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Thursday, Oct 30, 2014
Why is it so difficult to find fear in video games?

It’s that time of year when everyone’s looking for a little recreational fear. Over the past month, I’ve made an effort to play some scary games and think about how effective they are at creeping me out. It’s convinced me that horror is probably one of the toughest genres to pull off in video games, partly because of traditional video game conventions, because of the medium’s fundamental traits, and partly because of nebulous definitions of concepts like “horror.”


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Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014
The Afghan Whigs release creepily compelling video for "Lost in the Woods" just in time for Halloween.

As with the Afghan Whigs’ most successful work, the new video for “Lost in the Woods” is a study in the contrast between light and dark. The black and white video directed by Phil Harder is a precise visual representation of the song, its oppressive yet intriguingly dour atmosphere built upon stark, minor piano notes offset by lightly twinkling ivory. Come the chorus, it takes on transcendent energy with pounding drums and Greg Dulli crooning in his upper register. In the second verse, it backslides into a sonorous cello’s boat-rowing rhythm before the refrain surges back with Dulli delivering the climax of his oblique cautionary tale.


Tagged as: the afghan whigs
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Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014
Experimental folktronic-pop duo Euan McMeeken and Matthew Collings have their second Graveyard Tapes album, White Rooms, ready to rock this November.

Between the plaintive vocals and evocative piano of Euan McMeeken and the distorted soundscapes of guitarist Matthew Collings, which combine forces under the name of Graveyard Tapes, there is a perplexing magic. Hailing from the fair city of Edinburgh, they have that quietly triumphant, slightly depressing, poetic and thoughtful Scottish joie de vivre. The imagery is apocalyptically epic, yet there is a lightness to the album, a vulnerability in the vocals and an ineffable fragility in the ramshackle, organic percussion and brooding piano-based instrumentals outlined by the creaks and groans of analog instrumentation, like it all might crumble into dust at any moment, but their indomitable spirit keeps their corporeal form together.


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Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014
Previously only available on a limited edition vinyl release, The Fates, the debut LP by the Baroque pop outfit Matthew Edwards and the Unfortunates, will be available on CD for the first time on November 3rd.

The San Francisco and Birmingham, UK-based Matthew Edwards and the Unfortunates are aptly named. On their debut LP, The Fates, they explore all manner of morose topics. Yet while the lyrical content of The Fates may be bleak, the music makes these saturnine musings delightful to listen to.


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Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014
Before you go out to your favorite haunted house or visit your favorite witchy woman, be sure to have the proper monster music handy.

In pagan times, Halloween or “Samhain“, meaning “summer’s end“ in Gaelic, marked the time of year when people believed the boundaries between the physical and supernatural worlds were at their thinnest. They built bonfires and wore masks to communicate with spirits and prepare for the coming winter. These days, while Halloween often means getting a tarty costume from Spirit Halloween and a pumpkin-flavored latte at your favorite coffee shop, it remains the most bewitching time of year. The air sharpens and cools and the leaves blush and drop to the ground. As the daylight gets a little shorter, and the shadows get a little longer, Halloween lurks just around the corner.


Before you go out to your favorite haunted house or visit your favorite witchy woman this year, be sure to have the proper monster music handy. The supernatural has inspired some exceptional and creative tunes, so it’s not difficult to find the perfect song to spice up a dark autumn evening. The following list includes 12 solid staples, comprised of classics as well as a few lesser-known tracks, to add to your playlist this Halloween. Well-known or not, they all capture the essence of Halloween, from the nostalgia of childhood trick-or-treating to the superstitions we still harbor as adults. While this list is only 12 songs long, there are numerous spooky numbers that could have been added to it, so feel free to add your Halloween favorites in the comments section below.


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