MP3: A-Trak – “Trizzy Turnt Up”

DJ A-Trak has a new mixtape on the way, Dirty South Dance 2, and he’s letting ya’ll hear a track. Listen to “Trizzy Turnt Up” right hurrrrr.

MP3: Windsor for the Derby – “Queen of the Sun”

Windsor for the Derby are back with “Queen of the Sun,” off of their new album, Against Love, out this June on Secretly Canadian. It’s awfully pretty, and you should listen to it here.

MP3: Coliseum – “Blind in One Eye”

Louisville Kentucky’s Coliseum are making post-punk indie rock that would fit nicely on an episode of 120 Minutes in the year 1995. Love it or hate it, the band’s new album, House With a Curse, comes out on Temporary Residence on June 22. J. Robbins produced, and guests include Will Oldham. Listen to “Blind in One Eye” here.

MIA is a Teabagger

MIA’s new video for the song “Born Free” is supposed to be a fiery polemic against government oppression, genocide, discrimination, and other serious matters, but, in America at least, her vision (or the director’s) seems to have more in common with the Teabagger movement than anything remotely liberal.

In the video, a dark dystopian fantasy is revealed in which the government rounds up a bunch of gingers, takes them out to the desert, and slaughters them in beautiful slow-mo. A powerful statement, no doubt, but one more along the lines of death panels, Obama-Hitler analogies, threat of the government banning fishing, and other delusional paranoid fantasies that do more to distract than to effect change.

I do not believe MIA or any other musician should be criticized too harshly for expressing their views on anything, as intelligent or inane as they may be, because as influential as you may think they are, they are still just pop artists at their core. The tradition of art intermingling with politics is a long and good one. But let’s be real about MIA’s take on this and other issues – her methods are provocative, not dialectic. Yes, there is a place for that, but let’s not kid ourselves about how important she and her music is.

Mixtape: The Game and DJ Skee – The Red Room

Preceding his forthcoming release The R.E.D. Album, due out June 15th, The Game and DJ Skee have released a mixtape, The Red Room. I haven’t heard it yet, so let’s all listen together. Download it here.

Film: Trash Humpers (directed by Harmony Korine)

I’m still not quite sure what to make of Harmony Korine’s new feature, Trash Humpers. Read my review for Blurt and watch the trailer below, and you still won’t have any idea. Watch the film when it comes out on May 7, and you might not be any better off.

Harmony Korine‘s new film, Trash Humpers, is either a put-on or performance art, but it’s definitely not a narrative and it’s dubious as to whether there’s even any meaning to the film, such as it is. That is not to say it is without value, I suppose, but it’s sure to divide evenly between admirers and haters. So sure, that perhaps it’s almost too easy to dismiss this bizarre new feature from the one-time Werner Herzog protégé. There is no doubt that Korine knew what he was up to.

The director summed it up quite succinctly in the press release: “A film unearthed from the buried landscape of the American nightmare, Trash Humpers follows a small group of elderly ‘peeping Toms’ through the shadows and margins of an unfamiliar world.” In layman’s terms, that means a couple of guys and one girl, including Korine himself (who is behind the camera most of the time), dressed up as old people and humping trash, screeching, destroying shit, and talking and singing nonsense.

The film is shot in the style of an old VHS tape, often falling out of tracking and occasionally superimposing “rewind” or “pause” over the images. The visual quality, the summertime Nashville at night setting, and the burn-victim makeup of the main characters bring The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to mind, as these old, pervy Leatherfaces go about their business. John Waters, Herzog’s Heart of Glass,Jackass, and Lars Von Trier’s The Idiots also seem to be points of reference.

It’s hard to imagine that this film would even be under discussion if Korine did not make it, whose hipster cred and provocative reputation are both his blessing and his bane. Amidst all the simultaneously repellant and hypnotic images of humping trash cans, destroying baby dolls, and eating pancakes covered with dish soap lies a deeper meaning. Maybe. Maybe Trash Humpers is a statement on the destructive nature of American society, our tendency to waste pretty much everything, the white trash Southern Gothic, and the decaying wasteland of suburban heartland America. Then again, maybe it’s just a piece of trash.

MP3: Ducktails – “Mirror Image”

Real Estate “collaborator” Matt Mondanile’s side project, Ducktails, makes some nice ambient, experimental rock. Listen to an example, “Mirror Image,” here.