New this week on Popshifter: Chelsea thinks Xenia Rubinos’s Magic Trix is a “thrilling listen”; Metal Mayhem continues with Jeff’s take on Dangerous Toys and Judas Priest; Jeff also says that Big Country’s The Journey is the best new album he’s heard this year; Melissa B. parties traditional style with the new album from Kermit Ruffins and gets transported to the past with the reissue of Marty Robbins’s El Paso City and Adios Amigo; I recommend both the glam psychedelia of Burnt Ones’ You’ll Never Walk Alone and the party music of Dead Ghosts’ Can’t Get No, and revisit 2002′s excellent, unsettling One Hour Photo, recently released on Blu-Ray.
New this week on Popshifter: Jeff starts some Metal Mayhem with Night Ranger and Mötley Crüe (more installments are coming throughout the month); Luke reviews the “brilliant” cooperative game Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine; Brad gets transported back to childhood through Jason Lapeyre’s new film I Declare War; and I am impressed with ChristCORE, a new documentary on the Christian hardcore scene seen through the eyes of a nonbeliever.
New this week on Popshifter: Jeff praises The Armoury Show’s “gorgeously slick cathedral Goth with strangely danceable grooves” in the Cherry Red reissue of Waiting For The Floods; Danny calls the new Meat Puppets album, Rat Farm, “the band’s most playful and diverse offering since 1985″; Melissa B. laments the passing of George Jones in her review of the CD reissues of George Jones Country and You’ve Still Got A Place In My Heart; I describe the “geographic grandeur” of the full-length, self-titled debut from Big Black Delta; describe how no-budget, sci-fi flick Manborg “comes from the heart”; explain the “nuanced, complicated” joys of A Royal Affair; congratulate Melvins on their excellent album of covers, Everybody Loves Sausages; and get excited and photo-happy about the upcoming Vicki Berndt art show in Los Angeles.
Logan, we miss you.
New this week on Popshifter: Melissa calls Luke-Winslow King “one to watch” in her review of his “excellent” The Coming Tide; Jeff wonders how the labouring man can find time for self-culture in a new installment of “Waxing Nostalgic”; I discuss the new Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead short film Wrecked, praise the “spirited” Chapin Sisters album A Date With The Everly Brothers, and call Life of Pi a “certified cinematic breakthrough.”
I knew that I would have to wait in line for Game Of Thrones: The Exhibition. It came to New York City for only five days amidst a five-city world tour to promote the show before season three’s premiere. I knew it would be crowded, and I knew it would probably end up taking a whole day to look at half an hour’s worth of an exhibit. I was right about all of these things.
What I didn’t anticipate, however, was how worth it that would all be. I got there about 1:45 p.m. on Friday, and was let into the exhibit at about 4:45 p.m. During the wait, staff members of the exhibit walked up and down the line shouting out trivia questions, and my boyfriend won a pen light by answering “what song is used to convey the message ‘don’t mess with the Lannisters’?” Mostly, though, we were just reading/playing games on various devices.
Few shows on TV are frustratingly uneven as NBC’s Grimm. The fairytale-inspired adventures of homicide detective Nick Burkhardt got off to a shaky start early last year, but dramatically improved over the first season. The show got off to a strong start at the beginning of the second season, only to resume wobbling after a long hiatus.
Fans of Grimm acknowledge its flaws, even as they celebrate its strengths. Its ensemble cast and story arcs are strong, and for the most part, the weakness lies in the one-off, week-by-week plots. Here are the suggestions for improvement that I came up with.
New this week on Popshifter: Luke encourages us to stop complaining about gaming and raves over Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance; Paul is righteously indignant about the sexist responses to Anita Sarkeesian’s first Tropes vs. Women video; Cait says Bowie’s The Next Day has “an urgency, an energy and intensity long missing;” Hanna calls Alasdair Roberts & Friends’ A Wonder Working Stone “truly remarkable;” Lisa feels Oz the Great and Powerful is “too flawed” for a popcorn movie; Chelsea encourages SXSW attendees to check out the rock en español of Café Tacvba, Bajofondo, and Molotov; I think Girls Names’ The New Life is “damn fine,” am impressed with the “outstanding performances” in Jack & Diane, get my hackles up about “mocktresses,” talk about upcoming horror film Lord of Tears, and give an overview of Canadian Music Week Film Fest 13.
Whatever I watch on my iPad has better resolution and color than the television I grew up with. Note the number of choices one has by just searching on “television” in the app store.
With Big Data making big news for Netflix, I’m hoping that more Americans ditch cable for streaming television. I’ve received several questions from readers of this column asking why I think streaming services are so much better, and why I advocate throwing over cable completely for Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and the rest of our new media overlords. There are lots of reasons we should throw away the current model of cable and satellite subscription services.
Here I’ll list my top five; if you really need more reasons than these, you’re either a Comcast employee or use your television as a tool for self inflicted pain.
Inside Llewyn Davis
New this week on Popshifter: Paul takes Men’s Rights Advocates to task in his article on Women in Gaming and tells tales of pro wrestling redemptions; Chelsea loves Lady Lamb the Beekeeper’s first full-length album RiPLEY PINE; I fawn over new releases from Parenthetical Girls, Dawn McCarthy & Bonnie “Prince” Billy, and Iceage, share the latest from Big Black Delta, and review French Horn Rebellion’s newest EP Love Is Dangerous; and Hanna admires both the humor and scientific methods found in The Marriage of True Minds from Matmos.
I think the moral lesson behind The Booth at the End is: Don’t over think things. It’s also worth noting that while neon signs still use tubes to convey messages, this is no longer true of modern TVs.
Two weeks ago I wrote a piece acknowledging Netflix as our new media overlords for the occasion of the premiere of House of Cards. The success of the first independent series produced by Netflix, along with the continued success enjoyed by web series and Hulu-produced content, has some scratching their heads about what to call this new viewing experience. I have an answer to this question: when enjoying The Booth at the End on Hulu or MyMusic on YouTube, one is watching television.
This search for another name for what we are doing while we enjoy Very Mary Kate or Husbands is pointless. That many consume this entertainment via a screen on what we now call a computer rather than on what we have traditionally called a television is immaterial.