TV Review: Outlander S2 E02, “Not In Scotland Anymore”

Published on June 27th, 2016 in: Books, Current Faves, Reviews, TV, TV Reviews |

By Laury Scarbro

With the second episode of season 2, it becomes evident that Jamie is not fully healed, neither mentally nor physically. Jamie, Claire, and even Murtagh come to the realization that things in France are quite different from what they’ve experienced in Scotland.

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Movie Review: The Fear of 13

Published on June 27th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Documentaries, Movie Reviews, Movies, Netflix Reviews, Reviews, True Crime |

By Tyler Hodg

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Some say life is stranger than fiction; The Fear of 13, a documentary by British filmmaker David Sington, is a whirlwind collection of unbelievable anecdotes told by Death Row prisoner Nick Yarris, which seem too crazy not to be true. Now available on streaming giant Netflix, the film publicizes humane perspectives of criminals, and those often unfairly tossed aside by society.

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Exclusive: New B-Side From Close Lobsters “Wander Epic Part II”

Published on June 27th, 2016 in: Exclusive, Music, New Music, New Single, Streaming |

By Less Lee Moore

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Back in the days of MTV’s 120 Minutes, C86 darlings Close Lobsters were a fave. “Let’s Make Some Plans” reminded me of the heady days of when I first got into college radio. Granted, those days were just a few years earlier, but when you’re a teenager, that stuff matters. I listened to their ’88 releases Headache Rhetoric and What Is There To Smile About? fairly obsessively well into the early ‘90s.

After a hiatus of almost 20 years, the Scottish band returned briefly in 2009 with a retrospective singles collection, but reformed for real in 2012 for a few live shows, releasing the EP Kunstwerk In Spacetime in 2014. On June 3, the band’s newest EP, Desire and Signs, was released by Shelflife Records.

“Wander Epic Part II” is the B-side to the latest single “Under London Skies” and here’s what the band has to say about it:

“’Wander Epic’ is a yarn/yearn of disorientation in the spirit of Close Lobsters. Saudade for the vast and endless sea. Who are we and what do we need to do to be part of the world? If you listen to all three parts as a continuous (w)hole the streams that run down to the sea are revealed.”

Music Review: Vallens, Consent

Published on June 24th, 2016 in: Canadian Content, Current Faves, Feminism, Music, Music Reviews, Post-Punk, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

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After several years paying her dues in various Toronto bands, Robyn Phillips was visited by a vision. Adopting the name of Isabella Rossellini’s character from Blue Velvet, Phillips began writing songs informed by this persona, eventually gathering other musicians to complete a full band. Vallens’ first album Consent is out today and it reveals that Phillips’ commitment paid off: it’s a stunning debut.

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Music Review: Neil Young + Promise of the Real, Earth

Published on June 24th, 2016 in: Canadian Content, Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Tyler Hodg

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There is little that hasn’t been said about Neil Young over his 56-year long career (and counting), yet the prolific musician continues to give people reasons to talk; through the constant delivery of unique additions to his catalogue both musically and visually, and an unapologetically-high standard for passion, it’s no wonder he has been, and will remain, universally respected as an artist.

Young’s latest project sees him joined by Promise of the Real for a two-disc compilation simply titled Earth. The album, which features live tracks from his extensive repertoire and the pairing’s 2015 effort The Monsanto Years, is a 98-minute long collection of what Young describes as songs about “living here on our planet together.”

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Interview: Consenting To Dream with Vallens’ Robyn Phillips

Published on June 23rd, 2016 in: Canadian Content, Current Faves, Feminism, Interviews, Music, Upcoming Releases |

By Less Lee Moore

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Photo by Shelby Fenlon

We get a lot of music press releases at Popshifter and sometimes it’s a slog to sift through them, always hoping to have our ears dazzled by a new band but frequently being disappointed.

This is not the case with Toronto, Ontario’s Vallens, the brainchild of guitarist, singer, and songwriter Robyn Phillips. Vallens makes the kind of music that makes you sit up and take notice. The title of Vallens’ stunning debut album is Consent, a word with a lot of connotations—especially for women. Thankfully, the songs don’t shy away from such emotionally charged issues but explore them. Musically and lyrically, Consent is moody, mysterious, and captivating… and definitely deserves your attention.

In anticipation of Consent being released by Hand Drawn Dracula on Friday June 24, I thought I’d find out more about the talented Ms. Phillips.
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Five Reasons Foxy Shazam Need to Reunite

Published on June 23rd, 2016 in: Music, Top Five Lists |

By Tyler Hodg

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Foxy Shazam came to a premature end in 2014, and the musical loss is still an open wound for a lot of fans. The Cinncinatti-based group presented a unique product, consisting of eccentric band members, catchy tracks, and a larger-than-life stage show that was needed to be seen to be believed, but it was their ability to consistently deliver on all of those aspects that made them an anomaly.

Sure, it’s only been just over a year and a half since the band announced their hiatus, but there are valid reasons why Foxy Shazam deserves a triumphant comeback.
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Music Review: Bloody Knives, I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This

Published on June 22nd, 2016 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Post-Punk, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

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I heard a voice, a whisper in the dark
And I followed it until I couldn’t see anything anymore.
–Bloody Knives, “Poison Halo”

When your band is named Bloody Knives, you’d better have the tunes to back it up. Fortunately, the Austin four-piece deliver the gory goods on their latest release, the viscerally titled I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This.

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TV Review: Lucha Underground, S2 E16-21, “The Prelude To Ultima Lucha Dos”

Published on June 22nd, 2016 in: Current Faves, Horror, Pro Wrestling, Science Fiction, TV, TV Reviews, Underground/Cult |

By Sachin Hingoo

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This arc of Lucha Underground is the beginning of the drive to Ultima Lucha Dos, the second season finale of the show. It’s where all the established storylines are set to climax and, in some cases, converge. Last year’s two-part finale was the best episode of Lucha Underground so far, and did a great job of setting the wheels in motion for Season Two. Ultima Lucha Dos should be at least as explosive, based on the pieces being put into place.
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Music Review: Odonis Odonis, Post Plague

Published on June 20th, 2016 in: Canadian Content, Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Post-Punk, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

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Has there ever been a greater musical misnomer than “industrial”? Initially coined as a response to the music being released by Genesis P-Orridge’s Industrial Records and the phrase “industrial music for industrial people” on the first Throbbing Gristle album (at least according to Wikipedia), it’s become a catch-all for any dissonant music that uses drum machines. What is great about drum machines, though, is that they provide such a perfectly sterile template for compelling melodies, the kind that you can either thrash or dance to.

While Odonis Odonis’s latest album, Post Plague, was inspired by industrial bands like Nitzer Ebb and Front 242, it also owes a debt to films like Ex Machina and Beyond The Black Rainbow, as well as of-the-minute ideas about transhumanism and virtual reality.

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