The BBC thought Marina and the Diamond‘s Froot should have landed a nomination for the Mercury Prize which was awarded last week to Benjamin Clementine (for At Least for Now). Over the course of 2015, I have found Marina’s album to be an extremely engaging pop record, enough so that it stands in the genre as a favorite (alongside Say Lou Lou) of the year. So I had to see her once more—with the bonus of having Christine and the Queens as openers.
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Dallas-based multi-instrumentalist Jeff Ryan has worked with St. Vincent, the War on Drugs, Daniel Johnston, Sarah Jaffe, and many more, but his project Myopic deserves notice, as his beautiful new track proves. Lifted from his upcoming release Two Pieces, which will come out on 11 December, “Playground” was recorded in one take in the playground of the school Ryan’s children attend.
Note: This article contains spoilers for Fallout 4.
Compared to traditional media like novels and film, video games are very bizarre in terms of pacing. A film plays out over a specific period of time with nearly every second curated by the editor, who makes sure that no scene is too long. This desire to move the plot along in a timely fashion seems to flow from the nature of film as a communal experience. We don’t tend to watch movies alone, but rather with others. Thus, they should be an event that we complete in one sitting.
Video games are more like novels, which a person usually does not finish all at once. A person can read a novel at their own pace, and they can easily jump back and read a section again. Yet, even the most linear of video games are not nearly as linear as a novel or a film is. The player has the autonomy to continue the story at their leisure. This is both good and bad. On the one hand, the player has all the time in the world to soak in the story of the game and its qualities as a game. On the other hand, the director of a story-rich game gives up being able to tell his or her story in the exact way that he or she wants to tell it. I have to imagine that this would be frustrating for an auteur-like director like Hideo Kojima of the Metal Gear Solid series [And, perhaps, his infamously lengthy cut scenes, especially in Metal Gear solid 4 bear witness to that frustration—ed.].
On their latest album The Gates Canadian band Young Empires do not hide the fact whatsoever that they’re out to capitalize on the popularity of Imagine Dragons. The tom-tom-heavy percussion, the bombastic tenor singing, the stadium-friendly hooks are all there, as you can hear on the new single “Uncover My Eyes”. You have to give these guys credit too, because as derivative as it is, it’s exceptionally well done, and has mainstream pop rock hit written all over it.