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by Matt Mazur

17 Sep 2009

Garcia is one of the premiere contemporary storytellers of women’s stories—his Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her and Nine Lives are must-sees—this year he directs Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington, and the much-buzzed about Annette Bening in an eloquent tale about motherhood. Expect Bening to be at the Oscars again!

by Tyler Gould

17 Sep 2009

Bear in Heaven
Beast Rest Forth Mouth
(Hometapes)
Releasing: 13 October

Brooklyn-based art rock quartet Bear In Heaven is giving away a pair of tracks off of their upcoming full-length, Beast Rest Forth Mouth, and they come on high recommendation (suspicions of conspiracy between bands with “Bear” in their name aside). The first single, “Wholehearted Mess”, is out now on a 12” EP (limited to 1000), but “Lovesick Teenagers” throbs and plods only on the Internet for the time being.

SONG LIST
01 Beast in Peace
02 Wholehearted Mess
03 You Do You
04 Lovesick Teenagers
05 Ultimate Satisfaction
06 Dust Cloud
07 Drug a Wheel
08 Deafening Love
09 Fake Out
10 Casual Goodbye

Bear In Heaven

Wholehearted Mess [MP3]

     

Lovesick Teenagers [MP3]

     

by Katharine Wray

17 Sep 2009

Some Delights of the Hudson Valley, edited by Danny Shanahan, is a compilation of humor concerning the region, full of stories, jokes, comic books, and poems from such contributors as Robert Kelly and Denny Dillon.

by PopMatters Staff

17 Sep 2009

Grandcrew.com is putting out some impressive videos lately, including this live performance from neo-folk singer Alela Diane in France this past July.

by L.B. Jeffries

17 Sep 2009

From www.gamesetwatch.com

From www.gamesetwatch.com

As the difficult economic times and profit margins continue to force AAA to appeal to the broadest audience possible, it is becoming increasingly likely that the indie scene will be the place where games will address contemporary issues. Unfortunately, funding these ventures is still going to be difficult. Jonathon Blow received help from various sources to help get Braid off the ground, with much of the game’s expense coming from paying for the art assets. Jason Rohrer was able to create his work thanks to similar aid. The more eccentric a game wants to be, the less money people are potentially going to be willing to spend on it and thus the less likely investors will back it. Fortunately, art patronage in games is now more possible than ever thanks to websites like Kickstarter. Rather than try to have one group of investors bear the risk of a large investment, a game can be funded by numerous small donors who are promised copies of the game and other perks.

One such game that has begun to garner attention is Borut Pfeifer’s The Unconcerned. He writes, “The game is set in Tehran, Iran, during the post-election riots that took place this summer. You play a father and mother looking for their lost daughter, amidst crowds of protesters and police. It’s a puzzle/action game, set from a 3/4 overhead perspective in 2D.” You play as both the mother and father, interacting with Iranians, and discovering details about the event as you progress through the game. Playing as a woman will force the player to navigate the repression women experience in Iran while playing as the father comes with its own complications. Pfeifer explains, “I have over 9 years experience making games, and have an extensive network of friends and colleagues that can help me find the other resources I need to finish the game with the funding provided through Kickstarter.”

Games can and should provide players with a way to engage with modern issues in a manner that lets them learn about these issues through play. As a growing medium with a thriving indie movement, efforts like these can make the strengths of the medium shine. 10 dollars buys you a pre-copy of the game, 25 gets a signed copy, and so on until 1,000 earns you a spot as an Executive Producer. The game could potentially end up on PC/Xbox Arcade/PSN and other gaming networks.

You can find the donation site here.

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