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by PopMatters Staff

2 Feb 2009

Micheal Keefe said of Sarah Borges in relation to her 2007 release, Diamonds in the Dark, “Sarah can sing the heck out of anything, really. She has wonderful pop instincts, but never veers too close to slick, radio-baiting country pop. Her twang is sweet and supple, and her dedication to her material is infectious.” Borges returns with a new record, The Stars Are Out, on Sugar Hill March 24th. The new one is rockier, having been produced by Paul Q. Kolderie who has worked with Radiohead and the Pixies. Here’s the lead-off video, “Do It for Free”.

by Elena Mertus

2 Feb 2009

Serendipity introduced me to Ray LaMontagne. I decided to just randomly download one of his songs, and after hearing his one song “Trouble”, I decided to download every song that he has written. His voice, is rough, yet soothing.. .a sultry juxtaposition. His influences are Crosby, Stills & Nash, Bob Dylan and Neil Young, just to name a few.  LaMontagne’s words aren’t as complex and lyrical as Bob Dylan’s, but his acoustic, folk-inspired style brings you back to a different era in music. I wouldn’t recommend driving to his music, but put this music on when you are having a late night and you will be instantly relaxed, and find yourself surrendering into a dreamworld.

by Mike Schiller

1 Feb 2009

We’ve seen the summer doldrums, we’ve seen the dregs of December, but never, in almost a year of taking a look at the coming week in games, have we seen a release list so dire as the one I’m staring at right now.  There are a grand total of five releases, one of them an Xbox Live Arcade downloadable title, and there is not a single retail release for any of the major consoles.

Who can we look to, to save us from the indignity of $30 burning a hole in our pocket?  Why, Atlus of course.

My World My Way

My World My Way

My World My Way is right in Atlus’s wheelhouse, a turn-based role-playing game that might actually appeal to those who feel as though they’ve grown out of turn-based role-playing games.  Think for a second about the prototypical protagonist of an RPG.  This character is usually a teenage (or maybe early-20s) boy who sulks most of the way through the game even as women find him irresistable and important people whisper things about prophecies to him, taking him for some sort of hero.  He’s utterly unlikable, yet we come to identify with him given that spending 40 hours with anyone will cause an attachment of some sort to take hold.

Well, the protagonist in My World My Way is unlikable too, but intentionally so.  In fact, this particular protagonist is a princess, who can actually pout—in battle—to get her way.  My World My Way takes the tropes of turn-based RPGing and mocks them mercilessly.  Is it actually funny?  Does it hold up for an entire game?  Can you put up with an intentionally unlikable protagonist for 30 hours worth of gameplay?  FIND OUT ON TUESDAY!

Burnout Paradise

Burnout Paradise

Otherwise, PC owners finally get to see what the fuss is about last year’s sleeper racing hit Burnout Paradise, and EA tries to go casual on the 360 with 3 on 3 NHL Arcade, which might be just what you need if you’re still trying to use the NHLPA ‘93 controls on NHL 09.

...or, you could keep catching up on your backlog—it’s Tomb Raider and Lord of the Rings for me this week.  How about you?  Let’s hear it in the comments, and take comfort in the knowledge that it won’t be long ‘til next week.

by tjmHolden

1 Feb 2009

Image Source: Sports Illustrated/CNN



Okay, about ready to rock ‘n roll in Tampa. It’s 7:58 here in Sendai, Japan.

Smart money is all with the Steelers. On NBC (which I am accessing through a hinky Internet connection—so apologies if my commentary drops in and out), the rational analysts are all going with the Steelers (better D, been to the big dance before); the emotional analysts are going with the Cards (Warner’s “comeback” and possible Hall of Fame end-run is a good story, the Cards have never been to the game before—let alone, won).

Who do you think is going to win (and why?).  And a different question: who would you prefer to see prevail?

 



(The rest of this post’s updates below the jump . . . )

 

by PopMatters Staff

1 Feb 2009

We’re really looking forward to the new J.J. Abrams-helmed Star Trek movie here at PopMatters. Here’s the teaser that will be airing tonight during the Superbowl. Star Trek hits US theatres on May 8th and stars John Cho, Ben Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto.

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

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