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by Robin Cook

14 Apr 2008

Kaki King’s SXSW showcase introduced audiences to her shimmering guitar work and self-effacing stage presence. Despite the “Queen of the Acoustic Guitar” moniker, King can move between acoustic and electric guitar effortlessly. Her most recent album, Dreaming of Revenge was just released.—Robin Cook

by L.B. Jeffries

14 Apr 2008

Operating on the principle that a game’s identity comes from the player input which itself is defined by both story and game design, the next stage of creating a critical method for video games is isolating those three variables. We’ll start with the most familiar to the medium of video games: the game design. Making an attempt at objectivity, we’ll examine the subject by looking at games with very shallow game design and ones with very complex design. What is the result of either? Steve Gaynor, in his blog, notes that a lot of people just don’t have the time to learn how to play a game and be competitive. Keep in mind that that’s not just referring to online play, it can be as simple as the player being unable to actually finish a game without a lot of work. At the same time, complex design can instill both a sense of achievement and allow for greater depth of player input. A game with deep design will allow a player to customize their own approach and make the game experience an individual one.

To begin, what are the benefits of having a complex, deep game design?

by Edward Wasserman

14 Apr 2008

By Edward Wasserman

McClatchy Newspapers (MCT)

As traditional news outfits migrate online to become dot-coms, one of their biggest headaches is how to adapt to the sprawling new frontier of public comment.

In the pre-Internet world of TV and newspapers, public comment wasn’t a problem. Broadcast news didn’t have any—aside from the weekly guest spot, usually some hapless civic association president reading from a prompter and staring terrified into the camera. Papers had their letters pages, but allowed only enough space for a few dozen a week, and they were generally written with care and were easy to prune for taste and diction.

Things were nicely under control.

But on the Internet, public comment isn’t kitchen table talk, it’s saloon brawl. Postings are sharp and rough-and-tumble. Harsh and derisive exchanges are common. So are personal attacks. Chat rooms and message boards routinely allow people to post comments anonymously. Only when postings are so egregious, so outrageous, racist or vile that other participants cough up hairballs do managers strike the comments and banish the authors.

That’s the cyber pond that traditional news organizations are diving into. They understand that their own futures hinge on re-establishing online the central role in civic life that they’ve played offline. So they are eager to host forums where people in the communities they serve go first to offer comment.

What about taste, civility?

by PopMatters Staff

14 Apr 2008

Wolf Parade
Call It a Ritual [MP3]
     

Laura Cantrell
Love Vigilantes [MP3]
     

No Age
Eraser [MP3]
     

American Princes
Real Love [MP3]
     

The Autumns
Boys [MP3]
     

Plastic Constellations
Stay That Way [MP3]
     

Dizzee Rascal
Where Da G’s [Video]

by Jason Gross

14 Apr 2008

Buzznet’s diet of blogs that it’s consumed now includes Idolator.  Rest assured that BNet’s appetite isn’t going away- they’re still hungry and they still want more.  They’re becoming the News Corp of new media, gobbling up everything it can as it makes a push for not just synergy but also as much hip cache as it can.  It remains to be seen if BNet is going to let the old brands keep the format that made them so desirable in the first place or if it bends them all for its own means (like Uncle Rupert).  If they’re smart, they’ll do the former but rest assured, they’re already thinking about the later.  I wish the Idolator folks good luck.

And just in case you can’t get enough of new ways to punish all consumers to offset the music industry’s mistakes,  you can lump the idea for the Internet tax with the idea of an iPod tax.  The same idea here is that another industry is going to be forced to bilk its customers so that it can then pay off the music biz.  So everyone’s happy then, right?  Somehow I don’t think the BPI (aka the British RIAA) will stop with electronics manufacturers or Net providers (and don’t forget that they’re trying to squeeze money from radio too) but they’ll also branch out to other industries that are involved in music- any remaining manufacturing plants for CD’s, plus the graphic designers and print shops that make the photos and sleeves as well as the studio engineers, club owners, caterers, groupies and drug dealers will all get squeezed somewhere down the line for being involved in the music pipeline.  And then the cost will get passed on to the consumers too, whether they pay for or want the goods or not.  It reminds me of the old joke about an exclusive club.  “I wanted to get in and they said ‘That’ll be 50 bucks.’  I said ‘Forget it- I’m going home!’  They said ‘OK, that’ll be 30 bucks!’”

//Mixed media
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Hozier + Death Cab for Cutie + Rock Radio 104.5's Birthday Show (Photo Gallery)

// Notes from the Road

"Radio 104.5's birthday show featured great bands and might have been the unofficial start of summer festival season in the Northeast.

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