Blast http://blastmagazine.com Video Game Reviews, Music, Movies, TV, Gen-Y Issues Sat, 23 Aug 2014 16:58:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Discovery’s MythBusters Says Goodbye to Kari Byron, Tony Belleci, and Grant Imahara http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/discoverys-mythbusters-says-goodbye-kari-byron-tony-belleci-grant-imahara/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/discoverys-mythbusters-says-goodbye-kari-byron-tony-belleci-grant-imahara/#comments Sat, 23 Aug 2014 16:58:35 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93075 MythBusters will look a little different when The Discovery Channel airs new episodes of the hit show. On Thursday, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman announced that the episode that aired on August 21 would be the last for familiar faces Kari Byron, Tory Belleci, and Grant Imahara. Both Byron and Imahara reached out to their(...)

The post Discovery’s MythBusters Says Goodbye to Kari Byron, Tony Belleci, and Grant Imahara appeared first on Blast.

]]>

MythBusters will look a little different when The Discovery Channel airs new episodes of the hit show. On Thursday, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman announced that the episode that aired on August 21 would be the last for familiar faces Kari Byron, Tory Belleci, and Grant Imahara.

Both Byron and Imahara reached out to their fans via Twitter to talk about the change and leave some parting words about the show.

“Thank you to all the fans who have supported us. The show is taking a new direction. It was an amazing run. I learned so much about myself and the world,” Byron tweeted. “I love you all @MythBusters. I am sad for an ending but there will be exciting new adventures for us.”

Imahara wrote, “Thanks @MythBusters for allowing us to teach science in a whole new way. Also, explosions. Now, on to the next adventure!”

Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman will return as the sole hosts for the show when it starts back up with new episodes.

At the end of an interview with Blast’s Danielle VIsco, Kari Byron left with these parting words of wisdom, “don’t have time to waste time.” Hopefully she, Belleci, and Imahara will still subscribe to that sentiment as they move on to their next endeavors.

The post Discovery’s MythBusters Says Goodbye to Kari Byron, Tony Belleci, and Grant Imahara appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/discoverys-mythbusters-says-goodbye-kari-byron-tony-belleci-grant-imahara/feed/ 0
Graphic: What to do after a car accident http://blastmagazine.com/features/graphic-car-accident/ http://blastmagazine.com/features/graphic-car-accident/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 15:03:32 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93071 OK so you’ve been in a car accident. Do you know what to do now? First make sure nobody got hurt, in any of the vehicles. Don’t panic, and see the tips below! Via: Lambergoodnow.com

The post Graphic: What to do after a car accident appeared first on Blast.

]]>

OK so you’ve been in a car accident. Do you know what to do now? First make sure nobody got hurt, in any of the vehicles. Don’t panic, and see the tips below! Via: Lambergoodnow.com

The post Graphic: What to do after a car accident appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/features/graphic-car-accident/feed/ 0
Preview: Keys N’ Krates Announces New EP and Fall Tour With Gladiator http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/preview-keys-n-krates-announces-new-ep-fall-tour-gladiator/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/preview-keys-n-krates-announces-new-ep-fall-tour-gladiator/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 17:45:01 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93050 Every so often I come across an artist that I think really nails their genre. Keys N’ Krates is one of those artsts, bringing a unique live element to the world of trap and hip-hop beats. Keys N’ Krates performs live as a three piece band: drummer Adam Tune, keyboardist David Matisse, and turntablist Jr.(...)

The post Preview: Keys N’ Krates Announces New EP and Fall Tour With Gladiator appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Every so often I come across an artist that I think really nails their genre. Keys N’ Krates is one of those artsts, bringing a unique live element to the world of trap and hip-hop beats. Keys N’ Krates performs live as a three piece band: drummer Adam Tune, keyboardist David Matisse, and turntablist Jr. Flo. After seeing them live at the Hudson Music Project, I jumped onto Keys N’ Krates’ soundcloud and was impressed with their sound. Two of my favorites are the Tove Lo Flip of their track “High All the Time” and
“Dum De Dum”.

In anticipation of their new EP, Every Nite, Keys N’ Krates has announced a huge fall tour featuring Gladiator and Thugli. This tour will have them see over 30 shows over three months with stops in LA, Denver, Boston, Philadelphia, and Pheonix.

Be sure to check out Keys N’ Krates in Boston 10/30 at the Middle East. Tickets here.

a838bc1c edd7 4bdb aed1 db3a1cd19202 Keys N Krates Announces Upcoming EP and Huge Fall Tour with Gladiator

Every Nite Tracklist:

1. Understand Why
2. Hypnotik 
3. Are We Faded
4. Yes We Faded
5. Your Love 
6. She’s So High

Keys N Krates & Gladiator Every Nite Tour Dates:

9/18 – Phoenix, AZ – Monarch Theatre
9/19 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues++
9/20 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre++
9/24 – Seattle, WA – Showbox Theatre @ SoDo (Decibel Festival)
9/27 – COMING SOON
9/28 – Fairburn, GA – Tomorrowworld**
9/30 – Whistler, BC – Garfinkles
10/1 – Revelstroke, BC – Treverse
10/3 – Edmonton, AB – Encore
10/4 – Sacramento, CA – Launch Festival**
10/5 – Calgary, AB – Commonwealth
10/7 – Boise, ID – Revolution Center
10/8 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot
10/9 – Denver, CO – Gothic Theatre
10/10 – Ft. Collins, CO – Aggie Theatre
10/11 – Colorado Springs, CO – Rawkus
10/14 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom
10/15 – Austin, TX – Empire
10/16 – Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theatre
10/17 – Biloxi, MS – Kress Live
10/18 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
10/19 – Birmingham, AL – Workplay Theatre
10/21 – Murfreesboro, TN – Tempt
10/22 – Chattanooga, TN – Track 29
10/23 – Asheville, NC – Orange Peel
10/24 – Charlotte, NC – Chop Shop
10/26 – Buffalo, NY – Waiting Room
10/28 – Syracuse, NY – Westcott Theater
10/29 – COMING SOON
10/30 – Boston, MA – Middle East
10/31 – COMING SOON
11/1 – COMING SOON
11/5 – Pittsburgh, PA – Rex Theater
11/6 – COMING SOON
11/7 – COMING SOON
11/8 – COMING SOON
11/9 – Carborro, NC – Cat’s Cradle 

**KEYS N KRATES ONLY
++ KEYS N KRATES W/ SPECIAL GUEST & THUGLI

The post Preview: Keys N’ Krates Announces New EP and Fall Tour With Gladiator appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/preview-keys-n-krates-announces-new-ep-fall-tour-gladiator/feed/ 0
My Sit Down with Space Jesus http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/sit-space-jesus/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/sit-space-jesus/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 17:40:25 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93034 Space Jesus is exactly who you would expect him to be. I had the chance to get an hour with music producer Jasha Tull, a.k.a. Space Jesus. His usual routine includes creating psychedelic bass music, touring around festivals, sacrificing himself for humanity’s sins, and other space-related activities. While taking to Space Jesus, I was reminded of(...)

The post My Sit Down with Space Jesus appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Space Jesus is exactly who you would expect him to be. I had the chance to get an hour with music producer Jasha Tull, a.k.a. Space Jesus. His usual routine includes creating psychedelic bass music, touring around festivals, sacrificing himself for humanity’s sins, and other space-related activities. While taking to Space Jesus, I was reminded of “The Big Lebowski” – the long hair, the laid back style – yet rather than a dedication to bowling, this man is dedicated to producing future tunes.

Q&A 

Blast: Why “Space Jesus”? What inspired you to invent the concept of Space Jesus, grow your hair out, and produce psychedelic bass music?

Space Jesus: I walked into a bar one night and some dude saw my long hair and was like, you look like Jesus from space.

Blast: At what point did you decide to drop whatever you were doing and commit to producing music?

SJ: Probably three or for years ago. I went to college for a bit but that didn’t work out, then I got a job in construction. I make music full time now.

Blast: I really like the track HMU Can you describe the process of creating the song?

SJ: I found this old song from my dad and sampled it. I had trouble at first coming up with the part after the breakdown, but I threw in some live drums.

Blast: What kind of vibe do you generally go for in your live shows?

SJ: A fun one.

Blast: Are there any artists that you would really like to collaborate with?

SJ: Yeah there are a ton – Bassnectar, Excision. Dillon Francis is pretty great.

Blast: You recently worked with #$ on their debut album – How has this experience affected you as a producer?

SJ: I’ve been hanging out with GDP for awhile, and I’ve always been into hip-hop beats and instrumentals.

Blast: How do you create and process your sounds? Which DAW do you prefer? Do you have specific plugins or synths that you like to use?

SJ: I use Ableton. The sound in HMU is mostly massive, I think I used some sylenth in there. I try to make a lot of my sounds from scratch so my sounds are original.

Blast: How do you master your tracks? I know a lot of producers prefer to master on their own these days, but some still hand off their music to the engineers before it gets released.

SJ: I have this engineer I’ve been working with for awhile now and he’s great.

At the end of the interview, Space Jesus offered advice for aspiring producers: “Just get your music out there”.

I think this guy has everything down. The look, the attitude, the music. I can see him blowing up in the next year or so, so stay tuned for more from SPACE JESUS.

Check him out on soundcloud.

SPACE JESUS

 

 

The post My Sit Down with Space Jesus appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/sit-space-jesus/feed/ 0
Debunked: Video Games Don’t Make People More Violent http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/gaming-news/debunked-video-games-dont-make-people-violent/ http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/gaming-news/debunked-video-games-dont-make-people-violent/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 14:39:18 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93056 Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, a psychiatrist named Thomas Radecki served as president of the National Coalition on Television Violence. He preached about the evils of games like Dungeons & Dragons and television shows like “Ren and Stimpy.” He continued until 1992, offering expert testimony at court trials and blaming D&D when teenagers committed violent(...)

The post Debunked: Video Games Don’t Make People More Violent appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, a psychiatrist named Thomas Radecki served as president of the National Coalition on Television Violence. He preached about the evils of games like Dungeons & Dragons and television shows like “Ren and Stimpy.”

He continued until 1992, offering expert testimony at court trials and blaming D&D when teenagers committed violent crimes. “There is no doubt in my mind that the game Dungeons & Dragons is causing young men to kill themselves and others,” Radecki stated in a press release.

Radecki’s reign lasted until 1992, when he was stripped of his psychiatry license by the State of Illinois after committing unspecified misconduct with a patient. He became licensed in Pennsylvania but voluntarily surrendered his license after continued misconduct. In August 2013, Radecki was arrested for trading opioid addiction treatment drug prescriptions to patients in exchange for sex.

Despite his shredded reputation, Radecki’s misinformed opinions about the evils of television, role-playing and video games still cling to the brains of many parents, politicians and policymakers. Legitimate research has completely debunked Radecki’s assertions, specifically about video game violence.

Youth Violence Has Declined Since Video Games Were Invented

In 2007, after the Virginia Tech shootings, scores of scholars and public figures like Dr. Phil bemoaned the effects of violent video games. Fox News publicized interviews with Jack Thompson, an attorney and violent video game opponent who was later disbarred, claiming that the shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, played “Counter-strike.” Thompson’s claims were later proven false. No video games were found among Cho’s possessions.

Many researchers and people in MSCMHC programs (visit this page to learn about careers in mental health counseling) have discredited claims that video games cause violent behavior. Texas A&M International University assistant professor Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson has performed extensive research on video games and youth violence. He also once served as editor of an American Psychological Association special issue on video games.

“I find no evidence that video games or television contribute to youth violence, dating violence, bullying or adult arrests,” Ferguson wrote in a blog post for the Chronicle of Higher Education. “Youth violence has declined to 40-year lows during the video-game epoch.”

What Research Has to Say

Henry Jenkins, director of comparative studies at MIT, also challenges the myth that video games cause violent behavior. In an article written for PBS, Jenkins makes a few key points:

  • Video games haven’t been shown to cause desensitization to violence. Play fighting enters what Eric Zimmerman, a game designer and play theorist, calls “the magic circle.” If a child responded to video games the same way he or she responded to a real tragedy, then the child would actually exhibit evidence of emotional disturbance.
  • Video game play doesn’t isolate people socially. According to Jenkins, 25 percent of gamers play video games with a spouse or a parent. Additionally, 33 percent play with a sibling, and 60 percent play with friends.
  • Video games can enhance learning. The process of playing games causes kids to constantly form and test hypotheses. Instead of seeing mistakes as errors, they learn to try again and to form new solutions.
  • Kids aren’t the biggest players of video games. At the time Jenkins wrote his article, 66 percent of computer game players are over 18, as are 62 percent of console game players. Video games are never mentioned in connection with adults who commit violent crime despite evidence showing that adults play the most video games.
  • The majority of kids who play video games do not commit violent acts. Over time, researchers have found that people serving sentences for violent crime actually consume less media than the general population.A 2001 U.S. Surgeon General’s report found that mental instability and quality of home life are the biggest predictors of future violent behavior.

Final Thoughts

Instead of answering difficult questions about why violence happens, many people prefer to blame it on violent television shows and video games. In truth, parents who worry about their kids’ video game play should worry less about whether games make kids violent and more about whether games are impacting family time and school performance. In many cases, video games enhance learning and help students to cope with stress. Instead of taking away the game controller, maybe parents should play along.

The post Debunked: Video Games Don’t Make People More Violent appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/gaming-news/debunked-video-games-dont-make-people-violent/feed/ 0
Review – Oddworld: New n’ Tasty http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/reviews/review-oddworld-new-n-tasty/ http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/reviews/review-oddworld-new-n-tasty/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 18:02:10 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93024 More than just a re-release, Oddworld: New ’n Tasty is a complete reimagining of the original Abe’s Odyssey and the result is the absolute best version of the game to date. Long time fans of the series will appreciate the love given to the aging formula while those new to Oddworld get the game we imagined we would so long ago. Some of the controls have been changed, and not for the better but don’t let that stop you — those new to the series and those who have experienced the game before should check out this love letter to the Oddworld series.

The post Review – Oddworld: New n’ Tasty appeared first on Blast.

]]>

I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the original Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey. You see, there was a time during high school where I stopped playing video games altogether. That is until I got an original Xbox as a gift and Abe’s journey came along with it. I poured hours into that game and have frequent memories of saving the Mudokons from the grinders, and yes…virtually farting away. Now, almost 20-years later the game is getting the HD treatment, though be warned, labeling it a simple re-release would be cutting it short. More of a complete re-imagining, Abe’s Odyssey has been completely rebuilt from the ground up and the result is the absolute best version of the game released to date. Some of the controls have been questionably changed, which leads to frustration in some of the puzzles that require precise controls but don’t let that sway you — fans of the original and those who may have been too young to experience the game the first go-round should jump right in.

Developed by: Oddworld Inhabitants
Published by:
Sony
Genre:
Adventure
Platform:
PS4, PS3, PC, PS Vita
What works:
Fun gameplay| completely remade worlds are gorgeous| new difficulty levels
What doesn’t work:
New control scheme can be frustrating|
3.5 out of 5 stars

For the uninitiated, New n’ Tasty tells the story of Abe, a Mudokon who works at Rupture farms as a janitor. He thinks he has a great job but that all changes when he discovers that the company’s newest snack is made up of his own people. The majority of the game has you trying to escape the Rupture Farms compound, bringing as many Mudokons with you as possible. It’s a dark but yet light hearted adventure that’s incredibly imaginative and unique. The world of Oddworld and Rupture farms is incredibly fleshed out and fun (if not even a bit depressing) to explore, even more so in this new version.
Calling New n’ Tasty just another simple re-release would be cutting the efforts of the developers incredibly short; this is a completely rebuilt Oddworld. Everything from the backgrounds to the character models has been completely rebuilt from the ground up, resulting in a mostly incredibly looking game. Though some of the smaller background details seem to have not made the jump to HD yet, but the majority of the world looks fantastic. Gone are the one screen environments of the original in favor of large, sweeping and continuous worlds that really give Rupture Farms a sense of being and depth. They say hindsight is twenty-twenty and though I know this isn;t the Oddworld I ever got, it’s the Oddworld I somehow always imagined.

Most of the gameplay feels untouched from the original release and everything from the humor to the stealth gameplay and yes, the difficulty is still here. Throughout the majority of the game you’ll be trying to outwit your enemies by creating distractions and sneaking past them using clever traps rather than facing them head on. There’s a great mix of puzzle and platforming elements that’ll usually keep you thinking throughout the majority of the experience. The original Abe’s Odyssey was known for it’s difficulty, mainly with Abe dying after one hit but new difficulty levels make the game much more accessible for the new era of gamers that didn’t get a chance to experience the original release. Don’t worry old guys like me, you can still turn the difficulty way up to get the original Oddworld experience.

For some reason though, the developers have chosen to change a small, yet important part of the original game’s controls for this new HD era. In the original game you could controls Abe’s speed by using the shoulder buttons and while you cans till sneak with the same method, running is now controlled directly by the thumbstick. Like most 3D action games, you’ll tilt the thumbstick just a bit to have Abe walk normal and tilt it further to have him run. It seems like a small change but it makes a huge difference, especially in some of the bigger platforming sections. Often Abe’s fate is determined by mere inches and it’s incredibly frustrating to have to try a section over just because the thumbstick was pushed just a bit too much. Thankfully this new re-release has a pretty generous quick save feature so if you remember to use it, you shouldn’t be put too far back.

More than just a re-release, Oddworld: New ’n Tasty is a complete reimagining of the original Abe’s Odyssey and the result is the absolute best version of the game to date. Long time fans of the series will appreciate the love given to the aging formula while those new to Oddworld get the game we imagined we would so long ago. Some of the controls have been changed, and not for the better but don’t let that stop you — those new to the series and those who have experienced the game before should check out this love letter to the Oddworld series.

This review was based on an early review code provided by the developer. It was played on the PS4 on the normal difficulty.

The post Review – Oddworld: New n’ Tasty appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/reviews/review-oddworld-new-n-tasty/feed/ 0
Come watch the Batman V Superman teaser before its taken down http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/come-watch-batman-v-superman-teaser-taken/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/come-watch-batman-v-superman-teaser-taken/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 14:47:29 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93019 If you would have asked me a week ago, I would have told you that due to Man of Steel, I wasn’t very excited for the upcoming Batman V Superman movie but come on, what nerd can resist this? The thought of Batman, and a Batman who is more or less ripped from the pages(...)

The post Come watch the Batman V Superman teaser before its taken down appeared first on Blast.

]]>

If you would have asked me a week ago, I would have told you that due to Man of Steel, I wasn’t very excited for the upcoming Batman V Superman movie but come on, what nerd can resist this? The thought of Batman, and a Batman who is more or less ripped from the pages of Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns giving the stink eye to Superman on the big screen is too much to not get at least a little excited about. Consider me cautiously excited for now. Your move Snyder.

