Against the backdrop of the recent furor over immigrants' rights, Josh Kun's fascinating New York Times piece on brothers Adolfo and Omar Valenzuela's effort to record a pro-immigrant anthem reminds us that carving out cultural space is long, hard work. But it's work that often produces glorious results. Take a listen to "Corrido Rock" as performed by Joe Patek's Orchestra, a joyous, freewheeling selection from Arhoolie Records' "Texas Czech Bohemian -- Moravian Bands," an early example of cross-culturalism at its best. Ever wonder why so many polkas sound like mariachis? Ever wonder why so many corridos sound like polkas? Here's an answer.
The reclusive French electronic music duo Daft Punk, well known for their alternately surreal and bittersweet music videos, have made the jump to the big screen with "Daft Punk's Electroma," which will be screened as part of the Director's Fortnight at Cannes. The film, directed by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, has been described as a "psychedelic musical and visual odyssey that revolves around two robots and their quest to become human." The film has been kept under close wraps, but still images have recently been released. You can see them here.
As you might expect, Neil Young has opened himself up to more than a fair bit of sniping with "Living With War," the virulently anti-Bush album he rush-released earlier this month. Less predicatable is how Young has cataloged the press's reaction on his blog. The recent entry titled "The Great Debate" even lays out the contrasting critical opinions in good old two-column pro vs. con style. I especially liked the National Review's smackdown of Young's "Let's Impeach the President," which calls out the crusty rocker for inaccurate usage of an objective personal pronoun. After all, explain the Review honchos, her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, not Bush, is the Canadian rock icon's actual head of state.
-- David Marchese