Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Microsoft has officially confirmed the news that they are no longer restricting used games and have eliminated the 24 Hour internet check in requirement.
In a posting on the Xbox Wire Don Mattrick, President, Interactive Entertainment Business states:
Since unveiling our plans for Xbox One, my team and I have heard directly from many of you, read your comments and listened to your feedback. I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One.
You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.
Read the entire statement HERE.
Good move, Microsoft. This might just heat up the next gen console wars and ease the pain of Sony's immediate domination.
That and Kingdom Hearts 3 is coming to XB1 also...
We're half way through 2013 and so far this year has had some pretty great music offerings. I thought it'd be a great time to highlight a few releases that so far, at least for me, have risen to the top of the heap and have been prime examples of the best 2013 has to offer so far.
Patty Griffin - American Kid
This is a stunningly beautiful heartfelt collection of songs. The kind of album that you find yourself NEEDING to hear and wanting to hear again and again. Patty Griffin is one of the best singer/songwriters working today and American Kid is a prime example of why she should be on everyone's radar. A sure fire contender for Album of the Year. Bottom line? This Album Is Glorious. Highlights: Go Wherever You Want To Go, Wild Old Dog
Sam Tsui - Make It Up (iTunes)
He's a YouTube cover artist sensation, often times surpassing the originals, who has finally released an album of original songs (with help from a massively successful Kickstarter campain). Make It Up is a pop gem with clever lyrics fun beats and plenty of Sam's trademark incredible singing. Highlights: Me Without You, Shadow
Demi Lovato - DEMI
I'm just as surprised as you are. Demi Lovato has turned in an album better than anything Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera has done, and probably ever will do. This is a great collection of songs that, if there is any justice in the world, will put Demi on the map permanantly. She is at the top of her game here and I can't wait to hear what she brings us next. Highlights: Heart Attack, Really Don't Care
Bella Ruse - Those Were Good Times, Weren't They?
This is a folk rock duo that was just brought to my attention the other day. I was pleasantly surprised and quickly fell in love with their charming and refreshing sound. I feel like Bella Ruse is standing at the door of a great career. Hopefully soon enough that door will open and they can rule the summer like this stellar album deserves. Highlights: Those Were Good Times Weren't They, When You Asked Me For The Moon
The Band Perry - Pioneer
Another surprise. I was ready to write these guys off as a one hit pony after If I Die Young, which admittedly is a great song. Boy was I wrong. Pioneer is probably one of the best country albums in years. The Band Perry has made leaps and bounds over their last album. Pioneer is damn near a country masterpiece. Fresh, without sounding to poppy and staying true to their roots. Great stuff. Highlights: Pioneer, End of Time
Rilo Kiley - RKives
It's Rilo Kiley. It's a collection of B-Sides and Unreleased songs. It's awesome and it makes me miss them even more. I don't know what else I need to say here because you should already have this. Highlights: Let Me Back In, It'll Get You There
Fitz and the Tantrums - More Than Just A Dream
I don't even know how to really classify this band besides just saying they are awesome and demand you buy their album(s). They seem to touch every genre from soul to pop to rock and whatever else hits their fancy. More Than Just A Dream is their second album and it's just more great music from this unique and often surprising band. If you get a chance, check out their episode of Live From Daryl's House. Mesmerizing! Highlights: Merry Go Round, Fool's Gold
Well there you go. Seven examples of some excellent albums well worth your time and your money. We're only half way through 2013 and there is sure to be dozens of more great examples of amazing music to check out. There are also dozens of examples of great music that I haven't even heard yet so explore! Try new music and don't scoff at something because it's popular. Sometimes popular music can be great too. Sometimes.
Me? I love discovering new music. I'd never have discovered Bella Ruse had someone not told me about them. True fandom is telling everyone you know about bands you love. So tell me about the bands YOU think I should check out and maybe they'll get mentioned on the site or on the SHOW. Tweet us @popculturebeast or use #pcbshow. Facebook (facebook.com/popculturebeast) us or email me! Garon@popculturebeast.com
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Cyndi Lauper is hitting the road in celebration of the 30th anniversary of her phenomenal debut album "She's So Unusual" and we were there for the show's recent stop here in LA at the wonderful Greek Theater.
I had never seen her live before so I was really excited for the show.
Here's what you need to know up front: She does She's So Unusual, the entire album, and that's it, at least for this show. She did follow up with Shine and a beautiful a Capella verse/chorus of True Colors as an encore but that's the gist of this show.
That's not necessarily a bad thing except I was expecting a 2 hour show and didn't quite get that. She did essentially 11 and a half songs and told a few stories about the album. Hardly a jam packed hit filled show, but, I can forgive that. The tour is to celebrate the album and she does that marvelously. Her voice is as good as it ever was and I left completely sure that when she tours again, I'll be there front and center.
At nearly 60 (4 days near as of this writing), Cyndi Lauper looks incredible and she sounds even better. As she performed it felt like hardly a day had gone by since that album's release 30 years ago. She interacted with the audience (maybe a little too much) and played these songs like it was the first time. Every track came to life flawlessly and further proved the timelessness of She's So Unusual.
