Latest Blog Posts

by Jorge Albor

25 Aug 2016

When you open a copy of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, a board game originally published in 1981, you actually won’t find a board. Instead, you’ll find a rulebook, ten story modules, a map of 19th century London, a small directory, and a stack of old newspapers. It’s an odd assortment of contents, especially if you’re used to the cardboard and tokens of Settlers of Catan or Monopoly.

Your goal in Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is to uncover the truth of some mystery, from murder to theft and more. While the solution to each self-contained story is found somewhere in the stack of papers, you’ll find it spilling out onto notebooks and post-it notes and ideally into a snifter of brandy. Like in a good Sherlock puzzle, the solution is messy and jumbled up with other tidbits of useless information. This is a board game full of stuff, and the joy of playing it is found in sorting out red herrings and dead ends in pursuit of a nugget of truth.

by PopMatters Staff

24 Aug 2016

Chris Ingalls: The latest project from New York-based electronic artist Joe Williams, Motion Graphics is a purely synthetic stab at experimental synthpop, with an emphasis on “experimental”. With “Anyware”, he basically throws everything at the wall to see what sticks, and the result is a sonic collage packed with unique textures that sounds like Peter Gabriel’s Security album after a wild animal was let loose on the mixing desk. Interesting, restless and far-reaching. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

24 Aug 2016

Adriane Pontecorvo: Beautiful, soulful, and just a little otherworldly. There’s a tight simplicity at the core of both this song and its video: a voice, a woman, an empty room, piano notes spiraling upward. Within such clean lines, it’s that much more rewarding to go outside the box, glitching and syncopating, defying physics. The way the retro beats play together sounds almost childlike, and Lalin St. Juste’s voice is the perfect counterpoint, pouring through the spaces between keys and loops like honey. The only issue I have with this song is that I want so much more of it; at less than three minutes, this song will get a lot of repeat listens in anticipation of the full album release in October. [10/10]

by PopMatters Staff

24 Aug 2016

Last year, we said of Liz Longley’s debut album, “Longley’s clearly ready to seize on stardom, and this album provides all the proof that’s needed.” Fast forward to 2016 and Longley is back with her sophomore effort Weightless, which is packed to the gills with instantly memorable pop rock songs, many of which could be chartbound. Longley’s songwriting is top notch, full of relatable tales of life and relationships and Weightless is the sort of Lilith Fair inspired album that speaks to Longley’s love of ‘90s music. “I grew up listening to music of the ‘90s, and this record feels more like the Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morissette in me,” Longley says. “All those powerful chick singer-songwriters I grew up loving.”

by Victor Stiff

24 Aug 2016

Tech giants Oculus and Valve have declared 2016 the year of Virtual Reality (VR).  In the past six months, both companies stormed into the consumer marketplace, offering the first two high-quality—and highly functional—mass-market virtual reality devices: the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. Although VR sits poised for a mainstream explosion, it’s far from the new kid on the block; inadequate technology has thwarted the ever-pending VR revolution for 25 years.

When it comes to placing VR in homes all around North America, The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive do raise some red flags. Both pieces of hardware are prohibitively expensive, require high-end computers to run efficiently, and nobody looks cool stumbling around in a VR headset. VR’s high cost of entry and outright physical dorkiness mean it will be a while before VR has its Pokémon Go moment. Even with the proliferation of cheaper, more accessible options (The Gear VR and Google Cardboard), VR still has the potential to tumble back into obscurity.

//Mixed media

Saul Williams Commands Attention at Summerstage (Photos + Video)

// Notes from the Road

"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.

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