Latest Blog Posts

by Scott Juster

23 Jul 2015

What sorts of video games represent the best that the entire medium has to offer? I talk to lots of people about games and the various answers to that question often fall into recognizable buckets. Super Mario Bros. or Doom for their ability to withstand the test of time and also for their long reach. Ico or Shadow of the Colossus for their ability to evoke a rich world through understated visual effects and mechanics. Journey for telling a poignant story while seamlessly (and wordlessly) connecting you to other people. 

What sort of video game best represents the medium’s potential? It’s a question that inspires high-minded thinking and lots of pondering about the nature of art. It usually doesn’t elicit talk about cars that can do rocket-boosted backflips, but maybe it should.  Rocket League is a ridiculous game, and it is a beautiful game.

by Scott Interrante

22 Jul 2015

There were a lot of strong k-pop releases throughout the month of June, but two separate competitions dominated the conversation. A battle of the top boy bands played out through the beginning of the month, only to be followed by three highly-anticipated girl group comebacks in the second half.

by Adrien Begrand

22 Jul 2015

Ten months ago PopMatters premiered the clever “85” by New Zealand band Ha the Unclear from their debut album Bacterium, Look at Your Motor Go. We know a good thing when we hear it, and this time around, the Auckland foursome have returned with a splendid, brilliantly conceived new video for the dryly funny track “Growing Mould”. Musically the song references XTC and the Shins, as well as a little doo-wop, while the video, well, let’s let singer/guitarist Michael Cathro explain:

by Adrien Begrand

22 Jul 2015

Led by singer/clarinetist/washboard player Jess Eliot Myhre and guitarist Chris Ousley, Baltimore’s Bumper Jacksons evoke a bygone era of American music, integrating early jazz, bluegrass, blues, swing, and folk into a raucous, all-inclusive hybrid that sounds as loud and energetic as it had to have sounded decades and decades ago. Their latest album Too Big World comes out this week, and the gritty cover of the old American gospel song “Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down” is a great indication of what to expect.

by Michael Barrett

22 Jul 2015

The paradoxical title of Hard to Be a God matches the paradox of its artistry in that its brilliant success makes it a tough sell for many viewers.

There are plenty for whom the phrase “three-hour black and white Russian film” already makes them reach for their gun, and this specimen immerses audiences in a free-floating fetid stew of medieval mud and bodily fluids populated by gibbering idiots and pustulant drunkards constantly spitting or upchucking. This grim panorama presents itself in the patented Russian manner of vivid historical cinema: a restless handheld camera (of which the gesturing characters are aware) executing complex pans and queasy staggers and focal shifts while looking up everyone’s nostrils. You can almost smell the farts and pop the zits.

//Mixed media

Double Take: 'The French Connection' (1971)

// Short Ends and Leader

"You pick your feet in Poughkeepsie, and we pick The French Connection for Double Take #18.

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