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by Benjamin Aspray

4 Jun 2010

Full disclosure: my tolerance for neo-electro, or nü-rave, or whatever the hell you want to call it, began and ended with Justice. A handful of artists who may fall under these umbrella terms are still great—Hot Chip comes immediately to mind—but understand that they’ve remained so via genre dilettantism. The category itself, loosely defined by minimized acid house textures and hyper-compressed, white noise rhythms, is both redeemed and limited by its simplicity. The unanimous gushing over Sleigh Bells’ recent LP suggests that this big ‘n’ dumb thing still holds a lot of appeal for a lot of people, but not for this critic. A recent video from Mr. Flash, a member of the French-tested, Vice-approved Ed Banger label, seems to exemplify this: all T&A, bright lights, and shock value, but little reason to turn on the song on its own.

Color me surprised, then, when a friend tipped me off to Huoratron, and the high-concept film clip for his new single, “Corporate Occult”—and I liked it! Like, I could actually imagine LISTENING to it!  The severe-looking Finnish producer’s trick seems to be going for slight complexities—- an arrhythmic drum sample here, a demonic chipmunk scream there - where his kin may be content to turn up the volume.

The very NSFW video that accompanies it, directed by the undoubtedly talented Cédric Blaisbois (also responsible for the Mr. Flash video linked above) is similarly deceptively trite. What I first dismissed as yet another attempt to outdo Chris Cunningham is… still derivative of that iconic director, but it’s hard not to crack a smile at the outlandish violence. I won’t spoil it, but suffice to say that it plays like a cautionary tale about going home with the kinds of chicks you’re likely to meet at a neo-electro/nü-rave/whatever-the-hell-you-want-to-call-it show.

To close, I’ll leave you with a quote from my friend, on Huoratron’s pseudonym: “Huora means whore by the way. one of emancipative things i have been to has been their gig when the whole audience was shouting ‘huora, huora, huora’ together. It’s like a postmodern church.”

by Steve Slagg

3 Jun 2010

Looking for a job? Chicago-based web comedienne Liz Thompson gets some résumé advice in the latest installment of her vlog series “How to Liz”, in which she learns 52 things in 52 weeks with the help of her friends. Most important lesson learned? Work often, sometimes.

Liz gets points for no-frills vlogging. Apparently all you need to build a following are colored markers, a three-second GarageBand theme song, impeccable timing, and some very funny friends. Chicago comedy buffs should keep an eye out: Liz’s friend roster includes some iO and Second City regulars. And her newest fan is Looking for Alaska author and vlogbrother John Green.

Other “How to Liz” highlights include How to Be Fit!, How to Maintain Eye Contact!, and the surprisingly chilling How to Solve a Murder!

by Alistair Dickinson

3 Jun 2010

Pogo, the Australian producer of “Alice” fame, has returned to YouTube with “Gardyn”. While Pogo famously mashed up tunes and clips from various movies (and made music videos out of equally mashed up scenes from those movies), this time he has decided to build a track completely from scratch. Recorded using sounds captured in his own backyard, the song and video prove that Pogo is more than capable of channeling his distinctive style with elements other than singing Disney characters. It also shows that he lives in a pretty awesome house, and that chopped-up scenes of his mother singing in a garden may be just as trippy as any compendium of scenes from Mary Poppins.

by John Lindstedt

3 Jun 2010

When a celebrity passes, we are often shown the same images in the news cycle over and over: Dennis Hopper on a motorcycle, Michael Jackson moonwalking, that famous Farrah Fawcett poster. Sure, they’re iconic and all, and necessary for those who have absolutely no idea who the departed is, but those of us who are pop culture inclined need not be informed that Gary Coleman once said, “What you talkin’ about, Willis?”

No, there are those who require something more. Give us the deep cuts, the projects that didn’t make the highlight reel in the A&E Biography. And that’s how you end up with The Gary Coleman Show, a terrible animated program for children that is best enjoyed in the form of YouTube excerpts. A Hanna-Barbera production from 1982, the series follows the adventures of an apprentice angel (voiced by Coleman) who is sent to Earth to help others in order to get his wings. It’s just another case of networks exploiting Coleman’s initial popularity before he was tossed aside, but what it lacks in quality, it more than makes up for in kitsch value.

by Maria Schurr

3 Jun 2010

Here is the official video for “Time of the Assassins”, the second single to be released from Charlotte Gainsbourg’s rightfully lauded IRM. Whereas the video for first single “Heaven Can Wait” featured everyday scenes with a surreal twist and the appearance of a sort of known musician named Beck Hansen, “Time of the Assassins” has just a dab of the surreal and a lot of Gainsbourg in scenic locations. Not surprisingly, the result is quite cinematic.

//Mixed media

Tricks or Treats? Ten Halloween Blu-rays That May Disrupt Your Life

// Short Ends and Leader

"The best of this stuff'll kill you.

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