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Thursday, Oct 30, 2014
Texas rock outfit A. Sinclair's '60s-inflected, driving rock song "Pretty Girls in Pretty Tights" is an energetic tune with some interesting lyrics.

A. Sinclair, the Austin by way of Boston rock outfit helmed by Aaron Sinclair, has come up with a rather interesting number in “Pretty Girls in Pretty Tights”, the title-alluding track off of its latest EP, Pretty Girls. What appears to be a straightforward, driving rock tune on the surface has a rather interesting lyrical story behind it.


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Thursday, Oct 30, 2014
The first Saw is really a whodunit. The next six are all about the "why".

Few filmmakers can claim a successful cinematic franchise. Fewer still have one based on their own original idea. So what does it say about horror maestro James Wan that he has not one, not two, but three wholly unique and undeniably profitable scary movie series to be proud of. Most recently, the Australian auteur delivered The Conjuring, a $20 million dollar revisit to old school ‘70s fright that netted nearly $320 million at the box office. With such numbers have come a prequel, Annabelle, and the inevitable sequel.


Before that, Wan was also responsible for the ingenious and devious dark ride, Insidious. Part One arrived in 2010 with little fanfare and fewer expectations and wound up bringing in almost $100 million in turnstile receipts. Part Two made even more money ($161 million) before the filmmaker turned things over to his partner in creepshow crime, Leigh Whannell (Part Three arrives in 2014). But before there was the subtle scares and throwback mentality of these two properties, Wan and Whannell rode a wave of rave reviews for a little something called Saw.


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Thursday, Oct 30, 2014
Horror is probably one of the toughest genres to pull off in video games, partly because of traditional video game conventions.

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.


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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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