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Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014
What ultimately sets the Motet apart are the tightly layered arrangements.

Ocean Beach loves a funky Saturday night dance party and there was a line around the block at Winston’s to attest to it. Such a lengthy line is rare to see at the venue, with many music fans taking a laissez faire approach to buying tickets these days. But the line to get into the club showed anticipation running high for this fiesta with the Motet from Colorado, who were making their first visit to San Diego in some time.


Some had caught the Motet’s smashing performance at the 2012 High Sierra Music Festival in Northern California, where the band’s “Funk Is Dead” project—covering Grateful Dead tunes with funk and afro-beat arrangements—was one of the festival’s top highlights. The word was clearly getting out. But local funkateers the Earful were also bringing in a draw of their own, as evidenced by how full the intimate club was for their opening set.


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Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014
While Activision didn't have a new Skylanders game to show off, they did have new toys and MEZCO's line expands to include Sons of Anarchy as well as Breaking Bad.

In the past, video games haven’t been a big part of the international Toy Fair, but that hadn’t stopped Activision from having a big booth to showcase their Skylanders game/collectible toy hybrid line. This year however, Activision wasn’t sharing any info about any new game for 2014 at Toy Fair, so their booth was a bit more subdued. They did showcase a couple of new characters for their game as well as a seasonal variant, the springtime Trigger Happy, a pastel colored character in an egg-shaped package. They also announced a partnership by which they will release fruit snacks later this year but the samples they had were too gummy and unpleasantly stuck to my teeth.


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Monday, Feb 24, 2014
The ability to blend classic influences into new sonic flavors is one of Nelson’s strongest attributes and was evident throughout the night.

Guitarist Lukas Nelson calls his band the Promise of the Real (P.O.T.R.) and the name is fitting because the group is legit. There’s a general tendency to be somewhat skeptical of children of celebrities who choose to follow in their parents footsteps. But Nelson, son of country music legend Willie Nelson, is well on his way to carving out his own niche as one of the more gifted rock ‘n’ rollers of his generation.


The band’s first two albums established Lukas as a talented songwriter and the band as a sonic force, combining various classic rock influences with a little bit of cosmic cowboy country twang. Nelson is an ace guitarist and the band is a powerful live act, which is what separates the contenders from the pretenders. Nelson has also been racking up extra credit points by collaborating with various musical elders, such as sitting in with Phil Lesh, Bob Weir and company at the Los Angeles Greek Theater on Furthur’s fall 2012 tour. This followed a tour opening for John Fogerty.


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Friday, Feb 21, 2014
With the release of The LEGO Movie, one can make a case that the brand understands the limitations of creating specific scenes and sets but hasn't given up on a child's imagination.

With their movie at the top of the box office two weeks in a row now, LEGO debuted their Ghostbusters themed set at Toy Fair 2014 this past week and also had their set based on The Simpsons on display. The former is possibly a one-off product in the license as it in the CUUSOO line, a consumer voted on project whose last set was Back to the Future related, while the latter is expected to be bigger given that Milhouse appears in The LEGO Movie and the 550th episode of The Simpsons to air in May will be animated using the “highly sophisticated interlocking brick system”. According to EW, in the episode entitled ““Brick Like Me”, Homer wakes up in a world where his family and everyone in Springfield are made of Legos.”


While you wait for the episode, you can view some of the new toys below, including a Star Wars Rebel line. We unfortunately couldn’t get pictures of figures related to the Michael Bay TMNT movie or Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy or Minecraft, but expect those to be on the way in the near future.


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Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014
Emily Kinney, Beth Greene in AMC's The Walking Dead, is also a talented singer-songwriter with two charming EPs under her belt.

Just about six months ago, I learned that Norman Reedus, the actor who plays Daryl Dixon on AMC’s The Walking Dead, was also a photographer when he was the host of a Canon camera event. It wasn’t long after that I learned that one of his co-stars, Emily Kinney, who plays Beth Greene, is a singer-songwriter who also calls NYC home. Kinney, as Greene, gained exposure as a singer when she performed “The Parting Glass” on the show with Lauren Cohen, her on-screen sister Maggie. Towards the end of 2013, she released her second EP Expired Lover, the follow-up to 2011’s Blue Toothbrush—from which she pulled many of her songs for her pre-Valentine’s Day show at Rockwood Music Hall.


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