The post Come watch the Batman V Superman teaser before its taken down appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/come-watch-batman-v-superman-teaser-taken/feed/ 0
The Hudson Project Showcases Future Music, Mud Parties, and Unprotected Sax http://blastmagazine.com/features/hudson-project-showcases-future-music-mud-parties-unprotected-sax/ http://blastmagazine.com/features/hudson-project-showcases-future-music-mud-parties-unprotected-sax/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 21:19:41 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92964 As I walk around the back of the media tent, I see Griz standing with a photographer finishing a cup of iced Kuerig saying, “I love coffee.” I ask him where the VIP set with Exmag will be later tonight to which he responds “I have no idea.” I laugh, take a photograph with my friends(...)

The post The Hudson Project Showcases Future Music, Mud Parties, and Unprotected Sax appeared first on Blast.

]]>

As I walk around the back of the media tent, I see Griz standing with a photographer finishing a cup of iced Kuerig saying, “I love coffee.” I ask him where the VIP set with Exmag will be later tonight to which he responds “I have no idea.” I laugh, take a photograph with my friends and him, and prepare some questions for my interview with Big Gigantic. Around me there are radio hosts checking their iPhones, managers scrambling to set up interviews, photographers chatting with each other about who got the best shots of Flying Lotus the night before. Big G’s manager Bari strolls over to us and tells me I have five minutes before the interview. I give up trying to formulate questions; interviews are usually more fun when you wing it.

Check out all the photos we took HERE

I think back over the festival’s first day. Friday morning I checked out the Catskill Cave tent to see, Tauk, a funky four piece band from New York City which reminded me how macbooks aren’t the only way to make awesome music. Then I traveled across the festival grounds to the Circus Tent for Lindsay Lowend’s set, which consisted mostly of Jersey Club and Cashmere Cat-esque music. I really liked the Circus Tent – at any time of the day or night you could enter this massive tent for dazzling lightshows and bass music. The scale of this festival was amazing considering the amount of people set to show up. The grounds could have easily hosted twice the amount of people they did this year. After a dose of dance music, I went back to my tent to prepare for my interview with Tauk. On the way I passed groups performing yoga in the New York Tent, vendors selling wild tapestries and trinkets, and an onslaught of non-sober festival attendees staring in amazement at the new world of sights and sounds they had just entered.

After my talk with Tauk, I returned to the Circus Tent and camped the front railing for Keys N’ Krates and Bro Safari. Keys N’ Krates is a great act – their combination of live drums, midi performance, and scratching really opened me up to what kind of sounds a band can bring to the world of bass music. STS9 was on the Explorer Stage next, set up nicely so that viewers could enjoy the music sitting on the adjacent hill. I took this time to appreciate the sights around me – the ferris wheel twirled fluorescently in front of a full sky of stars. The moon that weekend was sized in epic proportions. STS9 was a good act to relax to before Excision. I met up with a few friends and braced myself as I entered the tent. There’s no doubt that Excision brought on one of the most energetic and insane sets at the festival. The set was not short of dirty basslines, raw harmonic bass wobbles, and countless remixes and VIP mixes from Excision’s massive musical library. Heaviness has a new name: Excision.

After a short break, I returned to the Circus stage to see the light and sound crews setting up a massive projector backdrop. I camped out right behind the light guys to get the best possible view of the lasers and lights that Flying Lotus was about to bring on. Flying Lotus plays the role of a mysterious, multiple-identity figure who hides beneath the shadows of his music and visual effects. He was undoubtedly on the same level as his audience that night, entering the stage saying, “I’m so high right now and my monitors aren’t working so I can’t hear myself, but f*** it I’m going to play music anyways.” As a performer, Flylo was self-aware and always present, toying with the crowd’s mind, building them up, knocking them back down, throwing everything they thought about music upside down. His projections would often mask him and his DJ booth entirely, as if there were nobody there. Flashing strobes would reveal him for a second, only for Flying Lotus to disappear a moment later. He rapped a few songs as his alter ego Captain Murphy, a digital projection which reminded me a lot of the Gorillaz, bearing mechanical laughter and mind-bending voice pitches and effects.

FLYLO

Flying Lotus hiding behind his projections.

As the lights went down and the people filed back to their tents, I had a strange feeling creeping through my body. I felt as if I had been graced by the future of music – sounds I could never imagine had washed over and cleansed my being. Flying Lotus was no doubt the highlight of the night. His music was what I can only describe as invigorating, metallic, sharp, future sounds which challenged my mind. Along with Keys N’ Krates, Flying Lotus seems to be setting the tone for what the future of hip hop, trap, and EDM will be.

The second day of The Hudson Project seemed to dominated by music’s sexiest instrument: the saxaphone. My morning started out front row for Exmag, a funkadelic EDM band from the distant future. Exmag mans the beats alongside a guitarist and a keyboardist/synth controller; the result is groovy. Next I dipped over to the media tent to sit down with Big Gigantic before their set. I’m a huge fan of Big G and meeting them had me a bit starstruck. Nonetheless, it was great to chat with the artists and hear what they had to say about music.

Big g

Dominic Lalli and Jeremy Salken of Big Gigantic tries on our refraction glasses. 

Here are a few of the questions I asked them:

I asked them if they ever went in the crowd at festivals:

“I’ve been going to festivals since I’ve been like 18, camping and, way before we were playing music. We’re avid music fans – we’ll go see our homies play, we’ll go out in the crowd and watch, that’s where the real vibe is happening”

I asked them about Flying Lotus, to which they said:

“The dude is on some next level shit – his stuff is so psychological. It’s like the jazz of electronic music.”

I only had a few minutes with them, but during the time I realized how relaxed these guys were considering they were about to play in front of thousands of people, but hey, I’m sure they’re used to it by now.

On my way to Bonobo I strolled past the mainstage while Rebelution, a top-charting reggae band, played on the mainstage. Bonobo was the relaxing talent I needed before the dancing that was about to come. Donning my Hello Kitty totem, I hit the mainstage for Big Gigantic’s set. I’ve seen the band two other times before and was not disappointed in the slightest. Big Gigantic perfectly brings together the aspects of production and live performance and kills it onstage every time. The other highlight from Saturday was Griz’s set. Griz really know how to work a crowd between his saxophone skills and his live remixing and mashing up of his own music. Saxaphone trap? You bet Griz pulled it off.

Earlier Saturday I got a response from Griz’s PR agent declining an interview, but she did hint that there might be a secret VIP set of Exmag and friends at 1:15 am, so after Griz’s set I wandered off in search of the very important people. Some friends and I managed to wander in the area behind the mainstage, and lo and behold we stumbled across the VIP temt where some equipment and speakers were set up. A few other people knew about this secret set, so I lounged out on one of the “very important” couches. Soon enough, Griz poked his head into the tent along with the members of Exmag and set up equipment. Seeing Griz and the guys jam up close was a treat; I was reassured there is a lot of talent in the EDM industry. Dance music is not just some fool pressing play, it’s humans creating music. The variety of sounds and styles that come with the digital age is boundless and artists have just really begun to tap into that potential.

sexmag

Exmag secret set ft. GRiZ

Sunday morning I decided to sleep in a little bit. I had to save up energy for some of the huge artists that were set to play that day. Lunice, 12th Planet, Tipper, STRFKR, Infected Mushroom, Paper Diamond, Oliver, and of course, Bassnectar were all acts I was extremely excited to check out that day. Unfortunately, I was awoken from my nap by a festival employee telling my neighbors and I to evacuate the campgrounds. Most people didn’t blink an eye; a young man attempting to give me a bag of melted butter claimed he looked at the radar and the storm was due to pass in fifteen minutes (I didn’t trust him anyways). Luckily, my group was sober and we acted swiftly, bringing our belongings to the car before the onslaught of rain and mud began. I heard a few staff saying they would never cancel any acts, and that they would just push everyone back, so I hung out in the charging tent and chatted for a bit while the rain passed. To my despair, a few people walked in with pouting faces bearing the bad news: the festival was cancelled.

So what happens when you tell 5000 intoxicated people there’s no music for the rest of the day? Apparently they make their own, muddy party and sing White Stripes:

While a lot of the festival-goers complained about the event’s management and organization of the rainstorm, I didn’t think there was much they could do about it. The Red Cross set up a site to handle all the campers whose cars were stuck and staff stayed to manage the safe closing of the sites. Since MCP Presents and SFX Entertainment apparently hold five-year contract over the grounds at Winston Farm, I wouldn’t be surprised to see The Hudson Project back next year and in greater numbers.

That’s it for this. Stay posted for more EDM stuff – I have coverage of DADA LIFE and FEED ME coming up in the next few months, so stay tuned!

The post The Hudson Project Showcases Future Music, Mud Parties, and Unprotected Sax appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/features/hudson-project-showcases-future-music-mud-parties-unprotected-sax/feed/ 0
Could Apple’s HealthKit Succeed Where Other Health Trackers Have Failed? http://blastmagazine.com/technology/health-and-fitness/apples-healthkit-succeed-health-trackers-failed/ http://blastmagazine.com/technology/health-and-fitness/apples-healthkit-succeed-health-trackers-failed/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 16:08:27 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92978 During its annual “big reveal” at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference  (WWDC) in San Francisco, Apple introduced iOS 8 and its HealthKit APIs. HealthKit is designed to allow iOS 8 health apps communicate with one another and read one another’s information. For example, an app designed to track blood pressure and an app designed to chart(...)

The post Could Apple’s HealthKit Succeed Where Other Health Trackers Have Failed? appeared first on Blast.

]]>

During its annual “big reveal” at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference  (WWDC) in San Francisco, Apple introduced iOS 8 and its HealthKit APIs. HealthKit is designed to allow iOS 8 health apps communicate with one another and read one another’s information. For example, an app designed to track blood pressure and an app designed to chart blood glucose could both easily communicate with a physician app like Mayo Clinic.

The HealthKit platform will power an app called Health, which will aggregate data from both health apps and third-party devices, like Nike’s FuelBand. Apple also mentioned a partnership with a company called Epic, which is one of the country’s largest platforms for electronic medical records (EMR). After the unremarkable performance of Microsoft HealthVault and Google Health, the emergence of HealthKit seems tepid at best. However, some industry insiders think that Apple’s offering will succeed where other health trackers have failed.

The Quantified Self

Gary Wolf, co-founder of the website “Quantified Self,” wrote a New York Times article about the growing phenomenon of people using their smartphones, Fitbits and other devices to track their movements, their moods, their health indicators and other personal patterns. Some people track themselves to solve life problems; others record their data and hope to uncover surprising truths.

HealthKit and the Health app appeal to people who are obsessed with documenting their health. Some argue that Apple’s tools might not fare well long-term since most people who purchase a health tracking device stop using it after six months. However, although people might not stick with open-ended self-tracking, they are willing to track behavior for specific purposes.

trackerMIT Technology Review recently reported on the success of a Mayo Clinic cardiac rehabilitation app. Patients who’d suffered heart attacks saved information such as daily weight measurements, blood pressure readings and journals of physical activity. After recording their information, the app gave them information on how to stay healthy. Sixty percent of patients who didn’t use the app were readmitted to the hospital within 90 days of discharge. Only 20 percent of app users had to return to acute care. Mayo Clinic has already identified itself as one of Apple’s primary partners.

The Universal EMR

Although the ACA standardized what EMRs should accomplish according to its Meaningful Use Requirements, it didn’t require clinics to use specific EMR platforms. As a result, clinics operate a wide range of software, and much of the software is incompatible.

EMRs are still a fantastic idea; to learn about how EMRs are improving patient care according to one university that offers RN-BSN and other healthcare degrees, visit this page. However, poor interoperability keeps doctors from effectively using EMRs to coordinate care.

With the HealthKit platform integrating with multiple applications and the Health app aggregating patient data that includes not only vital signs but also lab tests results, imaging studies and other information, Apple has created a way for patients to transmit information between doctors regardless of which EMR platform their doctors currently use. Instead of continuing to rely on fax technology for record sharing, patients can authorize their iPhones to share information. Also, when patients are unconscious and can’t provide information to a treating physician, the iPhone would store critical data that could enable doctors to save their lives. A universal EMR mechanism could have powerful real-world results.

The Chance to Control Patient Data

A major concern about mobile health apps involves how much data they collect and what they do with that data. Many app developers share data with third parties or sell it to data aggregation companies. Health Kit requires user permission before sharing data with other apps and devices, giving patients a higher degree of control over their own data. No app can automatically acquire data from Health if the iPhone user doesn’t authorize it.

Companies like Google collect reams of data, and they monetize that data in exchange for allowing users to enjoy free search and other Google services. Apple’s HealthKit will manage patient data, but the patient decides who gets to see it.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs, but he’s tapping a lucrative market by involving Apple in healthcare. The innovative and consumer-focused HealthKit proves that Apple still knows how to think different.

The post Could Apple’s HealthKit Succeed Where Other Health Trackers Have Failed? appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/technology/health-and-fitness/apples-healthkit-succeed-health-trackers-failed/feed/ 0
Skye Wireless Technology from Auris Finds New Purpose for Old Docking Stations http://blastmagazine.com/technology/skye-wireless-technology-auris-finds-new-purpose-old-docking-stations/ http://blastmagazine.com/technology/skye-wireless-technology-auris-finds-new-purpose-old-docking-stations/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 23:47:44 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92973 Is your old iPod dock sitting in a corner collecting dust and looking lonely as you utilize Bluetooth and other technological advancements that allow you to play your music wirelessly? Thanks to an innovative new product called skye from tech powerhouse Auris, you can utilize wireless technology to use your old docks and get more(...)

The post Skye Wireless Technology from Auris Finds New Purpose for Old Docking Stations appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Is your old iPod dock sitting in a corner collecting dust and looking lonely as you utilize Bluetooth and other technological advancements that allow you to play your music wirelessly? Thanks to an innovative new product called skye from tech powerhouse Auris, you can utilize wireless technology to use your old docks and get more streaming power than ever before.

Auris founder and CEO Jay Shah wanted to give his customers the ability to bring this older technology into the modern world without the need to replace it. He came up with a product that allows you to use your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Windows Phone, or even iTunes on a wireless network that lets you play on AirPlay with DLNA support.a78e17eb74c28f741f6801fd44461163_large

Just place the product onto your docking station and you can connect to a WiFi signal that gives you an even greater range than Bluetooth products. With skye, you can steam music through rooms and even continue to get a transmission through a wall or furniture.

For just $79.99 you can find a new purpose for your docking station.

The post Skye Wireless Technology from Auris Finds New Purpose for Old Docking Stations appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/technology/skye-wireless-technology-auris-finds-new-purpose-old-docking-stations/feed/ 0
The Definitive Ranking of the Game of Thrones Houses http://blastmagazine.com/features/definitive-ranking-game-thrones-houses/ http://blastmagazine.com/features/definitive-ranking-game-thrones-houses/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 20:54:02 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92937 Every Game of Thrones fan out there has their favorite house. Some prefer the noble Starks, while others love the strong Targaryens, and still others like the Greyjoys. I kid. No one likes the Greyjoys. However, with respect to all of your varied opinions, there is only one correct way to rank these houses. So, on(...)

The post The Definitive Ranking of the Game of Thrones Houses appeared first on Blast.

]]>

game-of-thrones-houses

Every Game of Thrones fan out there has their favorite house. Some prefer the noble Starks, while others love the strong Targaryens, and still others like the Greyjoys.

I kid. No one likes the Greyjoys.

However, with respect to all of your varied opinions, there is only one correct way to rank these houses. So, on that note, I give you the Definitive Ranking of the Game of Thrones Houses, as of season 4. To keep it simple, I’ve only included the commonly recognized Great Houses from the start of the series, so you won’t find Baelish or Bolton on here. Spoilers abound.

9. House Greyjoy

There is absolutely nothing to like about the Greyjoys. Yes, yes, I know Asha was lovely in the books, and I’m very happy for her. But it’s time for book readers to admit that “Yara” doesn’t get to do very much except be tough and have uncomfortable incest scenes with her brother. Speaking of her brother, he is somehow insufferable as not one, but two different characters, going from bothersome and annoying as Theon to bothersome and sad as Reek. Their father is terrible, the Iron Islands are boring and gross, and between costuming and color correction everything associated with the Greyjoys just seems…well, grey. No one like them.

8. House Arryn

I have to be honest with you guys. I forgot this house existed for, like, two seasons. Literally. There was the whole Jon Arryn thing and then they didn’t mention him or his family for a very long time and it completely slipped my mind that there was another Great House until Petyr moved in with Lysa and that terrible, terrible child. Lysa’s really only introduced because of her Tully lineage, and while we hear good things about Jon Arryn, all we’ve gotten from him is a whole lot of pain for the Starks because of his death. If the Greyjoys are in the negative for their lack of redeemable qualities, than the Arryns are stuck at zero for their lack of qualities period.

7. House Tully

Maybe it’s just my personal loathing of fish, but House Tully seems like a very blah house. Catelyn is wonderful, of course, but when we meet her she’s already a Stark and spends the series living with her Stark family. House Tully gets important for a handful of episodes and then get promptly shut down by the disaster that is the Red Wedding. However, they’re genuinely decent people, with only the occasional exception (Yes, I’m looking at you, Lysa. Crazypants.).

6. House Baratheon

As Houses go, the Baratheons are all over the map in terms of whether or not they suck. That’s probably because there are so many branches of House Baratheon. There’s Robert Baratheon, who was so stupid that he ran his country into massive debt and didn’t notice that his wife was sleeping with her brother and giving birth to crazy incest babies. There’s also Stannis, who has some very legitimate grievances considering he’s been screwed out of a crown that he was technically next in line for, but he lets Melisandre manipulate him constantly and his storyline is extremely boring. On the flip side, they also had Renly, who was interesting, intelligent, and fair, and whose death I still haven’t recovered from. So the bad and the good equal out to a very middle-of-the-road house.

5. House Targaryen

Some might cry foul that these silver-haired dragon lovers only got fifth place, and I know we all love our Khaleesi, but one really cool woman a whole house does not make. Sure, the last remaining member of House Targaryen is powerful, motivated, and a snappy dresser if there ever was one, but she comes from a long, long line of incest-loving crazies, the most recent of which literally sold his sister in exchange for an army and whined so much that Drogo killed him just so he’d stop talking. Considering Viserys Targaryen is a whopping 50% of the Targaryen family present on the show, it takes all of Daenerys’ coolness to even get House Targaryen to the number five slot. Plus, though I know it’s GoT blasphemy to insult the Mother of Dragons,  I think it’s time we admit that she’s kind of an immature teenager who wants to conquer a country she’s never been to because she can. Sometimes I seriously expect her to break into the chorus of “I Want It Now” from Willy Wonka when Jorah is explaining why they can’t go to Westeros yet. Still, she has dragons, and she takes what is hers with fire and blood.

4. House Martell

Last year, House Martell would have ranked even lower than House Arryn in lack of qualities. However, in a surprise play by an extreme underdog, Oberyn happened and managed to shoot his family up the list to the top five. We don’t get to see many of the Martells, but from what Oberyn says about their home Dorne and what we learn by his example, they are fun people. Things in King’s Landing were getting far too drab when, suddenly, Oberyn emerged onto the scene in all his sexily accented, sexually liberated, justice-craving glory. We see that House Martell and their people are accepting and loving to bastard children, something the rest of Westeros certainly can’t say (ehem Joffrey ehem Catelyn). With their playful and sexy clothes and attitudes, the Martells (or, at least, Oberyn) are definitely the house you’d want to party with.

