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by G. Christopher Williams

8 Mar 2017

We Become What We Behold is a non-partisan game about politics, which is hard to imagine in such a currently divisive American and European political landscape. This is exactly the point of We Become What We Behold, though, examining the horror of the viral nature of divisiveness and tribalism.

The game begins simply enough, asking its player to watch and then photograph a small group of randomly wandering individuals. Photographing “interesting” things results in a hashtagged photograph that ostensibly goes viral enough to affect parts of the group. If we photograph the one “interesting” person who has chosen to wear a hat when no one else is doing so, this results in others adopting the look. In other words, hats become cool for some people, and they join the hat tribe.

by Michael Barrett

8 Mar 2017

Sometimes a serious, impressive, well-made movie slips quietly from the memory while a trivial piece of silliness sticks in the mind. Only time provides the proof, which is offered here on a Blu-ray with eye-popping Deluxe color and shiny glorious Cinemascope of a quintessential ‘60s trifle.

Like the similarly fluffy 1967 item Woman Times Seven, What a Way to Go! exists only as a vehicle to surround Shirley MacLaine with several big-name leading men. As poor little rich heiress Louisa May Foster, she spends the whole movie alternately hugging and sobbing over her co-stars while changing outfits. Her most common expression here is the gasping, eye-welling pout accompanied by a moan of comic grief.

by PopMatters Staff

7 Mar 2017

Mike Schiller: This is ponderous, man. Our first taste of Kevin Martin and Earth’s collaborative album-length follow-up to the Boa/Cold EP from a few years ago carries little of the pure menace of their previous work, but all of the tremendous, sludgy, doomy, dubby instrumental power one could hope for. It sets a mood and then sticks with it for five minutes, never bothering to change, because why should it have to? Picture an abandoned island town slowly being leveled by lava, and you’re most of the way to imagining what this sounds like. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

6 Mar 2017

Mike Schiller: Somehow, some way, Blondie is topical, political, energetic, and danceable. To be one of these is not a surprise; to be all of them is a bit of a shock, particularly when you realize that Chris Stein is 67 years old and Debbie Harry is 71(!). It’s a video that stars an initially-sullen androgynous space traveler who finds a glamorous space drag queen who presumably guides our protagonist to that great discotheque in the sky. It’s a story of not just acceptance, but a celebration of self and others. It’s a story where gender and sexuality is a fluid concept. Perhaps most importantly, it’s a story with a happy ending, something that’s awfully hard to find or even imagine given a political climate that seems hellbent on punishing and taking away the rights of the most vulnerable. The song underneath it all is a lightweight disco tune, nothing new but very much classic Blondie, and as a vehicle for the video, it’s perfect. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

6 Mar 2017

Chris Ingalls: Denmark’s Mew are a band that’s known to fuse their indie pop music with a slight accent of prog, this fits the bill nicely. From the soaring choruses and sophisticated musical arrangements to the nagging earworm catchiness, it’s as if Muse or Coldplay made an album after spending the weekend listening to Genesis’ Duke. Which, to me, is not a bad thing. [7/10]

//Mixed media

Tibet House's 30th Anniversary Benefit Concert Celebrated Philip Glass' 80th

// Notes from the Road

"Philip Glass, the artistic director of the Tibet House benefits, celebrated his 80th birthday at this year's annual benefit with performances from Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Brittany Howard, Sufjan Stevens and more.

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