People don’t talk about the poetry of indie rock very often. But Michael Zapruder is looking to change that. His forthcoming album, Pink Thunder, is a collaboration between the singer-songwriter and 23 poets, three engineers, and a few dozen musicians, out October 16 on The Kora Records. Zapruder was inspired by the poets and their art when he met them on the Poetry Bus, a rock-style tour of performing poets, organized by Wave Books, which is co-run by Michael’s brother, poet Matthew Zapruder.
The result is a collection of free-verse indie pop poetry featuring Zapruder’s adept guitar work, minimalist rhythms and subtly colorful hooks along with lyrics inspired the poets. The first single off the album, “Florida”, was inspired by a poem by Travis Nichols. Such free-form creativity isn’t unusual for Zapruder. Way back in 1999, when the internet’s potential was still nascent, Zapruder tasked himself with writing a song a week and uploaded it to his website. He collected the songs on an album “52 Songs,” earning critical accolades and a reputation as an internet visionary, which he translated into a career as Pandora’s music curator.
Zapruder’s music distribution creativity didn’t end with the advent of YouTube. His new songs will be sold as portmanteaus, a new release format for music: an album as an art show; a single as art-object. A portmanteau is composed of two parts: a digital music player enclosed in a little base or platform; and an object, related to the music, that sits on top of that base. Check some of them out here. Each song on “Pink Thunder” has its own unique portmanteau. If you’re in San Francisco, you can see the portmanteaus at The Curiosity Shoppe from Oct. 18th-Nov. 18th.
In the video for “Florida,” Zapruder combines his songwriting, love of poetry, and creativity with an incredible video directed by Jesse Yules (Grizzly Bear, Of Montreal, Owen Pallett), the video was inspired by illustrated animal books from the 70s, which were printed on watercolor paper and animated using thread and swivel brackets.
Watch Michael Zapruder’s “Florida”:
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Spend Valentine's Day weekend with IFC's Underworld movie marathon.
Posted by Emmy Potter on Photo Credit: Screen Gems/courtesy Everett Collection
Romance takes many forms, and that is especially true when you have a thirst for blood or laser beams coming out of your eyes. It doesn’t matter if you’re a werewolf, a superhero, a clone, a time-traveler, or a vampire, love is the one thing that infects us all. Read on to find out why Romeo and Juliet have nothing on these supernatural star-crossed lovers, and be sure to catch IFC’s Underworld movie marathon this Valentine’s Day weekend.
1. Cyclops/Jean Grey/Wolverine, X-Men series
The X-Men franchise is rife with romance, but the steamiest “ménage à mutant” may just be the one between Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Cyclops (James Marsden), and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Their triangle is a complicated one as Jean finds herself torn between the two very different men while also trying to control her darker side, the Phoenix. This leads to Jean killing Cyclops and eventually getting stabbed through her heart by Wolverine in X-Men: The Last Stand. Yikes! Maybe they should change the name to Ex-Men instead?
2. Willow/Tara, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Joss Whedon gave audiences some great romances on Buffy the Vampire Slayer — including the central triangle of Buffy, Angel, and Spike — but it was the love between witches Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Tara (Amber Benson) that broke new ground for its sensitive and nuanced portrayal of a LGBT relationship.
Willow is smart and confident and isn’t even sure of her sexuality when she first meets Tara at college in a Wiccan campus group. As the two begin experimenting with spells, they realize they’re also falling for one another and become the show’s most enduring, happy couple. At least until Tara’s death in season six, a moment that still brings on the feels.
3. Selene/Michael, Underworld series
The Twilight gang pales in comparison (both literally and metaphorically) to the Lycans and Vampires of the stylish Underworld franchise. If you’re looking for an epic vampire/werewolf romance set amidst an epic vampire/werewolf war, Underworld handily delivers in the form of leather catsuited Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and shaggy blonde hunk Michael (a post-Felicity Scott Speedman). As they work together to stop the Vampire/Lycan war, they give into their passions while also kicking butt in skintight leather. Love at first bite indeed.
