Caught in the Net: A quieter side to popularity

New Jersey art-rock trio Yo La Tengo has been going strong since 1984 and on 8 September they release their 12th album, 'Popular Songs'.

A month or so ago they put out the first new track from the record, "Periodically Double Or Triple", and now another has emerged called "Here To Fall". Download them for free from their website yolatengo.com or from their record label, matadorrecords.com. Both follow in the quieter style the band has been going for since their brilliant 2000 album 'And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out', which may disappoint some, but I think they're quite good. The former has a R'n'B guitar feel while the latter goes for low-key, organ and string driven psychedelic approach. Also, a few weeks ago, the band performed another new track "Nothing to Hide" on French television. It's an altogether noisier affair, much to the bemusement of some audience members, tinyurl.com/ntlhlu. To go with the new songs is a series of "visual accompaniments" directed by John McSwain, which are periodically being posted on Matador's website.

Mind over matter

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have released a strange short film called 'Snakesweat', made with the help of Barney Clay, who also directed their video for "Zero". They describe it as: "A mescaline-infused short featuring the YYYs playing severely warped versions of themselves. Together, they try to 'lose their minds in order to recover purity of truth'. And stuff."</p><p>I'm not entirely sure what it's all about, but it plays a little like a potted history of art/experimental film, without taking itself too seriously, thankfully. It has some nice, intriguing images though, and I like the instrumental tune that rumbles faintly in the background. Watch it at www.tinyurl.com/nmdjuq.

A dance of discovery

Following the death of Merce Cunningham, the Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis posted a number of videos on their YouTube page in tribute. Chief among them was one from 1981, when Cunningham and his frequent collaborator and life partner, the composer John Cage (right, with Cunningham), were doing a residency at the centre. The choreographer and composer sat down for a joint interview, offering a fascinating insight into their work. tinyurl.com/mym49b.

Collision course for a new world order

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have released a strange short film called 'Snakesweat', made with the help of Barney Clay, who also directed their video for "Zero". They describe it as: "A mescaline-infused short featuring the YYYs playing severely warped versions of themselves. Together, they try to 'lose their minds in order to recover purity of truth'. And stuff."

DJs and baby talk

I'm not entirely sure what it's all about, but it plays a little like a potted history of art/experimental film, without taking itself too seriously, thankfully. It has some nice, intriguing images though, and I like the instrumental tune that rumbles faintly in the background. Watch it at tinyurl.com/nmdjuq.











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