Highlights for me? All Through The Night, Time After Time, She Bop, and Money Changes Everything. Honestly though, every song was great. Those just happen to be some of my favorites of hers. She does them all just like on the album so if you aren't a fan of any of the alternate versions of her songs fear not, they're all in tact.
While I really wished she would have scattered a few more of her songs throughout the show, Lauper really did deliver a passionate and celebratory performance of these classic songs.
A truly unique and fun experience only marred by the number of songs performed. Great songs though they are.
This is definitely a show for the fans who love this record and don't mind getting short-changed on some of her other hits. Still, Cyndi Lauper is an artist who stands the test of time as do her songs. She is in top form and sounds amazing. This might be your only shot to see some of the deep cuts on this album performed live so it's a show that is worth checking out even if you don't get to hear Goonies Are Good Enough (we played it in the car on the way out.).
Set list: See the album she does it all, in order.
2013 has already been a busy year for film, with several box office hits and perhaps even a few early awards contenders already having come and gone at the cinema. Here's a quick rundown of some of the year's most buzz-worthy films as we approach the midway point of 2013.
The Great Gatsby
The latest adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's renowned novel is the grandest of all. Criticized by some for an ambitious soundtrack (yes, it includes Jay-Z) and excessive glitz, the film is actually captivating, and quite true to the book. Leonardo DiCaprio does Gatsby justice and then some. The Verdict: See it!
Star Trek Into Darkness
The newest Star Trek features the introduction of villain Khan in the rebooted series, and the film doesn't disappoint. JJ Abrams has established a wonderfully entertaining tone with his modern Star Trek franchise. The Verdict: See it!
Now You See Me
This goofy magician heist film is a fun and inventive ride about a team of magicians creating a national stir by stealing money with tricks. However, the film keeps the audience guessing as much by omission and incoherence as by cleverness. The Verdict: Go if you're bored.
The Hangover Part III
The boys are back in Vegas, and once again it's more about high stakes shenanigans than gambling at Caesar's or taking in a show at ARIA. It can't capture the charm of the first film, but if you're a fan of the franchise you'll get your laughs. The Verdict: Great for fans.
Fast & Furious 6
Fast 5 established a shocking revival of this franchise. The acting has improved, the storyline became a bit deeper, and the action stayed engaging. Impressively, #6 keeps up these trends, delivering another outstanding "Fast" installment. The Verdict: See it!
Man Of Steel
This new Superman film has Producer Christopher Nolan's touch all over it, and at times you can feel (and hear, thanks to Hans Zimmer) the relation to the Dark Knight franchise. However, one leaves the film wishing Nolan had actually directed. The film is disjointed and a bit too explosion-centric. It's fun, but it's not on Batman's level. The Verdict: See it, but tamper expectations first.
The Place Beyond The Pines
Billed as gripping and original, this film featuring Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling in a dark crime drama that establishes an intriguing tone, and not much else. Too long, often dull, and oddly focusing often on the least compelling of its numerous story lines, this one is a bit of a letdown. The Verdict: Skip it. Watching Ryan Gosling as a silent badass is only fun so many times.
This Is The End
This apocalypse comedy features many of Hollywood's best young comic actors (James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill among others) playing themselves. The actors create personae for themselves that are delightfully self-deprecating and hysterical to watch. It's weird, but it's incredibly funny. The Verdict: See it!
Monday, June 17, 2013
Acclaimed filmmaker Bryan Singer directs the family adventure “Jack the Giant Slayer,” starring Nicholas Hoult as Jack. The film also stars Eleanor Tomlinson as Princess Isabelle; Stanley Tucci as the deceitful Roderick; Ian McShane as Isabelle's father, the besieged King Brahmwell; Bill Nighy as General Fallon, the ferocious two-headed leader of the giant army; and Ewan McGregor as the loyal knight Elmont.
Unleashed on the Earth for the first time in centuries, the giants strive to reclaim the land they once lost, forcing the young man, Jack into the battle of his life to stop them. Fighting for a kingdom, its people and the love of a brave princess, he comes face to face with the unstoppable warriors he thought only existed in legend— and gets the chance to become a legend himself.
· “Become a Giant Slayer” Interactive Experience
· Deleted Scenes
· Gag Reel
“Jack the Giant Slayer” Standard Definition DVD contains the following special features:
· Deleted Scenes
· Gag Reel
- Creole Man
- River/White Socks & Drawers
- Junco Partner Cud’in Joe
- The River Of Dreams
- Fire And Rain
- Southern Nights/Many Rivers To Cross
- Don’t Ever Be Blue
- Louisiana Sunday Afternoon
- Southern Girl
- Southern Woman (Ain’t Nothin’ Like A)
- Stranger In My Own Home
- Until I See You In A While
- Going Back To Louisiana
- Can’t Find My Way Home
- Ode To Louisiana