4. Spider-man/Mary Jane Watson, Spider-man
After rushing to the aid of beautiful girl-next-door Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), the Amazing Spider-man is rewarded with an upside-down kiss that is still one of the most romantic moments in comic book movie history. For Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), the shy, lovable dork beneath the mask, his rain-soaked makeout session is the culmination of years of unrequited love and one very powerful spider bite. As the films progress, Peter tries pushing MJ away in an attempt to protect her from his enemies, but their web of love is just too powerful. And you know, with great power, comes great responsibility.
5. Molly/Sam, Ghost
When it comes to supernatural romance, you really can’t beat Molly and Sam from the 1990 hit film Ghost. Demi Moore goes crazy for Swayze like the rest of us, and the pair make pottery sexier than it’s ever been.
When Sam is murdered, he’s forced to communicate through con artist turned real psychic, Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg in her Academy Award-winning role) to warn Molly she is still in danger from his co-worker, Carl (a pre-Scandal Tony Goldwyn). Molly doesn’t believe Oda is telling the truth, so Sam proves it by sliding a penny up the wall and then possessing Oda so he and Molly can share one last romantic dance together (but not the dirty kind). We’d pay a penny for a dance with Patrick Swayze ANY day.
6. Cosima/Delphine, Orphan Black
It stands to reason there would be at least one complicated romance on a show about clones, and none more complicated than the one between clone Cosima (Tatiana Maslany) and Dr. Delphine Cormier (Evelyne Brochu) on BBC America’s hit drama Orphan Black.
Cosima is a PhD student focusing on evolutionary developmental biology at the University of Minnesota when she meets Delphine, a research associate from the nefarious Dyad Institute, posing as a fellow immunology student. The two fall in love, but their happiness is brief once Dyad and the other members of Clone Club get involved. Here’s hoping Cosima finds love in season four of Orphan Black. Girlfriend could use a break.
7. Aragorn/Arwen, Lord of the Rings
On a picturesque bridge in Rivendell amidst some stellar mood-lighting and dreamy Elvish language with English subtitles for us non-Middle Earthlings, Arwen (Liv Tyler) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) bind their souls to one another, pledging to love each other no matter what befalls them.
Their courtship is a matter of contention with Arwen’s father, Elrond (Hugo Weaving), who doesn’t wish to see his daughter suffer over Aragorn’s future death. The two marry after the conclusion of the War of the Ring, with Aragorn assuming his throne as King of Gondor, and Arwen forgoing her immortality to become his Queen. Is it too much to assume they asked Frodo to be their wedding ring-bearer?
8. Lafayette/Jesus, True Blood
True Blood quickly became the go-to show for supernatural sex scenes featuring future Magic Mike strippers (Joe Manganiello) and pale Nordic men with washboard abs (Hi Alexander Skarsgård!), but honestly, there was a little something for everyone, including fan favorite Bon Temps medium, Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis).
In season three, Lafayette met his mother’s nurse, Jesus, and the two began a relationship. As they spend more time together and start doing V (short for Vampire Blood), they learn Jesus is descended from a long line of witches and that Lafayette himself has magical abilities. However, supernatural love is anything but simple, and after the pair join a coven, Lafayette becomes possessed by the dead spirit of its former leader. This relationship certainly puts a whole new spin on possessive love.
9. Nymphadora Tonks/Remus Lupin, Harry Potter series
There are lots of sad characters in the Harry Potter series, but Remus Lupin ranks among the saddest. He was bitten by a werewolf as a child, his best friend was murdered and his other best friend was wrongly imprisoned in Azkaban for it, then THAT best friend was killed by a Death Eater at the Ministry of Magic as Remus looked on. So when Lupin unexpectedly found himself in love with badass Auror and Metamorphmagus Nymphadora Tonks (she prefers to be called by her surname ONLY, thank you very much), pretty much everyone, including Lupin himself, was both elated and cautiously hopeful about their romance and eventual marriage.
Sadly, the pair met a tragic ending when both were killed by Death Eaters during the Battle of Hogwarts, leaving their son, Teddy, orphaned much like his godfather Harry Potter. Accio hankies!
