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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
We have an amazing contest for our readers featuring Cinda Williams Chima's Heir Chronicles series and an OontZ Angle speakers, as well as a 3-month subscription to Spotify.

The Heir Chronicles series by Cinda Williams Chima keeps readers glued to their seats through riveting fight scenes, deadly political machinations, burgeoning romance, and the unfolding intrigues of a contemporary magical world.


 
—ENTER TO WIN—
 

Chima‘s final book in the series is The Sorcerer Heir, which released this week via Disney Hyperion. The Sorcerer Heir is a self-contained story, accessible to readers just discovering the Heir series, but loyal fans will be rewarded by visits from characters they love (and love to hate) from the earlier installments.


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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014
"Keep Me By Your Side" is an archetypal example of a West Coast anthem.

The indie pop outfit Act As If hails from Los Angeles, but you’ll know that within a few seconds of its latest tune, “Keep Me By Your Side”. It’s the kind of carpe diem ballad that sends eyes looking westward, toward the lights of Sunset Boulevard and the sandy beaches of Los Angeles. With its triumphant vocal harmonies and soaring guitars (with just a hint of the Temper Trap’s “Sweet Disposition” in the rhythm guitar), “Keep Me By Your Side” is a tune that’s catchy and earnest, and perfect aural accompaniment for a drive down California’s famed Highway 1.


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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014
"The White Man Made Me Do It" finds Swamp Dogg once again marrying humorous social commentary and groovy soul.

“They can’t find a hole for this pigeon,” soul legend Swamp Dogg says of himself. “But I don’t feel rained on. I don’t feel bad. I still consider myself the most successful failure in the United States, and that’s really not bad at all.” As a musician, Swamp Dogg has become “one of the great cult figures of 20th century American music”, according to AllMusic critic Steven Thomas Erlewine, due in large part to his boundary-pushing, edgy, and gut-bustiingly funny social commentary. The White Man Made Me Do It, his latest LP, continues on in this vein, displaying all of the inimitable Swamp Dogg traits. Below you can stream the title track from the album, which finds Swamp Dogg laying out his insightful and snarky commentary on racism atop a groovy musical background.


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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Big beat electronic artist the Chemical Brothers just released the new track "This Is Not a Game".

The song premiered last night with Zane Lowe of the BBC and SiriusXM BPM and it is featured on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. The soundtrack was curated by Lorde and releases November 18th via Republic Records.


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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014
With the recent surge in popularity of sci-fi/action hybrid films in mind, it's clear that sci-fi needs to get back to its roots.

It would be difficult to argue that sci-fi is an unpopular movie genre at the moment: the Marvel Universe is dominating the box office, and most of the other highest grossing films from this year have had heavy sci-fi elements. Transformers, X-Men, Captain America, Spider-Man, Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Godzilla are all included on the list of the ten films of 2014 with the highest worldwide grosses, and we can only imagine how well the upcoming Star Wars movie will do at the box office next year.


So, what’s a lifelong geek like myself doing complaining about the current state of sci-fi cinema? Take another look at that list of top grossers; every one of them is as much an action film as it is sci-fi, as are most of the sci-fi blockbusters we’ve seen in recent years (think Avatar, Pacific Rim, and Inception). Now there’s nothing wrong with action, plenty of the titles I’ve listed are great films, and I have nothing but praise for the Marvel franchise. Still, it seems that nowadays works of “pure” sci-fi are few and far between, and I’d love to see more films that return to the roots of sci-fi as a gene distinct from action movies.


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