I have had the pleasure, nay, honor of being able to review the book Hunting Witches by our very own Jeffery X Martin. This “non-vel”, as he calls it, took many months of work, blood, sweat, and alcohol to construct, and it is more than worth the wait since the last installment of the happenings in Elders Keep. The Elders Keep anthology began as a series of short stories, released individually on Amazon, and can now be acquired in the form of Black Friday, which includes the stories that started it all: “Be Sweet,” “Mouth,” and “Candy.” “Mouth” personally had me cringing, which is not easily accomplished from words on a screen or paper. You can bet, I will be giving that book another read just to fit everything together again.
By Ricky Lima
I think that some of the most interesting and forward thinking stuff is being done in the electronic scene. There is something about having the ability to literally craft every instrument and sound an artist uses that encourages a high level of creativity. From October 12 to the 21, The Music Gallery presents X Avant New Music Festival VII: Expanding Circuits, a music festival dedicated to electronic music. The festival will take place in Toronto, Ontario at The Music Gallery. I had a chance to talk to David Dacks, the artistic director at The Music Gallery, to discuss this year’s X Avant festival.
If you were at FanExpo Canada on Saturday, August 25 this year, you were lucky. Lucky to be alive because the Saturday of the now four-day event is by far the busiest, the most crowded, and the most likely to cause severe claustrophobia, and/or exhaustion.
Besides that, however, Saturday featured the introduction of The Black Museum, a “limited engagement of horror lectures and screenings” in Toronto. The series is named after the collection of criminal memorabilia that Scotland Yard kept at their headquarters in London, England, beginning at the end of the 19th Century.
Although I was unable to attend The Black Museum panels at FanExpo, I did recently get the chance to chat with the two curators, Andrea “Lady Hellbat” Subissati and Paul Corupe to find out more about their macabre multimedia endeavor.
By Chelsea Spear
After the Parlour Bells ended an epic set at the funeral for Boston radio station WFNX, former ‘FNX program director Paul Driscoll was heard to say “I think I have a crush on the whole band!” It’s not hard to see why one would become besotted with the rising Boston quartet. Their darkly romantic pop songs engage the listener with anthemic melodies, cinematic arrangements, and seductive vocals. Fans of Orange Juice, Peter Murphy, and Sparks might find room in their hearts for these up-and-comers.
On a balmy mid-July day, I called up charismatic vocalist Glenn di Benedetto to learn more about the Parlour Bells. (more…)
By Jim R. Clark
If you haven’t listened to White Lies’ debut album, To Lose My Life yet, well then, what are you waiting for? Now is the time. Their new album, Ritual, was released on January 18. Much like reading chapter two in a great novel, you won’t want to forge ahead without reading chapter one first.
As you may know from reading my previous articles, I’m an avid fan of the ’80s electronic sound, so I’m excited. Personally I’m still hoping for a cover of Alphaville’s 1985 song, “A Victory Of Love,” but I think that may be asking too much. (For some reason, I’m convinced that this song would make for an awe inspiring show stopper if given the White Lies treatment, but then again, that’s just me.)
White Lies just completed a few dates in the US and North America (sadly, their NY show was canceled due to a snowstorm) and has scheduled a British tour in February to promote Ritual, so if you’re reading this in Britain, then get up and buy some tickets. And if, like me, you’re not in Britain, try to catch them on Later . . . with Jools Holland reruns on BBC America.
The band took some time out from their busy touring schedule to answer a few of my burning questions and shed some light upon their dark and mysterious nature, hinting at the more electronic sound for their second album.
By Chelsea Spear
In the late 2000s, knitwear designer Beth Hahn took the knitting world by storm with her series, The Adventures of Miss Flitt. Blending steampunk-friendly Victorian style, elegant knitwear designs, and an addictive narrative, the series follows the adventures of Emma Flitt as she traverses 19th century Brooklyn to find her sister. Her travels take her to seedy vaudeville theaters, pickpockets’ dens, and—in the most recent edition—to a most spooky séance. Ever the master storyteller, Hahn weaves her story through a series of simple-yet-gorgeous and thoroughly wearable cardigans, berets, overskirts, and other accessories.
On a chilly weekend in early January, I took virtual tea with Beth Hahn to find out more about her knitting endeavors.
By John Lane
In another era, Mary Edwards might have been a behind-the-scenes songwriter in the famous Brill Building, that renowned stable of musical artisans that included Goffin & King, Laura Nyro, and a host of others. Instead, in this era, we are lucky to have singer/songwriter Mary Edwards in clear view. Her music is characterized by a smooth charm that draws upon soft-pop, jazz, and funk, framed with a soulful voice that is reminiscent of Dionne Warwick in her prime; her attitude reflects an almost guileless enthrallment with music and the sometimes subtle, gifted influences that can become songwriting fodder. I caught up with Mary upon the recent release of her latest album, Console.
By Emily Carney
Recently, Popshifter reviewed the release Scrambles of Earth from Seeland Records. This recording consists of sounds from The Voyager Golden Record (sent into space on Voyager I and II in 1977 as sort of a message to extraterrestrials and as a space “time capsule”) allegedly remixed by some sort of extraterrestrial beings. The original record consisted of songs from all over the Earth, greetings from various then-contemporary world leaders, greetings in assorted foreign languages, and 116 images of Earth life.
I recently conducted a brief Q&A with Dr. Richard Doyle, English faculty member of Penn State University, about the various transmissions which comprise this audio recording. Dr. Doyle has been described as a “Rhetorician of Alien Communication,” so I had no doubt that his answers would be enigmatic and curiosity-arousing at best. Dr. Doyle did not fail to surprise me with his answers from our brief interview.
By Lisa Anderson
Alex Bledsoe is the author of the novels of the Memphis Vampires: 2009’s Blood Groove and The Girls with Games of Blood, which was released earlier this year (both from Tor books). For Popshifter‘s Halloween Horrors issue, he recently took time to answer some of my questions about writing and the bloodthirsty monsters currently enjoying such popularity.
By Matt Keeley
As I mentioned a few weeks ago on the Popshifter Blog, POLYSICS are the best band in the universe.
Their DEVO-inspired, frenetic sound not only made them huge in their native Japan, but also a cult band with ever-increasing presence around the world. After their sold-out concert in Bukodan, which was their last show with Kayo, keyboardist and co-vocalist, their guitarist Hiro Hayashi agreed to do an email interview with Popshifter about his musical influences and the future of POLYSICS.