3. House Stark

Arguably the protagonist house, if you can say there is such a thing on Game of Thrones, they have a set of values and morals that most of the other houses don’t. There isn’t a bad one in the bunch. They’re realistically flawed and nuanced, but they have a respect for family and a devotion to the truth that makes them admirable. They’re perhaps not the cleverest of the Houses (seriously, Ned, it’s like you wanted to get yourself executed), but for the most part, all these people want to do is be fair leaders in an unfair world. While we might all love to hate the other houses, we can just plain love the Starks.

2. House Lannister

Yah, alright, you can pretend to hate the Lannisters as much as you want. No one believes you. Yes, after four years, they still find creative ways to shock the audience with just how awful they are. There’s the cruel, heartless father, the twins who had three children…together, the “nice” one, who recently murdered his Dad and ex-girlfriend, and Joffrey, whose horror needs no explanation. But you know what? They are really good at being horrible, and they’re the most intelligent of the houses. I mean, they’ve managed to maintain control over the Iron Throne for basically the whole run of the series with no legitimate claim to it whatsoever! Meanwhile, many great Houses with fewer skeletons in their closets have collapsed as the Lannisters watched from their big ass castle. You may think they’re monsters, but they don’t care what you think, because they are richer, prettier, and far more powerful than you are.

1. House Tyrell

Not quite as dumb as the Starks. Not quite as evil as the Lannisters. Not nearly as unlikable as the Greyjoys. It’s a poorly kept secret that the Tyrells are the only functional human beings in Westeros. In fact, the Greyjoys and the Tyrells are the only houses that haven’t lost a member during the show’s run, and considering how Theon’s made out thus far, we’re going to have to give this one to the Tyrells. They are powerful, rich, and have strong armies and talented warriors among them (see: Loras), but they are also intelligent, charming, and adaptable. They ‘re one of the most progressive houses, containing the show’s most prominent LGBT character. And, let’s be honest: no one even pretends that the men wear the pants in that house. If you’re still not convinced that they’re the perfect blend of ambition and restraint, just remember this: they killed Joffrey.

The post The Definitive Ranking of the Game of Thrones Houses appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/features/definitive-ranking-game-thrones-houses/feed/ 0
The Hudson Music Project Canceled http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/hudson-music-project-canceled/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/hudson-music-project-canceled/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 20:04:56 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92930 SAUGERTIES, NY – On Friday, campers arrived for what was argued to be one of the best east coast festivals this year, The Hudson Music Project. This festival was intended to bring three days of exciting music from a variety of genres and artists, including EDM, jam bands, rappers, and reggae. The legendary Bassnectar will be headlining, along(...)

The post The Hudson Music Project Canceled appeared first on Blast.

]]>

SAUGERTIES, NY – On Friday, campers arrived for what was argued to be one of the best east coast festivals this year, The Hudson Music Project. This festival was intended to bring three days of exciting music from a variety of genres and artists, including EDM, jam bands, rappers, and reggae. The legendary Bassnectar will be headlining, along with artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Big Gigantic, and Excision. Check out the lineup video for the festival here:

However, on Sunday festival organizers announced that the festival was canceled, due to inclement weather conditions. Festival-goers were evacuated Sunday afternoon following intense storms. Blast’s Hal Hyatt attended the festival and will be following up with coverage and Blast-exclusive artist interviews.

via hudsonmusicproject.com

The post The Hudson Music Project Canceled appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/hudson-music-project-canceled/feed/ 0
ESPN releases new SportsCenter video with Metallica http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/espn-releases-new-sportscenter-video-metallica/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/espn-releases-new-sportscenter-video-metallica/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 19:39:49 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92953 In “This is SportsCenter – Metallica”, ESPN and Metallica team up to inform fans on what the band will do now that Mariano Rivera has retired. The former Yankees pitcher, who retired in 2013, was known for walking onto the field to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”.

The post ESPN releases new SportsCenter video with Metallica appeared first on Blast.

]]>

In “This is SportsCenter – Metallica”, ESPN and Metallica team up to inform fans on what the band will do now that Mariano Rivera has retired. The former Yankees pitcher, who retired in 2013, was known for walking onto the field to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”.

The post ESPN releases new SportsCenter video with Metallica appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/espn-releases-new-sportscenter-video-metallica/feed/ 0
WWE Should Bring Back Steve Blackman, and here’s how (Hint, it involves Heath Slater!) http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/wwe-bring-back-steve-blackman-heres-hint-involves-heath-slater/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/wwe-bring-back-steve-blackman-heres-hint-involves-heath-slater/#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 16:06:32 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92943 Guilty. I’m diving into the world of “hey, WWE should TOTALLY do this, and it would be so rad” blog posts. But as I’ve said before, this is my website, so I can do these kinds of things. I’m a fan of WWE. I was in the 80s and early 90s; I backed off during(...)

The post WWE Should Bring Back Steve Blackman, and here’s how (Hint, it involves Heath Slater!) appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Steve_Blackman_14Guilty. I’m diving into the world of “hey, WWE should TOTALLY do this, and it would be so rad” blog posts. But as I’ve said before, this is my website, so I can do these kinds of things.

I’m a fan of WWE. I was in the 80s and early 90s; I backed off during the Attitude Era (but since began to appreciate it on the WWE Network) and returned about four years ago.

As I’ve reviewed what I missed by not following the action during the Attitude Era, I’ve started to appreciate what teams like the Dudley Boyz and Stone Cold Steve Austin did for the company.

Another Attitude Era player struck me: Steve Blackman. Simple entrance, catchy music, lots of weapons, martial arts, and not much charisma with the microphone.

He got a push in 2000 when he battled Shane McMahon at SummerSlam for the now-defunct Hardcore Championship, with a hugely memorable moment in which Shane gets “knocked 50 feet” off a piece of staging equipment, and Blackman follows him with a leg drop to win the title.

It was a classic scene and a top 50 “OMG Moment” in WWE history, but Blackman was forgotten in all of that. He was pushed as a hardcore wrestler, but he wasn’t a tables/ladders/chairs or “bag O thumbtacks” guy. WWE didn’t know what to do with a martial artist in 2000, and Blackman never got enough of a push. (He also lost half of his career in the 90s due to a freak illness from a mosquito bite in South Africa…)

There’s been some speculation that Blackman could come back. Although he’s 50, reports like the one below show that he’s in fantastic shape.

But I’m not suggesting he come back as a full-time wrestler and try to make a run at it. Here’s what I propose.

Rebrand Heath Slater

OK, bear with me. Heath Slater hasn’t exactly blown everyone away with his 3MB posse (two of which recently got fired…) and his country western schtick. Heath Slater, however, is a serious WWE talent and a three-time tag team champion.

There’s a reason why WWE has kept him on the roster.

Here’s what I do.

Cue the country music. Bring Slater out to do his one man band stuff. Same old Slater, right?

Cut the lights.

The Wyatt Family (or some other heels) come out and start to beat Slater to a pulp. We’ve seen this before — Slater is a bit of a punching bag.

Cue Blackman’s music. But instead of his usual, slow and steady appearance, walking out with karate sticks and raising his hands in the air, have Blackman run to the ring and martial art the bad guys right out of there, saving Slater and saving the day.

Then Blackman gives Slater a “pep talk” later, downplaying the need for “showmanship” and “gimmicks” and such. Rebrand Slater as a technical wrestler with a few good kicks and other tricks that Blackman can “teach” Slater, and you have Blackman in a managerial, paternal role as a no-nonsense overseer.

Slater_display_image

Or take it a step farther — have Blackman re-introduce Slater to Justin Gabriel, who hasn’t had a storyline in more than a year. Slater and Gabriel are former tag team champions. Re-introduce them, with Blackman managing, as tag-team specialists who can fly or ground-and-pound with the best of them. Give them a set of moves and tag team chemistry similar to The Rockers, and I think WWE could have something special. Plus, it brings back someone that will be more appreciated in 2014 while breathing new life into two stale characters.

Thoughts?

The post WWE Should Bring Back Steve Blackman, and here’s how (Hint, it involves Heath Slater!) appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/wwe-bring-back-steve-blackman-heres-hint-involves-heath-slater/feed/ 1
Feed Me’s Psychedelic Journey Comes to Boston http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/feed-mes-psychedelic-journey-comes-boston/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/feed-mes-psychedelic-journey-comes-boston/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 20:30:35 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92910 Feed Me has been one of my favorite artists ever since his 2010 release of Feed Me’s Big Adventure. After his rise to prominence over the next year, he announced his first tour featuring TEETH, Feed Me’s audio/visual experience. Feed Me, known in human form as Jon Gooch, originally invented and designed TEETH himself, wanting(...)

The post Feed Me’s Psychedelic Journey Comes to Boston appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Feed Me has been one of my favorite artists ever since his 2010 release of Feed Me’s Big Adventure. After his rise to prominence over the next year, he announced his first tour featuring TEETH, Feed Me’s audio/visual experience. Feed Me, known in human form as Jon Gooch, originally invented and designed TEETH himself, wanting to bring a pure, innovative experience to his live shows. Now, Feed Me is dropping a new EP and TEETH tour titled “Feed Me’s Psychedelic Journey”. This tour kicks off August 2nd in New York City and features 23 tour dates across the U.S, as well as supporting artists such as Delta Heavy, Le Castle Vania, Treasure Fingers, Tjani, and Zeroes.  The EP is set to come out this friday, so be sure to tune in soon for some new music.

Over Facebook, Feed me has revealed a few photos of his new stage, revamped for TEETH 2.0:

Photo: Rebuild fully underway...

via Facebook

I really appreciate Feed Me’s dedication to stand out in the EDM industry, bringing his multiple talents and ambition to the table with TEETH and his new label, Sotto Voce. I’m excited to see what the new TEETH stage has to offer, since I missed out on the previous tour.  For more Feed Me, read my song-by-song review on Feed Me’s most recent album release Calamari Tuesday. 

Follow Feed Me on Soundcloud to hear Feed Me’s Psychadelic Journey out July 11.

Catch Feed Me at the Boston House of Blues on August 14th or check out his other tour dates:

feed me north american tour psychedelic journey

The post Feed Me’s Psychedelic Journey Comes to Boston appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/feed-mes-psychedelic-journey-comes-boston/feed/ 0
#$ – The Bass Hop EP Produced by Space Jesus http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/bass-hop-ep-produced-space-jesus/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/bass-hop-ep-produced-space-jesus/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 18:28:08 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92851   Last month I put out a review for Space Jesus on his first ep “Atom and Eve”, and now the producer is back, except this time he’s a part of up-and-coming hip hop group #$ (Hash Money) with rap emcee GDP. This self-titled album called “#$” is filled with fresh instrumentals and gritty hip hop vocals.(...)

The post #$ – The Bass Hop EP Produced by Space Jesus appeared first on Blast.

]]>

 

Last month I put out a review for Space Jesus on his first ep “Atom and Eve”, and now the producer is back, except this time he’s a part of up-and-coming hip hop group #$ (Hash Money) with rap emcee GDP. This self-titled album called “#$” is filled with fresh instrumentals and gritty hip hop vocals. Space Jesus’s influence on this album is obvious, featuring psychedelic and future bass aspects. Listeners won’t be shorted on references to hash oil and marijuana strains.RECRELEASEPOSTER

 

I think my favorite from this album is “Magic Wand (Feat. Hot Sugar and Froyo)”, because of the simplicity of its beat and the perfect laziness to the lyrics and vocals. #$ will be dropping a music video for “Magic Wand” in a few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for that addition. Another interesting track is “Apathy”, which in my opinion perfectly blends the best aspects of both #$’s duo and Space Jesus. The song has an almost Arabian feel to it.

Listen to “#$” and download it here:

 

Plus, check out this promo for the EP below.

The post #$ – The Bass Hop EP Produced by Space Jesus appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/bass-hop-ep-produced-space-jesus/feed/ 0
“Transformers 4: Age of Extinction” Falls Shorter than The First Three Movies http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/movies/transformers-4-age-extinction-falls-shorter-first-three-movies/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/movies/transformers-4-age-extinction-falls-shorter-first-three-movies/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 01:32:16 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92892 Transformers 4: Age of Extinction serves as a finale that oddly parallels the tear-jerking ending in The Iron Giant. ?A 50-foot robot blasts off from Earth never to be seen again. Unlike that wonderful movie, Michael Bay left me tasting metal with how many pieces of robot flew into the theater. And if there were(...)

The post “Transformers 4: Age of Extinction” Falls Shorter than The First Three Movies appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction serves as a finale that oddly parallels the tear-jerking ending in The Iron Giant. ?A 50-foot robot blasts off from Earth never to be seen again. Unlike that wonderful movie, Michael Bay left me tasting metal with how many pieces of robot flew into the theater. And if there were any tears shed, it was that after 3 hours of oversized sock’em boppers tearing each other apart for the fourth time, it was because they were told there will be another sequel.

Let me spare you the torment of giving Michael Bay another chance. Three years after Transformers: Dark of the Moon concluded, an all-out war in Chicago has outlawed Autobots bastardized by the US Government and hunted by Decepticons under CIA employment. Maybe they weren’t Decepticons? I’m confused. Imagine robots that look like the orcs from Lord of the Rings.

Bay ditches Shia LaBeouf for Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager, a low-class inventor who is too disorganized and too overprotective to save his daughter Tessa (Nicole Peltz). After buying an abandoned truck that unknowingly is a disguised Optimus Prime, his chatty assistant, Lucas (TJ Miller) tips off the CIA for a reward and all hell breaks loose.

So now you have Marky Mark pissed and hunting down whoever is helping the CIA kill the Autobots. Optimus Prime enlists four extra Autobots and if any good comes out of this half of the movie, it is seeing John Goodman’s Big Lebowski alter ego embodied as an autobot and the reflecting contemporary political times—how much of your freedoms are you willing to give up for security? When Titus Welliver as a CIA agent forces his way onto the Yeager property and threatens to shoot Tessa (by order of CIA guy Kelsey Grammer), its actually a chilling moment, but it gets undermined by absurd dialogue, “My face … is my warrant” … no comment.

Even with this dialogue, a Michael Bay movie means a multi­million-dollar paycheck. That’s too good to pass up, but I still wonder whether or not any of these actors know the dialogue they are reciting is bad. Or how much shameless product placement happens between the opening and closing credits (i.e. when Cade crashes a Decepticon shuttle into a Bud Light truck, he gets out, cracks open a bottle and chugs this beer that is usually only appealing to broke college kids).

It is obvious that turning over a profit runs Hollywood, otherwise we would never call it the movie INDUSTRY, but what bothers me is this onslaught of not just sequels and remakes: it is this addiction to the big budget summer blockbuster. These carbon copy plots where the world is facing destruction and all of society is at war in a not-so-distant future. Sure, they may be entertaining, but we see practically the same movie with a different title every summer. Have you seen Tom Cruise’s filmography lately?

Who asked for another sequel, anyway? I know Michael Bay doesn’t need the money, and it should go without saying that other three weren’t very good. Why would Michael Bay continue this mediocre franchise? He should continue churning out more quality work like Pain & Gain … Oh hell no!!

The post “Transformers 4: Age of Extinction” Falls Shorter than The First Three Movies appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/movies/transformers-4-age-extinction-falls-shorter-first-three-movies/feed/ 0
“Begin Again” Delivers with a Solid Plot and Rocking Music http://blastmagazine.com/features/begin-delivers-solid-plot-rocking-music/ http://blastmagazine.com/features/begin-delivers-solid-plot-rocking-music/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 01:21:14 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92888 When a drunk record label exec walks into a bar, he catches an earful of his latest East Village muse. No. This isn’t me shamelessly trying out a joke; it’s a scene from John Carney’s new movie Begin Again starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo. Begin Again’s premise is a lot like that of the(...)

The post “Begin Again” Delivers with a Solid Plot and Rocking Music appeared first on Blast.

]]>

When a drunk record label exec walks into a bar, he catches an earful of his latest East Village muse. No. This isn’t me shamelessly trying out a joke; it’s a scene from John Carney’s new movie Begin Again starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo.

Begin Again’s premise is a lot like that of the movie Lost in Translation. A chance meeting leads to the spiritual revival of two strangers. This time, however, instead of bonding over sushi and old movies, these characters find their way by their mutual love of music.

Dan Mulligan (Ruffalo) is divorced and an estranged father. He can’t even hold a conversation with his 14-year­old-daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) without pre­gaming. Greta (Knightley), is a snobbish Brit who comes to New York to support her college sweetheart Dave (Adam Levine). Heartbroken after discovering he stole her song and has a hard on for a girl at the record label, her friend Stephen (James Corden) drags her onstage in a bar to play a song she scribbled on a napkin. The whole audience seems tone deaf to the appeal of the song—except for Dan’s. His drunken perception kick-starts his creative juices and he pitches an album deal.

What follows are jam sessions in the spots around town and freestyles by Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine that sound better than any songs Maroon 5 ever recorded.

At first glance, I’d say that these moments are Begin Again’s greatest achievement, but really it is the fact that it managed to attach music giants to such an indie script. It feels like a throwback to the 1970s. The improv on 42nd street would make John Cassavetes proud and Greta’s costume design looks as if she raided Diane Keaton’s closet. Carney’s study of music’s influence in American culture as it happens in East Village makes New York every bit a character here as it was in Manhattan.

There is no denying that fashions have a way of circling back in style (war, vinyl, aviator shades). But what I think stays the same is how music has remained an essential quality to American culture. This is Carney’s second film about music. The first was his 2006 debut Once, which told the story of two Irish musicians falling in love with one another as they wrote songs together. This time he realizes how music helps wash away past mistakes and allow people to begin life renewed. It can’t fix all mistakes and create a happy ending, but it can at least create a second chance.

Overall, I was delighted by the freshness Begin Again brought to the world of indie cinema. Ruffalo and Knightley have sensational chemistry and Adam Levine contributes to a gnarly soundtrack. The plot is rock solid as the script dips into naturalism instead of the Hollywood dreamland fabricated by the onslaught of C-class romcoms that give boyfriends a bad feeling in the pit of their wallets.

4 stars

The post “Begin Again” Delivers with a Solid Plot and Rocking Music appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/features/begin-delivers-solid-plot-rocking-music/feed/ 0
My Dream Emmy Ballot: Drama http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/dream-emmy-ballot-drama/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/dream-emmy-ballot-drama/#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 00:33:23 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92873 Drama is where things begin to get a little tricky for me. Considering the genre jumping of Shameless and Orange is the New Black-two shows I considered being some of my favorite drama series-I had a harder time thinking up shows that would end up in my top five without slipping into my sillier, light(...)

