Archive: February, 2008
If you're anything like me, you got Highlights magazine as a kid. It's always been a favorite of mine - probably because it's still on par with my current reading level - and I still cast furtive glances at it while waiting at the doctor's office. The best part, aside from Goofus and Galant, was the spot the differences game in the back.
Five Differences is a nice, grown-up version of the game. I don't think you need me to explain the rules too much, so I won't except to say you're given two images that are nearly identical but for five minute differences, which you're responsible for spotting and clicking on. My favorite part of Five Differences is the animation and graphics, which look like a slick cross between Adobe Illustrator artwork and flash. The number of differences you have yet to find is also worked into the current puzzle neatly, and it can be fun just to pick them out. A nice ambient soundtrack would work well here, but, alas, no tunes.
Go play Five Differences here.
Also, a note for you Scrabulous fans. I'm a big Scrabble fan, but I never got into the online version. However, if you play, you better do it while you can. It seems Hasbro has had enough of the copyright infringement and is looking to shut it down.
The last time I saw Cat Power was at a small venue in upstate New York, some time after the release of “You Are Free” in 2003. She (Chan Marshall) was performing solo, and showing every sign of the characteristic stage fright I had been warned to expect. She hunched over the piano or Danelectro intermittently, her long brown hair covering most of her face, and repeatedly asked that the lights be dimmed. When they were finally shut off altogether, Marshall was satisfied. And so was I, when I realized that her absurdly bewitching voice was no less powerful when coming from a small, darkish spot on the stage than it was when I could actually see her.
Last night’s performance at the Starlight Ballroom was of an entirely different order.
For her current tour, Marshall has handed the instruments over to the boys in her new backup band, The Dirty Delta Blues, made up of Dirty Three's Jim White, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's Judah Bauer, Philadelphian Gregg Foreman of the Delta 72's, and Lizard Music's Erik Paparozzi. She seems to have conquered much of the stage fright, too. With nothing weighing her down but a microphone, Marshal moved energetically around the stage, using whole body to propel her gorgeous voice over the crowd. Most of the songs she performed were from her new album, "Jukebox," which abandons her formerly sparse guitar playing for tighter, more conventional instrumentals. If, like me, you preferred the contrast of haunting vocals and pared down, shall we say amateur guitar playing that characterized her early work, you might have been a little disappointed by last night's set. The band didn’t miss a beat. They sounded more like Jon Spencer Blues Explosion than an inebriated Tom Waits; more mainstream rock group than experimental singer songwriter. That said, Marshall was incredible. And given her newfound confidence on stage, I think it’s safe to say that she’s finally beginning to realize it.
Jon Solomon has once again taken his groovy local tunes to the internet, serving up some fresh new jams as well as some neat tracks that time may have forgotten. Touching on everything from witty tattoos to ADIDAS acronyms, Local Support has got what you need.
Local Support serves a hodgepodge of songs for its first course, starting things off with the crunchy fuzz of Northern Liberties. Things really get rolling with Shakespeare and the Last Empire; the track “My Old Jams Still Slam” should be required music for summer barbecues. The Post American’s “Pigeon Vision” slides nicely into Espers’ deep-drone jam “Hearts and Daggers,” and the set ends with the lo-fi brat-punk of The Tough Shits.
Set two starts off with some 80s-era hardcore via Flags of Democracy and their punchingly good “23.” Considering the cutthroat feel of that track, American Attitude’s slow, somber acoustic tune is a welcome warm down. After a grunge freak out from Persona, Diagram cuts through a cloud of ambient fuzz to deliver “I Am Not Invincible,” a song that walks the line between cathartic post rock and layered indie pop.
Pony Pants closes out the second set with “Slay The Ego.” It’s a nice pick by Solomon, as the electronic rocker is the perfect song to shake a listener from the Diargrams’ cloudy head music.
Round three finds the bipolar pop-rock of Duochrome matching up next to the country-dipped folk of Hezekiah Jones. Jones’ “Cupcakes For The Army” is pretty consistent with the current folk revival, but that doesn’t make the song any less pretty. Birdie Num Num and The Spirit Squad contribute a sweet name and a jumpy pop tune to the podcast, and Hans the Double provide some tense, lyric-less rock in the form of “When The Moors Conquered Sicily.”
Ending the third section is a genre-defying track by Zonic Shockum. The song, named “Filth Divine,” features some dubbed spoken/shouted word vocals that will no doubt bother some, but elate most.
In a podcast rich with songs going over the five-minute mark, the show winds down with two much shorter numbers. Fans of the film Fast Food Nation will probably recognize the soft swoon of The Capitol Years’ “Seven Songs” closing out the show alongside The Mud Pie Sun.
Another week, another collection of the Delaware Valley’s finest music on the Local Support Podcast.
