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by PopMatters Staff

17 May 2016


Chris Ingalls: A wonderful late-night chillout vibe. I like the combination of digital bleeps and organic percussion. The bass line is simple yet irresistible. And it earns that six-minute run time. The song goes through a number of different yet subtle stages that never seem forced. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

17 May 2016


Photo: Keith Klenowski

Chris Ingalls: This one threw me for a loop. At its core, it’s basically a simple, sloppy rockabilly rave-up. But it seems filtered through a very punk sensibility: it’s like rockabilly by way of the Ramones (which may very well be how Butler discovered the genre). The backing vocals add another layer and give the song a (possibly unintentional) greater dimension. It’s as if Butler can’t be satisfied with an innocuous punk tune—it needs more. And the payoff is worth it. [8/10]

by Sarah Zupko

17 May 2016


Photo: Livingston Jones and Barbara Takenaga

Darlingside‘s most striking feature is those pristine, crystalline harmonies that the four-member band spin like the finest of weavers. They seduce and pull you into their stunningly beautiful musical sphere. In fact, the harmony singing is so good that Darlingside may be today’s Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Their latest single/video is for “White Horses”, an utterly gorgeous song that will have you hunting down their recent release Birds Say.

by Sarah Zupko

17 May 2016


Photo: Tom Dellinger

California’s Royal Jelly Jive has a name that evokes the 1930s and 1940s, which is ideal in that their music is firmly rooted in the aesthetics of that era, while blending in bluesy rock guitars. Don’t mistake the group for just another swing revivalist, however. Royal Jelly Jive brings elements from swing and prohibition era jazz into the modern age by blending those sounds with blues, rock and even hip-hop in the groovy bits. “Dear Mr. Waits” goes more for a straight blues swing and it’s an irresistible, slinky, sexy song celebrating the work of fellow Sonoma County resident Tom Waits.

by Boen Wang

17 May 2016

Undertale (toby
fox, 2015)

Doc Mitchell’s a good guy. There I was: kneeling, hands tied, facing down the barrel of a gun above a shallow grave in the middle of the Mojave. My killer’s a classy guy—he looks a bit like a sentient Ken doll—and he apologizes before pulling the trigger. Flash of white, cut to black. Doc’s sitting across from me. Careful, he says, I’ve been out for a few days. His eyes are dark and his mustache is a wispy white. He looks like a post-apocalyptic version of an old-fashioned country doctor, which is what he is.

This being Fallout: New Vegas, I enter my name, edit my appearance, and choose my stats. I put a bunch of points into speech (as I heard you can defeat the final boss just by talking to him). It’s my first Fallout game, and the possibilities seem endless. I can walk to the bar and trigger the first quest, or I can wander off by myself. I can scrounge for cigarettes in people’s cabinets. I can repair robots. I can befriend robots. I can appoint a robot as sheriff. I can meet people who eat people. I can eat them, too, if I want. I can play the way I want to play, or so I heard.

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