Latest Blog Posts

by Sarah Zupko

27 Apr 2010

OK, you already know how much we love Gogol Bordello from Steve Leftridge’s review earlier today. Last night, Eugene Hütz and gang played the Jimmy Fallon show with yet another high-energy (are they ever not this way?) version of “Pala Tute”.

Leftridge described the band better than I’ve ever read: “It’s an eclectic, high-voltage ensemble, but it’s impossible to take your eyes off Ukrainian-born Hütz, the wild, shirtless, mustachioed ball of sweaty charisma who arrived in the US in 1991. Hütz’s strangled voice spits out garbled English as he prowls the stage, assaults his acoustic guitar, leans menacingly over the audience, spins in circles on one foot, and bangs on fire buckets. Violinist Ryabtzev is the Kenickie to Hütz’s Danny Zuko. He’s an elegant mover, all silver beard and jaunty beret and tasteful footwear, and his streaking violin runs provide the rocket fuel in these songs’ arrangements. Fiddler on the Roof? With this band’s mind-bending spectacle, it’s more like Fiddler on the Acid. Indeed, a GB show is part concert, part manic cabaret—a wild blend of Les Miserables, Bad Brains, Stomp!, and the craziest Russian wedding ever.”

by Alistair Dickinson

27 Apr 2010

The always politically-outspoken M.I.A. has apparently decided to join Copper Cab and South Park by wading into the choppy waters of the “gingers” debate. Her extremely NSFW, nine-minute video for new track “Born Free” is directed by Romain Gavras and follows a group of red-headed folks as they get rounded up and forced to endure some pretty awful things by a gang of black-attired goons.

by Crispin Kott

26 Apr 2010

On April 26, 1980, Los Angeles punk band X released their debut. Named after the city which spawned them, the album was a definitive release which not only put the Los Angeles punk scene on the map, but also inspired countless other young bands to look beyond the standard aggro punk idiom.

Los Angeles was produced by Ray Manzarek, who not only contributed keyboards to some of its songs, but also made sure to throw in a tune by his old band, the Doors (“Soul Kitchen”) for good measure.

John Doe and Exene Cervenka were the acknowledged leaders of the group, writing the album’s eight original numbers and sharing vocal duties, but guitarist Billy Zoom and drummer D.J. Bonebrake were every bit as crucial to the band’s early sound.

If it’s not actually possible to hop into a time machine and relive the thrill of the early Los Angeles punk scene, perhaps this clip of “Los Angeles” from X: The Unheard Music will evoke some of its spirit.

by PopMatters Staff

26 Apr 2010

Ethiopian-born and Bay Area-dwelling Meklit Hadero is one of those restless, creative souls that was literally born to be an artist. Easily straddling the musical worlds of African music and California artsy singer-songwriterdom, Hadero has worked for years within the San Francisco arts community. Her record label (Porto Franco Records) describes her perfectly: “If Joni Mitchell were East African and met Nina Simone for tea in San Francisco’s Mission District, she might end up sounding like Meklit Hadero.” Her full-length debut album, On a Day Like This… was released just last week and in this video you can sample the tune “Abbay Mado”, as well as get a glimpse of her creative process through a brief interview segment.

Porto Franco Records is offering up half of On a Day Like This… for free download in exchange for your email address. You can pick up those MP3s via the widget below.


by Mike Schiller

26 Apr 2010

Atlus looks to continue its recent hot streak with its first PS3 release since the wildly celebrated controller smash-fest that was Demon’s Souls. 3D Dot Game Heroes, like most of the Atlus game library, is a niche game, though it may well have a wider potential audience than Demon’s Souls or Shiren the Wanderer did; the appeal here is in an unabashedly retro approach to a game that could only have happened in the current generation.

3D Dot Game Heroes is something of a remake of NES classic The Legend of Zelda, though the pool of references it pulls from is far wider than that; quick comparisons can be made to just about any RPG/adventure game from the 8-bit era, with a particular emphasis on Dragon Warrior and a decided knack for the sort of intentionally awkward localization that marked the era. While its adventure is appealing and compelling in a “remember when” sort of way, though, it’s the character creation facilities of 3D Dot Game Heroes that are sure to provide the lasting appeal. 

After all, I may not have known prior to 3D Dot Game Heroes what it would look like if Bionic Commando‘s Super Joe wielded a sword that could grow to 10 times his size, but now that I do, I don’t know how I ever lived without it. Here’s a video offering a taste of those capabilities, complete with the silly sense of humor that the game handles so deftly.

//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

READ the article