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Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Today we have the pleasure of sharing with you an exclusive live performance of Royal Canoe's "Button Fumbla".

Royal Canoe tells us about the production of the video and the aesthetics that drove its creation. “With the ‘Button Fumbla’ video, we wanted all of the production value of a music video without having to lip-sync or lose the spontaneous, vibrant quality of a live performance. We enlisted the help once again of our good friend and frequent collaborator, Mike Maryniuk to direct. He created a “Fortress of Solitude” with sparkling stalagmites, plexiglass mountains and multiple live projections. The Ronnettes from the Future make a cameo.” Sounds groovy and here you go…


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Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Watch the award-winning documentary about the famed Burning Man festival right here on PopMatters. Spark: A Burning Man Story is available for streaming and purchase.

Each year, 60,000 people from around the globe gather in a dusty windswept Nevada desert to build a temporary city, collaborating on a large-scale art and partying for a week before burning a giant effigy in a ritual frenzy. Rooted in principles of self-expression, self-reliance and community effort, Burning Man has grown famous for stirring ordinary people to shed their nine-to-five existence and act on their dreams. Spark takes us behind the curtain with Burning Man organizers and participants, revealing a year of unprecedented challenges and growth. When ideals of a new world based on freedom and inclusion collide with realities of the “default world”, we wonder which dreams can survive.


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Spark


Each year, 60,000 people from around the globe gather in a dusty windswept Nevada desert to build a temporary city, collaborating on a large-scale art and partying for a week before burning a giant effigy in a ritual frenzy. Rooted in principles of self-expression, self-reliance and community effort, Burning Man has grown famous for stirring ordinary people to shed their nine-to-five existence and act on their dreams. Spark takes us behind the curtain with Burning Man organizers and participants, revealing a year of unprecedented challenges and growth. When ideals of a new world based on freedom and inclusion collide with realities of the “default world”, we wonder which dreams can survive.


 



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Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014
These guitar-based indie pop titans release a delightful new album, discuss the greatness of Tusk, and find a correlation between Macbeth and BASEketball.

When We Are Scientists first began making waves in the press with their second album With Love and Squalor in 2006, the group wound up being pegged as one of the most prototypical indie rock groups out there: a trio that played quirky-smart guitar rock songs that sounded like fellow power-pop enthusiasts the New Pornographers with maybe a bit more caffeine and a few rays of sunshine rubbed off the sheen. The group could get goofy, but they never played up the comedy too deliberately.


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Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Facing a brief crisis where they thought they may have reached the end as a band, Smoke Fairies emerge with a new album, better than ever and with a renewed focus on the craft of songwriting.

Between 2012 and now, Britain’s Smoke Fairies have gone back to the drawing board, re-assessing their writing techniques. “We scrapped lyrics right from the start if they were too flowery,” says Jessica Davies. “Unless the lyric really got to the point and said something, it got cut.” Katherine Blamire concurs: “As songwriters, I feel we’re really starting to sum things up properly, to nail them down. For me, it was a testament to how long we’ve been together that we could just say to each other ‘that’s shit.’ There really was no ego on this record.”


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Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014
Serious science fiction often takes a backseat to the more pulpy, crowdpleasing genre entries. Here are 10 titles far better than any "dogfight in space" adventure.

At it’s very best, science fiction makes us think. It asks us to ponder the tough questions and consider the complicated consequences of messing with science, space, technology, and our own fragile grasp of same. It often contemplates ideas bigger than us, using a shape of things to come creativity that’s part warning, part welcome. Of course, Star Wars came and wrecked havoc on the genre, using its space operatics to turn quality science fiction into action adventure in the galaxy, but even within its movie serial designs are ideas that expand our concept of who we are, and who we might be. It’s an approach that’s often yielded uneven results, especially when the desire for eye candy and brain busting special effects take precedent over the one thing great speculative fiction cannot live without, ideas.


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