by Broadway Calhoun on December 7th, 2012
I know I never update here these days, and I’m sorry. But tonight I’ll be performing (as Nurvuss) at the opening night of the prestigious London Underground Film Festival at The Horse Hospital.
TEAM PI$$ member Justyna Burzynska will be curating her exhibition PISS FACTORY, as well!
Here’s the last detail, straight from the horse’s mouth.
Friday, 7 December 2012 at 20:00
The London Underground Film Festival returns to the Horse Hospital with a hisssssssssss in 2012! Our opening night party this year will be a paroxysm of live music, readings, DJs, performance art, and…
Advanced, discounted tickets are available for 5GBP + booking fee from wegottickets or you can get tickets at the door for 8GBP.
A project of Robert M Fenner, formerly of noise project RMF-Noir and minimal synth two-piece No Kisses, Nurvuss returns for a rare live show! Analogue synthesizer-based yet ever-changing, with a lyrical focus on celebrities, consumerism, mental illness and having the nicest lawn on the block, Nurvuss had the honour of being the opening act for the 2010 Drop Dead Festival in Vilnius, Lithuania. His first 7″, aptly titled “American Made” is available now from:
Krista Papista is a musician/producer based in London who has been writing, producing and performing since the age of 14. Her main influences are: Sam Cooke, Billie Holiday, David Bowie, Chet Baker, Julie London, Greek Pop music, Manuka Honey, Carl Jung, John Cage and Albert Camus. Krista’s music comprise recurring themes of pleasures still un-tasted and invisible designs. Papista describes her distinctive sound as “Sordid Pop”, “Contrasting Panorama” or “Blues Fantastica”. She released her debut album “Krista Papista” in 2012.
Pulp novelist, theorist of plagiarism, and former magus and sole member of the NeoistAlliance: the author of Blood Rites Of The Bourgeoisie (2010), Blow Job (1997), and Red London (1994), Stewart Home will be reading at us.
The performance artist Stav B, who has performed at Behind Bars, Kaos, Brave Exhibtions, Act Art, the Hayward Gallery, and her own pop up cocktail bar, Stav B’s Liquor Bar, will be performing.
London based electronic outfit NÓI KABÁT draw on inspiration from constructivism, futurism, 70s science fiction and noise theory to create a sound reminiscent of the early industrial pioneers.
Wave, Body, Beat, Acid and beyond, with DJs from East London’s XENOGLOSSY.
PROJECTIONS: STUART POUND
Projections will be courtesy of the London-based artist, Stuart Pound, who has been working with film and video since the early 1970s.
ART: PISS FACTORY
The Opening Night Party will also be the launch of an exhibition of new works by Justyna Burzynska. A mixed media display of post-humour cyber folk. Unknown memes, neurotic graphics, visual poems and old fashioned illustration.
The Horse Hospital
London WC1N 1JD
+44 (0)20 7833 3644
by Broadway Calhoun on August 20th, 2012
Collaborator Justyna Burzynska and Nurvuss have teamed up to bring you TEAM PI$$ EP, just under five minutes of rockin’ tunes. Includes a cover of Alfonso Ribeiro’s “Shit! I’m a Woman”. It can be yours now… for free!
by Fulbright on July 18th, 2012
That’s not all the zine news we have for you today, we’re also proud to announce the release of UNSERVICEABLE/UNSOLICITED #2 by Misanthro-Pop collaborateur Justyna Burzynska.
You can download/view a full pdf of this zine by clicking on the above image, or send an e-mail to jjjjaaaabbbb [at] gmail [dot] com to request a hard-copy.
by Fulbright on July 18th, 2012
Just a quick update to let you know the newest issue of our print zine Misanthropia is finally available. It features work by artists & writers IlluMat Switzerland, Gretel My, Robert W Monk, Bonnie Wood, satsu & Justyna Burzynska.
Head on over to the Misanthro-Pop Shop to order a copy.
Reprints of Misanthropia #1 are coming soon.
by Broadway Calhoun on February 29th, 2012
by Broadway Calhoun on February 27th, 2012
Head on over to our shop. Limited edition of 222. While supplies last.
by Broadway Calhoun on February 25th, 2012
by Broadway Calhoun on February 25th, 2012
I’m going to use my super cool cold wave website to talk about vidya games. Why? Well, for one thing I need to exercise the writing muscle. Vidya games are a passion of mine, and they always say to write about what you know. So deal with it, suckas.
So if you’re a game nerd, then you know that The Last Story came out in Europe yesterday. It’s a notable and unusual release for three reasons:
1. it’s a role playing game on the Wii, a console that is sorely lacking in that genre.
