{fv_addthis}

Latest Blog Posts

by Zane Austin Grant

10 Jul 2009

When you watch a lot of people float away into the sky, and then wake up the next day to find magic is real and your neighbor has mutated, you might think to yourself, ‘I wonder if the rapture just happened, and I didn’t hear the trumpet,’ or ‘there has to be a scientific explanation for this.’  Either way, Jim Munroe banked on this confusion in his works Therefore Repent and his new series Sword of my Mouth.  Both stories follow people during the near-future dawning of a second dark age, in which magic is real but mostly impractical.  Medieval alchemy is out the window in this new age; gold is almost worthless, so who would bother trying. Instead the magic is just weird, like when a woman comes into a bar with a cat on her shoulders that is clearly alive but is made of dust balls and string. 

Sword of my Mouth continues the narrative of the first book, but moves the story to Detroit and begins with a new community of people.  It makes sense that following this rapture event, there would be a political and economic collapse.  Some people have kept going to their office jobs in hopes that they will make the cut for a second ascendance.  There is still a president who is a friend of a Jesus-type person, though he has lost most of his authority.  All the same, people continue make most decisions based upon the moral codes on which they were raised.  People have rebuilt their communities in ways that are pretty similar to the social structures in which they have lived their whole lives, but decision-making and trade has become more localized.

The city is still considered a dangerous place.  Though not much more dangerous than before, attackers have adopted a different mythology and might have a mutated animal head or come swooping in as a genocidal angel with a machine gun.  The beauty of these books is that most panels depict lives that don’t differ that greatly from our own, so when something about an interaction is a little off, it is all the more striking.  In these panels, Munroe and artist Shannon Gerard present a stabbing in the railroad yard, displacing the human shapes from the limits of the setting’s space, while making reference to the new metaphysical order.

by PopMatters Staff

10 Jul 2009

Americana music god Levon Helm played Letterman this week, serving up a tune off his new album, Electric Dirt.

by Kirstie Shanley

10 Jul 2009

If you were to take the lush vocals found in bands like Starflyer 59 and combine them with the beautiful melancholy of fellow Texans Midlake, you might get something close to resembling Robert Gomez. Backed by a keyboardist and French horn player, Gomez, on guitar, played selections from his last two stellar albums, 2007’s Brand New Towns and his most recent, 2009’s Pine Sticks and Phosphorous. It’s a difficult task, but Gomez manages to construct sad pop songs that tend to linger inside your brain long after the song has finished without the interference of drums and bass. Though he does use drums on some of his studio recordings, the loss of them live made it seem more personal rather then something was missing.

Gomez appeared rather thin and tall on stage and yet his demeanor was a very understated and modest one. He filled the room with alternating dreamy instrumentals and then more structured pop songs with lyrics. His voice is never insistent or even passionate but has a gentle quality that suggests a man trying to find his way in the darkness of the world. When he’s not singing, the instrumentals he creates are heartfelt, similar to what Jon Brion does for soundtracks. You can’t help but experience a sense of wonder listening to them as if they are part of a soundtrack to your life and your life has become a strange sort of cinema.

Though he’s an adept guitar player, with some intricate finger picking now and then, his best skill lies within the overall creation of these delicate laments. They are sad dreams for when you’re awake. Gomez began his forty-five minute set with “October 3rd Post”, a glorious symphony that seems in essence to instrumentally describe the wonder of fall and simultaneously the dread of the coming winter. That seemed to set a certain tone and worked as a wonderful companion for “Middle of Nowhere”. Other highlights of the set included “Hunting Song” and “A Paper Figurine”.

by Matt Mazur

10 Jul 2009

Almodovar is one of the most consistently exciting auteurs in the world, and in celebration of his newest film Broken Embraces, PopMatters is readying a week-long look at the director’s life, work and themes. While our inaugural “Directors Spotlight” series is a bit far off (look for the section to run in mid- to late- November, the excellent, nicely-cut English subtitled trailer is out now! Let the countdown to Almodovar Week officially begin!

by Joe Tacopino

10 Jul 2009

Chad VanGaalen has put aside his singer-songwriter persona to explore his electronic side under the name Black Mold. Check his Dan Deacon-like electro wizardry on “Tetra Pack Heads”.

Black Mold
“Tetra Pack Heads” [MP3]
     

//Mixed media
//Blogs

I Just Murdered My Sister, and It Was Kind of Fun

// Moving Pixels

"The Deed makes murder a game, a pretty fun game.

READ the article