The post My Dream Emmy Ballot: Drama appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Emmys

Drama is where things begin to get a little tricky for me. Considering the genre jumping of Shameless and Orange is the New Black-two shows I considered being some of my favorite drama series-I had a harder time thinking up shows that would end up in my top five without slipping into my sillier, light hearted series such as Sleepy Hollow and Arrow. So, again, with the help of Chris, we’ve come up with a better, well rounded list of nominees we’d like to see on July 10th. It seems like there’s a lot less wishful thinking for the drama section then comedy but we’ll see how it all turns out.

Breaking Bad

Best Drama Series:

Breaking Bad

True Detective

Hannibal

Mad Men

Masters of Sex

Best Drama Series was maybe the easiest considering the names are for the most part high profile. The two that will have seemingly no problem are Breaking Bad and True Detective. The former finished its final season on a high note with stories being wrapped up in a blaze of glory and will go down as one of the best television shows of all time. The latter broke through as the surprise hit of the season and allowed for a show to mix philosophical inquiry with typical action, buddy cop moments allowing it to be unlike many genre heavy shows. There’s Mad Men which seems like less and less of a likely pick but who knows, fans and critics have praised the following season. Masters of Sex is the new player on the field with its heavily stylized atmosphere but it perhaps may be too clinical for the average voter. And then, over in the never, ever, ever going to happen category is poor Hannibal, one of the best shows on television right now with some of the most inventive directing but due to its horror leanings and low ratings doesn’t stand a chance-fans will just have to be happy if it continues to be picked up.

Should Win: Breaking Bad

Will Win: True Detective

Matthew McConaughey

 

Best Drama Actor:

Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)

Matthew McConaughey (True Detective)

Hugh Dancy (Hannibal)

Woody Harrelson (True Detective)

Matthew Rhys (The Americans)

Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex)

What happens when two of the actors who are likely locks for best actor nominations are being nominated for roles of a life time? I don’t know about you, but to me the likelihood of Bryan Cranston or Matthew McConaughey getting roles again that match the magnitude of Walter White of Rust seem pretty slim to me. Both actors gave tour de force performances. Cranston as a man who had lost everything, Rust as a man trying to find meaning in anything, they were very particular characters and I’d be happy to see either of them win. Very few performances will touch those two in upcoming years. My praise for McConaughey shouldn’t take away from his costars though because Woody Harrelson put in admirable work as well as the less showy and less sympathetic character. Then there’s Matthew Rhys from The Americans who has been putting in steady but unnoticed work and Michael Sheen who brought empathy to a character who could have easily been a caricature or seen as too cold (although he might still be to most Emmy voters-his costar may have an easier chance) and then, again, in my not a shot in hell category, is Hugh Dancy for Hannibal. He again is doing stellar work which isn’t being seen so wont’ be rewarded. Such a shame.

Should Win: Matthew McConaughey or Bryan Cranston (I refuse to choose!)

Will Win: Matthew McConaughey

Tatiana Maslany

Best Drama Actress:

Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)

Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex)

Keri Russell (The Americans)

Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men)

Nicole Beharie (Sleepy Hollow)

Claire Danes (Homeland)

For some reason, to my great disappointment, this is the category that was the most difficult to fill. Despite this there are some amazing performances worth talking about. The most obvious to me is Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black who for two seasons now has been giving one of the most impressive performances on television as she plays up to five different characters each week, all with their own distinct personality traits and distinguishable characteristics. It could have seemed gimmicky but Maslany never allows it to become so and without question she is the only actress on television doing what she’s doing. For a prime example compare her performance as Helena juxtaposed next to her Allison.

As much as I’d like to just talk about Maslany for this entire piece that would be wasting time so on to the others. Keri Russell is having a moment on The Americans that no one is seeing and she’s a definite long shot despite doing better work than an old favorite Claire Danes who I only really added to this list because I needed a sixth spot. Elizabeth Moss was allowed a range of emotions this season as Peggy and it’s a shame that she’ll likely never win an Emmy for this role. Lizzy Caplan was my favorite part of Masters of Sex as she played against type and brought a warm, sensitivity as well as a necessary toughness to a role that could have been overlooked. And then, in my wishful thinking, I love fantasy shows slot is Nicole Beharie from Sleepy Hollow. I am not naïve enough to think she’s giving a fantastic performance but she is giving a great one for the role she’s in. Fantasy and science fiction shows need more love!

Should Win: Tatiana Maslany

Will Win: Julianne Margulies

Peter Dinklage

Best Supporting Actor Drama:

Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)

Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)

Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones)

Laurence Fishborne (Hannibal)

Jordan Garvaris (Orphan Black)

Dean Norris (Breaking Bad)

It seems that this year the award is really Peter Dinklage’s to loose. Tyrion was given a phenomenal arc this season and Dinklage gave a series best performance. Moments such as his speech at his trial come to mind but also the quieter moments such as when Oberyon announced himself as Tyrion’s champion. Dinklage is a pretty fantastic actor and when he’s given material he’ll always deliver. But then there’s his co-star Alfie Allen who has been tremendous the past three seasons and hasn’t seen a hint of recognition. As Theon he was heartbreaking this year and he deserves some praise for his performance. Over in Breaking Bad there’s Dean Norris and Aaron Paul. Paul has been awarded in the past for seasons that offered him greater material and Norris was given a fantastic exit. Jordan Garvaris does great work as Felix on Orphan Black but is often overlooked due to Tatiana Maslany’s impressive performance as the multiple clones each week. Laurence Fishborne was maybe the surprise high point of season two of Orphan Black where Jack had to deal with the fallout of his relationship with Will.

Should Win: Peter Dinklage

Will Win: Peter Dinklage

 Anna Gunn

Best Supporting Actress Drama:

Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)

Mae Whitman (Parenthood)

Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones)

Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)

Michelle Monoghan (True Detective)

Emily Bett Rickards (Arrow)

With the Best Supporting Actress nods again I’m kind of behind on the times but I’ve been told by my editor that most of these names are worthy so I’ll talk about the ones I don’t know as well first. Mae Whitman is a name I know of and has been doing some wonderful work on the family drama Parenthood and Christina Hendricks is a staple on Mad Men. Now on to the names that I know very well like Anna Gunn who was perfect, perfect I tell you, in the last season of Breaking Bad outshining nearly everyone around her. In Ozymandias she played broken, enraged, and devastated and she did all effortlessly. Michelle Monaghan was often given the thankless role on True Detective but towards the end you can’t tell me she wasn’t doing as good or better work than many on this list. To add to my genre/campy tv loving lit is Emily Bett Rickards who plays Felicity on Arrow and gives the show a welcome, necessary heart. I just love her.

Should Win: Anna Gunn

Will Win: Anna Gunn

true detective

Best Writing for a Drama:

 

Echo (The Americans)

Ozymandias (Breaking Bad)

The Children (Game of Thrones)

Waterloo (Mad Men)

The Secret Fate of All Life (True Detective)

Your friendly neighborhood TV section editor Chris Peck here! TV dramas are my kind of my thing. Nothing riles me up quite like discussing the merits of well-executed long form narratives. And this year’s crop was exceptionally stirring. It was difficult to narrow down the pool to just five when there six shows that I felt deserved a spot (deepest apologies Masters of Sex), for those shows with multiple episodes on the ballot, the elimination process was harder still. Struggles aside, I’m confident this list captures not only the best these shows produced over the past year, but the best drama television had to offer.

True Detective was that rare new show that had the blogosphere and the viewing public buzzing from the beginning. A rare breed of Southern gothic meets buddy cop gold. While questions were raised about the conventionality of the center mystery, there was nothing typical about the two main characters. Written with striking specificity in their character philosophies, demeanor and speech, the marriage between Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey’s performances and Nic Pizzolatto’s scripts was harmonious and thrilling. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Academy, considering how it showered the new kid on the block (Showtime’s Homeland) back in 2012 with accolades, that HBO’s new hit will ensnare voters with its grim, star-powered vibe.

But this would be a mistake. While all of these episodes exhibited excellence on a craft level—crisp dialogue, authentic emotion, high-stakes drama and compelling characters—only one of them accomplished the culmination of arguably the best tragic arc in television history. That was Breaking Bad. I realize that last year may have been the show’s Emmy swan song. Riding high off the press from its final half-season, the fifth season’s first half got its first Drama Series Emmy and Anna Gunn snagged a well-deserved Supporting Actress Emmy. “Ozymandias” though, is Bad’s crescendo. Without spoiling (because everyone should experience the show for themselves), Walter White hits his rock bottom, realizing the true impact of all his choices and the fallout reaches nuclear proportions. The execution is beyond brilliant and I admire the entire Breaking Bad writing staff for their conviction in bringing this story to its grueling conclusion. While the essence of the award is episodic, the potential of TV drama hit its peak in “Ozymandias.”

Should Win: Breaking Bad

Will Win: True Detective

felina

Best Directing for a Drama:

Comrades (The Americans)

Felina (Breaking Bad)

Ozymandias (Breaking Bad)

The Watchers on the Wall (Game of Thrones)

Who Goes There (True Detective)

Big Bad Editor’s back! Each of these episodes made it on the list because I immediately thought of the stylistic brashness they displayed in particular sequences. Whether it’s shocking set pieces like the grisly murders in The Americans’  “Comrades,” or the epic-scale battle in Game of Thrones’ “The Watchers on the Wall,” all these directors showed admirable technical skill. The last six minutes of True Detective’s “Who Goes There,” however, was the talk of the town. An unedited, sweeping take of a heist gone awry was a chaotic masterpiece. It’s exactly the sort of pins-and-needles scene that would make voters go gaga.

And I’m not hating on True Detective or the episode’s director Cary Joji Fukunaga. The show and that sequence had my eyeballs bulging and gums flapping for days. If this was the award for Rookie of the Year or Most Outstanding Six Minutes I would be sold, but it’s called “Directing in a Drama Series.” Nominations are based on a episode so the voters can evaluate the show’s directing based on what the creative team feels was their very best. But again, I feel the award should go to the show who over the course of a season displayed the best directing chops. And for its final eight installments, Breaking Bad delivered the kind of scintillating cinematography that set it apart for six seasons. Whether it was breathtaking location shots or playing with unprecedented POV takes, Vince Gilligan’s vision was a grand and unique one. And never was that made more apparent or more masterfully than in the series finale, “Felina.” I could walk you through the scene-by-scene breakdown of the visual storytelling genius Gilligan was able to capture, but nobody has that kind of time. Let me just say that when that camera held on the wounded Walter White embracing his true love for the last time, I almost lost it. The emotional heft was carried with grace by the show’s creator and his vision was completed. That’s something to celebrate.

Should Win: Breaking Bad

Will Win: True Detective

So television fanatics-who are your picks? Who do you cross your fingers for and who do you think actually have a shot? Agree or disagree with anything we’ve said? Let us know in the comment section!

The post My Dream Emmy Ballot: Drama appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/dream-emmy-ballot-drama/feed/ 0
My Dream Emmy Ballot: Comedy http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/dream-emmy-ballot-comedy/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/dream-emmy-ballot-comedy/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 17:18:58 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92856 With Emmy nominations right around the corner I’ve taken the time to reflect on my favorite shows of the past year, my not so favorite shows of the last year, and everything in between to try and determine who was the best of the best. It wasn’t all that easy due to some category messiness(...)

The post My Dream Emmy Ballot: Comedy appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Emmys

With Emmy nominations right around the corner I’ve taken the time to reflect on my favorite shows of the past year, my not so favorite shows of the last year, and everything in between to try and determine who was the best of the best. It wasn’t all that easy due to some category messiness (True Detective as a full length drama series and Shameless as a comedy come to mind) but I think I got a good hold on who I would love to see announced on the morning of the nominations.

In a perfect world Modern Family would be barred from all awards love –except for maybe Ty Burrell who is and always has been the best part-Shameless and Orange is the New Black would have a big presence on the nominations list and underappreciated genre heavy shows such as Hannibal and Orphan Black would get their due despite the cold shoulder last year.

Now I understand that I might be missing some notables but despite how it may appear, I can’t actually watch every single show that airs each year no matter how hard I try. However, with the help of my editor Chris we’ve come up with what I think is a worthwhile list of who and what we would like to see on the Emmy ballot July 10th.

So, first up-Comedy!

Orange is the New Black

 

BEST COMEDY SERIES

Shameless

Broad City

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Orange is the New Black

Louie

Veep

To me this year has been all about the comedy. From old favorites such as Veep to the newer kids on the block such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine starting out strong this past year has been a particularly eclectic one for comedy with great selections all across the board. Critics have even begrudgingly admitted that The Big Bang Theory had a good season overall. Which makes my picks so difficult! Louie went off the rails with his most experimental and polarizing season yet while Veep returned to form with a stellar season closer. Orange is the New Black has some of the best written characters on TV with complexity and growth apparent as we watch these beautifully drawn perople. Shameless has the strongest cast on TV period and despite category fraud had it’s best season to date and then there are the newbies Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Broad City which both had me laughing as well as falling in love with the characters. It was a superb year for comedy which makes the likely winners all the more disappointing.

SHOULD WIN: Shameless

Will Win: Modern Family

louis ck

Best Comedy Actor

William H. Macy (Shameless)

Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

Louis CK (Louie)

Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation)

Andy Daly (Review)

Elijah Wood (Wilfred)

Again there is some great talent from all avenues of characters. Andy Daly was the big, critical if not commercial break out of the year with the show Review. Adam Scott got to play lead and therefor got to shake away his “straight man” character and allow more goofiness into his persona while Eliajh Wood has to bridge the “dramedy” genre and managed to successfully do physical comedy as well his quieter, unhinged moments. However, Wood has zero possibility of ever being recognized ever and boy is it such a shame. Louis CK and William H. Macy are two other actors who have been given some more drama to work with but have still managed to bring the humor to the show and Macy’s final scenes of the season four are the best he’s ever been. And then there’s Andy Samberg who at the start of the season was either the reason people were tuning into Brooklyn Nine-Nine or staying away from it. Luckily for fans his shtick was dropped quickly and Jake Peralta was turned into a multi-layered character, rather than simply the one who delivered the punchline.

Should Win: Louis CK

Will Win: Jim Parsons

emmy rossum

Comedy Actress

Emmy Rossum (Shameless)

Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black)

Illana Glazer (Broad City)

Abbie Jacobson (Broad City)

Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)

This list is more than enough proof that there are some amazing actresses in the comedy field. For this category I lean towards the Broad City girls Illana Glazer and Abbie Jacobson for straight out and out comedy. Both have areas where they excel-Glazer has acute timing with her delivery while Jacobson has outright stole scenes with her physicality alone but it’s the two of them together that create a comedic dream team. Considering the unlikelihood of their inclusion there are plenty of other names worth mentioning. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Amy Poehler continue to do great work seasons into their shows without allowing any of their performances to become dull. Taylor Schilling gets a lot of slack due to Piper being one of the least interesting characters in a show that full of amazing ones which tends to overshadow just how funny she is. Her deadpan, dead eye stares are fantastic and people seem to forget that Piper is supposed to be insufferable. And then there is Emmy Rossum who has been doing some of the best work on television for the past four seasons of Shameless. Considering she was never nominated under the drama category there’s only slim hope she’ll get one here but I’ll be foolishly naïve for the time being and believe that voters will actually be judging on the caliber of work put in and nominate her. She was at her best this season and should be recognized for it.

Should Win: Emmy Rossum

Will Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus

andre braugher

Best Comedy Supporting Actor

Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

Noel Fisher (Shameless)

Tony Hale (Veep)

Lamorne Morris (New Girl)

Adam Driver (Girls)

Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation)

Always an interesting category it seems as if a fair few of these names actually stand a chance of being nominated unless all four of the men on Modern Family are nominated in which case I’ll throw an angry social media fit. Tony Hale seems like a lock after his surprise win last year while Adam Driver continues to oddly be the best thing about the HBO series Girls which had mixed reviews for its most recent season. Lamorne Morris was easily the highlight of season three of New Girl as he channeled a manic energy into his character Winston-a saving grace of a hugely disappointing season. Andre Braugher has been an Emmy favorite in the past so should make a return but a win seems harder. As Captain Holt he broke character tropes and created a straight laced, straight faced boss who meshes well with all of the actors and was hilarious by refusing to emote. Nick Offerman was tremendous as always and actually got to explore new avenues of the character when he got to play dad.  And then there’s Noel Fisher. If I could get one pick for one person, only one, to make the ballot it would be him for the tremendous and subtle work he did this season on Shameless as Mickey. Mickey is a tough character to tackle and Fisher did it with delicacy making this rough and tumble kid who’s kind of an ass be hugely sympathetic. I don’t think another actor could pull it off like he did or provide just the right amount of insight into the character’s growth.

Should Win: Andre Braugher

Will Win: Oh someone from Modern Family likely.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season 1

Best Comedy Supporting Actress

Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

Anna Chomsky (Veep)

Danielle Brooks (Orange is the New Black)

Nina Conti (Family Tree)

Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

Kate Mulgrew (Orange is the New Black)

Another stacked list but my vote goes with the Brooklyn Nine-Nine ladies who, like Braugher, managed to take typical tropes and flip them. Melissa Fumero is the type A personality but added just enough charisma and neuroses to build a full character. Her dieting storyline and her moments with Peralta are when she truly got to shine. Stephanie Beatriz took a character typically assigned to men-the silent, stoic, rude for no reason-and made it so much more likeable by adding some rarely seen sincerity as well some fantastic delivery. Then there are the Orange is the New Black ladies who are all amazing so picking two is just hard but Kate Mulgrew has the most name recognition and Danielle Brooks had the most flat out comedy in season one. If Veep continues on with its winning cycle Anna Chomsky should have little problem finding a deserved nomination. My out in left field pick goes to Nina Conti for her performance in the under-seen, underappreciated HBO series Family Tree which starred Chris O’Dowd. As the sister with an unusual attachment to her hand puppet Monk she was hilarious, a little sad and her performance was under played so that it didn’t seem showy but was undoubtedly a highlight of a great series.

Should Win: Melissa Fumero

Will Win: Either surprise win for Kate Mulgrew or a Modern Family win…again

broad city

Best Writing in a Comedy

The Party (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

So Did the Fat Lady (Louie)

Iron City (Shameless)

Can’t Fix Crazy (Orange is the New Black)

Working Girl (Broad City)

Here’s where I have a bit of a hard time because when it comes to the writing what’s “best” is all up to what you’re looking for in a comedy. I’m looking to laugh and if that’s the criteria my vote would easily go to either “The Party” by Brooklyn Nine-Nine or “Working Girl” for Broad City.

looking

Best Directing in a Comedy

Last Supper (Broad City)

Elevator, Part 6 (Louie)

The Chickening (Orange is the New Black)

Lazerus (Shameless)

Looking for the Future (Looking)

Innovative or artfully done directing isn’t always utilized in comedies but luckily this year had more stand outs. The mentioned episodes of Shameless and Looking both approached scenes with a more cinematic point of view and created depth in worlds already well developed. They took normal sets and places and made them bigger and grander than they were.  

And there we are with the comedy! Let me know who your picks would be as well as who you think are the most realistic to win. We can dream right? My drama picks will be up soon!

