Most recent entries for July 2008

A confession: I initially abhorred Summertime, the first single off the forthcoming album by erstwhile late-'80s boy band heartthrobs New Kids On The Block, but as the season has grown... well, more summery, so too has my heart warmed (somewhat) to the song. And now, fresh off the digital block, comes a sneak peek (if ears can "peek") at the next track off The Block (yup, it's the title of their CD).

Beasts of Long Island

This week's biggest sensation on ye olde internets: a snapshot, originally posted by an independent blogger and passed on to New York gossip site Gawker, of the bloated carcass of an unidentifiable creature, washed up on the shore of Montauk, Long Island.

The ever-expanding Pop Montreal music + film + art fest, which celebrates its seventh anniversary this fall (it runs October 1-5), has established itself as the top dog on Canada's cultural festival circuit.

It has often been suggested -- possibly even by members of the band -- that Coldplay aspire to be the next U2. Not quite. No matter how close Chris Martin and his mates might veer toward the cantering, epic heights of Dublin's favourite sons on an aesthetic level, they'll always lack the elusive X-factor that gives U2 its U'tude: a bombastic frontman who thinks he's the second coming. For all Bono's Important Humanitarian Efforts (and his recent appointment as godfather to Hollywood royal twins Vivienne Marcheline and Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt) he's still kind of an insufferable ass who revels in being a rock star. Chris Martin, on the other hand, can't mask his innate amiability, no matter how hard he tries. And that's a good thing.

School daze

This Friday, the award-winning documentary American Teen (it snagged the Directing Award at Sundance this year) opens in theatres. With the advent of this new (verite) look at the archetypal high school experience, this seemed like a germane time to reflect on some of the most memorable portraits of teen-centric educational institutions in contemporary popular culture.

I suppose one ought to congratulate Rick Springfield. After all, he's a man who's managed to parlay what should've been a fleeting fifteen minutes in the spotlight into a career that, like an over-moussed cockroach, refuses to die regardless of how many cred-destroying blows (former soap stardom; one-hit-wonder status) are dealt. Actually, in Springfield's case, his star should've dimmed before it even entered one of the galaxy's spiral arms.

Happy birthday, Geddy Lee!

Fifty-five years ago today, in the suburban wilds of Willowdale, Ontario (aka the segment of Toronto that contains the Peanut Plaza), an event occurred that would change progressive rock for all eternity.

Santogold gets dubbed

Philly-reared, Brooklyn-based Santogold makes a wild, spraypaint-smeared kind of music that's a collision between brassy Blondie-style new wave, jittery hipster-friendly dance-rock, snotty R&B and languorous reggae, with a nice dash of hip hop thrown in for good measure.

Congratulations, Elicia MacKenzie! You may now be able to realize your dream of hosting a tea party at Andrew Lloyd Webber's house.

Here's a new ad from the cheekily wide-eyed Millennials over at MoveOn.org, who have decided that the best way to shore up Democratic votes from Cynical Young Americans is to couch their pro-Barack Obama message in the language of, um, commercials for herpes medication.

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