Latest Blog Posts

by Enio Chiola

18 Aug 2011


Ok, I admit it! I’m a Tori Amos fan. Not just a casual Tori fan though, a die-hard old-timer Tori Amos fan who thinks her first three albums are shining examples of the best music ever put to tape. Every element of Little Earthquakes, Under the Pink and Boys For Pele adds to the overall beauty and genius of the music produced. The visual is magnificently shocking, thanks to the sheer brilliance of Tori’s collaborator Cindy Palmano. As striking and shocking as those visuals were on her first three albums, the same shock registers with how quickly and completely her visual contribution to her music has deteriorated over the years.  Instead of getting a demure and beautiful Tori atop glassy ice (as on Under the Pink), we now have to endure a ridiculously photoshopped Tori with the worst wigs I have ever seen, and holding a chicken (as in the god-awful American Doll Posse.

These visual flubs are also apparent in her music videos—the few that she does release. The last great video was probably “Strange Little Girl” from her 2000 record Strange Little Girls. The video was captivating, engaging, told a story and wasn’t just random meaningless shots of Tori in her new designer dress with 10-second pauses on her Prada shoes. Watching every single video and (god help me) “visualette” since then, it’s become apparent that Tori has little to no conception of what makes for compelling visual artistry. She is all about the audio… and that’s a totally different discussion.

On the heels of her 12th studio album Night of Hunters Tori has released the official video for the track “Carry”. The song itself is quite stunning, and definitely builds hope that her fans won’t have to endure years of music similar to “Cars and Guitars” or “My Posse Can Do”. The video on the other hand is a smorgasbord of stock footage nature shots, Tori in a designer dress with desinger shoes at the piano, and some imagery of some wiccan-esque ceremony. It doesn’t fit together, and Tori looks ridiculous as she tries to fegin real emotion.  It’s not surprising that this video is as bad as it is considering her shotty track record as of late, but it’s still disappointing.

Bring back CINDY PALMANO!!

by Matt Mazur

18 Aug 2011


Natalie Wood … Splendor in the Grass

Oscar Nominees:

Audrey Hepburn ... Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Piper Laurie ... The Hustler
Sophia Loren ... Two Women
Geraldine Page ... Summer and Smoke
Natalie Wood ... Splendor in the Grass

Mazur Nominees:

Harriet Andersson … Through a Glass Darkly

by Sean Murphy

17 Aug 2011


Poor Elvis.

The one-time king is now more often the (big) butt of jokes (See?).

But his musical and cultural imprint remains huge and will forever be impossible to escape from. This is, for the most part, a good thing. Just consider the number of musicians who have covered, copied and imitated the Great White Hype, I mean Hips. In part because hype and purloined material aside, the man was, well, kind of a big deal.

In honor of the day he absconded his throne (while on the throne… see? One can’t help oneself), here are ten artistic invocations of Elvis, ranging from the good to the bad to the very ugly. In all seriousness, the range of genres, cultures and eras represented just in this small sample should put the King’s enduring influence in appropriate perspective (perhaps too much perspective; see #1).

by Cynthia Fuchs

17 Aug 2011


In the mid 1970s, Glenn Burke came out. A Major League Baseball player, he had not kept his identity secret from his colleagues or friends. But his decision to come out was something else, apart from best guesses or ugly rumors or even confidences. And that decision was costly, as recounted in Out. The Glenn Burke Story, re-airing 17 August on Versus. As his teammates struggled with their own feelings, management was less ambivalent. The Dodgers dealt him to the As in 1977, where manager Billy Martin notoriously called him a “faggot” in front of his teammates. That same year, the As sent him down to the minors. Burke retired then, at age 27, despite good stats and an unfinished career. The documentary, produced by Doug Harris and Sean Madison, tells a story that is remarkable for a number of reasons, not least being Burke’s courage and determination: to this day, he remains the only Major League Baseball player to come out during his professional career. The only one.

See PopMattersreview.

by PopMatters Staff

16 Aug 2011


Photo: Amanda Johnson

Minneapolis’ Caroline Smith & the Good Night Sleeps release their latest album Little Wind this coming September 20th. The new work sees the band still rooted in folk rock, but expanding their sound into contemporary indie rock. The catchy hooks thankfully remain, but broadening their approach seems destined to win the group a new set of fans, while keeping their old ones quite happy. Smith said of the new album, “This record took a lot out of us as a band. We were in a huge transitional period when we were writing these songs and still not completely comfortable with any of them when we finally went into the studio. But because we were so unsettled with everything, the songs and the band, the record means so much more to us now because we got to see it all come together in front of our eyes and turn in to something we are all so proud of.”

Previously, Caroline Smith & the Good Night Sleeps made the lead track of Little Wind, “Tanktop”, available for download and you can check that out below. Today, we bring you the online premiere of another new tune from the record, “Calliope”. This song is emblematic of the catchy folk-pop married to indie rock that is the new aesthetic for the group. Smith’s voice is stronger than ever and the band is super tight in their backing, evidencing a high level of musicianship. Smith says that “Calliope” “is my older brother’s favorite song. I remember playing it for him in our living room when I was first writing it and he just leaped into the air and started dancing around and fist pumping. I wanted to capture that with the production of the song—I wanted to see how much harder I could get him to rock out once he heard the produced version. I think it worked.”

Look for Little Wind and live performances this fall as Caroline Smith & the Good Night Sleeps tour through September and October (dates below), kicking things off in Minneapolis naturally.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Emerging from My Hiatus from Big Budget Games

// Moving Pixels

"I'd gotten burned out on scope and maybe on spectacle in video games, but I think it's time to return to bigger worlds to conquer.

READ the article