New this week on Popshifter: Chelsea thinks Xenia Rubinos’s Magic Trix is a “thrilling listen”; Metal Mayhem continues with Jeff’s take on Dangerous Toys and Judas Priest; Jeff also says that Big Country’s The Journey is the best new album he’s heard this year; Melissa B. parties traditional style with the new album from Kermit Ruffins and gets transported to the past with the reissue of Marty Robbins’s El Paso City and Adios Amigo; I recommend both the glam psychedelia of Burnt Ones’ You’ll Never Walk Alone and the party music of Dead Ghosts’ Can’t Get No, and revisit 2002′s excellent, unsettling One Hour Photo, recently released on Blu-Ray.
On Magic Trix, Xenia Rubinos sounds like a radio caught between two frequencies. The first station carries brassy 1930s show tunes, a capella field recordings of folk songs, multi-tracked choruses, and lushly melodic whispered confessions. On the other, psychedelic keyboard freakouts, skittering drums, thumping hardcore declarations, and a cacophony of characters rule the day. Binding the disparate styles together is a soupçon of feedback from an analog keyboard and Rubinos’s force of nature vocals.
In 2008, I conducted an interview with the fabulous artist and all-around amazing lady Vicki Berndt. In it, we discussed her artwork, photography, fanzines, fandom, the punk rock aesthetic, and much more.
La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles is presenting an exhibit of Vicki’s work that runs from Friday, May 3 through Sunday, June 2. She’ll be present at the artist reception on Friday, May 3 from 8 to 11 p.m.
For more information on Vicki and her art, be sure to check out her guest appearance on the “Over Under Sideways Down” podcast on LuxuriaMusic. It aired on Wednesday, April 24 and you can listen to the show on the LuxuriaMusic website (hour one and hour two).
La Luz de Jesus Gallery is located at 4633 Hollywood Blvd. In Los Angeles, CA. You can contact the gallery at 323-666-7667 or via their website at www.laluzdejesus.com. Take a look at the exhibit
Check out more photos of Vicki’s art and her studio.
Like The Everly Brothers, The Chapin Sisters come from a musical family. Their father is Grammy-award-winning musician Tom Chapin; their uncle was folk singer and humanitarian Harry Chapin. This pedigree shows in their most recent release, A Date With The Everly Brothers, an album of 14 cover songs by the beloved duo.
A Date With The Everly Brothers focuses on the songs released by the siblings between 1957 and 1961, the most commercially successful period in their career. About half of the songs are Everly originals; most of the rest are Felice and Boudleaux Bryant compositions from the brothers’ tenure on Cadence Records in the late ’50s.
There are albums so good, the task of describing them seems overwhelming. Yet the glorious challenge of explaining why the songs are amazing can be a real honor, especially if even one person reads my paltry words, buys the album, and is thus transported.
So it is with Ministry of Love, the debut album from the duo of Ioanna Gika and Leopold Ross, who form IO Echo. They marry the proto-goth of early Cure and Siouxsie with the lushness of Cocteau Twins and School of Seven Bells in songs informed by the subtle yet strong undercurrents of Asian sonics. Despite what my descriptions might imply, Ministry of Love isn’t bleak. The euphoric pop of songs like the title track and “Ecstasy Ghost” ensure that the album never feels morose, although it skirts the edges of unsettling.
The entire ‘70s catalogue of pioneering female singer/songwriter Lynsey de Paul has finally been collected in two new anthologies: Sugar and Beyond 1972 – 1974 and Into My Music 1975 – 1979. Using exclusive material and information from Lynsey de Paul herself, this is a unique collection, signifying a new chance to discover her work and to grant it the recognition it deserves.
By Paul Casey
Wendy & Lisa have put out five albums and one EP of original material during the years they have worked as a duo. For such a talented pair this does not seem like nearly enough. The benefit of having so few albums is, however, there is no off period. Their debut, Wendy and Lisa, came out in 1987 and started a (short) string of great albums. It is a classic of the 1980s, and unavoidably a document of what Prince lost when he fired Wendy, Lisa, and Bobby Z. (who co-produces the album).
The Hollywood Reporter is certainly not against whoring themselves out for fashion-focused red-carpet coverage. So this repulsive mixture of irony and condescending sexism in their piece about the rise of the “mocktress”—the new version of the model-actress—makes my blood boil. Fashion blogger Merle Ginsberg calls out Jessica Alba, Kate Bosworth, Diane Kruger, and others for being superficial, status-grabbing, money-grubbing paper dolls. Some choice quotes:
Yet she might not have done a project in years, and if she has, well, you haven’t heard of it. Still, she is a legitimate actress, having starred in a few rom-coms, action flicks or horror films, looking gorgeous in all of them. No fake noses or weight gain for this girl.
Today, said actress spends the majority of her time modeling on arrival lines as opposed to runways. Remember when models just wanted to be actresses? These days, a certain lanky, large-eyed genre of B-list-and-lower actresses have, for all intents and purposes, added “model” to their business-savvy hyphenate titles.
Alba alone attended about 43 events in 2012—the old “opening of an envelope” line comes to mind—and for tres chic Diane Kruger, it was 31 events. Kruger is becoming better known for being well-dressed than her occasional yet interesting acting choices. No doubt she makes more money that way.
I scarcely know where to begin. Rom-coms, action flicks, and horror films are not “real movies” according to Ginsberg and even if they were, they don’t count if you “haven’t heard of them.”
Apparently Ms. Ginsberg has private investigators following the “mocktresses” around because she clearly knows what they “spend the majority of their time” doing: “modeling.” Never mind that Alba has had a couple of kids in the last few years and has done a fair bit of charity work. Never mind that actresses, no matter how beautiful, typically get offered less interesting or rewarding scripts than their male counterparts. Diane Kruger is basically accused of selling herself out for money and clothes in lieu of a “real job.”
It doesn’t help that the article also mentions those celebrities who monetize their exploits or their rich and famous status to gain more riches and fame (Kim Kardashian); those still-valid criticisms feel tacked on. The damage is already done. Read the whole thing if you think you can stomach it.
By Paul Casey
Anita Sarkeesian has released the first video in her twelve part Tropes vs. Women series, which will look at the representation of women in video games. You should watch it. Not least because you can see how something so uncontroversial can cause so much phony outrage. There is little here that should surprise anyone who has been aware of their own existence for more than a few years. There is nothing that could be considered in any way “extremist.” Sarkeesian is sober, clear, and fair. She also possesses the required humor needed to make this subject palatable to a wide audience.
Photo ©2012 Danjaq, LLC, United Artists Corporation, Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.
Oh, James Bond fans. For everyone who was electrified by Daniel Craig’s debut in Casino Royale, there were at least two who loathed the follow up, Quantum of Solace. For all Bond fans, Skyfall should be a revelation. It fulfills the promise that Casino Royale made: that Craig’s Bond is one of (if not) the best, and that the character has finally arrived in the new millennium.