Archive | March, 2009

Past review: “Kala,” M.I.A.

30 Mar

“Kala” a second excellent effort by M.I.A. (originally published in Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal 08/2007)

BY SHEENA BARNETT

Kala

To say that M.I.A.’s second record, “Kala,” is just as good as her debut, “Arular,” is saying something.

Because “Arular” is an exquisite record, so to come back with something just as good is a testament to how incredibly talented M.I.A. is.

She’s made a career of mixing dance, electronica, world and hip-hop beats into bizarrely exhilarating tunes. Her music is literally mind-blowing: new listeners may have to put a few songs on repeat to fully comprehend what’s going on.

A prime example is the first single, “Boyz.” There’s so much happening, so many beats, so many competing vocals, that it’s almost a dizzying song. But M.I.A.’s chorus is loud and clear: “How many no money boys are crazy/How many boys are raw?/How many no money boys are rowdy/How many start a war?”

But not everything on “Kala” is so complicated.
“Jimmy” is a Bollywood disco song, and M.I.A. reworks it into perfection. It’s a swirling mass of beats, and M.I.A.’s breathy vocals recall “Heart of Glass”-ish Debbie Harry. It’s the best song on the album.

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In this space

30 Mar

Now that the official “Scene Now” has moved over its new home, I’d like to use this site for my own personal entertainment blog.

Don’t get too excited – I don’t have any majorly serious evil plots plotted (bwahahaha) for this site yet – but I want to at least get the ball rolling on some random posts, etc.

I’m going to post up some of my old reviews that ran in Scene/The Daily Journal. Maybe some old columns, too. And then my random, this may-or-may-not-ever run in the Journal scribblings as well. Basically you’ll get loads of random Sheena-ness, as terrifying as that sounds. Egads.

So, look out for that, and keep going to my official Scene Now page at NEMS360.com.

Love and unicorns.

Scene Now is MOVING!

2 Mar

TODAY is the last day you will see new content on this blog.

The Daily Journal has a new Web site – NEMS360.com – and our blogs are slowly but surely getting moved to the new site.

Scene Now is already there!

It’s a little tough to find right now – we’re working out the kinks as quickly as possible.

But HERE’S HOW TO GET TO THE NEW SCENE NOW:
Go to NEMS360.com
Scroll down to “Community”
Click on “Blogs”
You should see a spankin’ new Scene Now post there.

OR You can go to my profile on nems360.com, which will show you my latest blog post: nems360.com/scenenow

The big difference (besides the change of address) is that you’ll need to register in order to leave a comment.

Besides that, everything else should basically be the same.

Give me a little bit of time to ge used to everything, but I expect we’ll be rolling along in no time.

Feel free to explore nems360.com while you’re there. I’m especially excited about the new events calendar. Bands, venues, etc: You can add your own events to the events calendar!

I’m going to keep this page going. For a while I think I’ll keep it as the “old” Scene Now – so you can come back in here and look up any old blog posts. But eventually I’ll turn this address (sheenabarnett.wordpress.com) into my own personal (read: not Journal-related) entertainment site.

Thank you, so much, from the bottom of my Joss Whedon-loving heart, for visiting this blog and commenting and basically making this the most fun part of my job. I hope you’ll join me at the new address.

Everything you love about Scene Now, from Todd Hunt’s In the Arena to Life with Lucy to your daily What’s Going On’s – will all be there, starting TOMORROW (March 3).

See you there!

What’s Going On – The Beatles, U2, ‘Madea’

2 Mar

Happy Monday, Scenesters!

How was your weekend?

Mine was pretty busy – getting things done Friday, and then a wedding in Byhalia. Had a few scary moments – my broach decided to die on me, so I had to Krazy Glue it back together (and, because I’m clumsy me, I ended up Krazy Gluing my fingers together) and then my heels decided they hated my feet, so I wound up running barefoot in the snow down the streets of Byhalia. lol. Good weekend. 🙂

  • Cypress Hill is working on a new CD.
  • Here’s casting news on the new “Melrose Place” and the new vampire series, “Vampire Diaries.” Steve McQueen’s grandson – that would be one Steven McQueen – will star in “Vampire.”
  • Billy Bob Thornton’s band The Boxmasters will release a new album in April.
  • Even the Jonas Brothers couldn’t keep “Madea” from reaching No. 1 at the box office.
  • And, finally, CMT has this nice list of 10 albums you’ll want to buy to kick off your Americana collection. Although I have a feeling most good music fans already have at least a few of these.