Music

Owl City Goes Sky Sailing

His lyrics inspire fan-made videos.

Anyone familiar with last year’s breakout success Owl City knows the story of how it came to be. Insomniac factory worker Adam Young retreated to his parents’ basement to record catchy synth-pop tunes and happened to share his music with others through the internet. When Universal Republic records saw the attention his creations were getting, they quickly signed him, under the name of “Owl City”, to an album deal.

This is where a lot of “instant star” stories end, but it turns out that was only the beginning. His single, “Fireflies” became an unlikely No.1 hit and his Ocean Eyes album sold so well, it warranted a bonus “deluxe edition” release.

Now the original basement recordings that he first experimented with have been released under the name of Sky Sailing. An Airplane Carried Me to Bed was released as a digital-only download album this week, but Adam Young is giving listeners a free MP3 download of one of the album’s tracks, “Tennis Elbow”. For a limited time, those who sign up for his official e-mail newsletter will receive the link.

“Tennis Elbow” is similar to Owl City’s light, airy electronic melodies, but it also incorporates acoustic guitar. Some of the lyrics are similar to those of “The Bird & The Worm”, but this has a more subdued, dreamy quality to it. However, the same lyrical imagery and quirky wordplay that Owl City fans are used to is here. As proof of this, most of the YouTube videos devoted to the song feature the lyrics in some form.

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60. White Hills - Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey)

White Hills epic '80s callback Stop Mute Defeat is a determined march against encroaching imperial darkness; their eyes boring into the shadows for danger but they're aware that blinding lights can kill and distort truth. From "Overlord's" dark stomp casting nets for totalitarian warnings to "Attack Mode", which roars in with the tribal certainty that we can survive the madness if we keep our wits, the record is a true and timely win for Dave W. and Ego Sensation. Martin Bisi and the poster band's mysterious but relevant cool make a great team and deliver one of their least psych yet most mind destroying records to date. Much like the first time you heard Joy Division or early Pigface, for example, you'll experience being startled at first before becoming addicted to the band's unique microcosm of dystopia that is simultaneously corrupting and seducing your ears. - Morgan Y. Evans

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This week on our games podcast, Nick and Eric talk about the joy and frustration of killing Nazis in Wolfenstein: The New Order.

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Gabin's Maigret lets everyone else emote, sometimes hysterically, until he vents his own anger in the final revelations.

France's most celebrated home-grown detective character is Georges Simenon's Inspector Jules Maigret, an aging Paris homicide detective who, phlegmatically and unflappably, tracks down murderers to their lairs at the center of the human heart. He's invariably icon-ified as a shadowy figure smoking an eternal pipe, less fancy than Sherlock Holmes' curvy calabash but getting the job done in its laconic, unpretentious, middle-class manner.

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Multi-tasking on your smart phone consumes too many resources, including memory, and can cause the system to "choke". Imagine what it does to your brain.

In the simplest of terms, Adam Gazzaley and Larry D. Rosen's The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World is a book about technology and the distractions that often accompany it. This may not sound like anything earth shattering. A lot of people have written about this subject. Still, this book feels a little different. It's a unique combination of research, data, and observation. Equally important, it doesn't just talk about the problem—it suggests solutions.

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