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by Bill Gibron

15 May 2009

Dan Brown has no real literary legacy. He’s the fast food of novelists, a summer beach read that pretends to say something profound about the secret state of organized religion. With books like The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, he has extrapolated out stories that deal in centuries old conspiracies and the post-modern means of covering them up. Like Michael Crichton or John Grisham, he takes real elements within his subject matter and works up a whopper of a tale exposing them. Sadly, unlike the previously mentioned authors, his books read better than they play out on the big screen. This was especially true of Da Vinci. Now comes its sequel/prequel, an adaptation of Brown’s first Robert Langdon yarn complete with death, deception, and lots and lots of dialogue. While Angels and Demons surpasses its predecessor in every way, it’s still a sterile, inert thriller.

by PopMatters Staff

15 May 2009

John Bergstrom recently said of the Pet Shop Boys new album Yes that “in an era when pop is going sour, it’s sweet and fresh. It’s the moment when Pet Shop Boys became relevant again.” The latest video from said release garnering a 7 from us is “Did You See Me Coming?”.

by Colin McGuire

15 May 2009

Well, this is sort of interesting. Remember a long, long time ago when a public outcry roared louder than police sirens in Baltimore on a Saturday night about the proposition of bailing out huge, corporate entities? “Oh, no. We just absolutely cannot afford to watch the government give out money to the auto industry time and time again. Those loan companies? Insurance agencies? Goodness, gracious. When will it stop?”

Well, as has been profiled throughout various media outlets recently, one place it isn’t going to stop at is the newspaper industry. Grumblings have recently surfaced that a new bill has been introduced to congress regarding the possibility of bailing out newspapers.

Hmm.

by PopMatters Staff

14 May 2009

Wallpaper already remixed Passion Pit’s “Sleepyhead” (included below) and now they’ve tackled another tune, “The Reeling”. Producer Eric Frederic explains, “the song has fantastic call and response vocals with a children’s choir. When I heard that, I felt that an Afrobeat rendition of the song was the only option.” Upcoming Wallpaper tour dates are listed below as well.

Passion Pit remixed by Wallpaper
“The Reeling (Wallpaper Remix)” [MP3]
     

“Sleepyhead (Wallpaper Dio Remix)” [MP3]
     

TOUR DATES
May 21 Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s (Digg.com Meet Up)
May 29 San Diego, CA @ Beauty Bar
May 30 Phoenix, AZ @ Rogue Bar (Shake!)
May 31 Las Vegas, NV @ Beatles Revolution Lounge at The Mirage
Jun 06 Mountain View, CA @ Live 105’s BFD Festival at Shoreline Amphitheater
Jun 12 San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop (Blow Up)
Jun 19 Brooklyn, NY @ Studio B (Yikes! w/ Thunderheist)
Jul 25 Sacramento, CA @ A To Z Greens

by Nick Dinicola

14 May 2009

When Six Days in Fallujah was announced a few weeks ago, it received considerable backlash for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons were valid (“It’s too soon for a war game in Iraq,” “It could be disrespectful to soldiers”), others were not (“Games are only for escapism”), but what surprised me the most was the amount of backlash from gamers for the regenerating health system.

I admit that regenerating health is out of place in a game that’s supposed to be realistic, but also I think the word “realistic” has been unfairly applied to Six Days in Fallujah. The word “realistic” creates (ironically) unrealistic expectations for a mass-market war game. Gamers now expect their avatar to die easily; after all, it often doesn’t take more than one bullet to kill someone in real life so it shouldn’t take more than one bullet to kill our avatar. However, this kind of one-hit kill system would make the game dangerously difficult, and because of its broad intended audience, Six Days in Fallujah has to be accessible to all gamers. The subject matter itself is guaranteed to limit sales, so why further that with punishing gameplay? Concessions to reality must be made for playability. At least that’s the argument the developer made, but I believe the case for regenerating health goes beyond mere accessibility.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Cage the Elephant Ignite Central Park with Kickoff for Summerstage Season

// Notes from the Road

"Cage the Elephant rocked two sold-out nights at Summerstage and return to NYC for a free show May 29th. Info on that and a preview of the full Summerstage schedule is here.

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