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by Rob Horning

10 Aug 2009

Someone on Metafilter had linked to Real USSR, which offers essays and photos of Soviet material culture. It seems like a useful resource in imagining what a postconsumer (or non-consumer) society might look like. The Soviets apparently failed in achieving a positive example of such a society; its citizens, at least in Western representations, were hungrier than their non-Communist counterparts for branded goods and the world of status consumption from which they were by and large excluded. Their seemingly dismal lack of consumer goods was possibly the best propaganda weapon for the U.S. during the Cold War: Dowdy, nondescript proles standing in lines outside gray, barren Soviet distribution centers would be contrasted with the glitz of shopping malls and the endless opportunities for self-aggrandizement. Who wants to work for a collective goal when we can enjoy a solipsistic reverie in which all causes begin and end with ourselves?

Consumerism in Western society, at any rate, is strongly associated with atomistic individualism, offering the illusion of transcending social reciprocity for a higher convenience, in which pleasure is served directly to us through various purchases in well-stocked retail outlets. Pleasure is presumed to be a matter of accumulation—is constructed to be that sort of thing, a matter of developing the richest self through consuming and mastering the greatest amount of stuff. In Soviet culture, consumerism must have meant something else entirely, carving out a space for subjectivity—for an alternate currency of information, about goods and what they might signify—in an authoritarian state premised on surveillance and information control.

by PopMatters Staff

10 Aug 2009

Hudson Mohawke
Butter
(Warp)
Releasing: 13 October

SONG LIST
01Shower Melody
02 Gluetooth
03 Joy Fantastic ft. Daysoul
04 3.30
05 Trykk
06 Fruit Touch
07 ZOo00OOm
08 Acoustic Lady
09 Rising 5
10 Twistclip Loop
11 Just Decided ft. Oliver Daysoul
12 No One Could Ever
13 Velvet Peel
14 Tell Me What You Want From Me ft. Dam-Funk
15 FUSE
16 Star Crackout
17 Allhot ft. Nadsroic
18 Black N Red

Hudson Mohawke
“Rising 5” [MP3]
     

by shathley Q

10 Aug 2009

All these years later, it is still a thrill ride. Waid crafted a truly endearing vehicle for Flash, six or so months or major storyarcs, and six or so months of fillers.

Issue 91, ‘Out of Time’ is one such filler issue. Effectively both coda to the ‘Trial of Wally West’ storyarc told over the four issues prior, and prologue to runaway hit, ‘Terminal Velocity’. ‘Out of Time’ fits in with another long-running creative project of Waid’s; the superhero neurosis of Wally West. In the watershed ‘Return of Barry Allen’, Waid established the Wally West character as an essay in superhero psychology. Wally’s powers were waning, we discover, because of an insecurity limiting his capacity to adopt the mantle of his mentor Barry Allen.

But after defeating the villainous Reverse-Flash, and excising the ghost of Barry Allen, could Waid still tap the psychological as source material for Wally’s story?

In ‘Out of Time’, Wally (overcome by an incapacity to save all lives) uses Johnny Quick’s speed formula to boost his already impressive superspeed. But the plan falls apart. The boost of superspeed means Wally’s frozen in time. Once time starts up, the lives of three helicopter pilots might be lost. Zen guru and speedster, Max Mercury, boosts his own speed to deliver a message to Wally: ‘Don’t be afraid, live in the moment’.

The real treat of course, is Mike Weiringo’s hyperreal cartoonish style. As Max Mercury slows down, colorist Gina Going uses the masking effect to illustrate his return to ordinary human speeds. But beyond the colors, it is the tilts and outcroppings that make this sequence what it is. With Wally catching the falling Max, then donning his mask Ringo illustrates how Max’s point has hit home. Ringo’s playful artwork reminds us of the ordinary heroism of facing our fears, and thriving.

by PopMatters Staff

10 Aug 2009

Mika
We Are Golden
(Universal)
Releasing: 22 September

British pop star Mika follows up his 5.6 million selling hit debut Life in Cartoon Motion with We Are Golden this fall. Mika trekked to L.A. to record the tunes for the new album and Greg Wells, who has worked with Pink and Rufus Wainwright, manned the production booth. Judging from the debut video “We Are Golden”, we’re in for more catchy pop with more than a trace of Freddie Mercury-esque vocals.

SONG LIST

Standard Edition
01 We Are Golden
02 Blame It on the Girls
03 Rain
04 Dr John
05 I See You
06 Blue Eyes
07 Good Gone Girl
08 Touches You
09 By the Time
10 One Foot Boy
11 Toy Boy
12 Pick Up Off the Floor
13 Lover Boy (bonus track)
14 Lady Jane (iTunes bonus track)

Deluxe Edition: Disc 2 Mika Live at Sadler’s Wells
01 Grace Kelly
02 Lady Jane
03 Stuck in the Middle
04 Lonely Alcoholic
05 Blue Eyes
06 Toy Boy
07 Billy Brown
08 Good Gone Girl
09 Over My Shoulder
10 Big Girl (You’re Beautiful)
11 Love Today
12 Blame It on the Girls
13 Happy Ending
14 Lollipop
15 My Interpretation
16 Rain
17 Relax, Take It Easy

by PopMatters Staff

10 Aug 2009

Scotland’s Glasvegas dropped by Ferguson’s show last Thursday night before making their way to Chicago for Lollapalooza.

//Mixed media
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Here Comes the Bloom: Timothy Bloom Takes Hip-Hop to the Sock-Hop

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