10. The Doctor/Rose Tyler, Doctor Who
Speaking of wolves, Rose “Bad Wolf” Tyler (Billie Piper) captured the Doctor’s hearts from the moment he told her to “Run!” in the very first episode of the re-booted Doctor Who series. Their affection for one another grew steadily deeper during their travels in the TARDIS, whether they were stuck in 1950s London, facing down pure evil in the Satan Pit, or battling Cybermen.
But their relationship took a tragic turn during the season two finale episode, “Doomsday,” when the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose found themselves separated in parallel universes with no way of being reunited (lest two universes collapse as a result of a paradox). A sobbing Rose told a holographic transmission of the Doctor she loved him, but before he could reply, the transmission cut out, leaving our beloved Time Lord (and most of the audience) with a tear-stained face and two broken hearts all alone in the TARDIS.
After agonizing for months, with both physical (a thrown-out back) and mental anguish, The Raveonettes delivered their 6th album “Observator” on 9/11. The Danish duo, who’ve long stood out amid scores of fuzz pop bands wanted this one to be a return to form after their last record which singer/guitarist Sune Rose Wagner described as a more of a “dark score or soundtrack to an as-of-yet-unmade film.”
It only took them seven days to record the album, but it seems to have been a long personal journey for Wagner, who first had to quit drinking, and then take it up again in order to remember what it was that he needed most — to be out meeting strangers and sucking the marrow of life. “I once read that Lars Von Trier writes his films in a similar kind of way,” Wagner said. “He goes home, gets super drunk, and starts writing while his inhibitions disappear. That’s sort of always worked for me too, but this time, I had to go the long way round to remember that.”
Wagner and singer Sharin Foo glamorously decorated their sound with piano this time too. Here they are in those in between moments, having red wine, white wine, reveling in their recovered vibrancy.
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Exclusive Premiere: Michael Zapruder “Florida”
US tour dates:
September 26 Triple Rock Minneapolis, MN
September 27 Lincoln Hall Chicago, IL
September 28 The Firebird St Louis, MO
September 29 A&R Bar Columbus, OH
September 30 Magic Stick Detroit, MI
October 2 Phoenix Concert Theatre Toronto, ON
October 3 Corona Theatre Montreal, QB
October 4 Union Transfer Philadelphia, PA
October 5 Webster Hall New York, NY
October 6 Black Cat Washington, DC
October 7 Paradise Rock Club Boston, MA
October 8 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles, CA
October 11 Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach, CA
October 12 Bimbo’s 365 Club San Francisco, CA
To drink or not to drink? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook!
Some people call Deleted Scenes art rock, but that doesn’t seem to cover it. The band makes dense compositions that zig and zag and do their darndest not to be pinned down by genre or stylistic restraints. They build experimental soundscapes and then mix it up with dense percussion and catchy pop hooks that leave listeners guessing what’s going to happen next. It’s an exhilarating ride and it’s easy to see why The Washington Post said, “If Deleted Scenes isn’t the best rock band in Washington, it’s certainly on the very short list.”
The video we are premiering today is for their single, “A Bunch Of People who Love You Like Crazy.” Directed by Ben Usie the video is a “Inception” inspired mind trip. Usie describes the video as such:
The video spans at least three levels of consciousness (a la “Inception”). The man (tier 1) dives into his own psyche to see what appears to be a wonderful encounter with a beautiful woman (tier 2). They are spinning through space and time, as the greater universe spins around them. As time goes on, the tier 2 man and woman suffer from visions of evil in their own heads (tier 3). Not only does the audience get to see how the tier 2 man and woman react to these visions, we also get to see the tier 1 man’s reactions to seeing all of this unfold in his head. These thoughts and emotions are not always logical or linear. While the man and woman in the vision show fear and lack of control, the man watching them beams with voyeuristic excitement. Only after the vision is finished does the tier 1 man show disapproval.
It’s a lot of weighty ideas for a music video to live up to, but if any band’s music can carry the burden of such an inspired tale, it’s Deleted Scenes.
Watch the exclusive premiere of Deleted Scenes “A Bunch Of People Who Love You Like Crazy”:
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Deleted Scenes’ album “Young People’s Church of the Air” is out now on Park the Van Records.