The post My Dream Emmy Ballot: Comedy appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/dream-emmy-ballot-comedy/feed/ 1
5 Ways Text Messages Can Help Teens Manage Chronic Disease http://blastmagazine.com/technology/5-ways-text-messages-can-help-teens-manage-chronic-disease/ http://blastmagazine.com/technology/5-ways-text-messages-can-help-teens-manage-chronic-disease/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 20:10:30 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92853 Historically, the top causes of death among teens have been motor vehicle accidents along with homicide, violent injuries and suicide. However, the World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, chronic disease will be the No. 1 killer of people aged 10 to 20. Health care practitioners have an imperative to address chronic illness in teen(...)

The post 5 Ways Text Messages Can Help Teens Manage Chronic Disease appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Historically, the top causes of death among teens have been motor vehicle accidents along with homicide, violent injuries and suicide. However, the World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, chronic disease will be the No. 1 killer of people aged 10 to 20. Health care practitioners have an imperative to address chronic illness in teen patients, and health care administrators must acknowledge the unique needs of teen patients instead of treating them like miniature adults.

Future health care administrators or people training in MS in Health Care Administration programs (learn more by clicking here) need to alter hospital communications and infrastructure to provide better outcomes for their teen patients. According to a recent study of 81 chronically ill teens, conducted at the University of California at San Diego, teens who used text messaging to communicate with their doctors did a better job of managing chronic disease. Texting is low-maintenance and cost-effective, and it could help chronically ill teens in five primary ways.

Helping Teens Take an Active Role in Their Care

In the UC San Diego study, doctors provided the experimental group with a two-month disease management program using the Web and text messaging. The control group received direct mail messages. After the two months ended, researchers followed the teens for six additional months, during which the experimental group was able to access text messaging for disease management and health team contact. Researchers evaluated disease management and health-related self-efficacy, and they performed health assessments at both two and eight months. The experimental group displayed significant improvement in performance of disease management tasks and self-efficacy measures.

Improving Communication With Caregivers

In an interview with San Diego TV station KPBS, Dr. Jeanne Huang, assistant professor of pediatrics at UC San Diego and a member of the research team, said that health care professionals often struggle to communicate with teens. “One of the frustrations that many of us face is that teens come in and don’t particularly communicate well with us, and we often hear about their problems and issues through their parents,” Huang told reporters. The texting group in Huang’s study initiated communication with doctors at a significantly higher rate than the control group. Texting made teens comfortable with both communicating with doctors and taking initiative regarding their care.

Decreasing Risky Behaviors

One of the best things about texting programs is that even low-cost generic messages can have a significant effect on behavior. A study of 52 HIV-positive men by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) used generic text messages about sexual behavior, substance abuse and smoking to encourage participants to stay healthy. After the program, patients reported that they’d had fewer unprotected sex partners, and researchers found an overall decrease in viral load.

Improving Social Support

Adolescents sometimes engage in risky behaviors and choose friends who don’t support healthy habits.  Texting with a nurse or other health care provider brings a caring adult into their lives who is encouraging them to make smart choices. When peers are inviting them to eat a sugary snack, teens with diabetes might choose a different snack because they’re anticipating an upcoming text message check-in. Texting insures an influx of positive messages, and two-way texting gives teens a way to ask for support from nurses and doctors when they need it.

Increasing Adherence to Good Habits

Most teens juggle many activities, and they haven’t developed the skills to create structured routines. Text messages reminding them to take medication or to keep an upcoming doctor’s appointment can help teens to set priorities and develop positive habits. Knowing that a doctor will text them about whether they’ve taken medication or given themselves an insulin injection makes teenagers more likely to make good decisions.

The Final Word

Adults often complain about teens and their obsession with smartphones, but that smartphone obsession just might save lives. Many messages are easy to automate, which makes texting cost-effective while adding little work for doctors and nurses. Ultimately, texting programs can work well because they give teens ownership of their own health care. Health care administrators should encourage parents to stay informed about their teens’ health but remind them that the goal is to teach teens to take care of themselves.

The post 5 Ways Text Messages Can Help Teens Manage Chronic Disease appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/technology/5-ways-text-messages-can-help-teens-manage-chronic-disease/feed/ 0
Earth to Echo – Movie Review http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/movies/earth-echo-movie-review/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/movies/earth-echo-movie-review/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 15:00:52 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92837 Kids will like it, but script is not compelling for adults.

The post Earth to Echo – Movie Review appeared first on Blast.

]]>
earth to echo 2

Earth to Echo

Let me set the scene. It was like going to a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant, minus the Skee-Ball and unapproachable pizza. The setting was a “press” screening in which your humble reviewer and one other were the only members of the Fourth Estate present. The rest of the theater was occupied by families on hand to see an advance screening of the big summer movie Earth to Echo.

It’s a four quadrant movie if there ever was one. This means the movie is designed to appeal to four demographics at the same time: male and female, young and old. In the case of Earth to Echo, boys and girls will love it but I think parents (of either gender) will roll their eyes.

The story is about some young friends in a neighborhood that is being demolished (sound familiar?). They discover something at a construction site which leads them to a wounded alien who wants to get back home (sound familiar?). They are chased by government agents (sound familiar?). The entire movie is filmed from the perspective of cameras the kids are holding (sound familiar?).

In Hollywood, many agents and producers pass on screenplays because they say, quite casually, “seems too familiar.” If Earth to Echo was any more familiar, it would be the tee shirt I’ve had for ten years and just can’t get rid of. The first movie one thinks of is The Goonies. The producers of Earth to Echo go so far as to include a character with the nickname of ‘Munch.’ This can’t be a coincidence, for one of the most beloved characters of 1980s comedy –in The Goonies– was named ‘Chunk.’ With respect to the actor who plays ‘Munch,’ who does a very good job, you sir, are no Chunk! Next up is Super 8, which featured a bunch of underdogs helping an alien –that one much less benign– to rebuild his ship to get home.

Earth to Echo chooses to frame its narrative in the found footage style. That is, the entire story is told via hand held cameras and Google Glasses (the entire movie is a walking ad for Google, which makes one wonder if the Goog kicked in some production cash) the children are carrying and wearing. Though found footage movies seemed to have gone the way of cinemascope, they appear to be making a comeback, and Earth to Echo is leading the charge. This choice of perspective doesn’t add much and at times is literally dizzying. It also feels too much of a nod in the direction of Chronicle–adding yet more familiarity to the story. There’s even a chase scene toward the end which recalls E.T. the Extraterrestrial. I was half expecting the chase to occur in front of a pancake moon so brazenly had the producers borrowed from other movies.

So I can say Earth to Echo is derivative, pastiche, cliche, hackneyed, and borders on, at times, plagiarism, but does any of that matter?

No kid under 12 is going to know or care about The Goonies or Super 8 or even, perish the thought, E.T. I don’t know who is being more cynical here: me or Hollywood, which is banking on (and will make bank) the ignorance of children. However, if parents are going to be forced to take their kids to this, they too should be able to have a good experience. Unfortunately, I don’t believe they will. Earth to Echo is not on par with other four quadrant successes such as W.A.L.L.-E or The Incredibles. There’s some funny dialogue and good effects, and the child performers are very solid, but the script, I fear, is too unoriginal and flat for parents to like.

Therefore, the experience will be exactly like a trip to Chuck E. Cheese or Storyland. Parents will grit their teeth and bear it, while the kids will have a great time.

2.5 out of 4 stars
Directed by: Dave Green
Written by: Henry Gayden
Starring: Teo Halm, Brian “Astro” Bradley, Reese Hartwig , Ella Linnea Wahlestedt
Rated: PG

The post Earth to Echo – Movie Review appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/movies/earth-echo-movie-review/feed/ 0
“Orphan Black” – By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried (2.10) season finale review http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/orphan-black-means-never-yet-tried-2-10-season-finale-review/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/orphan-black-means-never-yet-tried-2-10-season-finale-review/#comments Sat, 28 Jun 2014 20:31:13 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92833 3 out of 5 stars For the majority of the season two finale of Orphan Black, I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing. Nothing huge, but something notable. Maybe something exciting? Much of “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried” was a rehash of what’s already been done on the show. Helena(...)

The post “Orphan Black” – By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried (2.10) season finale review appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) hands herself over in the season two finale of Orphan Black.

Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) hands herself over in the season two finale of Orphan Black.

3 out of 5 stars

For the majority of the season two finale of Orphan Black, I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing. Nothing huge, but something notable. Maybe something exciting? Much of “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried” was a rehash of what’s already been done on the show. Helena was kidnapped, Cosima appeared closer to death and Sarah continued to learn more truths that unravel the stability she’s built with the shambles of her life.

The biggest issue of the episode is Rachel, who may have been the season’s biggest misstep. Having the villain be a fellow clone was a good idea that was executed poorly. Rachel was given a very shallow backstory that didn’t allow the audience to ever sympathize with her, making the events that transpired in the last episode come across as cold rather than moving. Rachel is working out her master plan by sending Delphine away, kidnapping Kira and manipulating Sarah into being under her supervision and being a living, breathing science experiment. So, when Duncan kills himself for some reason—to this viewer it seemed out of spite but I’m not too sure—and Rachel breaks down all I can do is admire the acting but I didn’t feel anything for her pain. It was a detached reaction.

It makes the other sisters overcoming her have less impact. Cosima and her buddy Scott create a device for Sarah to use on Rachel. It works as Rachel has a pencil run violently through her eye, and I still don’t have it in me to care. Is she dead? I have no idea, although it looked like it. When the villain is given that amount of backstory and you still don’t understand her motives there’s something missing.

To add to the faults, the show needs to get their philosophies straight. From religion versus science, to survival of the fittest, nurture versus nature to life being a continuous circle that no one strays from this show is fond of heavy ideologies and seems to enjoy tossing them out more than explaining how they pertain to the show. Obviously, they do but it would benefit the stories if they were to stick with one for more than a monologue.

Now don’t let all of this negativity lead you into thinking I hated the episode—far from it. It was just another case of wasted potential. They could have made this episode BIG by simply refusing to rush certain storylines and by focusing more on our core four clones (and Felix) because those are the moments that stick in the memories of the viewers and the ones they’ll talk about. I don’t care about Rachel, but I sure care about Sarah getting a moment’s peace, about Helena being allowed to meet her family and be among people who don’t want anything from her that she isn’t willing to give, about Allison having a happy, adrenaline fueled moment with Donnie or about Cosima being loved by Delphine with no questions or doubts. I love these women. They’re some amazing characters who should have been utilized more.

The moment to note comes when all of the clones, plus Felix and Kira, gather for a night to catch up, take a breath, and use their collective experiences to plan how to move forward. From the very first moment to the last of this sequence there is an obvious unique quality. Helena is brought in, the one who hasn’t met Cosima or Allison yet and her introduction is pointed with Allison and warm with Cosima. It’s Kira who receives her warmest welcome. Helena, as has been mentioned, is a human who acts purely on instinct and due to this, she sees good and evil as it is and when she sees Kira she sees innocence and someone to protect. When she sees Kira she’s as happy as she could ever be.

The next significant moment happens during the much-talked-about dance party between the clones. The directors wanted it to be a feat of filmmaking by getting five Tatiana Maslanys onscreen at once and while it’s certainly impressive (especially for the shows budget, which can’t be too high) you can still see the glitches, the oddly sped-up characters, the choppy scenery and despite the innovative way they used Felix and Jordan Garvaris respectively to cut together the characters you can still tell it’s just that—cut together.

The real feat is, no surprise here, Maslany. I could just talk about how amazing she is for the entire review but that may seem like a waste of a review. However, with Emmy nominations coming around the corner, it’s certainly worth raving and ranting about her talents a bit more. We can talk about how impressive she is, how much of a chameleon she is as the clones until we’re blue in the face but no scene has showcased her ability to shift into characters more than this one 2-minute dance party. Maslany is aided often by wigs and makeup to transform her and she puts on different accents and tones for certain characters—British and rough for Sarah, clipped and higher pitched for Allison, low and sultry for Cosima—but a lot of the success of the transformation comes from the physicality.

Cosima dances uninhibited, fun and loose and feeling the music. Sarah dances like she fights, big and in the moment. Allison is the awkward mom dancer who doesn’t know what do to with Felix’s more outlandish moves and Helena is the polar opposite who moves however she wants to and who seems happy enough just to be jumping around with her sisters.

It’s such a strong scene, for the characters and actor(s) alike that it’s easy to get tunnel vision about the episode as a whole. The scene following is just as touching. Cosima and Sarah lay side by side, sisters finally reunited and despite Cosima’s illness she’s comforting Sarah. Cosima is the rock in the dynamic. She’s practical, a scientist. She tells Sarah that’s she’s the anomaly of the group of them, that she needs to keep moving forward to keep the momentum going. With Sarah as the ringleader they will all grow and move—they just need Sarah’s unique quality. So there’s Cosima the rock, Sarah the leader, Allison the muscle and enforcer and Helena the wild card.

And then Rachel the mistake character, but I won’t get into that again.

If the episode had ended here it would have been a strong finale rather than a slightly disappointing one. But instead the show made the mistake of answering questions with more questions and very little answers. We learn that there is another clone but she’s younger than the rest of them, Sarah’s younger sister. Helena is kidnapped again (a storytelling move that really annoyed me since it’s lazy writing as a season cliffhanger) and we learn the most annoying plot twist at all that Mark, Gracie’s partner, is also a clone but was created by the Prolitheans. The religious cult had male clones while the scientist extremists had females.

I’m not bothered by the existence of other clones. The show seems to want to broaden their world, so it makes sense why they would pick more clones as the way to do it. However, the clone is a character who spent the majority of the season as a creep and one who we don’t even remotely care about.

Hell, why not use Felix if they’re so dead set on the idea. On one hand, I enjoy Felix as being purely normal but on the other hand I need the writers to start giving Jordan Gavaris stronger material considering he’s the only actor who can go toe to toe with Maslany.  I’m also uncertain whether or not Ari Millen is a strong enough actor to do what Maslany has already expertly done. The term “lighting doesn’t strike twice” hasn’t been more accurate in a while.

So, let’s wrap this up.

Finale Verdict: It was pretty touch and go. An amazing middle sequence nearly cleanses the earlier inferior scenes from our collective pallets but the last minute plots got more of an eye roll from this viewer then a gasp of surprise. I didn’t dislike it. but as someone who has enjoyed this show immensely and who wants it to gain more viewership it’s going to have to try a lot harder and stop relying on cheap tricks and thrills.

Season Two Verdict: For the most part it was very strong. The storylines at the start all intersected beautifully and the shocks (Helena’s first appearance) were as strong as any top-billed show. Despite the slight decline in quality in the last three episodes or so, for the most part season two was exciting, emotional and a hell of a lot of fun. Despite the disappointment of the finale I’ll be tuning in for season three.

What did you think? Did season two live up to the hype or did it let you down?

The post “Orphan Black” – By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried (2.10) season finale review appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/orphan-black-means-never-yet-tried-2-10-season-finale-review/feed/ 0
Borgore is getting Ratchet in Boston http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/borgore-getting-ratchet-boston/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/borgore-getting-ratchet-boston/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 01:29:20 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92822 Fresh off his EDC main stage set, Borgore is coming to get ratchet at the Royale in Boston on June 27th at the Royale. Not for the faint of heart, this show will be a mind-bending mix of the radical electronic music that has brought this Israeli producer to the front lines of party music(...)

The post Borgore is getting Ratchet in Boston appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Fresh off his EDC main stage set, Borgore is coming to get ratchet at the Royale in Boston on June 27th at the Royale.

Borgore, born Asaf Borger, latest album #NEWGOREORDER will be released on 7/8. Media credit to the Mitch Schneider Organization.

Borgore, born Asaf Borger, latest album #NEWGOREORDER will be released on 7/8. Media credit to the Mitch Schneider Organization.

Not for the faint of heart, this show will be a mind-bending mix of the radical electronic music that has brought this Israeli producer to the front lines of party music internationally. Expect his trademark addicting beats as well as some fresh and vivacious tracks off his upcoming full album #NEWGOREORDER. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to party with the DJ beloved by millions in an intimate setting and experience first hand the legendary experience Borgore brings. Give yourself over to the infectious bass and get wild; it’ll be a night you’ll never forget.

Get ready to rage with the best Boston.

On July 8th, #NEWGOREORDER will be available on iTunes. In the meantime, you can keep up with Bogore’s activities via his documentary series, “The Ratchet Diaries”.

Check out his latest single, “Ratchet” below.

The post Borgore is getting Ratchet in Boston appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/borgore-getting-ratchet-boston/feed/ 0
Atari Makes Plans to Rule the Entertainment World http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/gaming-news/atari-makes-plans-rule-entertainment-world/ http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/gaming-news/atari-makes-plans-rule-entertainment-world/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 12:48:43 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92817 New York, NY—Many people thought the glory days of Atari where long-gone, but the company is on the verge of staging a comeback to thrust themselves into the center of the technology spotlight. On June 18, the company launched a strategy to dominate the digital age with a collection of online video games, online casinos,(...)

The post Atari Makes Plans to Rule the Entertainment World appeared first on Blast.

]]>
ATARI_Logo_WallpaperNew York, NY—Many people thought the glory days of Atari where long-gone, but the company is on the verge of staging a comeback to thrust themselves into the center of the technology spotlight.

On June 18, the company launched a strategy to dominate the digital age with a collection of online video games, online casinos, video content, and a licensing business that includes hardware and apparel.

For those who remember Atari for games like Pong and Frogger, this new foray into widespread entertainment might seem like a big leap. But the company has been on the hunt for bigger entertainment success for many years.

Fred Chesnais, Cief Executive Officer of Atari, Inc. says, “Known across multiple generations around the world, Atari will continue to embrace all audiences. What the company has accomplished over the years is no small feat, but there is more to come.” He also insists that Atari is “looking forward to delivering on our new strategy and engaging with our audience in new ways across multiple channels as the next era of Atari unfolds.”

Atari has plans to launch its brand across a variety of platforms including mobile, PC, online, or other forms of digital media. Not only is Atari planning to re-launch some of its most famous games, but it is also looking to attract new audiences through venues like social casinos and YouTube.

In 2014, Atari has already re-launched RollerCoaster Tycoon, introduced Haunted House, and plans to re-release classic games like Asteroids. The company is getting ready to make huge announcements later in the year across a variety of social platforms.

The post Atari Makes Plans to Rule the Entertainment World appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/gaming-news/atari-makes-plans-rule-entertainment-world/feed/ 0
LaMetric Smart Ticker Launches on Kickstarter Today http://blastmagazine.com/features/lametric-smart-ticker-launches-kickstarter-today/ http://blastmagazine.com/features/lametric-smart-ticker-launches-kickstarter-today/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 18:17:58 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92811 London—Smart Atoms has officially introduced the LaMetric smart ticker to Kickstarter today and is ready to transform the world of technology. This smart clock actually tracks and displays key metrics in real time so you have access to everything you need without opening multiple apps. You can completely customize this hackable smart display to read(...)

The post LaMetric Smart Ticker Launches on Kickstarter Today appeared first on Blast.

]]>

lametric engLondon—Smart Atoms has officially introduced the LaMetric smart ticker to Kickstarter today and is ready to transform the world of technology.

