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by G. Christopher Williams

13 May 2011


One half of the Digital Cowboys, Alex Shaw, took recent aim on his show at geek on geek snobbery. In a brief screed against what he perceives as divisions within the geek subculture, Shaw (with his usual passionate but still thoughtfully measured approach) considers the hypocrisy of how folks who feel alienated themselves sometimes all too easily judge others that feel the same sting of ostracism.

For those unfamiliar with the Cowboys, Alex Shaw and Tony Atkins produce a weekly podcast on video games that also sometimes touches on other aspects of geek-related culture.

If Shaw’s rant piques your interest, you can find more of he and co-host Atkins’s musings on video games and video game culture at The Digital Cowboys web site. They are well worth a listen.  Digging in with episodes like their one on death in video games or one on sex in video games would be a good place to start and should give a pretty good idea of what they are all about.  In my estimation, they present some smart, engaging stuff.

by Maria Schurr

13 May 2011


Both the concept album and musicals are fodder for write-offs and ridicule, but developments this year have returned some credibility to these forums of expression. Once seen as an indulgence of prog rockers and something only tourists and old people could ever really love, respectively, 2011 has seen PJ Harvey turn the concept album into something very deep with Let England Shake, while South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have revived the musical and made it into something for everyone (excepting the easily offended) to love with The Book of Mormon.

Now, the Indelicates—the UK’s great unsung indie-pop subverters—have taken on both the concept album and the musical with their third album, to be released next week. In true Indelicates fashion, the concept they’ve chose is a heady one; they have made a concept album/musical on David Koresh, he of the 1993 Waco Siege, and have entitled it David Koresh Superstar. And if preview track, “Something’s Goin’ Down in Waco” is anything to go by, it’s going to be a mind-blower. While disembodied voices and unusual subject matter set to a beguiling cabaret rhythm may not be the ingredients for the perfect chart-topper, The Indelicates could just win over a few idiosyncratic hearts with their singular—and pretty catchy—vision.

[Listen to “Something’s Goin’ Down in Waco”]

by Timothy Gabriele

12 May 2011


I’m down with witch house, even though its not particularly witchy or housey, but Salem have always struck me as being the most unlikely of the genre’s superstars in that they’re not really that good. Their records to these ears much resemble their public persona- lazy, fucked up, and disinterested. Which is not even to mention their contributions to the mystifying trend of rape ballads. Then again, I was never one for their most prominent antecedent, DJ Screw. So, I wait in anticipation for the tipping point of this obsessive record-screwing (this decade’s substitute for the mashup), even if there have been some quality results of the drag phenomena (the 800x slower Justin Bieber track, AIDS-3D’s mixes). 

With that said, I’m as baffled as you are that it this latest Screwed version of Britney Spears’s single “Til the World Ends” is actually quite good. Even better is this video, which draws out the apocalyptic potential of the lines “keep on dancin’ ‘til the world ends” along with night vision footage of anonymous bombing activity in a desert region. Even the simple addition of SFX scream in the mix adds great leverage to the footage. Thanks to Kek-W for the tip-off on this one.

by PopMatters Staff

12 May 2011


Vice just premiered Bill Callahan‘s new video for “Riding for the Feeling” off the ominously titled new alnum, Apocalypse. Earlier this month, PopMatters’ Corey Beasley praised the album: “Apocalypse is a restless record, one concerned with the difficulties of staying put. In that way, it also keeps itself at arm’s length. Callahan’s stripped away a good degree of the hooks present on Eagle, and in the process he’s made a more serious (and, sure, self-serious) album. He’s a talent prodigious enough to warrant a lateral move, and Apocalypse will find its rightful place in his 20-odd-years-long canon. It’s hard to think of an album more thoroughly transportive, even if the places it takes you won’t always be pleasant.” Callahan is also on tour at present, full details below.

by PopMatters Staff

12 May 2011


Native Californian Melissa Ann Sweat now makes picturesque Savannah, Georgia her home and, it’s from these literary climes that she works on her wide-ranging artistic interests. The poet, writer and artist goes under the moniker of Lady Lazarus for her musical endeavors, which only really began early in 2008 when she started teaching herself to play music and began writing songs. Her debut release, Mantic drew accolades from Pitchfork and One Thirty BPM, while she’s been been on the road supporting the project. Lady Lazarus is currently working on material for a new album, as well as videos like the one we present you with today, “Took in My Diamond Heart”.

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The Bric-a-Brac of Games

// Moving Pixels

"In gaming generally, relevant and irrelevant objects are forever separated because mixing them up might be too confusing for the player.

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