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Friday, Aug 1, 2014
PopMatters speaks with Ruby Rose and Butterfly Boucher about "Break Free", the compelling and provocative video of Rose's that Boucher directed.

Two weeks ago, Australian performance artist Ruby Rose released a short film titled Break Free. The piece, set to a song (“It Pulls Me Under”) performed by Butterfly Boucher, depicts Rose’s transition from an ultra-feminine identity into a hyper-masculine one. The response has been loud, though not always proud. Some of the viewers want it to represent everything for everyone. But, like any created work, it intends to simply capture and convey the artist’s very singular experience. The hope, presumably, is that others will relate to and appreciate it, but that’s where the creator’s responsibility stops and the viewer’s discernment starts.


Both the support and backlash are examples of how starved the LGBT community—particularly the trans* population—is for positive representations of itself in the media. Along with others, Rose and Boucher have teamed up and done their part. But, like Rose says, “We need more people doing and fewer people complaining.”


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Friday, Aug 1, 2014
I've got the brand new doo-doo, guaranteed like Yoo-Hoo, I'm on like Dr. John, yeah Mr. Zu Zu. I'm a newlywed, not a divorcee, and everything I do is funky like Lee Dorsey. Beastie Boys’ 1994 landmark is this week’s Counterbalance. Phone is ringing. Oh my God.

Mendelsohn: Hey, Klinger. Remember 1994? I do, but mostly through my rose-colored glasses of teenage nostalgia. The year had a strange mix of music. Grunge was starting to lose its hold while the lad rock from Britain had yet to talk over the charts. What 1994 gave us was an eclectic music scene that offered up albums by Jeff Buckley, Portishead, Oasis, Nine Inch Nails, Notorious B.I.G. and Soundgarden, just to name a few. And like the wide-ranging, critically acclaimed albums of the year, there was one that seemed to capture the zeitgeist, as pop became an amalgamation of the varied genres of the ever-expanding music universe. That record was Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication — a sort of genre-defying jam session, as the former frat hip-hop brohams from Brooklyn tried to get in touch with another level, melding their punk-influenced hip-hop with laid-back grooves, world beat, and funk as they reinvented themselves into enlightened elder statesmen.


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Friday, Aug 1, 2014
One Finger Death Punch is about the visceral, addicting, and euphoric pleasure of the fight.

One Finger Death Punch is a brilliant game that manages to wring every drop of entertainment and excitement out of a simple concept. It’s a 2D martial arts fighting game that evokes nostalgic memories of those pre-YouTube viral videos Xiao Xiao, which show stick figures battling it out in impressively animated and choreographed action scenes.


You are a student of the martial arts, on a journey to… y’know, it doesn’t matter. You travel around a map and get in lots of fights. The story is nonexistent. One Finger Death Punch is about the visceral, addicting, and euphoric pleasure of a fight. It’s about the beauty of violence, the ballet of combat, and every system in the game works to reinforce these ideas. As such, One Finger Death Punch may be the most mechanically perfect game since Fez.


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Thursday, Jul 31, 2014
PopMatters and Titan Books are publishing an updated edition to the Joss Whedon Complete Companion

Whedonites, rejoice! With the ever-prolific Joss Whedon’s recent and upcoming works in mind, Titan Publishing has approached PopMatters about doing an updated edition to Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion.


We’re looking for fresh essays on Much Ado About Nothing, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Avengers and update on The Cabin in the Woods, and anything else Whedon you feel would be of interest to Whedon fans.


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Thursday, Jul 31, 2014
Check out the latest video from songwriter Chris Smither, "Link of Chain", which features Rusty Belle providing some lovely backup vocals.

Folk singer/songwriter Chris Smither is up to his bluesy ways again with his latest music video, “Link of Chain”, taken from his recently-released, two-disc retrospective album Still on the Levee. The song features Rusty Belle on backup vocals, adding another dimension of smooth to Smither’s legendary blues chops.


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