Archive for April, 2010

Album review: The New Pornographers

With confidence and swagger, Pornographers rebound, Together.


COM495: Multimedia Critique

These projects are supposed to show some elements of photo/audio slideshows, though I strayed a bit.

First up is The Denver Post’s outstanding feature on the journey of Ian Fisher, an American soldier. Template? Awesome, eye-catching, and fun. Photography? Terrific. Extras? Really cool to have.

But the best part is “The Story” section (below). While you can choose a scrollable text page, you can flip through the pages just like a book or magazine. One of my favorite journalism pieces I’ve read/seen/watched/clicked all year.

Next I decided to compare and contrast two graffiti projects I found. In my opinion, while they’re both great ideas, one definitely works a lot better than the other.

1. This is from back in May of 2008, but it’s a panorama of some graffiti underneath the Las Vegas Strip. It’s from The Las Vegas Sun, which produces some great interactive projects (like this one other one I found, on the history of The Strip). However, this panorama doesn’t work for me. It gets boring fast and the images aren’t striking enough.

2. On the other hand, this thing is amazing. From cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, you can see graffiti over several of years (the layering is such a great idea). I could easily spend hours just looking through it all.

And lastly, this interactive map from The L.A. Times shows chronology of gay marriage in the United States. Easy to use and it’s really nice how you can roll over states and see information.

Album review: Aqualung

Dull and all his friends: Aqualung’s extremely disappointing sixth studio album, Magnetic North.

Also, last week three writers (including myself) weighed in on Conan O’Brien’s move to TBS.

Spring/Summer album releases to get excited about

April 8, 2010 1 comment

A short list of some potentially great albums coming our way.

April 6

Jónsi – Go – The Sigur Rós frontman’s first solo effort was actually released a few days ago, and while I only gave it a C+, the first half is a spectacle to behold.

April 13

MGMT – Congratulations – I’ve already given the duo’s sophomore album a bunch of listens, and it’s definitely growing on me. Missing are a lot of the catchy hooks that made Oracular Spectacular so, well, spectacular, but Congratulations has a certain confidence that’s infectious. The standout track is definitely “I Found a Whistle.”

April 20

Merle Haggard – I Am What I Am – New material from a country legend? What’s not to like?

Kate Nash – My Best Friend Is You – I’m actually not so sure you should be excited about this. A free download from the album, “I Just Love You More,” is an abomination. It’s so far removed from “Foundations” and, even worse, sounds like a terrible Yeah Yeah Yeahs knockoff.

May 4

Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record – “World Sick,” the first song released from the new album, is a seven-minute mammoth of a tune.

The New Pornographers – Together – Neko Case supposedly sings lead on several songs. Score.

May 11

Keane – Night Train (EP) – The lead single, “Stop for a Minute,” features Somali/Canadian rapper K’Naan. This EP promises to be Keane’s most interesting work to date.

The National – High Violet – Returning with their fifth studio album, the Brooklyn indie rockers already appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last month.

May 18

Band of Horses – Infinite Arms – Producer Phil Ek returns for the third outing from this sparkling indie band. They’ll be opening for Pearl Jam in May.

LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening –  The last album James Murphy will release as LCD Soundsystem.

May 25

Stone Temple Pilots – Stone Temple Pilots – Early reception for STP’s sixth studio album has been enormously positive. It’s been nine years since the band released Shangri-La Dee Da.

June 15

Drake – Thank Me Later – Everyone’s favorite Degrassi paraplegic is all grown up, and this has to be rap’s most hyped album of the year, with Kings of Leon being featured on the song “Fireworks.”

Gaslight Anthem – American Slang – The follow-up to 2008’s brilliant The ’59 Sound.

Oasis – Time Flies… 1994-2009 – Britpop’s best will release a post-breakup collection, containing 25 of the band’s 26 UK singles.

No Set Date (Yet)

Arcade Fire – TBD – New songs will debut at the Reading and Leeds Festival in August, with the new album coming late this summer (hopefully).

Jamey Johnson – The Guitar Song – His breakthrough album, That Lonesome Song, has pushed more than 650,000 sales.

Katy Perry – TBD – FM radio better be ready.

KT Tunstall – TBD – She recorded new material in Berlin before coming back to London to finish things up.

Maroon 5 – Hands All Over – Possibly coming in June, the album was recorded in Switzerland with producer Mutt Lange.

Ra Ra Riot – TBD – Finally! According to Rolling Stone, the band moved to a peach farm in upstate New York to record their sophomore LP.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Mojo – The Heartbreakers will provide support for the first time in eight long years.

COM495: Scene using natural sound

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Album review: Jónsi

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