Here’s a bespectacled Luke LaLonde of Born Ruffians sitting at a bar with an acoustic guitar, playing Bruce Springsteen’s steamy 1985 single, “I’m on Fire”. LaLonde, with his mild mannerisms and bipolar vocals, is plaintive where Springsteen is assertive. The original version is insistent, as though the Boss doth protest too much, and this cover almost seems to lament his entranced desire. Check out the video below.
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UK: (XL) US: (Ultra)
Releasing: 21 September (UK) / 22 September (US)
As usual the superb London electronic group is teaming with a batch of stellar guests on their new release. This time look for turns from Santigold, Yoko Ono, Kelis, Amp Fiddler and many more. This is one of the most anticipated records of the year in PopMatters’ quarters.
01 Scars ft. Kelis, Maleka & Chipmunk
03 She’s No Good ft. Eli “Paperboy” Reed
04 Saga ft. Santigold
05 Feelings Gone ft. Sam Sparro
06 My Turn ft. Lightspeed Champion
07 A Possibility ft. Amp Fiddler
08 Twerk ft. Yo Majesty
09 Day of the Sunflowers (We March On) ft. Yoko Ono
10 What’s a Girl Gotta Do? ft. Paloma Faith
11 Stay Close ft. Lisa Kekaula
12 D.I.S.tractionz ft. Jose Hendrix
13 Gimme Somethin’ True ft. Jose James
“Scars ft. Kelis, Maleka & Chipmunk” [MP3]
These United States
Everything Touches Everything
Released: 1 September
01 I Want You to Keep Everything
02 Will It Ever
03 Everything Touches Everything
04 Night & the Revolution
05 The Secret Door
06 Conquest & Consequence
07 I’m Gonna Assemble a City
08 Good Bones
09 The Important Thing
11 Good Night Wish
These United States release their third full length album in 18 months with Everything Touches Everything.
These United States
“Everything Touches Everything” [MP3]
WOXY Session [MP3]
Releasing: 22 September
01 As the Dawn Breaks
02 Open Up the Door
03 Ashes on the Fire
04 Remorse Code
05 Don’t Get Hung Up in Your Soul
06 Soldier On
07 For Your Lover Give Some Time
08 Don’t You Cry
Interpolators of literature always try to figure out how we, as readers, glean the book in our hands. Arguments between the likes of Harold Bloom and the New Critics in the ‘50s, whose polemics on whether the book should be read and analyzed for what it is—or taking into account external sources, such as the author’s life—still divide academics today. Then there’s the recluse Thomas Pynchon.
So far, what we have derived about the man on our own terms has been kept to a minimum. Pynchon is painted as a cult literary icon, perpetuated by his classic cache of post modernist literature that inspires fear in the heart and tires the brain, most notably the archetypal Gravity’s Rainbow. To this day, Pynchon maintains a badass status. Pynchon’s relentless protection of his private life gives him more street cred and elevates the mythology surrounding him. Whether this is an emblematic projection, a dogma many writers quietly circumscribe to, or me just being a troglodyte of the media, Pynchon inherits the lineage of writer as vocation, not as celebrity. But when Pynchon himself gives us a small window into his brilliant mind, we must take whatever we can get. In this case, it’s his iPod tracklist.
Released just last August, Pynchon’s new novel Inherent Vice is a comical distillation of the crime fiction genre. The profile of our hero speaks for itself: Name: Larry (Doc) Sportello. Occupation: Detective and lover of the gonge. Mission: Investigate the whereabouts of ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend, a prominent land developer. As the action unfolds, Sportello’s case takes detours into the post apocalyptic noir of Pynchon’s familial pedigree. Set against the backdrop of L.A. at the end of the ‘60s, Inherent Vice makes you feel the heat of a strange kind of Americana slowly dying.
Music plays a vital role in coloring the atmospherics of this novel. The plethora of musical allusions span the gamut, from legendary prog rockers the Doors, to obscure surf music from the likes of the Bonzo Dog Band, to the Grand Dame of the Broadway Stage, Ethel Merman. Pynchon compiled the comprehensive soundtrack himself for Amazon.com, with over 20 eclectic tracks all referenced in Inherent Vice.
These songs are by no means a substitute to secrets revealed, or a tell all interview Oprah style, but it does feed, however sparingly, an army of Pynchonphiles who have been hungry for decades. Here’s a partial track listing of the songs in Inherent Vice, the full list can be found on Inherent Vice‘s page on Amazon, a promo trailer for Inherent Vice narrated by Pynchon, and a video of Ethel Merman’s “There’s No Business Like Show Business”: