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.
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.
We’re halfway through 2016 and it’s already been a pretty good year for horror. Films like Robert Eggers’ The Witch, Mike Flanagan’s Hush, and anthology horror Holidays have already given us our fix to get us through the winter, but the second half of the year has some of the horror releases I’m most excited for.
The third single from Popincourt, “Happy Town,” provides an answer to what might have happened if Paul Weller had been French instead of English.
Check out our exclusive stream of Popincourt’s latest single from their upcoming album A New Dimension To Modern Love, released on June 17 from Jigsaw Records.
Popincourt says of the track:
On this one, I really wanted to have an up tempo beat, mixing Soul and Pop. I had “Dancing In the Streets” by Martha and the Vandellas in mind, but as well “The Gift” by the Jam. Then came the first terrorist attack in Paris early 2015: I was at this Unity March in Paris on January 11. Something you cannot forget: great sadness but at the same time this massive feeling of fraternity. People were even kissing cops!
I finalized the lyrics having this in mind, in a very naïve and optimistic way: the power of the street, the music that could change the world, the fact to live any minute “now”! Sadly enough, I received the master of the album two days after the second terrorist attack where 130 people were shot dead, some of them at this rock venue, le Bataclan, in November 2015.
There are only a few episodes left in this season of Broad City, and when it wraps, I know I’m going to be fiending for more Ilana Glazer. Well, god save the kween, because she and Paul W. Downs (Broad City’s Trey) will star in a three-part miniseries called Time Traveling Bong that premieres right after Broad City’s season finale on, naturally, 4/20.
The Currys’ sophomore effort, West Of Here, is, as always, a family affair. The Currys are brothers Jimmy and Tommy Curry, and their cousin Galen. Together, they make easy, harmony-laden folky Americana. Their harmonies are incredibly lovely, close and fluid, and are a focal point for the group.
At 2008’s After Dark Film Festival, I was part of an audience that went completely wild for a trailer for a nonexistent full-length feature from the demented minds of Adam Brooks, Steven Kostanski, Jeremy Gillespie, Matthew Brooks, and Conor Sweeney–collectively known as Astron-6. That film was called Lazer Ghosts 2: Return To Laser Cove and ever since then, asking people at these events about their favorite Astron movie is a bit like a secret handshake. If you already have a favorite, and especially if you share mine (it’s 2014’s The Editor), we’re probably going to be friends whether you like it or not.
“I want the politicians, police, and all who stand in the face of democracy with overzealous self-interest to know that their candle is burning at both ends and that the collective WE will never be silenced, and the more they try, the more our voices will be heard. The technology of awareness is solar powered and cannot be turned off.”
Despite creating poetry and spoken-word performances since 1995 and steadily releasing music since his 2001 album Amethyst Rock Star, there’s a consistent rawness and openness in Saul Williams’ work that’s much more typical of someone in an earlier stage of their artistic career. That’s not a knock on Williams at all; in fact, quite the opposite. Successful artists of every sort have a way of closing up and playing things a lot safer as their careers wear on, often to avoid offending the powerful and influential friends they’ve made over the years, or just to maintain a steady stream of guaranteed income. Artists like Williams have an incendiary freeness, a kind of nothing-to-lose sensibility, that allows them to take their projects down lesser-used and unique avenues. This is something that Williams has always been able to tap into, most recently on his new album, MartyrLoserKing.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a Noomi Rapace movie in theaters. She co-starred in last year’s excellent The Drop with Tom Hardy, while another film with Hardy, Child 44, seemed to come and go with nary a whisper, unless you count the dreadful 24 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The venerable British heavy metal band Iron Maiden is returning with a new double album, The Book of Souls, and the first single, “Speed of Light,” is a five-minute-long, arena-sized rollercoaster ride through a thunderstorm, with a hot riff so slinky, the Lord of Darkness could floss with it. It’s a swift kick in the ass for a rock and roll scene grown stale and over-inflated with buttrock and pseudo-Satania. There’s more energy in this one single than there has been in the last three Foo Fighters albums. Leave it to a bunch of 50-year-old Brits to rear back up and bring a whole genre back to life, like a collective of Victor Frankensteins.
That’s pretty heavy praise for just one song, and I know that, but listen, you guys.
No, I mean, listen to the song.