Northern Liberties - "Children Of The Unholy Cross" - Ghost Mind Electricity
Shakespeare & The Last Empire - "My Old Jams Still Slam" - mp3
The Post American - "Pigeon Vision" - Ecstasy In Afghanistan
Espers - "Hearts & Daggers" - S/T
The Tough Shits - "Flash Art" - Cdr
Flag Of Democracy - "13 Years" - 23
American Altitude - "Handsome Dead Man" - S/T
Persona - "My Best Weight" - Sections From "International Gems"
Diagram - "I Am Not Invincible" - Fig. 1
Pony Pants - "Slay The Ego" - Fives
Duochrome - "Formica" - All Day I Dream About Sex
Hezekiah Jones - "Cupcakes For The Army" - Come To Our Pool Party
Birdie Num Num & The Spirit Squad - "Stolen Shoes" - A Universal Pact
Hans The Double - "When The Moors Conquered Sicily" - Vessels
Zonic Shockum - "Filth Divine" - Testosterone
The Capitol Years - "Seven Songs" - Fast Food Nation (c)
The Mud Pie Sun - "New Thing Mood Swing" - New Thing Mood Swings
"The most common words I hear spoken by any environmentalist anywhere are, We're fucked."
So begins the essay, "Beyond Hope," one in a collection ofmany in Orion magazine's best-of compilation The Future of Nature, which focuses on the rarely positive interaction between humans and natural world.
The book - divided into Action, Refugees, Boundaries, Reverence Monsters and Native - includes work by well-known nature writers like Barry Lopez and Wendell Berry, and deals with topics ranging from a grass roots group fighting to stop the construction of a Target in BK Loren's essay, "Got Tape?" to a story that might make one think twice before putting in vinyl flooring in your home. In her essay, "The Pirates of Illiopolis," Sandra Steingraber takes a close look at a polyvinyl chloride plant in Illinois and the effects of an explosion there.
And while Al Gore's talk of climate refugees in An Inconvenient Truth was sobering, how about conservation organizations kicking people off of their land instead of things like floods or other natural disasters? In "Conservation Refugees," Mark Dowie takes a critical look at organizations like The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund and asserts that they, among others, occasionally help "relocate" or "resettle" native peoples so their land can be protected.
"Not to be confused with ecological refugees - people forced to abandon their homelands as a result of unbearable heat, drought, desertification, flooding, disease, or other consequences of climate chaos - conservation refugees are removed from their lands involuntarily, either forcibly or through a variety of less coercive measures," writes Dowie.
Although didactic at points throughout the book, the essays provide a glimpse at the burgeoning and many-faceted debates regarding the environment. Some essays, like "Beyond Hope," deserve a close reading, while others can be skimmed.
Who doesn't like dolphins, with their seemingly unbridled joy and willingness to please? Luckily, now, they can further entertain us with Dolphin Olympics 2. The game lets you use the arrow keys take control of a dolphin as you swim around, gain momentum, and shoot out of the ocean, ready to perform flips, corkscrews, etc., for our enjoyment.
You've got two minutes on the timer to score as many points as possible. There are a bunch of ways to add to your totals, though. If you can tempt the other sea life to follow you out, you'll get bonuses. Same goes for smooth re-entries, which, if you're able to keep going, will let you string together tricks for crazy amounts of points. Try the dolphin tailslide, as that's what makes this Olympian make those hilarious Flipper noises.
Play Dolphin Olympics 2 here.
Internet archive of The Minutemen live at Philly's old The Love Club, Dec. 16, 1983.
Listen and love.
Two guys, three keyboards, three laptops and a geometric wonderland tripping out on a white screen was Plaid, the electronica London-based band at Johnny Brenda’s on Thursday. Hunched over illuminated screens, the duo cranked out interesting beats and emotive music ranging from sinister to playful. The second floor was packed with grooving zombie people from I Am Legend, huddled together and shuffling around.
Save for a technical problem that halted the show for a mere minute — and can you blame ’em when there’s about a mile of wires on stage — the music was intoxicating and kept the audience in a trance.
As they finish up their next album, Ed Handley and Andy Turner will be touring the US, marking the 20th anniversary of their first work together. No plans to deviate from the IDM genre, the pair are looking forward to continuing their surround-sound and dilating a lot more pupils.
- Arts Events
- First Person Fest
- Last Chance
- On the Fringe
- Philly Artists
- The Curator
- Visual Art
- Arts News
- Artist Profile
- Arts Preview
- Street Art
- Been There, Done That
- Big Ups
- LOL With It
- Critical Mass
- Friday Fill-in
- Ice Cubes
- In Memoriam
- Just Do It
- Just Opened
- Art Phag
- Film Fest
- Movie Review
- On set
- 10 Track Mind
- Album Review
- Concert Review
- Local Support
- Now Hear This
- One Track Mind
- Philly Bands
- Somebody Else Was There
- The Showdown
- concert photos
- DJ Nights Blogged
- Night Watch
- Now See This
- Poetic License
- Printed Matter
- What We Heart
- Idol Hands
- Mad Men
- True Blood
- Useless Lost Recaps
- Couch Potato
- Shore Trash
- Turned ONN
- Video Games
- Free Online Game
- PlayStation 2
- The 1-Upper
- Web Junk
- CAGE MATCH
- Free Online Toy
- Weekend Omnibus