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Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Tim Noyes, a.k.a. Handsome Ghost, ditches the indie folk of his earlier years and springs forward with a fresh take on poptronica via Color Study.

Having risked it all searching for success as an indie folk artist only to come up cold, Noyes decided to start with a completely fresh canvas and a new palette. His songwriting gift has never been in question as Noyes can write a great tune in any genre, but with his new Handsome Ghost project, he has really found his unique voice. Warm electronic beats and textures underpin gorgeous dreamy vocals that just seem to lift higher in every measure. This music feels organic, like it emerged fully formed into instantly memorable tunes.


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Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014
Secrets of Raetikon doesn’t waste verbiage on anything that isn’t necessary to exploring the game. The impetus is to just explore.

Secrets of Raetikon is part platformer, part flight simulator, part Metroid-vania, part creation myth. It’s a lot of things without ever settling on what it wants to be most. Really that’s its strongest quality. It just sort of gracefully floats along boundaries. Secrets of Raetikon points to the value of exploration as an end in itself. The whole game is deliberately cryptic, even the name emphasizes secrets (and something unpronounceable). The appeal, though, isn’t in uncovering the game’s secrets, rather it is in being a part of them.


The opening title shows a colourful, humanoid bird plummeting through the sky and crashing into the earth. Immediately, the player takes control of said bird and learns the ins and outs of flying, collecting crystals, and installing them into a giant machine. Secrets doesn’t waste verbiage on anything that isn’t necessary to exploring the game, the impetus is to just explore.


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Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014
It could have been a late April sleeper. Instead, Johnny Depp's sci-fi thriller failed to ignite the box office. Here are five reasons why.

With its less than impressive box office totals and almost universal critical derision, many are calling Transcendence the first major “big budget” flop of 2014. There are even those who are taking the fallout even further, arguing that Johnny Depp’s tenure as an international superstar is over while pointing to his last few films—Alice in Wonderland, The Rum Diary, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Dark Shadows, and The Lone Ranger—as examples of his fading A-list status. Of course, Alice was a billion dollar “disaster”, while the pathetic Pirates pulled in another nine figures.


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Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014
Articles hailing "the death of the music industry" are a dime a dozen, but recent stories about album sales, iTunes Radio, and radio audience shares -- when bundled together -- indicate that the big shift everyone has feared is actually genuinely happening.

The United States is at an absolutely terrifying tipping point, and it’s all because of one terrifying number: “1%-2%”.


You see, ever since Napster and the music industry’s best year ever being at the peak of the millennial boy-band boom, physical album sales have gradually declined as digital has slowly inched its way towards becoming the dominant musical format. We’ve seen articles about this time and time again, and it wasn’t too long ago that a video went viral wherein modern children were asked to try and play music on a Walkman, and they were hilariously confused.


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Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Chicago's the Safes smoke on their new record of classic power pop rockers with a bit of punk sneer and AM radio melodic harmonies.

The three brothers—Frankie, Patrick, and Michael O’Malley—grew up in a musical home full of classic albums and instruments belonging to their musician/collector father. The O’Malleys learned and played together all through their youth, which explains why the Safes are so tight and right on the money with every note and rhythm. Next week sees the release of the Safes’ latest slab of rock ‘n’ roll. Spring is finally here… time to rock.


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