Today In Pop Culture: Leap Year And The Time-Space Continuum

Published on February 29th, 2016 in: Science and Technology, Today In Pop Culture |

By Jeffery X Martin


It is Leap Day, and if you don’t believe that time is a man-made construct that we overlay onto our eternity just to keep work appointments and make sure we don’t get to the movies late, then today should be a real challenge for you, buddy. How is it that we can just arbitrarily decide to add an entire day to our calendar once every four years? If time were real, wouldn’t it prevent us from breaking its own laws with something crazy like Leap Year?

What is this madness?


Music Review: Merchandise, Children Of Desire

Published on October 9th, 2012 in: Music, Music Reviews, New Music Tuesday, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

children of desire cover

As much as I loathe music reviews featuring lazy equations like, “take one part [name of band] plus one part [name of other band] . . . ” in the case of Merchandise‘s Children of Desire, it does make for a good jumping off point. What separates Children of Desire from bands that are just a formulaic rehashing of previous, and far superior bands, is how they merge these styles and sounds to create something unique and bracing that doesn’t actually sound like anything else.

The album opens with “Thin Air,” a short, yet yearning piece that feels like an introduction for what’s to come. “Time” is longer, but still somewhat freeform in that it doesn’t rely on shopworn riffs or rhyming couplets. Singer Carson Cox has a rather idiosyncratic voice and delivery, ranging from falsetto to a deeper baritone; no matter how he’s singing, what registers is a sincerity and frankness that is offset by a combination of feedback, synths, processed drums, and subtle basslines that give these songs an oddly retro yet completely modern feeling.


Linda Ronstadt: Not So Easy

Published on December 5th, 2011 in: Dancing Ourselves Into The Tomb, Feminism, Issues, Music |

By David Speranza

rolling stone ronstadt

She’s not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She’s shockingly absent from Rolling Stone‘s list of Top 100 Singers. And yet in the 1970s she went where no woman had gone before, a female superstar in a male realm, clearing the way for the generations of pop, rock, and country superstars to come. She was featured on six Rolling Stone covers, the covers of Time and Newsweek, and received such appellations as “queen of rock,” “first lady of rock,” “rock’s superwoman,” and “top female pop singer of the decade.”

She was the first artist since the Beatles—and the first woman ever—to have two Top Five singles at the same time. Her string of multi-platinum albums and unprecedented (for a woman) arena rock shows made her the highest-paid female musician of the decade. Critical approval included a satchel-ful of Grammys, multiple Vocalist of the Year awards, and a date singing “The Star Spangled Banner” at Game Three of the 1978 World Series. Her voice was a technically perfect yet heartfelt instrument capable of expressing a multitude of emotions in an intimidating array of styles. Where female rockers were concerned, there was Linda Ronstadt—and there was everyone else.

Time, See What’s Become Of Me

Published on November 29th, 2010 in: Editorial, Issues, Three Of A Perfect Pair |

Back when I was 12, liking a certain band could get you in trouble. I remember that my classmates were almost violently divided between who was better: Adam Ant or Ozzy Osbourne. As a fan of the former, I was frequently the object of considerable disdain.

The Legendary Pink Dots, Seconds Late For The Brighton Line

Published on October 12th, 2010 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Hanna

seconds late cover

Seconds Late For The Brighton Line is called the Legendary Pink Dots‘ 30th anniversary album, and while I can’t find anything specifically 30th anniversary about it, it does fit that title to some extent.

The album is not an overview of all their styles; in fact, it has a rather specific style, especially for an LPD album, but in other ways, it is extremely typical and in some ways, familiar. This is helped by the the fact that several of the songs were premiered during the band’s 30th anniversary tour. “Hauptbahnhof 20:10” and “Russian Roulette” were both very impressive live, and do not sound much different on the album.

Feed Your Head

Published on July 30th, 2010 in: Editorial, Movies, Science Fiction |

The movie medium began as a series of technical advancements and research projects, an attempt to put still photographs into motion, beginning with Eadweard Muybridge’s “zoopraxiscope” and Thomas Edison’s inventions of the kinetoscope in 1889 and the vitascope in 1895, and quickly moving towards the many imitations and variations that followed.

According to film historian Benjamin B. Hampton, Edison was too involved in his laboratory experiments and “too far removed from the public to realize that his invention was anything more than a toy.” Yet soon, “[M]en with keener commercial sense than Edison. . . saw a field of money-making.”

altered states1
Altered States, 1980

Although the more artistic possibilities of this new medium would soon reveal themselves through films like George Méliès’ A Trip To The Moon, these seem to have been exceptions to the norm. Hampton notes that although “[T]here was no opposition to quality; there merely was no conscious effort” since the main objectives were that the films “did not require any more film or cost any more money.”

And there was a lot of money to be made. By 1913, the gross income of Edison’s Vitagraph corporation “was between five and six million dollars a year,” a nearly inconceivable amount of money for the time. The battle between art and commerce has continued in the film industry ever since.

You Think You’ve Seen It All Except The Future*

Published on January 30th, 2009 in: Editorial, Issues, Movies |

equilibrium john mary
Image from EquilibriumFans

John Preston: What’s the point of your existence?

Mary: To feel. ‘Cause you’ve never done it, you can never know it. But it’s as vital as breath. And without it, without love, without anger, without sorrow, breath is just a clock. . . ticking.


All The Time In The World

Published on November 29th, 2008 in: Editorial, Issues, Music, The Internets |

time after time pic2
“Every age is the same.
It’s only love that makes any of them bearable.”
Malcolm McDowell as H.G. Wells, from Time After Time (1979)

“I started collecting records when I was five years old.” I can say this with total honesty. However, I’m actually quoting part of the Keynote Address at the Grammy Northwest MusicTech Summit, given by Ian C. Rogers on November 6, 2008.

The Days of Future-Past

Published on May 30th, 2008 in: Editorial, Issues, Media, Music, The Internets |

“He had been a tool in their hands, his childhood image had been used as bait to condition him, he had lived up to their expectations, he had played his part. Now he only waited to be liquidated with, somewhere inside him, the memory of a twice-lived fragment of time.”
From La Jetée, written and directed by Chris Marker, 1962