This smart clock actually tracks and displays key metrics in real time so you have access to everything you need without opening multiple apps.

You can completely customize this hackable smart display to read the items from your calendar, tell you the temperature, or countdown to a big event in your life. When you have LaMetric, you do not have to use multiple apps or news sites to access the information that you need for your day.

You can integrate LaMetric with home and business platforms like IFTTT or automation systems like SmartThings™ so you can glance at your ticker and see if your pet has left your property or if someone is trying to get into your home.

LaMatric makes your smart phone a convenient control system for your entire life. You can even use LaMetric to set up time intervals for your workouts.

The smart tickers will be available in several pledge levels so you can choose between plug-in and battery-operated units. You can buy the plug-in at Super01 Early Bird Level for $89, at Early Bird Level for $119, and the Kickstarter Edition Level for $129. It will cost $119 for the Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery-operated version, $139 for the Early Bird, and $149 for the Kickstarter Edition. Purchase a Life and Business Set Super Early Bird for $199, the Early Bird for $249, and the Kickstarter Edition for $269.

The campaign will run on Kickstarter until August 1, which means you should act fast to get the best deal.

The post LaMetric Smart Ticker Launches on Kickstarter Today appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/features/lametric-smart-ticker-launches-kickstarter-today/feed/ 0
“Orphan Black” – Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done (2.09) episode review http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/orphan-black-things-never-yet-done-2-09-episode-review/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/orphan-black-things-never-yet-done-2-09-episode-review/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 02:02:22 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92802 3.5 out of 5 stars Orphan Black sure knows how to turn it around. After a lackluster showing last week, and with the penultimate episode airing this week, I expected something bigger and better. Despite how much I loved much of this week’s episode, I couldn’t help but feel as if there was still something vital(...)

The post “Orphan Black” – Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done (2.09) episode review appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) makes an impossible choice.

Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) makes an impossible choice.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Orphan Black sure knows how to turn it around. After a lackluster showing last week, and with the penultimate episode airing this week, I expected something bigger and better. Despite how much I loved much of this week’s episode, I couldn’t help but feel as if there was still something vital missing in order to make it all click.

Maybe last week is still souring my opinion.

It was bound to happen but it didn’t make the first truly disappointing episode of Orphan Black any better. Last week, for the first time the episode felt directionless. There were bits and pieces floating around not even attempting to connect. The stories were vignettes in the lives of our characters and if this were a 23-episode show where filler episodes could be excused it wouldn’t matter. I may have even appreciated the lighter moments of flirtation among characters had that been the case. However, the show is allotted a strict amount of time to tell its story and in the end, despite my amusement at parts, it felt like a waste of time.

However, one noticeable appearance that brought the episode’s quality down.

It’s not that having a transgender clone is a bad idea. Not in the slightest. It’s actually quite nice to see more representation on television and I’m glad that Orphan Black chose to tackle it without much fanfare surrounding it which will only continue to normalize it.

What I cannot stand is the hatchet job that the costume and hair department did with the character considering just how high quality their work typically is. If they can cram Tatiana Maslany’s mane underneath the Rachel wig how hard could it have been to create a less cartoonish one for Tony? Tony is interestingly written but the super glued-on goatee turns what could be a welcome addition to the “clone club” instead turns into a caricature. Considering this is the show that has received raves (from me included) about the writing team’s ability to obliterate archetypes, to see them squander the opportunity to do something progressive is a shame.

And it’s all because of an ill-advised mullet.

In all fairness, it’s a very strong episode. I think I’m going to begin judging how good the show is by how often Helena is utilized because she is easily becoming the highlight of the season, just as Allison became the highlight in season one. Despite not making an appearance last week she comes back in full force as we see her at the Prolethian camp where she’s being impregnated. She almost seems peaceful about it, but as the episode progresses we begin to see bits of a character that we’ve never seen before— a woman with fierce protectiveness over children. It could just be the newfound prospect of motherhood but we got peeks of this last season when she was worried about Kira’s wellbeing.

Helena is the most interesting character because she’s the one we still know so little about. We continue to watch her grow and learn depending on who she is around in any given week.  Witnessing her slowly realize what’s being done to her—and the other women who are being impregnated with her eggs, including Gracie (so she’s technically carrying her father’s child…)—is not only sobering but heartbreaking. Our immediate response is to wait as her rage takes over her to dismantle the cult. We can’t help but feel for her as one of her few moments of joy is taken.

We watch at the end of the episode as she straps the leader into a chair, his feet in stirrups, and tortures him and then goes on to burn the camp to the ground. Her and Gracie escape and we can’t help but feel gratified. It’s horrifying stuff, but it’s a win on her part and we love seeing those who deserve a win get one.

The same can be said for Allison who has had some tough luck this season but despite the recent homicide committed by her husband, she couldn’t seem more content. Her and Donnie treating the hiding of Dr. Leeke’s body like a tedious household chore was one of the best scenes of the episode. It’s incredible how quickly a character can grow on you. Up until this past episode, Donnie has been little more than an aggravation to me. He was whiny, always seemed to be hiding something and in all honesty I couldn’t see why Allison would have ever fallen for him. Due to a mixture of how he’s being written, and the looser manner that Kristian Bruun is playing him, he’s quickly turned around into an immensely likeable character. His blackmailing of Vic and Angie was delivered beautifully and it’s another example of a character growing and continuing to surprise the audience. With Bruun’s performance, I forgot (again) that it was Tatiana Maslany playing Allison. The chemistry was fresh and unlike the other pairings.

And who else was laughing stupidly when the two of them did it on top of the freezer where they’d hid Leeke? Because that was just comedy gold.

Despite the positives of the episode—and there were many—there were still plenty of moments that felt noticeably weak in comparison. Sarah didn’t get much to do other than determining if she was going to allow Kira to donate bone marrow to save Cosima. The scene where Kira goes under and Sarah watches as her little girl is stuck with an impossibly large needle is beautifully done and Maslany’s vulnerability as Sarah is touching but the imagery certainly adds something with Kira looking fragile and small on the operating table.

She is, of course fine, and the rest of her plot intersects with the weakest which is Rachel’s.

Rachel is a character I’ve struggled with all season because I want to enjoy the character. Even at Sarah’s most selfish, at Cosima’s most high and mighty, Allison’s most frigid and Helena’s most destructive I’ve at the very least enjoyed their scenes. Each of them are distinct characters with flaws and despite that they’re incredibly engaging but for some reason I haven’t been able to connect with Rachel even when they try and dial down how robotic she is. I began to feel some sympathy last week when she learns she was “designed” barren with Sarah and Helena being the mistakes in the sequence but this week she’s back to her detached self and it isn’t as interesting to watch. Her watching old family videos and then her apparent envy of Sarah’s motherhood doesn’t evoke any form of emotion: rather I’m turned off by how hammy the performance is. As good as Maslany is, even she is having trouble saving Rachel’s character.

Rachel’s main goal is to kidnap Kira and she succeeds and that’s her best moment of the series so far only because she’s disguising herself as Sarah. Being able to detect the slight change in her pronunciation of words and her use of language makes it thrilling but we’re also tired of the whole Kira gets taken storyline.

The episode is fun at times, dull at times and for the most part a very solid episode but the lows are apparent and the idea that we’re spending the finale of the season focused on the will they/won’t they find Kira in time narrative lessens my excitement for it. The season was off to a great start and continued with the early momentum for most of the season until last week derailed it and set the show back up on shaky footing. The show doesn’t win merit based on the quality of its writing. It is campy and enjoyably so and the storylines aren’t always going to flow at the right speed but it skirts by on its charm and its wonderful characters. Having Rachel be a weak point and then centering a portion of an episode on her can and will be a detriment to the episode.

As a fan of the show, my fingers are crossed that next week sends us out of season two on a high note. Hell, if Allison and Helena get a lot of screen time I’ll be happy. I’ll be happier if the show brings the energy and intensity of their best moments.

They need to keep us on our toes until season three!

 

The post “Orphan Black” – Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done (2.09) episode review appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/orphan-black-things-never-yet-done-2-09-episode-review/feed/ 0
Coach Alba Review http://blastmagazine.com/features/coach-alba-review/ http://blastmagazine.com/features/coach-alba-review/#comments Sat, 14 Jun 2014 21:58:45 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92643 Move over, apps. There’s a new, interactive way to get content from your phone: text messages. Alright, maybe that’s not so new, but messaging service Coach Alba is repurposing texts to do far more than you ever dreamed they could. How would you like a text message to help you lose weight and stop smoking?(...)

The post Coach Alba Review appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Move over, apps. There’s a new, interactive way to get content from your phone: text messages.

Alright, maybe that’s not so new, but messaging service Coach Alba is repurposing texts to do far more than you ever dreamed they could. How would you like a text message to help you lose weight and stop smoking?

Coach Alba is a text messaging service that works as your own, personal coach. Whether it’s overeating, smoking, or some other vice you want to kick, Coach Alba will be there for you, reminding you of your goals and plans.

Specifically, the service targets the danger times for you, the times that you can never help reaching for the chips or a cigarette.

“The problem with these crucial moments is that they’re very fleeting. They only happen during a certain part of the day, but if we succumb to them it can really torpedo the hope that we have that we can be successful, and that’s why we like to help people and coach them through those crucial moments. And we find the best way to do that is through a text message coach,” said founder and CEO Vince Han.

Han’s urge to help others in need of a life coach came from his own struggles to lose weight.  Though many other technologies were explored as options for the Coach Alba concept, like a website or an app, text messages was ultimately the clear choice. “What we have found is that any obstacle between me making a healthy choice is too much of an obstacle,” said Han. “Even being on an app, and logging in and tapping on to get to a certain screen, that’s too much work for a lot of people.”

Coach Alba is designed with an understanding that changing your life is hard and getting distracted is a lot easier. “If I get on my phone and I have a choice between thinking about how hard it is to be healthy versus spending 20 minutes playing Candy Crush and going on Facebook, we found that we would lose to Candy Crush or Facebook almost all the time,” said Han. Receiving a text messages, however, requires little effort and happens automatically.

Han believes that unlike an app, which often gets lost in a sea of others like in on a users phone, people who start using Coach Alba continue to use it over time because they rely on the coach.

The service, which can be purchased at https://coachalba.com, costs $29.95 for a year’s subscription.

Coach Alba is currently expanding its content to include lifestyle assistance for those with high blood pressure, stress, and much more. As Han said, “we really are trying to build a community to help as many people as possible, so I just encourage folks to give it a try.”

The post Coach Alba Review appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/features/coach-alba-review/feed/ 2
What Happens to All of That Smart Appliance Data? http://blastmagazine.com/technology/tech-news/computers/happens-smart-appliance-data/ http://blastmagazine.com/technology/tech-news/computers/happens-smart-appliance-data/#comments Sat, 14 Jun 2014 13:01:01 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92797 Almost everything you do involves giving away your data. When you sign up for a discount card at your local grocery store, the store uses the card to track your shopping habits and to send you targeted advertising. When you type a search query into Google or Bing, your search information is tracked and used(...)

The post What Happens to All of That Smart Appliance Data? appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Almost everything you do involves giving away your data. When you sign up for a discount card at your local grocery store, the store uses the card to track your shopping habits and to send you targeted advertising. When you type a search query into Google or Bing, your search information is tracked and used to generate online ads.

Now, even your appliances may be selling your data to the highest bidder. If you’ve purchased an Internet-connected appliance, also known as a “smart appliance,” your data is streaming from your smart refrigerator or dishwasher directly back to the manufacturer.

A smart meter from your electric company attached to your house can detect how many people live in your home. It can learn your sleeping habits, how often you shower, how many loads of laundry you wash and how much television you view. Sensors in motion-activated cameras can detect your comings and goings. The sensor in your smart refrigerator can read barcodes, and it can inform you when your milk is about to spoil.

Security expert Bruce Schneier, speaking on the “Science Friday” radio broadcast, says that personal data is collected for the purpose of “psychological manipulation” so companies building smart appliances can get you to purchase more. At the same time, you have no guarantees these companies, which are sitting on storehouses of consumer data, are keeping your personal information safe.

Your Data in Transit, in Use and at Rest

Any company that collects your personal data has a responsibility to protect your data at three sensitive points: when it’s in transit from your appliance to the company datacenter, when the company is using your data and when your data is in storage.

Many companies also fail to protect consumer data in transit. For example, until late 2013, software giants like Google and Yahoo failed to protect data transmitted between its data centers. As a result, Level 3, the company controlling the fiber optic cable running between those data centers, may have intercepted consumer data to share it with the National Security Agency (NSA).

Data being processed in the cloud, or data “in use,” can be stored away from the company’s IT department with a third-party cloud storage provider. Tools for encrypting data in use can allow employees to perform operations against the data, such as within a customer relationship management application, without decrypting the data. Only authorized people within the company’s IT department should have access to company encryption keys.

Protecting your data in storage is the easiest part of the equation. For example, a good endpoint data encryption product should encrypt data using a strong algorithm on a PC, Mac, USB drive or other media, like a burned DVD. Also, cloud data encryption can take care of data stored in the cloud.

Unfortunately, even though stored data is the easiest to encrypt, many companies fail to implement an effective endpoint encryption solution. In January 2014, Coca-Cola reported a rogue employee had stolen a company laptop containing the unencrypted data of 74,000 customers, employees and suppliers.

Protection vs. Convenience

Having access to accumulated customer data allows companies to provide valuable services for their customers.

For example, data collected by a smart garage door opener appliance could warn consumers when their automated garage door is in danger of breaking down. However, data related to a garage door opener could be used for much more than offering convenience or new products to customers. For instance, the time that a garage door opened could be used to draw an inference in a court case.

To protect your data, avoid purchasing smart appliances from companies that don’t tell you what data they collect, how they use the data and when they destroy the data. You can also look for TRUSTe certification, a credential ensuring a company’s collection, transmission, usage and security policies meet a set of data protection requirements. Most of all, understand how your data is protected in transit, in use and at rest within the company.

Big Data Is Here to Stay

Gartner estimates by 2020, 26 million smart devices will connect to the Internet. When you purchase a smart appliance, buy from a company that takes good care of your personal information.

The post What Happens to All of That Smart Appliance Data? appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/technology/tech-news/computers/happens-smart-appliance-data/feed/ 0
Game On! Rdio’s World Cup Playlists http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/world-cup-playlist/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/world-cup-playlist/#comments Fri, 13 Jun 2014 12:00:31 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92782 With the return of the World Cup, we’re all pretty busy watching our favorite teams. But for those moments between matches, Rdio’s released some new playlists to keep you pumped until July 13. #JoinIn to the Game Looking for the most American tracks to party with your friends? Rdio has you covered with their #JoinIn to(...)

The post Game On! Rdio’s World Cup Playlists appeared first on Blast.

]]>

With the return of the World Cup, we’re all pretty busy watching our favorite teams. But for those moments between matches, Rdio’s released some new playlists to keep you pumped until July 13.

#JoinIn to the Game

Looking for the most American tracks to party with your friends? Rdio has you covered with their #JoinIn to the Game playlist. Tweet with #JoinIn to tell Rdio about your favorite American songs!

image002

  1. American Girl – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Greatest Hits
  2. Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen Tribute Band – World’s Greatest Rock Anthems – The Only Rock Tributes Album You’ll Ever Need! (Deluxe Version)
  3. American Life – Madonna – American Life
  4. Made In America – Jay Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne (Deluxe Edition)
  5. American Woman (Remixed Album Version) – The Guess Who – The Essential The Guess Who
  6. Made in the USA – Demi Lovato – Demi
  7. All-American Girl – Carrie Underwood – Carnival Ride
  8. Made In America – Toby Keith – Clancy’s Tavern (Deluxe Edition)
  9. America – Neil Diamond – The Essential Neil Diamond
  10. Back in the USA – Chuck Berry – Mr. Rock N’ Roll
  11. Living in America – James Brown – Living In America
  12. Party In The U.S.A. – Miley Cyrus – The Time Of Our Lives

 

Game On!

Not rooting for the good ol’ USA? Rdio’s Game On! playlist has a track for each nation represented at the tournament. With artists like Madonna, STRFKR and Carlos Santana, this mix is perfect for your pre-game.

image004

  1. Turning Japanese – The Vapors – Turning Japanese – Best Of The Vapors
  2. England – The National – High Violet
  3. Mexico – Incubus – Morning View
  4. Costa Rica – Prawn – Ships
  5. Honduras – The Gourds – Dem’s Good Beeble
  6. Ecuador – Carlos Santana – Havana Moon
  7. Colombia – Local Natives – Hummingbird
  8. Brazil – Gold Panda – Brazil
  9. Voodoo Chile – Jimi Hendrix – Electric Ladyland
  10. Uruguay – The High Dials – Anthems for Doomed Youth
  11. Don’t Cry For Me Argentina – Madonna – Music From The Motion Picture “Evita”
  12. Belgium – Bowling For Soup – Drunk Enough To Dance
  13. Holland – Sufjan Stevens – Michigan
  14. German Love – STRFKR – Starfucker
  15. Paris – Friendly Fires – Friendly Fires
  16. Switzerland – Girls In Hawaii – Everest
  17. Croatia – October Light – Croatia
  18. Bosnia – The Cranberries – To The Faithful Departed (The Complete Sessions 1996-1997)
  19. Russia – Fat Freddy’s Drop – Blackbird
  20. Mambo Italiano – Dean Martin – The Very Italian Best Of
  21. Spanish – Craig David – Slicker Than Your Average
  22. Greek Song – Rufus Wainwright – Poses
  23. Algeria – JJ72 – JJ72
  24. Nigeria – Stray From The Path – Make Your Own History
  25. Ghana – Quincy Jones – The ABC, Mercury Jazz Big Band Sessions
  26. April In Portugal – Louis Armstrong – Satchmo Serenades
  27. Cameroon – Mike Stern – All Over the Place
  28. Australia Street – Sticky Fingers – Caress Your Soul
  29. Korea – Deftones – White Pony
  30. Cote D’Ivoire – Dobet Gnahore – Djekpa La You
  31. Iran – Highasakite – Silent Treatment
  32. America – Simon & Garfunkel – Simon And Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits

The post Game On! Rdio’s World Cup Playlists appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/world-cup-playlist/feed/ 0
The Blast Interview: Annalise Emerick http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/annalise-emerick/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/annalise-emerick/#comments Mon, 09 Jun 2014 23:27:26 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92772 Last week, Blast’s Amina Ly got the chance to speak to Annalise Emerick, an independent artist based in Boston, MA, to talk about her rising success as a singer/songwriter and her upcoming album Field Notes.    Blast: So recently you decided to quit your job and pursue singing/ songwriting full-time. What pushed you to take that(...)

The post The Blast Interview: Annalise Emerick appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Last week, Blast’s Amina Ly got the chance to speak to Annalise Emerick, an independent artist based in Boston, MA, to talk about her rising success as a singer/songwriter and her upcoming album Field Notes. 

 

Blast: So recently you decided to quit your job and pursue singing/ songwriting full-time. What pushed you to take that step?

