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by Bill Gibron

5 May 2015

January through April  is a time typically made up of award season leftovers, pre-summer spectacle, and more than a few throwaways. Here are PopMatters' choices for the best and worst of the last four months.

In case you haven’t noticed, the summer movie season is upon us. In fact, many would argue that, with its stranglehold on the box office over the last four weeks, Furious 7 began what traditionally occurred between May and August of every year. Of course, when money talks, no one connected to the studio system walks; they run to the nearest script doctor and demand their piece of the plentiful pot.

This makes the months between spring and fall a free for all of repeats, remakes, sequels, serializations, copycats, and crap. The times both before and after those periods are dumping grounds, places for pictures that don’t have an easy selling point, an obvious (or appreciative) demographic, or enjoy a contractual obligation regarding a release, and/or any old write-off sitting up on the shelf.

by Eric Swain

5 May 2015

The Charnel  House Trilogy casts the player as an actor in a performance where the script is uncovered as performed. In doing so, it's throwing off an older design paradigm and creating a better work for it.

In the second and third parts of The Charnel House Trilogy, the screen effectively gets black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. The effect conforms the field of view to match that of the train car by highlighting the length of the place and it’s enclosed nature. In doing so, the game creates a portal by which we look at the action through, highlighting how everything is framed as a performance to whomever is looking through that portal. Which is true of any game, really.

by Brice Ezell

5 May 2015

Up-and-coming Austin outfit  the Vanity take to a 150 year old basement for their new black-and-white video for the rollicking tune "River".

A mélange of rock styles come together in the music of the Vanity, a young project based out of Austin, Texas. In songwriting and guitar tone, elements of mainstream indie come through, as do some undercurrents of the blues. But whatever one hears in the Vanity’s music, there’s no denying that these five guys are a rising talent in Austin’s bourgeoning music scene; things are only looking up for them.

by Brice Ezell

5 May 2015

Pop-savvy musical minds  from fun. and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) come together in this contribution to the new Jack Black comedy The D Train.

Andy McCluskey (OMD), Rob Kroehler (Ladylike), Jack Antonoff (fun.) and Andrew Dost (fun.) have formed a formidable pop collective for “A Million Stars”, a tune drenched in ‘80s sheen, which features on the soundtrack to the Jack Black and James Marsden comedy The D Train. McCluskey, Antonoff, and Dost harmonize together splendidly, no doubt due in part to the latter two’s proclivity for harmonized vocals in the music of fun. Above all else, though, it’s the stylistics of OMD that shine through most resoundingly on “A Million Stars”; both the chorus and the synths used throughout the tune are highly reminiscent of OMD’s most recent LP, 2013’s English Electric (which we here at PopMatters are big fans of).

In addition to his presence on “A Million Stars”, Dost is responsible for the original score to The D Train.

by Brice Ezell

5 May 2015

The jazzy guitar  stylings of Wes Montgomery have never sounded as good as they do on his latest compilation, In the Beginning.

Fortunately for fans of both Wes Montgomery and great jazz music, the 2012 release Echoes of Indiana Avenue won’t be the last set of undiscovered tunes by Montgomery to grace the world. That LP is being followed up now by in the Beginning, a two-disc compilation that spans the year 1949 to 1958. Of the many features in this voluminous set, five tunes in particular stand out, each of which have been languishing in Sony Music Entertainment’s vaults for upwards of 60 years.

“Far Wes”, which you can here exclusively below, is one such discovery. Taken from a 1955 recording session at New York City’s Columbia Studios (where Miles Davis would later record Kind of Blue), the song is produced by the now reputable Quincy Jones, then an up-and-coming producer. At the end of “Far Wes”, you can hear recording engineer Frank Laico call out, “Quincy, there’s a call for you!”

//Blogs

Adventure Games As Theater and 'the Charnel House Trilogy'

// Moving Pixels

"The Charnel House Trilogy casts the player as an actor in a performance where the script is uncovered as performed. In doing so, it's throwing off an older design paradigm and creating a better work for it.

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