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Thursday, Sep 18, 2014
The types of decisions I made at the end of season 2 were heartfelt ones, but they’re not practical and they’re not the kinds of decisions that keep people alive.

The Walking Dead is deviously good at at playing on your sense of hope. Perhaps there is some way to make it out of this catastrophe if I say the right thing, act quickly enough, or maybe with just a bit of luck, I’ll somehow outrun these zombies, rehabilitate these broken people, and live out my days as a contented subsistence farmer.


This will never happen, and I try to direct the characters in The Walking Dead accordingly. People need to be responsible for their own actions, they need to be responsible for how their actions impact their group, and they need to be held accountable for the decisions they make. These principles are what caused me in season 1 to give up on Ben and leave him behind. They’re what drove Lee to strike out on his own after screwing up and being bitten. They’re what drove Lee to be caring, but firm, with Clementine so that she was ready to act and make her own decisions.


All this means that for me, both Lee and Clementine come across as utilitarian. If someone is dragging the group down, and they don’t want or cannot benefit from help, it’s time to say goodbye, even though it might be a sad goodbye. With season 2’s introduction of AJ, an infant who is instantly orphaned, my resolve (and therefore Clem’s) was shaken. Wanting to care for a defenseless baby is tempting and socially compelling, but it’s the baby’s symbolism as a turning point in the larger world that makes it even more tragic.


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Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014
The myriad sounds of world music and the creative impulses of the electronic remix come together in the eclectic hodgepodge Psychedelic Planet, out now through Six Degrees records.

The record label Six Degrees has taken on an ambitious task with Psychedelic Planet, its latest compilation. Dubbing the project “globetronica”, the album brings together remixes of tunes Bombay Dub Orchestra, Jeff Stott, and Vieux Farka Touré into a cohesive and creative collection of world music re-imagined by today’s leading electronic artists, including Bassnectar.


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Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014
Brazilian dream-pop artist SILVA's latest album, Ocean View, offers the listener an inviting collection of dreamy, beach-worthy tunes.

Those who like their dream pop with real substance—that is to say, dream pop that doesn’t get obsessed with its own dreaminess—ought to jump right on the latest LP by the Brazilian artist SILVA, entitled Ocean View. From the subtle pulse of “Okinawa” to the full-on ‘80s saxophone blast of “Janeiro”, SILVA has crafted a batch of songs that are equally fun as they are beautiful. The music has all the familiar dream pop traits, but most importantly it’s unafraid to emphasize the latter of the two words in that genre designation.


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Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014
Love, war and other crap at the Gdynia Film Festival, Poland's largest and most prestigious showcase for its national cinema.

Founded in 1974 and now in its 39th year (two were lost to the imposition of martial law in the early ‘80s) the Gdynia Film Festival (15-20 September 2014) is the oldest and most prestigious event in the Polish film calendar, and one of the primary showcases for national cinema. (Recent winners include Agnieska Holland’s In Darkness [2012] and, last year, Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida.)


The range of movies, events, exhibitions and workshops that the festival offers clearly plays a large part in that reputation, while its blissful location in the gorgeous Gdynia (the northern seaside locale that’s part of the so-called “Tri-City”, or “Trójmiasto”, alongside Gdańsk and Sopot) doesn’t hurt, either. As a first-time attendee, I’ve been struck over the last couple of days by the festival’s excellent organisation and welcoming atmosphere, and by the richness of its programming which offers a sometimes overwhelming choice of things to do and see.


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Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014
The Imogen Heap-indebted electronic of Claire London's "Cut the Strings" is a powerful sample of what's to come on her new EP, Hit the Switch.

Fans of Imogen Heap should check out Claire London’s latest single, “Cut the Strings”, which you can stream below. The song’s intense mood and atmospheric electronics form a perfect background for London’s powerful vocals.


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