This is a bit easier on the eyes compared to red headed children being murdered, isn’t it? As part of AV Club’s “Undercover” series, the British band the Clientele gently covered M.I.A.‘s breakthrough hit “Paper Planes”, somehow transforming her violent prose into something a little more affable. The promotion still has 17 weeks left, with covers of the Rolling Stones’ “19th Nervous Breakdown” and Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” waiting in the wings. Check here for all episodes of this video series.
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It’s not quite the same thing as being part of a legendary post-punk band 30 years past its prime, but you can help out in the making of Gang of Four’s latest project, Content. By chipping in anywhere from £10 for a CD of the finished product to £950 for the absurd privilege of riding on a helicopter with the band on its way to Glastonbury, you can bankroll the content on Content. So if you’re going to buy the new album when it’s due this summer anyway, you might as well go to Gang of Four’s Pledge Music page and help to make sure it becomes a reality by pitching in. In addition to an explanation of what Gang of Four is up to by legendary guitarist Andy Gill, there’s a snippet of a new track at the site titled “Do as I Do”, which at least sounds like the band is trying to revisit its late 1970s glory days.
Volumes could be written about You Can’t Do That on Television, the Canadian kids’ show which ran in the States on the cable channel Nickelodeon all through the 1980s and into the ‘90s. Subversive in its silliness as great comedy often is, YCDTOTV offered a brand of children’s sketch comedy that has yet to be duplicated to this writer’s knowledge. And the intro to the show fairly neatly captures all that makes the show itself great.
The theme music is bizarrely catchy, an odd marching-band arrangement punctuated by screams. This gives a very definite Monty Python feel to the intro, as does the use of cut-out animation. Then, there is the cutting imagery of the “Children’s Television Sausage Factory”, mechanically cranking out “product” of child actors on an automated assembly line. This ought to resonate with anyone who has ever noticed how insultingly bland and rote a lot of children’s televison can be. Then, the kids are loaded onto a bus and cut loose in a TV studio. The face of Les Lye, the actor who played all of the adult male roles on the show, in various costumes and with various voices, is stamped with the show’s title. This is a fairly empowering image for the young viewer, a sort of “We’re Not Gonna Take It” for the Romper Room set.
One often wishes to take care to not tread down the glittery lane towards nostalgia, lest one gets stuck living in the past. So it is nice to see that something one grew up watching turned out to be far more layered and interesting than one could have articulated at the time.
Just watch for the green slime.
For your enjoyment—a (surprise surprise) string-laden return to form from the Divine Comedy, who release Bang Goes the Knighthood, their first album in four years, on May 31. Spot all the references in this song and you may just win the heart of the indie tart of your dreams at the discotheque.
Christopher R. Weingarten delivers a humorous, but on-target, critique of the Internet hive mentality as relates to new music. True criticism is imperiled under the rush to be first and the move of blogs and websites to become virtual music and lifestyle marketers, rather than places for journalism and critical writing.
// Moving Pixels
"We continue our discussion of the early episodes of Kentucky Route Zero by focusing on its third act.READ the article