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by Sarah Zupko

21 Sep 2016

London’s Blue House makes lovely, intricate indie pop music so light and airy that the melodies could be pasted on gentle rolling clouds passing above your head. “John the Unready” is one of two tracks that the duo, James Howard and Ursula Russell, released on September 9th via Canvasclub, Canvasback’s imprint for singles by up and coming musicians. Hushed “ba ba ba’s”, understated guitar lines, languid synth washes create a state of utter dreaminess. The video is animated and featuring a rabbit. Howard says, “Respect to Tjoff Koong Studios for making something so good with my cryptic instruction that ‘I imagine the video involving a rabbit.’”

by PopMatters Staff

21 Sep 2016

Evan Sawdey: Forget the fact that half of all of pop- and indie-dom (i.e. Diplo, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ezra Koenig) worked on this song in some capacity or another. The star of the show is (and always was) Beyoncé. “What’s worse / Lookin’ jealous or crazy?” she asks to her philandering man, and that one line, by itself, is defining: it’s not so much about her emotion, which in fact she’ll always carry inside her, but how she presents it. That’s the issue. This fella is burned no matter what, so here she is, in the unenviable position, trying to maneuver how to handle the way that people will perceive this blow up. When you get down to it, it’s about control, and even when he’s out of control, she’s going to do all she can to mitigate the situation. Therein lies her power, and therein lies her brilliance. It’s intense psycho drama, but lord you can also dance to it. [10/10]

by G. Christopher Williams

21 Sep 2016

It seems to me that of many conventionally understood narrative genres, horror is a genre that has some particular peculiarities in regard to the relationship between its audience and whatever form of media that horror takes, be it film, novels, or video games. What I want to describe, I could probably also connect to other genres as well, but I think that horror (and, perhaps, comedy as well) requires more of its audience in regard to the attitude with which that audience approaches its material to begin with. There is a kind of contract, perhaps, that horror seems to almost require its audience to sign off on, a responsibility towards the form, that often is not so explicitly asked of the audiences of other narrative genres.

What I mean by this is that horror is somewhat more easily “ruined” in some way if the audience chooses to take the wrong attitude towards the material of horror itself. The audience of a film or reader of a novel or player of a video game can potentially and quite deliberately wreck the mood and atmosphere that horror intends if they want to. If, for example, one approaches a work of horror with the idea that horror is in itself necessarily campy, it is pretty easy to break the mood intended by a slasher film. You can laugh off the situations the characters find themselves in (and allow themselves to get into), the gore, the grotesqueness, etc., etc. by simply taking the proper pose in relation to these elements of that subgenre. Frankly, simply throwing open the windows to let sunshine explode into the room while one plays a survival horror game can rend the atmosphere of a horror game apart rather readily.

by Grant Rindner

20 Sep 2016

The third episode of Atlanta further capitalizes on one of the series’ primary strengths; its methodical pace and lived-in atmosphere make the show feel comfortable in its own skin. A typical high-concept series would still be zeroed in on propelling its central plot forwards; if Atlanta was on Fox instead of FX, this episode would be focused on cementing the budding musical partnerships between Earnest “Earn” Marks (Donald Glover) and his rapper cousin Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles (Bryan Tyree Henry), with Earn booking him a show or getting him more radio plays.

Instead, “Go For Broke” continues to establish the importance of the show’s central premise in a more cerebral and natural manner, without skimping on the surreal absurdity. Money (or lack thereof) is the overarching theme here, with Earn taking Vanessa (Zazie Beetz) for a dinner he stands no chance of affording, while Paper Boi and Darius (Keith Stanfield) find themselves tangled in a tense drug deal.

by PopMatters Staff

20 Sep 2016

Driftwood is a perfect name for this band of restless musical spirits and road warriors as the group describes their work as rooted in the land while exploring genres such as Americana, folk, old-time, punk, pop and rock ‘n’ roll. It works beautifully as Driftwood naturally inhabit whatever influences they choose to employ on any given song. Playing more than 150 dates every year has turned Driftwood into a high performance machine, a super tight band that can thrill crowds and craft great records with relative ease.

//Mixed media

Measuring Success: The Unsatisfying Notion of "Good Endings" and "Bad Endings"

// Moving Pixels

"Sometimes stories need to end badly in order to be really good.

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