Minneapolis-based band Polica might have the personality of a solo artist, but they’re surprisingly made up of five band members. Their debut Give You the Ghost was the type of record that grew in quiet notoriety, mixing twee sparseness with pop melodies to create an undanceable dance record. However, their newest album, United Crushers, proves the band is no longer playing it safe, showcasing a more confident sound — and even a confident message. Their single “Wedding” is a testament to that, strongly critiquing police brutality with a music video that strongly satirizes our love affair with the righteousness of law enforcement. The rest of the album continues in that realm, being a bolder, better version of the Polica we’re used to. And hopefully they keep it up.
United Crushers is currently out now.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Thursday, March 24th, 2016||No Comments »|
Today’s technology is sophisticated enough to make game design a legit art form. Designer Sandro Tatinashvili mostly design game backgrounds, but they decided to take a break and create these ambient animations of mini scenes. Together, each scene looks like it could be a part of a larger story, either a short animation or a video game, but that’s what’s most appealing about it, the suggestion of something larger. But ultimately, these are just a couple of beautiful looking gifs. And you can’t argue with that.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016||No Comments »|
What does a mail delivery person, olympic swimmer, nurse, and artist all have in common? They all have emotions that can be affected at any point by anyone because they are human. It’s cheesy, I know, but sometimes we need to step back and remember these things. Day-to-day life is so busy and fast paced that it is easy to forget that the person in front of everyone in line at the supermarket has their own lives, their own individual initiative and motivation.
In the visual novel A Chase in Rainsville, the main character never has to sit in a supermarket line, wait hours in a traffic jam, or really deal with humans at all. The citizens of Rainsville are all anthropomorphic animals coexisting with the one human family that happens to live there, which happens to be the protagonist’s home. Despite this missing piece to the theme it still asks players to sit down and be open with their emotions just as humans would.
|Recommended by Kieffer Wilson||Monday, March 21st, 2016||No Comments »|
Mike Meginnis’s debut novel Fat Man and Little Boy begins with an unusual premise: the two atomic bombs Americans dropped on Japan during WWII are personified and emerge from the wreckage as real people. Little Boy rises after hitting Hiroshima, and Fat Man after Nagasaki. The two find each other and realize they’re brothers. Together they journey through Japan, observing its destruction while feeling guilty about what they have caused. Their journey takes them to France and then Hollywood, leaving a trail of carnage and crime behind them as they try to figure out their sense of self and live some semblance of a real life.
Meginnis’s novel is as beautiful as it is odd. The novel dips in several genres–magical realism, crime, historical fiction–but never fully stays in either of them. Instead, the novel is less interested in constructing a fast-paced narrative and more focused on creating an allegory about historical calamities and our complacent role in them. Most importantly, it shows how destruction, however in denial we are, inevitably comes back to us. Fat Man and Little Boy might capture the ugliness of war, but its poetic attention to flawed characters and existential angst makes it a novel that sticks with you.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Sunday, March 20th, 2016||No Comments »|
In The 100 season three, episode seven, the bisexual protagonist Clarke Griffin finally admitted that she was in love with the Grounder commander, Lexa.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, March 18th, 2016||1 Comment »|
Ahh, 1996, a milestone year. The first flips phones were invented, Bill Clinton was reelected, Tupac was shot (or was he?), and America was introduced to a strange, new technology called the internet. This old school instructional video, converted from an old VHS tape, was what the average Joe needed to learn about connecting to the world wide web.
Sure it’s funny to sit back and laugh at the archaic nature of its tech jargon, but this video is also an interesting look at how far we have come. To think, I could be typing this article in raw HTML into a Netscape browser to publish onto a Geocities page. Yikes!
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Thursday, March 17th, 2016||No Comments »|
I’ve been a fan of German pianist and composer Volker Bertelmann, aka Hauschka, since his 2010 album, Foreign Landscapes, and later the album he did with violinist Hilary Hahn, Silfra. But Hauschka has been on the scene way before I discovered him, composing soundtracks and working with notable musicians like Barbara Morgenstern and Nobukazu Takemura (whom I both love). This melodramatic track from last year’s Abandoned City is one of my favorites. I didn’t even realize there was a music video for it until I stumbled across it on Vimeo’s Staff Picks page. Directed by Eric Epstein, the video interprets Hauschka’s song literally, going on a sprawling tour of abandoned, desolate cities full of sadness, questions, and mystery. Sure it’s a little morose, but you can’t deny its beauty.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, March 16th, 2016||No Comments »|