, even though the music is being released in 2010. It’s funky and fantastic, futuristic but retro. It’s in a category of its own.” Here’s a new mix of “Tightrope” with B.o.B and Lupe Fiasco, the earlier version featuring OutKast’s Big Boi.

by Jessy Krupa

1 Jul 2010


This past Sunday night, the Daytime Emmy Awards managed to do something that many televised awards ceremonies only try to do: create a truly moving moment.

The show set aside nearly ten minutes to honor TV personality Dick Clark and the show he hosted for nearly 32 years, American Bandstand. Friend and business associate Ryan Seacrest ushered in video clips containing words of praise from Garth Brooks, Cher, Frankie Avalon, American Idol’s Simon Cowell, and Barry Manilow, whose “Bandstand Boogie” served as the show’s theme song from the 1970s onward, and others. After Tony Orlando, Marie Osmond, Chubby Checker, the Spinners, and the cast of Jersey Boys gathered together to sing that theme, the cameras cut to Dick Clark. He was so moved that he began to cover his face with his hand to hide the tears.

As CBS cut to a commercial break, I first wondered why this was a part of the Daytime Emmys, of all shows. It was only then that I realized that years ago, Bandstand aired during the afternoon. Looking back on all of the musical history that show contained, and looking to what modern daytime TV is, I was shocked. Although there has several attempts to bring the show back since its cancellation in 1989, none of them has succeeded. In 2005, some of these efforts resulted in FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance, but that show barely resembles the original. 

The real question is why we haven’t seen a similar tribute on other, music-themed award shows. The American Music Awards, produced by Dick Clark Productions, probably doesn’t want to seem like its honoring a part of itself, while the Grammy’s seem to be reluctant to link musical history with television history, despite the fact that their ceremonies are televised. Either way, The 37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards’ have laid down the gauntlet on how tributes should be done.

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