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Wednesday, Mar 4, 2015
Shadow of Mordor tells a very stupid story, but we can't stop playing it.

Shadow of Mordor  features some beautifully designed mechanics, combat, and an innovative and interesting system, the Nemesis system, that approaches the development of your opponents in an innovative way.


It also tells a really stupid story.


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Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015
Stream the cryptic and dark new album by the St. Louis rock outfit CaveofswordS, Sigils, a week leading up to its release.

Enigmatic lyrics, reverb-drenched vocals, and an overall cryptic mood make up the newest album by the St. Louis rock group CaveofswordS, Sigils. (On their website, CaveofswordS is described as “dubwave”.) The band latticeworks layers of psychedelic haze and synth-led soundscapes into a brooding collage that emits intrigue all throughout these ten tunes.


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Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015
Cale Tyson's upcoming country soul album that he is recording now at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama was not the only big surprise he shared in our conversation.

Cale Tyson surprised us with news of his upcoming country soul debut album, recording this spring at FAME Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. His two recent EPs took him to traditional country music, cementing his transition from Texas indie folk to Nashville. After straddling the bubble of Belmont and real-life working musicians, Tyson is ready to find his voice in the coming year.


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Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015
A few indie developers got to show off their works in progress to me at IndieCade East 2015, including Knee Deep, Liege, and Moonshot

“Our hurdles are design related, not tech related.” So says Thomas Grip of Frictional Games at his keynote during IndieCade East. The whole of IndieCade East was devoted to talk about narrative in one form or another. Whether it was the structure of how narrative is conveyed in the medium like in Grip’s talk or the craft of delivering narrative information or discussion of what narratives get told by games, these were the topics of the talks. Additionally, and more important perhaps was discussion about what narratives get lost in the industry.


Consistently the most interesting part of IndieCade East is the Show & Tell exhibit portion on Saturday and Sunday. There indie developers get to show off works in progress, little experiments, games that are ready to play, or something you won’t ever get to play in any other environment. Generally, narrative-based games don’t show well in a convention-like environment, but here’s three that caught my eye.


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Monday, Mar 2, 2015
The legendary singer/songwriter Bob Dylan gets away with murder in the old-timey noir music video of his Frank Sinatra cover "The Night We Called It a Day".

In his eight out of ten PopMatters review of Bob Dylan’s Frank Sinatra covers album Shadows in the Night, Steve Horowitz writes, “Dylan has coyly said he’s not covering these Sinatra songs, he’s uncovering them from the weight of all those who have added their dross to the originals. There’s no sarcasm, cynicism, or irony on this disc; no hipster coolness, no vocal embellishments. Shadows in the Night is clearly an act of love and honor.”


To add to his project of homage to Sinatra, Dylan takes on the (anti)hero role in the music video for “The Night We Called It a Day”, which takes its cues from the golden age of film noir in the ‘40s and ‘50s.


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