2. It’s the 7th game from Hironobu Sakaguchi’s company Mistwalker.
3. The game is directed by Sakaguchi himself, who hasn’t directed since 1992′s Final Fantasy V.
It seems like a recipe for success, don’t it? Knowing it would certainly be an interesting artefact, if nothing else, I picked up the collector’s edition. It comes in a big fancy box and contains the game, a miniature soundtrack, art book and a steel-book case to hold the game in. The steel-book case seems a bit redundant, as the game comes in a standard plastic case anyway, but it’s still a very nice touch.
Being a working man, I haven’t had much time to sit down with it, but I’d like to give you some of my impressions of the first two hours of gameplay.
Story & Characters
The Last Story tells the tale of milquetoast prettyboy Zael, who tragically lost his family at a young age. He meets Dagran, another street child, and the two eventually grow up to become part of a group of mercenaries. The group travels to Lazulis Island to seek fame, fortune or whatever else, and the game begins with these facts already established.
Zael isn’t the most interesting main character, but I like him for a few reasons: He’s not a teenager. He’s not excessively mopey, nor is he overly enthusiastic or optimistic. He’s just a level-headed, if not shy and naive protagonist who serves his role as player avatar adequately and inoffensively. Considering this is a JRPG we’re talking about, these are definite high points that set Zael apart from his genre contemporaries.
Zael’s teammates fall into typical RPG archetypes. The experienced ladies’ man, the hard drinking warrior woman, the quiet intellectual magician girl, the cold mysterious man who doesn’t want to make friends, etc. However thanks to the quality of the writing, they’re never stale and they all play off each other quite nicely. There’s quite a bit of in-party teasing and wisecracking that comes off naturally and not forced.
Being a Japanese game, your party’s costumes are pretty outrageous. For example, Dagran wears a tight tank-top, chaps, boots and short-shorts. You can customise outfits to a certain degree, removing Dagran’s top to leave him wearing nothing above the waist. One of the things I really like about this paper-doll clothing system is that you can change the colours of your party’s outfits at any time. Naturally, I’ve decked Zael out in a hot-pink jacket and matching thigh-high boots. These customisations are reflected in the game’s cutscenes, which leaves a lot of room for extra entertainment.
The townspeople are rather conservatively dressed in comparison to your team, and nobody you meet looks particularly interesting. The sinister town guards, however, look fantastic, sporting white trench coats, masks and Prussian-style helmets.
Exploration & The World
Taking place on one island, centred around its capital city, The Last Story eschews the typical JRPG convention of a grandiose globe-trotting adventure. By doing so, it gives more focus and flavour to the story, which is refreshing. Lazulis City is enormous and very fun to explore. It’s quite lovingly detailed and I enjoyed seeing the sights. You can duck and squeeze through alleyways that the experienced JRPG player would normally expect to be inaccessible. There’s hidden things to be found everywhere and a wealth of things to do.
As you walk through town, a command will occasionally come up at the bottom of the screen encouraging you to “seek”: which enters an over-the-shoulder mode that allows you to locate hidden objects. This takes an approach reminiscent of a mini-game. Sometimes items will be blown by the wind, and you have to tilt the analog stick accordingly to catch them before it’s too late. Other times, there’ll be hidden items found on the ground. Picking up one will start an item collecting combo: find five items in quick succession and you’ll be rewarded with a rarity. This is sort of difficult to pull off, but a neat touch.
There are sidequests to be found in town, the ones I’ve found so far are of the “collect (x amount) of items” variety. Unlike the Wii’s last big RPG, Xenoblade Chronicles, there’s no quest log, so you’d better remember where the questgiver is located and what it is they want. This was par the course for JRPGs up until very recently, but it still felt like a step backwards.
The town also holds an arena, where you can battle monsters for prizes. Unfortunately, arena battles are narrated by two “sports announcers”, who will spew the same lines ad nauseam. Be prepared to hear “Such power, such grace!” shouted every thirty seconds.
The battle system is peculiar, the game defaults to a semi-automatic configuration: you move towards your enemy with the analog stick, and continue pushing the stick in their direction to land blows. This set-up is encouraged; you can switch to a “manual” mode where you use the A-button to attack, but these attacks do less damage. I guess it’s to discourage button-mashing.
Zael also has a crossbow at his command. Holding down the left trigger allows you to aim and fire at your foes, which allows for targeting enemy weak-points.
You can also use seek-mode to scan enemies and your surroundings. For example, in one situation if you focus your sights on a pillar, you can command your squadmate to sling a fireball at it, crushing your enemies. There’s also a cover system, which you can use to sneak around behind your enemy and pop out to land a critical hit.
