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Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009
by Robin Cook

Music journalist. Biographer. One half of the Siskel & Ebert of pop music criticism. Jim DeRogatis shares anecdotes about Lester Bangs and lets us in on some of his guilty pleasures.



Tagged as: jim derogatis
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Monday, Apr 13, 2009
by Robin Cook

This close knit band does everything their way, whether releasing EPs in place of albums and bringing their kids on the road. Timshel Matheny and her brother, Keegan DeWitt, talk about how they do it.


 



Tagged as: roman candle, sxsw
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Friday, Apr 10, 2009
by PopMatters Staff
L.A. pop band Eulogies released their latest album Here Anonymous this week on Dangerbird and stopped by 20 Questions to talk about their inspiration and tennis.

1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?
Last Chance Harvey. It’s easy to feel sorry for Dustin Hoffman. Gimme a break, I’m sleep deprived.


2. The fictional character most like you?
Max from Where the Wild Things Are. I love going places in my mind when given the chance… I have very vivid dreams on a consistent basis. I think this might be because I’m a light sleeper, so when i do get there I’m not too far from conscience.  Or maybe it’s because I eat a lot of dark chocolate.


3. The greatest album, ever?
Sgt. Peppers. My first experience with this album was my older brother’s copy on vinyl. I drew on it with a piece of chalk. In retrospect I knew for me it was going to be either visual arts or music or a combination of the two.


4. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Star Wars. What more can I say?


5. Your ideal brain food?
Sushi. Raw protein on some sugary starch, mmm. Nozawa in Los Angeles is the best sushi in the western hemisphere.


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Thursday, Apr 9, 2009
Madonna was as contradictory as Uncle Tom, except in reverse. She claimed to challenge the institution and dominance of the church while worshiping at the mantle of capitalism and white supremacy in ways that only reinforced the nexus of gender, race and class oppression and mutual exploitation.

”Only when I’m dancing can I feel this free…”


…at night I lock the door so no one else can see. I’m tired of dancing here all by myself. In the fourth grade, Madonna and I had danced together, alone in our rooms. I remember hearing 1985’s Get into the Groove and would almost be ashamed to listen to it in front of others, particularly my around other Black folks, many of whom where disappointed that yet another Elvis had emerged. Yet, her looks and her lyrics bent at more of the classic traits of Black music, her beats pushing towards a resolution to any sadness, more than most other white rip-off artist: “At night I lock the doors so no one else can see/I’m tired of dancing here all by myself/Tonight I want to dance with someone else.” Snapping her fingers and ruling the dance floor of a steamy nightclub—a fantasy she’d ultimately repeat in several videos- she pleads: “Live out your fantasies here with me,” where no one else can see.


I too had plenty such fantasies. This “nasty secret,” kept neatly behind locked doors, closed windows and fantasies in my mind, was threatening to emerge. Since this need to explore a side of sexuality not often widely accepted, men and women, in their respective roles, easily exploit it. Madonna’s music told me that we had both acted out, trading sex for affection—for the freedom to give and receive affection. If I ran away, I’d never had the strength to go very far. Madonna, like millions of other young people including me had substituted anonymous sex for daddy’s love.


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Wednesday, Apr 8, 2009
by PopMatters Staff
Jennifer Kelly raved about L.A. indie pop group the Little Ones back in a 2006 Now Hear This piece for PopMatters. "Not since the Spinto Band has a young musical outfit burst onto the scene with the level of infectious joy that the Little Ones exhibit on their Sing Song EP. Spinning out exuberant harmonies and indelible hooks, yet under-girded with strong, eccentrically plotted beats, the EP had the irrepressible optimism of early summer -- the smell of new mown grass and suntan lotion was practically built right in." Frontman Ed Reyes answers our 20 Questions in the midst of working on a new record.

1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?
The last movie that made me cry was The Wrestler. In my head I was crying, but I didn’t exhibit it publicly for fear that I wasn’t wouldn’t be perceived as tough enough. Just kidding. I did get emotional when Mickey Rourke’s character explains to his daughter that he is washed up. I couldn’t help feel that maybe we are all washed up in some way. Maybe sometimes you can’t really follow your dreams?


2. The fictional character most like you?
I would probably say Hiro Nakamura from Heroes. I think his penchant for being a super hero is really appealing to me. He has great imagination and tries to accomplish the impossible. I can really relate to his good heart as well. Maybe we look alike too? More people should be like Hiro!


3. The greatest album, ever?
Very tough question to answer. I could probably elaborate on some albums that shaped my musical way of thinking. One album is The Beatles’ White Album (1968) and the other is The Kinks’ Village Green Preservation Society (1968). Both records really taught the power of melody and storytelling. Even if the melody is simple it can still have a great impact against a well-crafted musical bed.


4. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Star Wars all the way. I was raised on Star Wars and I have such great memories of going to the toy store and purchasing the various action figures. If I had saved them all they would probably be worth a fortune right now. At some point as a kid, I believed that Star Wars was real. I know there are some adults out there that think that way too…


5. Your ideal brain food?
My ideal brain food is Wasabi Peas. I can’t get enough of them. I like to pop a handful in my mouth and see how long I can stand it. It usually starts making my eyes water and after that I can really concentrate on anything. Everyone should try it.


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