Annalise Emerick: I started touring full time in March this year, but I’ve been touring on and off for the past 3 years or so. I wanted to really go for it and really start working on this music. Right now I have over 150 shows booked and I haven’t really been home since I decided to start. I decided I needed to make the leap from part time to full time so I could really focus on building a fan base and building a career and that really meant I had to go full time.

Blast: You’ve been on tour so consistently since you started your music career full-time. Where do you find the time to create new music? 

Emerick: Not as much as I want to, and I felt dried up after my upcoming record was done. Songwriting on the road is hard. You can’t wait around for the muse or stay up late waiting for it to come to you. During the day you have to send tons of e-mails and there is a lot of driving around. Even on the days off it’s hard to not just use those days to chill and watch Netflix or hang out with friends.   Lately, I have been writing again–which is exciting. It’s scary when you haven’t been able to write for a while and to see that I still can is great. It’s been a transition, though, from always being creative to having to build the time to write into my daily routine.  

Annalise Emerick's new album will be released Sept. 15

Annalise Emerick’s new album will be released Sept. 15

Blast: Have your shows changed or evolved in any way since you first began?   

Emerick: It’s been really exciting because I’m having actual fans coming to my gigs. Not just people that know me personally. Now there are people coming who’ve seen me on the web or heard me on Pandora or read something in a magazine. It’s always really encouraging, and it shows that the hustle has really been paying off. The more I play the more opportunities I have to grow my fan base, and it’s exciting to succeed and play these shows.  

Blast: Do you have a songwriting process?    

Emerick: Definitely not. I don’t rush it and let the songs come. I wait for the perfect moment and it comes out.

Blast: One of the main things people will notice when reading about you and your music career is simply that you are a self-built independent artist. What would you say largely led to your growing success? 

Emerick: Asking for what I needed and being okay with telling people that I need them to come to my shows. This means family and friends, but mostly the fans. It’s definitely about owning your own career. Some people are great artists and don’t put the time and work into the shows. It’s really important to just be out there. Even if I’m just touring one region if I can get people to come to my shows that’s what matters. Artists who aren’t into touring, I don’t know how they hope to build a fan base.   Now that I’m seeing fans come out to my shows, I’m trying to nurture that. Even after shows, some people will reach out to me on Facebook and I will respond personally and tell them I appreciate their support. Artists need them, and I make sure I tell them how much I appreciate them.   In the beginning, the goal was to get the record out and start working. I would try and get local college stations to play my music and I started booking shows. Now I’m doing that and focusing on the fans as well

Blast: So your EP Starry Eyed was released back in 2011 right around the time you moved to the Northeast, and you’re working on releasing a full album later this year. What have you learned from the first EP that you’ve applied to making this new album? 

Emerick: The songwriting in Field Notes is a lot stronger. It’s showing that I’ve matured, as most artist should. I think I wanted to sound more like a grownup, and show that I’ve been doing this for a while. The recording process was mostly about letting it do what it needs to and taking the time to breathe. I have a tendency to rush and want to get it done and pressed as soon as possible but my producer was good about having me wait it. Sometimes I would have to sit on something for a week and give it time.   The PR is also a little different this time. Last time I just recorded and released the record, and it did well. This time, though, were giving ourselves the four months before the record comes out to get the press going and giving it the time to build up. I wondered about what would have happened if we did the same with Starry Eyed how it would have done, so we get to do it with this album to create that excitement and buzz.

Blast: So would you say the process of making Field Notes deviated much from that of Starry Eyed?

Emerick: Not really. We have the same band and the same studio as last time. So this has been about just letting the songs happen one at a time. The difference really is in the songs, not how they were made.    

Blast: What were some of the major inspirations that went into Field Notes?  

Emerick: It was about trying to keep track of what I’ve been exploring. I like the idea of an explorer in the wild taking notes and I tried to put that into the album. I also tried to create some happy love songs now that I’m older and have moved away from heartbreak.   When making the record, I wanted to make the songs mine and about my experiences but at the same time it has to be universal. I wanted to have songs that weren’t just about romantic love. One song on the album, “Sidewalk Chalk”, was about childhood friendship and platonic love that fades away with adulthood and how sad that can be.   There is also another song called “Twinkling Lights” about a summer camp I worked at in Maine and how special that place was to me. I feel like everyone has a place that means a lot to them, and there is place they can look to when hearing this song and it has this universal message.

Annalise Emerick

Annalise Emerick

 

Blast: What are you looking forward to in the next year? Do you have any plans after the album release?

Emerick: Yes. This year I’m touring full time. I’m totally booked until basically November and that’s exciting. I’m hoping to do a little tour with some other artists I admire in December. We’ll be together fro a few weeks. I’m also hoping to find an agent to book the shows for me but that’s about waiting for the right time and finding the right agent.   Touring-wise I’m thinking that I might do three weeks on one week off because it’s more sustainable, but for this summer I just really wanted to go for it. Hopefully I’m never going to go back to another job.

Blast: There may be a some people who will read this interview who’ve been thinking about starting their own music careers. What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a singer/songwriter? 

Emerick: Definitely write good songs and put yourself out there and be ready to send about 400 e-mails a day. You have to put the work in and really become knowledgeable about about the business side of the music industry. If you want to become a touring artist, you’ll want to apply to competitions and go to other gigs. Most importantly, you’ll want to make friends within your music community in your city or town and start to connect with that world. It’s amazing how much relationships matter in the entertainment industry.

 

Annalise Emerick will be performing at the Midway Cafe in Jamaica Plain, MA on June 13.

A list of her current tour dates can be found on her website.

Emerick’s newest album, Field Notes, will be out on September 16

The post The Blast Interview: Annalise Emerick appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/annalise-emerick/feed/ 0
Crackdown returns exclusively for Xbox One http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/e3-2014/crackdown-returns-exclusively-xbox-one/ http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/e3-2014/crackdown-returns-exclusively-xbox-one/#comments Mon, 09 Jun 2014 18:36:56 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92768 Hello Agent. At today’s Microsoft press event at E3 2014, Microsoft announced the long awaited return of Crackdown, the much loved open world, super cops and robbers series created by the original game’s director. No release date was given and the entire trailer was CGI, so we didn’t really get a look at any gameplay(...)

The post Crackdown returns exclusively for Xbox One appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Hello Agent.

At today’s Microsoft press event at E3 2014, Microsoft announced the long awaited return of Crackdown, the much loved open world, super cops and robbers series created by the original game’s director.

No release date was given and the entire trailer was CGI, so we didn’t really get a look at any gameplay but it’s just great to hear the voice of the agency again. All we ask is no zombie things this year ok?

Stick with Blast for more on the new Crackdown and everything E3 related.

The post Crackdown returns exclusively for Xbox One appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/e3-2014/crackdown-returns-exclusively-xbox-one/feed/ 0
Dance Central Spotlight coming to Xbox One this September http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/gaming-news/dance-central-spotlight-coming-xbox-one-september/ http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/gaming-news/dance-central-spotlight-coming-xbox-one-september/#comments Mon, 09 Jun 2014 18:16:18 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92764 Harmonix today revealed the latest entry in their Kinect-based dance games. Dance Central Spotlight will be making its way over to Xbox One this fall and will be the first game in the series to be completely downloadable. Players can purchase the game, which ships with 10 songs, and later on expand their music library with more than(...)

The post Dance Central Spotlight coming to Xbox One this September appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Harmonix today revealed the latest entry in their Kinect-based dance games. Dance Central Spotlight will be making its way over to Xbox One this fall and will be the first game in the series to be completely downloadable.

Players can purchase the game, which ships with 10 songs, and later on expand their music library with more than 50 chart-topping hits. The most accessible Dance Central game yet, Spotlight features eight different dance routines per songs, an improved practice mode, and fitness modes that let you focus on strength and cardio.

Currently revealed songs include:

  • “Wake Me Up” –  Avicii
  • “Talk Dirty” –  Jason Derulo ft. 2 Chainz
  •  “Show Me” –  Kid Ink ft. Chris Brown
  • “Counting Stars” –  OneRepublic
  • “Happy” – Pharrell Williams

Dance Central Spotlight is expected to release this September on Xbox One. Stay tuned for more news as they are announced.

 

The post Dance Central Spotlight coming to Xbox One this September appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/gaming-news/dance-central-spotlight-coming-xbox-one-september/feed/ 0
Five tech tools you need during the 2014 FIFA World Cup http://blastmagazine.com/technology/five-tech-tools-need-2014-fifa-world-cup/ http://blastmagazine.com/technology/five-tech-tools-need-2014-fifa-world-cup/#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 14:28:47 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92753 With the highly anticipated FIFA World Cup making its way onto our screens next week, the well-prepared soccer geek has already purchased the latest apps, gadgets and audio devices to keep abreast of the events. If you fall into the unprepared category however, take a look at these five techy pieces to keep you hooked(...)

The post Five tech tools you need during the 2014 FIFA World Cup appeared first on Blast.

]]>

With the highly anticipated FIFA World Cup making its way onto our screens next week, the well-prepared soccer geek has already purchased the latest apps, gadgets and audio devices to keep abreast of the events. If you fall into the unprepared category however, take a look at these five techy pieces to keep you hooked in to your favorite teams throughout the tournament.

Sports Book Review

If you’re going to deck out your iPhone with any app at all, make sure you get this one. The mobile site has been adapted for smartphones and features the latest betting odds on a number of sports, including World Cup odds, along with up-to-date news and expert views. If you’re looking to put your money where your mouth is but want to win the most bang for your buck these mobile tools are helpful at the Sports Book Review website; they will let you keep track of all the teams and odds.

Brazil World Cup 2014 Lucky Speaker

Those looking to hear those all important scores loud and proud will love these novelty speakers from Qdos. The portable device is completely wireless and works with all Bluetooth devices including iPhones, iPads, laptops and all other major smartphone and tablet brands. It can be fixed to your device using its suction base or from any flat surface up to ten meters away, and the best news is that it’s completely waterproof – perfect if you get through a few beers.

Panini Collectors App

While sticker albums are still one of the oldest and most successful pieces of World Cup merchandise out there, the Panini Collectors App has brought sticker lovers into the 21st century with an app version of the popular pastime. Available on the App Store and Android, this clever app allows you to scan paper sticker books with your smartphone to check which stickers you’re missing, without the fuss of needless sheets of paper.

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Those who can’t get away from the soccer can play it 24-7 with 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Available on Xbox 360 and PS3, the game features a whole new host of fun tricks including ‘Road to Rio De Janeiro’ online tournaments and ‘Captain Your Country’, giving you the chance to play as any one international team to make it all the way through to the final game.

FIFA Widgets

World Cup bloggers can’t be without FIFA’s official widgets, adding official up-to-date information to your website from FIFA/Coca Cola rankings to countdowns to the big event and world league tables. Web developers can choose their favorite teams to follow and brighten up their web page or blog with FIFA’s official photos.

While you are at it, downloading some real money sports betting apps makes it much easier to put some money on the game, even while you are on the go. Sports betting apps allows you to place wagers in real time without having to rush home to use the computer. These apps are completely safe to use, as they feature high-level security protocols that will keep your information private. In addition, these applications offer all of the same features that are available through your desktop computer, so you do not have to sacrifice the quality of your betting experience while betting through your phone.

The post Five tech tools you need during the 2014 FIFA World Cup appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/technology/five-tech-tools-need-2014-fifa-world-cup/feed/ 0
FIFA 2014 World Cup Brazil: Review http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/reviews/ps4-games/fifa-2014-world-cup-brazil-review/ http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/reviews/ps4-games/fifa-2014-world-cup-brazil-review/#comments Thu, 05 Jun 2014 12:08:08 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92750 The World Cup clock is ticking, and fans all over the planet are gearing up for a month-long TV marathon by, well, sitting in front of the TV playing EA Sport’s latest instalment in the FIFA series. So how does it compare to previous FIFA games, and how realistic is it this time around? Game(...)

The post FIFA 2014 World Cup Brazil: Review appeared first on Blast.

]]>
The World Cup clock is ticking, and fans all over the planet are gearing up for a month-long TV marathon by, well, sitting in front of the TV playing EA Sport’s latest instalment in the FIFA series. So how does it compare to previous FIFA games, and how realistic is it this time around?

Game v Reality

The beauty of the FIFA games has always been that if your team gets ejected from a tournament in real life, you can immediately replay the offending match and keep doing so until your guys win. Bear that in mind when the Finals start on 12th June! You can download a free World Cup schedule from Sportsinteraction in the mean time.

Design and Gameplay

Real teams, real stadiums and increasingly convincing-looking players are now the norm, along with commentary that gets more uncannily lifelike with each release. World Cup Brazil is no different in that regard, but how much of a leap forward is it for gamers who have already paid for FIFA 14?

The overall design, including the menus, is very Brazilian, meaning green and yellow absolutely everywhere, though the actual layout of menus will be familiar to FIFA 14 players. The physics of the game has also changed little; it feels a little quicker at times, but it’s not as different as some of the previous tournament versions have been to their predecessors.

This may be because of market issues; the World Cup games these days sell a lot of units to people who don’t buy the regular versions, so using the tournament games to bring in a lot of new features may be a thing of the past.

Accuracy

The accuracy in terms of the real-life finals is, as you’d expect, excellent. All the Brazilian host stadiums are represented faithfully, and the crowds of various nations are featured in varying moods, both at the games and at big-screen locations elsewhere.

As always a truckload of new commentary has been recorded, with World Cup-specific facts and figures, and pro TV commentators selected for each territory. The usual tournament game problem – there aren’t enough actual games to play, even if you win the Cup – is solved this time by having qualification modes, in which you can play against any of the over 200 nations who attempted to get to the last 32. Older players will remember Road To World Cup 98, which created an entire release out of this mode.

Verdict

The overall verdict is that it’s a highly polished game with a decent World Cup atmosphere and excellent playability; those who’ve recently bought the previous version may want to test it out in-store first though.

The post FIFA 2014 World Cup Brazil: Review appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/reviews/ps4-games/fifa-2014-world-cup-brazil-review/feed/ 0
Gallery: Boston Calling 2014 http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/music/gallery-boston-calling-2014/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/music/gallery-boston-calling-2014/#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 13:13:22 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92711 For the last weekend of May, Boston Calling made it’s return to City Hall Plaza, this time for two full days and an additional Friday night of music, new from last year’s editions of the festival. Memorial Day weekend was filled with some of the most popular alternative and indie bands, as well as new(...)

The post Gallery: Boston Calling 2014 appeared first on Blast.

]]>
For the last weekend of May, Boston Calling made it’s return to City Hall Plaza, this time for two full days and an additional Friday night of music, new from last year’s editions of the festival. Memorial Day weekend was filled with some of the most popular alternative and indie bands, as well as new and upcoming artists. Friday night was headlined by Jack Johnson and Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes, while Death Cab For Cutie, The Decemberists, Brand New, and Modest Mouse held the honors for Saturday and Sunday. The Decemberists’ first show in over two years was a delight on Saturday, despite the downpour that showed up just prior to their taking the stage. The rain let up for Death Cab, who are arguably the biggest act to play the festival to date. Sunday’s weather was an improvement, and the threat of a thunder storm held off for the entire day. Bastille’s set was nothing short of overwhelming, with nearly all of City Hall Plaza singing along and jumping during their final song and radio hit, “Pompei.” Brand New put on the best live show of the weekend with an energy-filled set that included guitarist Vincent Accardi knocking his entire amp setup over, onto himself during their final song. Modest Mouse, indie/alternative veterans of over two decades and counting rounded out the night. Both them and Brand New will be playing together again soon – August 9th in Queens.

Boston Calling’s next weekend is slated for three days yet again, September 5th, 6th, and 7th. Passes are currently available, but usually sell out in a short amount of time. Make sure to act fast in order to see acts such as Lorde, Nas X The Roots, The National, Neutral Milk Hotel, Childish Gambino, and others.’

AirForce Bastille1 Bastille2 BrandNew1 BrandNew2 BrandNew3 BrandNew4 BuiltToSpill DeathCabForCutie1 DeathCabForCutie2 DeathCabForCutie3 DeathCabForCutie4 FrankTurner JennyLewis KurtVile MagicMan MaximoPark ModestMouse_2 ModestMouse1 Phosphorescent1 Phosphorescent2 Phosphorescent3 TeganAndSara TheBoxTiger TheDecemberists1 TheDistrict TheHeadAndTheHeart1 TheHeadAndTheHeart2 TheHeadAndTheHeart3 TheNeighbourhood1 TheNeighbourhood2 TigermanWoah1 TigermanWoah2 WalkOffTheEarth1 WalkOffTheEarth2 Warpaint1 Warpaint2

The post Gallery: Boston Calling 2014 appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/music/gallery-boston-calling-2014/feed/ 0
“Orphan Black” – Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motion of Things (2.07) episode review http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/orphan-black-knowledge-causes-secret-motion-things-2-07-episode-review/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/orphan-black-knowledge-causes-secret-motion-things-2-07-episode-review/#comments Sun, 01 Jun 2014 23:57:06 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92704 4 out of 5 stars Well then. The term “that escalated quickly” has rarely been more applicable. I don’t know about you but I certainly didn’t see Donnie accidently shooting and killing Dr. Leeke being the culmination of a crazy, messy, entertaining if not rushed episode of Orphan Black. There’s quite a lot to trudge(...)

The post “Orphan Black” – Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motion of Things (2.07) episode review appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Sarah and Allison (Tatiana Maslany) meet up in this weeks episode to do damage control.

Sarah and Allison (Tatiana Maslany) meet up in this weeks episode to do damage control.

4 out of 5 stars

Well then. The term “that escalated quickly” has rarely been more applicable. I don’t know about you but I certainly didn’t see Donnie accidently shooting and killing Dr. Leeke being the culmination of a crazy, messy, entertaining if not rushed episode of Orphan Black.

There’s quite a lot to trudge through before that bit, but man, there are some big things being set into place and many of them are easily overlooked due to the breakneck speed at which they’re being presented. Recently, I’ve praised the writers for how they barrel through storylines rather than dragging them out because they can’t find anything else to fill the time. This week, we see Cosima realizing that Delphine hid the fact that the stem cells that are helping her came from Kira and then we see her calling Sarah to tell her the news. This was a storyline that I thought wouldn’t be wrapped up until the finale. I figured that there would be a huge blowup and that the climactic moment would involve the revelation of Kira’s unknown participation. Instead, the creators went the smarter route by having the secret be discovered quick and then have Cosima get a wonderful scene afterwards where she shouts at Delphine to leave, claiming the right to her own body and her own science.

That was an example of how the pace of this show elevates the quality.

It’s the same regarding Allison discovering the truth about Vic. She learns that he’s only been befriending her in order to get incriminating information to Angie. She quickly calls Felix and the two of them plot a way to cover her in one of the most amusing scenes of the series.

But then there are moments where the speed of the storytelling becomes a detriment to the larger playing field involved. In this single episode Donnie is revealed to have not known about the clones but had been her monitor for a sociological experiment and then he goes on to confront Doctor Leeke and ends up killing him. Rachel is reunited with her father in a moment that is largely offscreen and then drops Leeke from her support system. Delphine and Cosima’s relationship begins to crumble and Sarah agrees to bring Kira in to try and save her life.

