Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings confirmed for Womad 2008 in New Plymouth - damn! Plus Mavis Staples, Cesaria Evora, Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra and more.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What the Hugh?
So, you always thought that Aussie actor Hugh Jackman was kinda cool? Check this nonsense out... his production company has made a tv show called Viva Laughlin (a remake of UK show Blackpool), and the reviews are not good...

Viva Laughlin ... may well be the worst new show of the season, but is it the worst show in the history of television?
-The New York Times

Let us count the number of ways it bombs.

Laughlin is merely cheap and leaden, like a deflated balloon.

Weep ... for Jackman's reputation, for all of us who have spent an hour gawking at a train wreck.

More here. The show has been axed after only two episodes screened. Watch a clip here. Did I mention the cast break out in song and dance at regular intervals?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Indie rock is the new black
Need something entertaining to get you thru Tuesday? Try this on for size....

The trouble with indie rock. (via Slate)

"New Yorker pop critic Sasha Frere-Jones has often indicated boredom and annoyance with a lot of the critically acclaimed, music-blog, and/or NPR-approved "indie rock" of this decade. This week, in an article, a couple of blog entries, and a podcast, he tries to articulate why. His answer? It's not black enough; it lacks "swing, some empty space and palpable bass frequencies"; it doesn't participate lustily in the grand (and problematic) tradition of musical "miscegenation" that's given American music, especially rock 'n' roll, its kick.

To give bite to the accusation, Frere-Jones names a few names, beginning with the Arcade Fire and adding Wilco, the Fiery Furnaces, the Decemberists, the Shins, Sufjan Stevens, Grizzly Bear, Panda Bear, and Devendra Banhart, plus indie-heroes past, Pavement. He contrasts them with the likes of the Clash, Elvis, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Public Image Ltd., Bob Dylan, the Minutemen, Nirvana, and even Grand Funk Railroad as examples of willful, gleeful, racial-sound-barrier-breaching white rockers of yore..."

read the rest here.