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by Alex Suskind

10 Feb 2010

Phantogram is influenced by a variety of sensations, aspirations, and visions, the combination of which explode into an array of atmospheric and organic sounds. Hailing from Upstate New York, the duo draws from a wide range of music—from hip-hop to trip-hop to garage rock to avant-garde. Where other bands would likely fail meshing these genres into a coherent set of sounds, Phantogram flourishes. Their songs have a three-dimensional quality, which is fitting considering the actual definition of a “phantogram” is a two-dimensional object that appears three-dimensional.

Their album, Eyelid Movies, was released on 9 February and is currently streaming over on NPR and on Lala below..

SONG LIST
01 Mouthful of Diamonds
02 When I’m Small
03 Turn It Off
04 Running from the Cops
05 All Dried Up
06 As Far As I Can See
07 You Are the Ocean
08 Bloody Palms
09 Futuristic Casket
10 Let Me Go
11 10,000 Claps

by G. Christopher Williams

10 Feb 2010

On February 5th, 2010, some of the development team responsible for Bioshock 2 took part in a conference call with the gaming press.  Questions were asked in a moderated forum to a group that included creative director Jordan Thomas, lead designer Zak McClendon, and lead environment artist Hogarth de la Plante.

Most of my own interests in taking part in the forum regarded how the philosophical concerns and ethical choices that made the first Bioshock so compelling might or might not be continued to be explored in the sequel.  Interestingly, while the first game grappled with the notion of how creating a society on the libertarian and individualistic principles of Ayn Rand’s objectivism might look in the aftermath of its dissolution, the second game seems to change direction with an eye to considering utopianism of another sort, that of the utilitarianism of collectivist thinkers like John Stuart Mill.

by Thomas Hauner

10 Feb 2010

However fans pronounced the group’s name (“Yeah-sayer”, “Yay-sayer”) all left the Music Hall of Williamsburg buzzing, humming, or both.  It was hard to walk away without a melody or to not bob your head to Yeasayer’s polished sound collage.  Celebrating the release of their second full-length album, Odd Blood, the synth, guitar, and bass trio (backed by a drummer and multi-instrumentalist) still seemed to produce their best sounds while playing material from their debut, All Hour Cymbals.  The originally thin sounding and Indian-tinged “Wait for the Summer” was tight yet sonorous, catalyzing a swaying party and the crowd’s excitement before they completely lost it for the new single, “Ambling Alp”.  At times the Hall was awash in ooh-ing choruses, of which “Madder Red” and encore “2080” were downright anthemic.  While the group’s polyrhythms jumped from afrobeat to new wave to a pixilated dance floor thump bassist Ira Wolf Tuton filled in spaces with poignant fills on his fretless.  Throughout, panels and columns of morphing neon lights that changed with their sounds flanked them.  Also, Anand Wilder’s gold glitter guitar strap (with pick holster) is one the coolest I’ve seen around.

by Bill Gibron

9 Feb 2010

In less than three days we will see what, if anything, new Oscar winning actor Benicio del Toro and replacement director Joe Johnston have to offer the whole ‘man into beast’ fright film formula. Ever since CG became a staple of scary movies, Hollywood has been trying to reinvent and reinvest in the werewolf film - The Wolfman being the result of such revisionist retro reach. Long a staple of schlock and serious filmmakers alike, this undoubtedly allegorical narrative (human’s channeling their inner creature) has been the basis for both straight forward storylines (as in Universal’s original classic with Lon Chaney Jr.) and oddball reinterpretations (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, perhaps?).

It’s not a flawless formula. There have been some relatively rough examples of the ‘cad into cur’ saga that definitely try even the most obsessed fright fan’s patience. For every shoddy, schlocky attempt, however, there have been one or two wildly successful efforts. Avoiding all the ‘bat vs. wolf’ histrionics that make any Twilight at test of Underworld mantle, and stayting clear of the whole “old school, time lapse facial fur” ideal, SE&L suggests these ten titles. Each one illustrates how effective - and ethereal - the whole late night/lycanthrope subject can be.

by PopMatters Staff

9 Feb 2010

We recently profiled Owen Pallett and praised his 2010 album, Heartland, saying it “has a fine polish that feels as expansive as it is ornate.” Pallett recently stopped by Q TV and here is his live take on “Lewis Takes Off His Shirt”.

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