That’s a lot and we don’t even hear from Helena.

Some moments need time to sink in—they need time for the audience to accept them and then move forward with the new direction the show is taking. It’s not necessary for Orphan Black and it doesn’t lessen the quality of the episode a great deal, but it certainly would have been helpful for the show to realize that some revelations need breathing room.

Otherwise, this week’s episode was perfectly entertaining. Sarah is called back into the fray by Felix after he and Allison have cornered Vic. They’ve only managed to subdue him by promising a meeting with Sarah. So while Allison goes off to make greetings with Donnie and her kids, Felix beckons Sarah in to talk to Vic. Vic wants to make apologies-he wants to heal. But he also wants Sarah to tell him she’s sorry for everything that happened to him.

She’s not having it at first, but then she realizes, begrudgingly, that she’ll have to play along to get him to not tell Angie. Felix makes off color comments from the sidelines. She gives up and tells Vic that the two of them were two colliding train wrecks and they both hurt one another. Despite this, he tells her that he wants her back and before Sarah could actually laugh in his face he turns, wobbly, and falls over, his head smacking the table on the way down, knocking him out.  Sarah turns to Felix asking what the hell just happened and he tells her, sheepish but kind of proud, that he had spiked his tea.

Jordan Gavaris’s delivery of the line is proof that he is underutilized.

Sarah is pulled into playing Allison and does a switcheroo when Allison ends up back in her room with Felix and the knocked out Vic there. Allison is outraged that she has to miss her opening speech and role playing (although watching Sarah playing Allison playing Donnie is fantastic) in order to hide Vic’s unconscious body; which is a task that Allison and Felix weren’t born to do. Have I mentioned how genius this pairing is before? I’ll say it again because them hiding behind couches with a glittery Vic is likely one of the funniest moments this show has done before.

It all miraculously works out for them until right at the end Donnie walks into Allison’s room to find the two clones standing side by side. He’s flabbergasted and Allison despite her belief that he’d known everything all along must accept that he was simply a fool used as a pawn in a larger plan. She tells him that he and his meddling ruined their family and their marriage and storms out. I didn’t think I’d ever feel bad for Donnie on this show.

This coupled with Rachel learning the truth about her father and Doctor Leeke’s hand in it leads Donnie to picking him up in his car after threatening him with a gun. Leeke like most don’t take Donnie seriously and it results in the accident that ends his life. In frustration, Donnie hits the gun against the steering wheel of the car, causing it to go off and shoot Leeke in the head-killing him. The shot of Donnie shocked and covered in blood in his car from a faraway shot with the rain pouring down wraps up the episode.

But then there’s Cosima, Cosima who’s been on the outs for most of the season so far and as the season draws to a close it’s easy to worry about her. Her health despite being on a brief upswing isn’t stabilized and I can’t see her wanting to allow Kira to offer herself over as a test rat. More than anything she seems to be like a warning sign for the other clones. Sure, they’ve heard of the illness that can kill them, the fault in their DNA, but they’ve never been so up close and personal with it.

Cosima is a walking, talking example of that fate they could be meeting soon which makes her reaction to Delphine’s lies all the more powerful. It would be easy for her to allow her fear and her want to live to take over and allow the testing to continue without telling Sarah, but she doesn’t. Because as a clone she’s gone far too long being controlled by others.

This show is a beautiful showcase for female characters and one scene in particular highlighted this. Cosima, after learning the truth of who the stem cells came from yelled at Delphine about how it was her lab, her body and her science. Her agency for a brief moment had been stolen from a woman she trusts and it’s scary how easily it can be shaken. There’s a fundamental need to have control over your body and for one reason or another that hold has been forcibly lessoned as the years have gone by. Whether they lose the control through physical force or violence, whether they’re told that they’re bodies are made for nothing more that child bearing, or if they’re simply told how and what their body needs to be in order to conform to beauty standards: they’re controlled. Women are objects to some and Orphan Black takes this horrific notion and runs rampant with it. In many ways this show is all about how a group of women are fighting to have the right to control their bodies, as well as their lives.

This show was female-positive already due to the array of characters that Tatiana Maslany was given to play. She gets to play a rebel—all leather and black, the antihero archetype that is typically are given to men, the house wife who also kicks butt and has a drinking problem, a lesbian scientist, a power hungry, emotionally stunted villain, and a sociopathic wild child.

She’s given the chance to break the walls that have been built around female characters as well as lead her own action-packed, science fiction show.

Add in the commentary on personal ownership over women’s bodies and you’ve got quite the message. Sure much of the show dabbles in the flashy and campy and there’s a natural silliness to the premise (like all good sci-fi) but the grounding statement about this show is that no matter who you are, where you came from or where you’re going, your body is yours.

The episode was fun and entertaining—the pacing dragged it down a bit, but otherwise it was yet another strong installment to one of my favorite shows of the year thus far.

The post “Orphan Black” – Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motion of Things (2.07) episode review appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/orphan-black-knowledge-causes-secret-motion-things-2-07-episode-review/feed/ 0
“Orphan Black” – To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings (2×06) episode review http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/orphan-black-hound-nature-wanderings-2x06-episode-review/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/orphan-black-hound-nature-wanderings-2x06-episode-review/#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 15:26:42 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92697 4 out of 5 stars You know we are not just a concept, right? That we are your consequences?  Orphan Black has always been a narrative about humanity and ownership over the woman’s body. Sure it’s also about the divide between science and faith and how the two interweave to try and stake claim to(...)

The post “Orphan Black” – To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings (2×06) episode review appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Helena (Tatiana Maslany) makes a friend in this weeks episode of Orphan Black.

Helena (Tatiana Maslany) makes a friend in this weeks episode of Orphan Black.

4 out of 5 stars

You know we are not just a concept, right?

That we are your consequences?

 Orphan Black has always been a narrative about humanity and ownership over the woman’s body. Sure it’s also about the divide between science and faith and how the two interweave to try and stake claim to women whose agency have been taken from them but more than anything it is a purely human story amidst all the science fiction and fantastical elements. What a surprise that the character who’s acting the most on gut, human instinct is Helena, the one character who’s been raised feral.

This week offers up another stellar episode as more truths are discovered, motives are unleashed and we try to decipher who wants what in a mess of lies these women have found themselves in and it’s Helena who seems to be pursuing the purest of wants.

Helena who has been controlled her entire life, Helena who has often been on the receiving end of violence of mistrust is the one throughout the entire episode who is turning herself willingly, vulnerably, over to others with the inherent belief that they will do no wrong by her. She quickly puts her faith in Sarah, who she in her own way wants to bond with, who she’s found an unconventional support system in. And in the end when she’s arrested and sees Sarah Helena believes that she is the sister who’s come for her. When she meets the random man in the bar she opens herself up to him, allowing a playful demeanor to shine through-like it did with Sarah in the impromptu road trip-and willingly attacks another man when he dares interrupt him. When Gracie is the one who shows up to the police station to pick up Helena and tells her of her child waiting at the Prolethian camp Helena goes immediately-seeking the human connection that motherhood could provide.

Helena is suddenly the most interesting, dynamic and relatable character on the show. These people may have abused her but when she’s given the chance to for some sense of normality she jumps at it. Characters on the show consistently treat her or react to her as if she’s a wild animal who needs to be tamed. Whether it be the Prolethians who use her body and eggs for creation like they would one of their livestock or whether it be Sarah telling people she’s  going to sick Helena on her like a dog-Helena isn’t always looked at as being anything more than something wild and this week’s episode is a complete undoing of that notion.

This only makes the prospects for her storylines outcome all the more troubling. Before we mourned the loss of a character Tatiana Maslany played beautifully-now we’re fully invested in her.

The other clones are no less interesting but none undergo the same character deconstruction and character growth that Helena does.

Sarah is Sarah-impulsive and angry but she seems to have cooled off enough to get some well-earned answers. After finding the church that Helena says she saw Duncan (Rachel’s father) she digs into his research and finds out about all the orphaned children that were tested on. There are connections to Project LEDA and the Dyad but none that she can decipher alone. So she tracks down where Duncan has been staying and finds Ms. S at the safe house as well.

She tells Sarah that she’s been running away from people and keeping secrets for longer than Sarah has been alive and that if she can’t trust her, who can she?

Granted it’s easy to see Sarah’s point when Ms. S introduces Duncan, a slightly broken man who teeters and totters about and worries about a daughter who was stolen from him so long ago. Sarah thought isn’t putting up with his owlish demeanor and is demanding answers. She tells him that they-the clones-aren’t simply theories or test results to be forgotten about as remnants from his past life. She is a consequence-Allison and Cosima are the consequences of his science. He tells her that he only ever did it because he and his wife wanted daughters.

So Sarah tells him it’s time for him to protect his daughters-to protect the women he helped create. Sarah has the upper hand with her knowledge of Rachel’s whereabouts and it’s nice seeing her survive an episode with no bodily damage. Duncan tells Sarah that project LEDA had been working on the clone experiments when it was taken over and exploited by the Dyad. Sarah wants to know why he did this-why he and his wife believed this would the scientific stream worth taking and he tells her it’s all because he wanted daughters. Well, Sarah tells him; his daughters (his Rachel) need his help now. He has a personal vendetta against Leeke for uprooting his life and killing Rachel’s mother and staging his death so this is the right push that he needs to help Sarah.

Meanwhile we see Ms. S catching up with dull Paul and telling him that she’s on to him-knows he’s following Sarah-and that she’ll be watching him.

In the science realm of things Cosima is desperate for a cure but as she tells Sarah midway through the episode, science is all about poking at ideas with sticks. Sometimes they land a good theory and sometimes their beliefs play out to being ultimately nothing. Breakthroughs begin with guessing games where nothing is certain. So despite showing a decent reaction to her first testing she’s still uncertain. What causes more trouble is the involvement of a friend back from her University who Delphine has called upon to help. He caught the info about the clones through the data that was sent to him but doesn’t know that Cosima is one of them-he is the one who found the match for her treatment though.

Later when he brings the link up to Delphine he tells her that the match was related of some sort to the clones-a daughter or a cousin. Delphine tells him to never speak of this to Cosima.

So we’re all assuming its Kira right?

After sitting last week’s episode out Allison is back this week and still surly and stuck in the rehabilitation center. She isn’t responding well to having to admit to her addictions and she sees herself as above the rest of the group. It’s at one of the group therapy sessions that she runs into Vic (“Vic the Dick” from last season) who claims to have started fresh with his life after his involvement with Sarah left him with a missing finger and in trouble with the law. He tells Allison he’s there to get over it and that her pepper spraying him is a thing of the past. Allison doesn’t want anything to do with him at first but soon finds someone willing to listen in him. It’s yet another odd pairing involving Allison but it works-it works so well that ultimately you can’t help but be disappointed when it turns out he was simply a pawn to get more information out of her for Angie as a deal to get any charges of his dropped. My current hope is that something changes but I have a feeling Allison is facing another harsh let down.

It’s crazy to think that we’re already six episodes in.  A lot has happened but there are so many storylines up in the air that it’s uncertain how they’re all going to resolve. More characters are getting moments to shine this season but that means a whole lot more to wrap up without it seeming rushed. Helena is back into the fray of the Prolethians, Cosima is getting sicker, Sarah is waking into the unknown and Allison is stuck. It’s been said by characters and critics that they work better together and right now they are as far apart as they’ve even been since discovering one another. How long until they’re reunited-and will it matter much by that point? With every new answer comes two more questions and it’s seemingly becoming more and more difficult for these women to find the truth.

The post “Orphan Black” – To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings (2×06) episode review appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/orphan-black-hound-nature-wanderings-2x06-episode-review/feed/ 0
Review: “Ghost Stories” is Coldplay’s musical departure http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/review-ghost-stories-coldplays-musical-departure/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/review-ghost-stories-coldplays-musical-departure/#comments Sat, 24 May 2014 12:10:27 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92692 After the commercial and artistic success of “Mylo Xyloto”, it was going to take a seriously good record to follow in its footsteps. After three years of anticipation, Coldplay fans were treated to “Ghost Stories”, a nine track album (12 tracks if you purchase the Target bonus track album which I am reviewing) featuring the(...)

The post Review: “Ghost Stories” is Coldplay’s musical departure appeared first on Blast.

]]>

After the commercial and artistic success of “Mylo Xyloto”, it was going to take a seriously good record to follow in its footsteps. After three years of anticipation, Coldplay fans were treated to “Ghost Stories”, a nine track album (12 tracks if you purchase the Target bonus track album which I am reviewing) featuring the previously released hit singles “Magic” and “A Sky Full of Stars”. After watching their TV special which aired this past Sunday on NBC, I was eager to go out and experience the album in full. “Ghost Stories” in my opinion was well worth the wait.

It’s a slower album compared to its predecessor, with darker and more somber tones. More reminiscent of “X&Y”, it follows in Coldplay’s historical pattern of alternating between upbeat records like “Viva La Vida” and slower ones like “Parachutes”. The album cover art follows their usual template of an image on the front that defines the album (in this case it is a pair of feathery angel wings with intricate designs depicting love and heartache masterfully woven through). This album is a bold musical experiment and a successful one at that.

Album art of Coldplay's new "Ghost Stories". Media credit to Parlophone Records.

Album art of Coldplay’s new “Ghost Stories”. Media credit to Parlophone Records.

The highlights of the album are unarguably the catchy “Magic”, the cynical breakup anthem “True Love”, the ethereal and haunting electronic track “Midnight”, “Another’s Arms” (which reminded me a lot of Duran Duran’s “Come Undone”, with the consistent soft beat and high pitched female vocals in the chorus), and what is sure to become a staple at their concerts “A Sky Full Of Stars” (because it’s impossible to listen to it without wanting to dance). The track “Oceans” probably won’t get much airplay on the radio because it isn’t hit material, but I want to mention it here because although it’s quite simple (just Chris Martin singing with an acoustic accompaniment), there is something melodically beautiful about it. It’s reminiscent of late nights on the beach and starry skies, and I know it’s going to become a personal favorite. There really isn’t a bad track on this album—all the songs are well crafted and can easily stand on their own as solid creations. I also would highly recommend buying the bonus track version because the extra songs “Your Friends” and “Ghost Story” are absolutely worth it.

“Magic” is an easy tune to sing along to, with an intriguing music video to accompany it about a budding magician who rescues the girl he has a crush on from an abusive relationship by mastering his powers. Coldplay has a knack for producing memorable videos with developed storylines and very original set design (think “Paradise” or “Strawberry Swing”). More than being just visual representations of the songs, they are almost like short movies with the sheer amount of detail that goes into producing them.

“Midnight” is such a drastic departure from anything the band has ever made before, which is why it deserves some analysis. The vocals appear to have been run through a synthesizer, giving them a ghostly tinge. The music is solely electronic—none of their usual instruments are used. While starting out almost as a funeral drone, it slowly builds power, until it reaches a laser fueled crescendo roughly three minutes into the song.

The pop hit of the album is definitely “A Sky Full of Stars”. It has catchy lyrics but the strength of the song lies in the upbeat dance breaks following the chorus. The effervescent style and almost magical feel reminds me a lot of “Paradise”, and is sure to make it their next entry on the music charts.

It isn’t hard to tell that the widely publicized split between lead singer Chris Martin and his wife actress Gwyneth Paltrow had a slight creative effect on the album, and inspired the material for the lyrics on a few tracks. But rather than dominate the album and turn it into a sappy collection of breakup songs, it had a more subtle influence. While it is true that lyrically most of the songs are about the darker side of love, and the pain of heartache, relationship angst is more of a theme rather than the only topic of the album.

One of the best things about Coldplay is that they are such a versatile band. They can experiment with various styles and instruments and lyrics, while still managing to keep their unique sound. That is the measure of a great band, and this album really highlights their talent for flexibility. There are no doubt going to be critics that will argue that this album is Coldplay “selling out” to the predominant sound of today’s music scene (which is currently EDM/house music), but I would argue that this album is 100 percent Coldplay. The sound production and music design is superb and each track is masterfully refined. The one weakness of the album is the lyrics, which somehow lack the creativity and poeticism that was present on previous albums, and can be a bit repetitive. With that being said, “Ghost Stories” is still a strong album that will carve out its own niche in Coldplay’s diverse discography.

The post Review: “Ghost Stories” is Coldplay’s musical departure appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/review-ghost-stories-coldplays-musical-departure/feed/ 0
The four stereotypes of celebrities behaving badly http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/four-stereotypes-celebrities-behaving-badly/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/four-stereotypes-celebrities-behaving-badly/#comments Fri, 23 May 2014 12:16:43 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=92689 Being under the limelight can guarantee a lot of privileges for today’s actors, recording artists and sports stars, but it can also put them under a lot of pressure. Proof that having too much money can land you in a lot of trouble, here are just a few celebs who seemingly let go of their(...)

The post The four stereotypes of celebrities behaving badly appeared first on Blast.

]]>

Being under the limelight can guarantee a lot of privileges for today’s actors, recording artists and sports stars, but it can also put them under a lot of pressure. Proof that having too much money can land you in a lot of trouble, here are just a few celebs who seemingly let go of their morals recently…

Road rage

As a quarterback, he may be able to run fast, but Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb also proved that he could drive fast back in December – a little too fast in fact.  After being caught driving under the influence doing 81mph in a 65 mph zone, Donovan paid the price with a trip to the slammer, though his recent incarceration in April probably didn’t help him learn the error of his ways – he spent just one day inside, and has still retained his current job as an analyst for Fox Sports.

Partying a little too hard

DUI seems to be the name of the game for many celebrities including Justin Bieber, who after being caught in January for using marijuana before operating a vehicle, is now the center of another slightly scandalous party night at the recent Cannes Film Festival. This time, however, the spotlight was on socialite Paris Hilton, who was seen giving the 20-year-old a lap dance at the festival, despite being 13 years his senior. Rumor has it that Paris and Justin even went home together that night, but it was probably all for show – she was being paid to promote the nightclub in which she was seen.

Getting physical

We can all get a little tired of our in laws – no more so than Solange Knowles, who, as the sister in law to Beyonce’s husband Jay Z, unleashed an ‘unprovoked’ attack on him recently in an elevator. It’s rumored that the altercation had something to do with attending an all star celebrity party hosted by Rihanna, but the real scandal lies on the shoulders of the hotel worker who released the footage – he has since been fired for his actions.

Taking a gamble

Armageddon star Ben Affleck was all over the media years ago as it was revealed that his gambling addictions caused the breakdown of his relationship with Jennifer Lopez. Today, however, the star has been up to his old tricks and has proven he’s obviously good at counting cards – so good in fact, that he was banned from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino’s blackjack tables. While the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino have refuted the claims, other sources revealed why Ben should still be proud of his efforts, as he was deemed ‘too good’ a player.

The post The four stereotypes of celebrities behaving badly appeared first on Blast.

]]>
http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/four-stereotypes-celebrities-behaving-badly/feed/ 0