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by Eleanore Catolico

10 Sep 2009

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, 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”:

by Eleanore Catolico

10 Sep 2009

Mica Levi’s Jewellry has garnered accolades because of its beautifully constructed bizarreness, a synecdoche of pop atonality.Yesterday, the 21-year-old Levi, performing under the stage name Micachu, released the video for “Turn Me Well”. Ethereal and hypnotic, “Turn Me Well” spellbinds one into sonic reverie: the jagged rip of a chainsaw becomes a clutter of clanks and grimy fuzz becomes a twinkle of a triangle. Yet these incongruous panoply of sounds are made sensible under Levi’s voice, a reverberating chant of disillusionment and just being fed up. With allusions to the mendacity and haplessness of the seasons, “Turn Me Well” makes you feel a desire strung out way too long, left totally derailed. Verses like, “Get to me and turn me well, I’m a tired soul,” get embedded into your consciousness. At a little under three minutes, “Turn Me Well” is a gorgeously sculpted vignette of music, moodily psychedelic, but no less revelatory.

by PopMatters Staff

9 Sep 2009

Love 2
Releasing: 6 October

01 Do the Joy
02 Love
03 So Light Is Her Footfall
04 Be a Bee
05 Missing the Light of the Day
06 Tropical Disease
07 Heaven’s Light
08 Night Hunter
09 Sing Sang Sung
10 Eat My Beat
11 You Can Tell It to Everybody
12 African Velvet

by Ashley Cooper

9 Sep 2009

Since first coming onto the R&B music scene in 2005, Trey Songz has created many hits. His first two albums, ‘I Gotta Make It” (2005) and ‘Trey Day’ (2007) had numerous singles such as “Girl Tonight”, “Just Gotta Make It”, “Last Time” and “Can’t Help But Wait”. The latter song gave Trey Songz a Grammy nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, and also affirmed that Trey Songz is one very promising R&B artist.

Now Ready is released, and is currently #2 on Amazon’s R&B Sales Charts, and #3 on iTunes Album Sales Charts. The album features the hit single “Successful”, featuring the rapper Drake, as well as his take on Mary J. Blige’s “Be Without You”, “One Love”. Trey Songz has also announced that he will be touring with the official BET Live! 106 & Park Tour along with R&B acts Mario, Day26 and Sean Garrett. Tour information can be obtained from his official website, but the dates are as follows:

29th- Los Angeles, CA- House of Blues
30th- Anaheim, CA- House of Blues

2nd- Las Vegas, NV- TBA
5th- Houston, TX- House of Blues
6th- Dallas, TX- House of Blues
8th- New Orleans, LA- House of Blues
9th- Atlanta, GA- Tabernacle
11th- Myrtle Beach, SC- TBA
12th- Charlotte, NC- Fillmore
13th- Baltimore, MD- TBA
15th- Kansas City, MO- TBD
16th- St. Louis, MO- The Pageant
18th- Detroit, MI- TBD
19th- Chicago, IL- House of Blues
20th- Cleveland, OH- House of Blues
21st- Indianapolis, IN- Egyptian Room at Murat
29th- Orlando, FL- TBD

11th- Washington, DC- TBD
12th- Boston, MA- TBD

by Allison Taich

9 Sep 2009

Jimi Tenor and Tony Allen
Inspiration Information Vol. 4
Releasing: 12 October

Eclectic Finnish musician Jimi Tenor teamed up with Afrobeat drumming legend Tony Allen to complete the fourth installment to Strut Records’ Inspiration Information series. The collaboration was recorded last November at Lovelite Studios in Berlin, and concluded this year with added sessions in Finland and Paris. In just over five days of jamming, the two successfully developed what has been described as a raw culmination of: full range Afrobeat repertoire, homemade instruments, vintage keyboards, dark humor, solid grooves, analog recording, and tight, “firing musicianship”. Members of Tenor’s Kabu Kabu band sat in on the sessions, in addition to Berlin-based guest MC Allonymous.

01 Against the Wall feat. Allonymous
02 Sinuhe
03 Selfish Gene
04 Path to Wisdom Feat. Allonymous
05 Darker Side of Light
06 Mama England
07 Got My Egusi Fix
08 Cella’s Walk
09 Three Continents


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