One of gaming’s musical maestros just released his first solo album

Hirokazu Tanaka has a history most game composers can only dream of. As a young sound designer working at Nintendo in the 1980s, he crafted the soundtracks to classics like Metroid, Earthbound, Dr. Mario, and Tetris. Later on, he would write songs for the original Pokémon anime. Now, a few decades later, he’s releasing his first proper solo album, a collection called Django that fuses chiptunes with techno and reggae. Tanaka — who is releasing the album under his stage name “Chip Tanaka” — describes the new collection as “the culmination of my harder side, the kind of game music you hear in EarthBoundʼs battle tracks.” The 13 songs jump… Read More

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The first teaser for The Incredibles 2 shows off the dangers of a superpowered baby

Our first look at The Incredibles 2 is here. The sequel to Pixar’s 2004 superhero film The Incredibles will bring back the super-powered Parr family, and will pick up immediately after the closing of the first movie. The trailer shows off one thing: babies with superpowers are dangerous. At the end of The Incredibles, Jack-Jack began to manifest powers after he was kidnapped by the super villain Syndrome. Babies are already destructive in their non-superpowered state, but in this teaser, we see just how dangerous they can be with them. DIsney announced the sequel in 2015, originally scheduling it for 2019, but later bumped it to 2018 last year. The… Read More

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Bay Area holiday events 2017: Tree lightings, Santa, teas and more

ALAMEDA Holiday Fest: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 19, Harbor Bay Community Center and Temple Israel, 3195 and 3183 Mecartney Road, Alameda. East Bay artisans will sell their wares. Gifts will include knitted goods, linens, jewelry and dolls. Free admission; facebook.com/AlamedaHarvestFest. Alameda South Shore Center Events: Nov. 24. Santa House opening at 11 a.m., followed by holiday performances by carolers at 2 p.m. and then live jazz music at 4 p.m. in the Center Court. Tree Lighting with Santa: 6 p.m. Nov. 24; Photos with Santa, Nov. 24-Dec. 24. Light the Menorah, 4-6 p.m. Dec. 16. Free. The Little Ice Rink, now through Jan. 15. 4,100 square feet of ice skating.… Read More

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New trailers: Deadpool 2, Rampage, The Chi, and more

I went to see Lady Bird last weekend with a small group of friends. I’d been really excited to see it: Greta Gerwig, who wrote and directed the film, has low-key established herself as one of the smartest actors and writers around, wonderfully balancing comedy and deeply revealing characters, and Lady Bird is her first directing effort. The verdict from everyone I went to see it with is that Lady Bird is not just everything you could hope for from a Gerwig film, but it’s also a straight up emotionally devastating experience. It’s not a film that’s actively trying to wreck you or tear you apart; there’s no great tragedy… Read More

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Hari Kondabolu’s The Problem with Apu attempts to shut down The Simpsons’ racist caricature for good

Apu from The Simpsons is a walking cartoon stereotype, but for nearly three decades he’s represented the South Asian community to Americans — a yogi with a Ph.D who’s also running the equivalent of a 7-Eleven. Stand-up comedian Hari Kondabolu is fighting to unseat Apu from his central position in the American cultural psyche. Kondabolu’s debut film The Problem with Apu is a 49-minute weird hybrid of comedy, documentary, and animated boxing match. As current societal attitudes shift toward established power structures, Kondabolu and others are edging for a reassessment of once beloved characters that are actually dehumanizing caricatures. In the same vein, shows like Fresh off the Boat and… Read More

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Project Greenville’s Winter Wonderland gearing up, wants wonder-filled art

With the temperature finally dropping in what many would consider an otherwise frosty year, most people would probably say some warmth from the holidays would be nice. Project Greenville is preparing for its own attempt to add holiday cheer via Jersey City’s southern side with its annual Winter Wonderland Show, on what will be the year’s last JC Friday,… With the temperature finally dropping in what many would consider an otherwise frosty year, most people would probably say some warmth from the holidays would be nice. Project Greenville is preparing for its own attempt to add holiday cheer via Jersey City’s southern side with its annual Winter Wonderland Show, on… Read More

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