Exclusive premiere: The Mynabirds “Generals”


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When Laura Burhenn burst onto the scene in 2010 under the moniker The Mynabirds, she quickly showed that she had what it takes to stand out in a crowded sea of singer-songerwriters. The Mynabirds’ debut, What We Lose in the Fire, We Gain in the Flood, was a folk-pop siren call filled with playful tunes and outstanding vocals. The debut showed her roots as a member of Bright Eyes’ touring band, calling to mind some of Conor Oberst’s evocative pop.

In her sophomore effort, Generals, Burhenn comes into her own, combining her singer-songwriter stylings with a deep vein of political sincerity that runs through the album. “It was important for me that this record made sense of my own anger and turned it into positive energy,” Burhenn says. “I needed it to be transformative, of both the individual and the body politic. It’s as much a meditation on Walt Whitman’s hope for America as Gandhi’s directive to ‘be the change you want to see in the world.'” For a lesser artist, pairing politics and pop could be disastrous, but in Burhenn’s skilled hands (and even more skilled vocal chords) she walks the line between street preacher and songstress seemingly effortlessly.

The result is a more stripped down and raw sounding record that fans of The Mynabirds’ debut may have a hard time recognizing. While the sound itself is a far cry from the pretty pop songs featured on her first album, it’s a welcome transition that shows just how talented a performer Burhenn truly is. The album is revelatory in its ability to balance the didactic with the inspirational and creating a sound that is both searing and ecstatic.

In conjunction with the release of the album, Burhenn is launching a portrait project called The New Revolutionists in hopes of shining a light on women making a difference, often on shoestring or even nonexistent budgets, in their own communities all over America. It’s an admirable project from a woman who has already earned a lot of our admiration.

Here is the exclusive premiere of The Mynabirds “Generals”:

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Jackie That 70s Show

Jackie Oh!

15 That ’70s Show Quotes to Help You Unleash Your Inner Jackie

Catch That '70s Show Mondays and Tuesdays from 6-10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Carsey-Werner Company

When life gets you down, just ask yourself: what would Jackie do? (But don’t ask her, because she doesn’t care about your stupid problems.) Before you catch That ’70s Show on IFC, take a look at some quotes that will help you be the best Jackie you can be.

15. She knows her strengths.

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14. She doesn’t let a little thing like emotions get in the way.

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13. She’s her own best friend.

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12. She has big plans for her future.

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11. She keeps her ego in check.

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10. She can really put things in perspective.

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9. She’s a lover…

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8. But she knows not to just throw her love around.

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7. She’s proud of her accomplishments.

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6. She knows her place in the world.

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5. She asks herself the hard questions.

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4. She takes care of herself.

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3. She’s deep.

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2. She’s a problem solver.

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1. And she’s always modest.

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Exclusive premiere: Mac DeMarco “European Vegas”


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Director Angus Borsos’ initial vision of Mac DeMarco’s ineffably strange song, “European Vegas,” was quite literal. He imagined “A bright archaic marvel with fluorescent stonework,” populated by “sunburnt characters wearing sunglasses.” But he never found such a place to film. The video he made is less grand in scope, but not only does it perfectly serve DeMarco’s song, it also somehow manages to capture a nostalgic quality of 90’s slacker cinema that I forgot I was missing. It feels like some half-remembered delusion by Gus Van Sant and Richard Linklater set to the sleaziest Canadian bedroom pop I’ve heard.

“I felt a nagging nostalgia; a silhouette grasping my ankle desperately,” Borsos described the moment the idea came to him. “I soon realized this was Mac, with a wry smiling insistence. He was stuck in the middle of two worlds; on a stage between an entrance and exit for characters to pop out of and explode.” So he had his setting — a back road down which unusual characters travel, and only needed to embrace the oddity of DeMarco’s material, which he was clearly inclined toward. “Thinking is a whirlpool and ideas are birds,” he added, affirming this.

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It’s gratifying to be immediately interested in a character — something that most movies can’t accomplish in 2 hours, was done within seconds here. “It’s an odd thing (like most) that all the characters turned out to be as bold as they did,” Borsos said. “I think the reason for this was because I’d just finished making a music video for another band in town, with a lead character that I crushed and ground into vagueness. For some reason, at the time I saw it as a failure.”

The director decided to dig into the archetypes in his mind and bring the characters to life around DeMarco. “To follow it up, I wanted to feel more courageous; to be this way I would have to think in the opposite direction,” he recalled. “I made sure to keep my eyes big and not closed. Dreaming to Mac’s song, I saw colours and Looney Toon madness, sharp guns and shiny shoes. Toy people. The characters had to move this time.”

And move they do, in the best ways. A cowboy bounces cartoonishly into frame. An eye catching red shoe pigeon-toes, following the action of a body being dragged from a limo. And that slack body comes to life, shimmying in the grass under a tree. Most of it was scripted, but Borsos also knew when to just let DeMarco loose and record it (the shimmy). “I wanted him to be his invention,” Borsos said, “wound up and ready to bark.”

Exclusive: The Beach Boys “Lyrics To A Melody”


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The Beach Boys are celebrating half a century of good vibrations with their 50th anniversary album, “That’s Why God Made the Radio.” They say their reunion tour, ongoing now, will be their final one. If it is their last it’s not because they can no longer harmonize — they still do that effortlessly. They still have the hooks too, as evidenced by this album promo featuring recording snippets, peeks behind the scenes and some really tremendous paisley shirts.

Don’t miss the interview we did with Brian Wilson a few months back where we talked about Gershwin and the lost Beach Boys record. “That’s Why God Made the Radio” is due out June 5th.

What’s our favorite Beach Boys record? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook!

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