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by PopMatters Staff

24 Aug 2016

Here's a sonic  collage packed with unique textures that sounds like Peter Gabriel's Security album after a wild animal was let loose on the mixing desk.

Photo: Andrew Stasser

Chris Ingalls: The latest project from New York-based electronic artist Joe Williams, Motion Graphics is a purely synthetic stab at experimental synthpop, with an emphasis on “experimental”. With “Anyware”, he basically throws everything at the wall to see what sticks, and the result is a sonic collage packed with unique textures that sounds like Peter Gabriel’s Security album after a wild animal was let loose on the mixing desk. Interesting, restless and far-reaching. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

24 Aug 2016

The title track  from San Francisco's The Seshen is a lovely mixture of buzzing, spacey soul/pop.

Adriane Pontecorvo: Beautiful, soulful, and just a little otherworldly. There’s a tight simplicity at the core of both this song and its video: a voice, a woman, an empty room, piano notes spiraling upward. Within such clean lines, it’s that much more rewarding to go outside the box, glitching and syncopating, defying physics. The way the retro beats play together sounds almost childlike, and Lalin St. Juste’s voice is the perfect counterpoint, pouring through the spaces between keys and loops like honey. The only issue I have with this song is that I want so much more of it; at less than three minutes, this song will get a lot of repeat listens in anticipation of the full album release in October. [10/10]

by PopMatters Staff

24 Aug 2016

Liz Longley returns  with album number two, a '90s inspired effort loaded with pop gold.

Photo: Bob Longley

Last year, we said of Liz Longley’s debut album, “Longley’s clearly ready to seize on stardom, and this album provides all the proof that’s needed.” Fast forward to 2016 and Longley is back with her sophomore effort Weightless, which is packed to the gills with instantly memorable pop rock songs, many of which could be chartbound. Longley’s songwriting is top notch, full of relatable tales of life and relationships and Weightless is the sort of Lilith Fair inspired album that speaks to Longley’s love of ‘90s music. “I grew up listening to music of the ‘90s, and this record feels more like the Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morissette in me,” Longley says. “All those powerful chick singer-songwriters I grew up loving.”

by Victor Stiff

24 Aug 2016

Virtual reality is  changing the face of entertainment, and I can see a future when I will find myself inside VR listening to some psych-rock while meditating on an asteroid.

Irrational Exuberance (Ben Vance, 2016)

Tech giants Oculus and Valve have declared 2016 the year of Virtual Reality (VR).  In the past six months, both companies stormed into the consumer marketplace, offering the first two high-quality—and highly functional—mass-market virtual reality devices: the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. Although VR sits poised for a mainstream explosion, it’s far from the new kid on the block; inadequate technology has thwarted the ever-pending VR revolution for 25 years.

When it comes to placing VR in homes all around North America, The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive do raise some red flags. Both pieces of hardware are prohibitively expensive, require high-end computers to run efficiently, and nobody looks cool stumbling around in a VR headset. VR’s high cost of entry and outright physical dorkiness mean it will be a while before VR has its Pokémon Go moment. Even with the proliferation of cheaper, more accessible options (The Gear VR and Google Cardboard), VR still has the potential to tumble back into obscurity.

by PopMatters Staff

23 Aug 2016

This sounds more  classic Green Day than anything they have done in awhile.

William Sutton: “Bang Bang” is close to a return to form for Green Day following their disappointing trio of 2012 albums, Uno!, Dos! and Tre!. A searing pop punk number driven by thundering drums and bass, this track is, like much of their recent back catalogue, politically charged, as it addresses the prevalence of mass shootings in the US and how this interacts with an ever growing dominance of social media. Whilst “Bang Bang” is a good track and much better than most of their output since the release of American Idiot in 2004, the track struggles with the feeling that this is a band in their fourth decade and we have heard it all before and often heard it done better. Nonetheless it is a welcome return from the band and provides positive signs ahead of the release of Revolution Rock in October. [7/10]

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Virtual Reality and Storytelling: What Happens When Art and Technology Collide?

// Moving Pixels

"Virtual reality is changing the face of entertainment, and I can see a future when I will find myself inside VR listening to some psych-rock while meditating on an asteroid.

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