Another odd choice is the inclusion of lives, a hold-over from action games of the past. At the start of each battle, every party member has five lives. If they get knocked out five times, they’re out of the battle. If you get knocked out five times, it’s game over. This gives fighting a low degree of difficulty. It’s easy to get knocked out, but it’s unlikely to happen five times in one skirmish.
Sound & Music
There’s no Japanese voice-track, so be prepared for a very British dub. The voice actors do a rather good job, though there are some odd choices in actors. I encountered a boy who looked about four years old but had a voice like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. He wanted me to find his six coins; I didn’t.
The rest of the sound design is adequate but not mind-blowing. Sound effects serve their role as they should. The music in town fades in and out as you duck through dark alleyways, which is a nice touch.
Nobuo Uematsu’s musical score is quite far removed from his previous work, bringing to mind a film score and existing to serve as background music, rather than something that can be appreciated apart from the game. It isn’t bad, just not very exciting as a whole. There are some very nice tracks however, like the theme song and the music that plays in town.
Apparently, this is the second soundtrack he recorded for the game; his initial score was rejected and he almost left the project because of it.
Well, here’s some things I don’t like at all.
Bumping into NPCs happens a lot, and they react accordingly. Though it’s a nice touch to see them trip and admonish you, you’re then unable to speak with them until they’ve completed their noticeably long animation and then returned to their initial post. Most likely, you’ll immediately bump into them again, starting the whole thing over again. It can get annoying.
Party chatter can easily get cut off. If two characters are in battle and discussing plot points while fighting, if you complete the battle before they finish talking, the chatter will stop mid-word. Due to the fast and furious nature of the battles, it’s almost as if you’re encouraged to stand around and get trounced until everybody’s done talking.
One thing I do like is how you can bump your head on shop signs, eliciting a yelp of pain.
I haven’t tried out the multiplayer aspects, so I can’t speak for them. It’s not what I bought the game for, anyway.
Anyway, The Last Story isn’t my favourite JRPG of this generation, and it’s certainly not for everybody, but I’m glad that I bought it. If you’re interested, pick up a copy sooner than later, this one’s bound to become hard-to-find.
And for those of you feeling deprived in the US, the fine people at XSEED have just picked it up for localisation! Hi-five, XSEED!
by Broadway Calhoun on November 4th, 2011
3GBP with flyer or Liberty Snake Badge, 4 without.
FREE ZINES ON THE DOOR WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!
Now Wash Your Hands (Power Electronics from Nottingham, UK)
“Nathan Nothing was failing at music so he decided the only option left was to take up noise (or power electronics to be specific). He also wanted an outlet for his grumpy foul tempers and to humiliate himself onstage for others’ amusement wearing special costumes. There is nothing more important than being clean and nothing cleans the head out better than a healthy blast of noise! (Always wash your hands). Death to false noise!”
Soft Riot (London, UK)
“A casual project that formed in the mid-naughties under the original name JJ Wax, Soft Riot’s original angle was “ambient punk”, fusing elements of drone-y post-rock, minimal wave electro…nics, synthesizer-based cinema soundtracks and a bit of chordal mass composition.”
Sereina Noelle Winters (Berlin/California)
Hailing from America and coming all the way from Germany, Sereina will be playing cold-wave/post-punk non-hits from yesteryear.
Emi Trashbeat & Zevoa (Never Come Back)
After her excellent DJ set at The Liberty Snake 8, Emi Trashbeat has opened her own club with Zevoa, Never Come Back. We welcome her back with open arms, and welcome Zevoa to the snakedance.
Misanthro-Pop Release DJs will be playing their usual eclectic mix of outsider bad-wave.
Let’s set the X68000 heart on fire!
Formed in February 2007, The Liberty Snake is a sporadic music event that attempts to provide a lighthearted night of fun and dancing for people with a particular taste.
The club first started out with a heavy emphasis on French cold-wave and industrial music, but now has a much broader focus, playing several different genres of “oddities” and anti-music.
The Liberty Snake is hosted by Robert M Fenner (Nurvuss, RMF-Noir No Kisses.)
cold-wave / no-wave / bad-trip / minimal / gloom jazz / misanthropop / new savage / post-industrial soul / port-mortem / post-office / oddities / no italo disco
by Fulbright on August 8th, 2011
This week, Misanthro-Pop.net will be going through some changes. We’ll be bringing a more personal focus to you, with more regular blog updates.
In the meantime, here’s a taste of things to come.