Music

Scissormen - "Beggin' Jesus" (video) (Premiere)

Blues guitarist Ted Drozdowski and his Nashville band get the cartoon treatment on their new video.

Nashville-based writer and musician Ted Drozdowski helms Scissormen, a trio that for the past decade, much like the North Mississippi All-Stars, combined the North Mississippi Hill Country blues with raw garage rock ‘n’ roll and even a little hazy psychedelia tossed in as well. Their new album, the excellent Love & Life, follows that tradition set by legends R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, and Jessie Mae Hemphill, only giving the arrangements an even more ragged tone. Those influences can all be heard on the album’s lead-off track “Beggin’ Jesus”, and we’re very pleased to premiere the new animated video here at PopMatters.

“I like to poke a stick in the mud and see what kind of gas bubbles up from the swamp,” Dowzdowski says. “So one day I had a Les Paul in my lap and came up with this imaginary Howlin' Wolf riff…I love Wolf. We share the same birthday, 10 June, albeit a couple years apart. And I was thinking about peaches… and the internal conflict between good and evil, which I think about a lot more than peaches, when the notion of writing a first person story about a petty criminal low-life popped into my brain. Those blended into the opening verse about knocking off a fruit stand and the narrative took off from there. Also -- and I admit this is a failing -- I had wanted to use the world 'folderol' in a song. So I kicked that into the mix, too. Overall, I wanted 'Beggin Jesus' to sound like something Led Zeppelin might have written if they came from Arkansas. After the song was recorded I handed it off to Mike Windy, a terrific artist in East Nashville, and just let him do his thing. He drew -- literally, I guess -- on some of my trick slide playing for inspiration and even gave my dog Dolly a cameo. As a performing musician, I've often felt like a cartoon. Now it's a kick to actually be one.”

Love & Life will be released 31 July.

To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less
7
TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

Keep reading... Show less

The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

Keep reading... Show less
9

Here comes another Kompakt Pop Ambient collection to make life just a little more bearable.

Another (extremely rough) year has come and gone, which means that the German electronic music label Kompakt gets to roll out their annual Total and Pop Ambient compilations for us all.

Keep reading... Show less
8

Winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Rockabilly Female stakes her claim with her band on accomplished new set.

Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones

Love You To Life

Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2017-08-11
Amazon
iTunes

Lara Hope and her band of roots rockin' country and rockabilly rabble rousers in the Ark-Tones have been the not so best kept secret of the Hudson Valley, New York music scene for awhile now.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image