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by L.B. Jeffries

10 Sep 2009

From EVE Online

From EVE Online

There have been two absolutely amazing MMO stories coming down the blog pipeline and both deserve mentioning.

The first is Jim Rossignol’s four part series over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun about his five year experiences with EVE Online. It chronicles the formation of a small raiding corporation called The State and their wanderings across the massive universe of EVE. If you’re unfamiliar with the game, it’s a startlingly open game where players form enormous corporations and alliances. Resources must be mined, transported, and developed at player created stations. The need to ferry supplies and control markets, all controlled by players, make his stories of pirating and raiding groups fascinating both as a social experiment and purely because of how complex these online games are becoming. Fondly remembering a long conflict with another corporation Rossignol writes, “The few months in which we fought, toe to toe, is something I’d love to be able to recreate or recapture, but I know it’s lost. A singularity in the history of gaming. It was so valuable: a time when the kind of game I’d always dreamed of had come to pass: carving out our niche in a living universe, protecting the weak, working as a team to make money and bring down enemies.”

From Ultima Online

From Ultima Online

The second is a collection of musings by a former GameMater or GM of the now defunct Ultima Online. The game was one of the first graphically depicted MMO games and drew heavily on MUDs and previous Ultima games for its design. What made it unique was what a hostile and wild place the game became when contrasted to modern MMO’s. If someone unprepared stepped outside of town, thugs would descend on them immediately. The game was ridiculously unbalanced as well, allowing for master players to basically dominate the scene. Being a GM in such a culture, which resembled Hobbes’s state of nature more than a civil online game, allowed one called Backslash to collect a long list of stories. So many that he’s posted three essays so far with hopefully more to come. You can check the first post out here. He comments, “As an ex-professional deus ex machina, I have a brain full of these stories that bubble up unbidden in my memory from time to time. I thought you might enjoy if I shared a few of the more interesting stories I took part in.”

You can’t make stuff like this up.

by AJ Ramirez

10 Sep 2009

For the longest time, I thought “Oh Sheila” was a Prince song. It wasn’t until sometime in the mid-‘90s that I discovered that it was actually by a group called Ready for the World, an ensemble that consisted of multiple people who emphatically weren’t Mr. Unpronounceable Symbol. Regardless of who actually made it, I always loved the song to death. Even when I forsook R&B and rap in the late ‘90s to delve into the rock genre, I would get unreasonably excited whenever this song aired on the “old school oldies” radio station my mom liked to tune to in the car.

Ready for the World was one of a slew of workmanlike yet indistinguishable mid-level R&B hitmakers that swarmed American radio in the mid-1980s. The six-piece from Flint, Michigan notched several hits on the Billboard R&B Charts, but I dare you to even name a single band member.  There of the band’s singles reached the Billboard Top 40: the aforementioned 1985 number one hit “Oh Sheila”, the oddly Mute Records-esque follow-up single “Digital Display”, and the 1986 slow jam “Love You Down”. But only “Oh Sheila” has the infectious energy and unstoppable hooks to warrant repeated listens. And you can bet like hell I’ve listened to this song constantly ever since finally I bought it on iTunes a few months back.

by Eleanore Catolico

10 Sep 2009

Mica Levi’s Jewellry has garnered accolades because of its beautifully constructed bizarreness, a synecdoche of pop atonality.Yesterday, the 21-year-old Levi, performing under the stage name Micachu, released the video for “Turn Me Well”. Ethereal and hypnotic, “Turn Me Well” spellbinds one into sonic reverie: the jagged rip of a chainsaw becomes a clutter of clanks and grimy fuzz becomes a twinkle of a triangle. Yet these incongruous panoply of sounds are made sensible under Levi’s voice, a reverberating chant of disillusionment and just being fed up. With allusions to the mendacity and haplessness of the seasons, “Turn Me Well” makes you feel a desire strung out way too long, left totally derailed. Verses like, “Get to me and turn me well, I’m a tired soul,” get embedded into your consciousness. At a little under three minutes, “Turn Me Well” is a gorgeously sculpted vignette of music, moodily psychedelic, but no less revelatory.

by Kirstie Shanley

10 Sep 2009

Shoegaze has evolved.  It now includes a lot more fun!  The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have just enough etherea and shimmer as a supplement to their ripe indie pop hooks with a bit of twee pop thrown in for good measure.  It’s truly impossible not to dance when you’re listening to their self titled album or seeing them live. Their blissful offering is heartfelt, as their name suggests, and delivered in a way to ensure that you know sincerity is behind all the catchiness.

by PopMatters Staff

9 Sep 2009

The French producer’s new album comes out in just a few weeks and to celebrate, Joakim has just released a 60-minute mix that we have for you right here.

SONG LIST
01 O.M.D. - Electricity (Micronauts remix)
02 E.A.R. - Submarine
03 Dragons of Zynth - Anna Mae
04 John Foxx - Metal Beat
05 Joakim - Fly Like An Apple
06 James Pants - Rhythm Track 9
07 Pom Pom - Untitled
08 Soft Rocks - Black Magic
09 Vanessa Paradis - Des Que J’te vois (Joakim unreleased remix)
10 Red Dragon Band - Let Me Be Your Radio pt 1
11 The Rolling Stones - Undercover Of the Night
12 SPK - Dance Du Metal (I:Cube Edit)
13 Joakim - Watermelon Bubblicious
14 Sweet Exorcist - Mad Jack
15 Yura Yura Teikoky - Hollow Me (Alternate Version)
16 Dj Deeon - Exctacy
17 The Beatles - Helter Skelter (demo)
18 Goslings - Croatan
19 Acid Mothers Temple - Electric Love Machine
20 Dennis Wilson - Farewell My Friend

Joakim
“Milky Mix” [MP3]
     

Joakim
Milky Ways
(!K7)
Releasing: 15 September (US)

Joakim
“Love & Romance & a Special Person” [MP3]
     

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