2012 – Purity Ring – Shrines

Releasing tomorrow, Purity Ring’s “Shrines” is a beautifully crafted psychadellic trip through a musical soundscape. Much like many of the recent electronica type indie bands of late, you’ll be hard pressed to find the occasional “real instrument” on the album, but that won’t make it any less enjoyable.

If you’re one of the many millions who has been enjoying the vocal stylings from Gotye’s Somebody that I used to know, lately, then you are going to enjoy the haunting ethereal voice of Megan James. Corin Roddick pops in part way through the album with a voice inspired by contemporary hip-hop artists, whch acts as an enjoyable contrast to the ghost-like voice of James.

And if you’re not keen on preordering something you’ve never heard before, you’re in luck. NPR actually has the whole album available for your preview pleasure. But if you have enjoyed the likes of Neon Indian or Air France over the last few years, Purity Ring will end up on your playlist in the very near future.

How to change Xbox 360 screen resolution in the 2012 dashboard


Previously, I posted how to change your Xbox 360 display settings from the Guide Menu, but some people have been asking how to do it in Metro. Microsoft is always sure to give you multiple ways to accomplish a given task. Here’s method two to change your TV resolution:

  1. Use the right bumper to navigate all the way to the right, to System
  2. Press the A button 3x (selecting Settings, Console Settings, then Display.
  3. Now you’ll have several different options for display settings – select HDTV settings by pressing “A” a 4th time.
  4. Select your resolution – you can use the optimal resolution setting if you’re unsure what to use.
  5. You will see a message asking you to confirm that you can see the new resolution.

When you select a new resolution, DO NOT press any buttons on the controller until the image returns to the screen. This will help you prevent choosing an invalid resolution. For example, if your TV only supports a maximum resolution of 1080i, and you select 1080p, your screen will go black and show nothing at all. However if you wait ten seconds, your TV will fall back to whatever the resolution had been previously. If you get stuck with a completely dark screen, you can refer to our article on resetting your display settings back to default.

Sean Thomas Dougherty reads his poems 'Arias' & 'Sparky Webb…'

Sean Thomas Dougherty was my professor during my time at Penn State Behrend. From my second semester on, he was a big part of the reason I continued to write, got my degree in English, and why I write today. He inspires, in Arias

And another, based on actual grafitti that was once painted in Erie, Pennsylvania. Sparky Webb Has A.I.D.S.

Hesitant to get Kinect-ed…

I heard about how the “Kinect for Windows” device was better than the first Kinect that launched on Xbox. More precise, faster, etc… all of the benefits that I really expected would make their way to the Kinect sensor in a new and updated package. But they haven’t – at least, not publically. Perhaps buying one these days gets the few extra features, but I keep waiting for something more. I feel like there is something else coming, just around the corner – that “revision 2” that is better than the original. And so I wait… but am I waiting for nothing?

I would love voice and motion control on my Xbox 360. I would enjoy some of the silly motion games. I can’t wait to try the integration of certain voice and gesture commands in to certain “core” games like Halo Anniversary and Mass Effect 3. If there is no upgraded unit coming, when is the price drop going to happen? I need something to encourage me to take that last leap, and so far, my friends haven’t helped.

I took to Twitter the other day and asked if I should pick up a Kinect, but the responses were lackluster and those I got were a resounding eh, something like Kinect will be integrated in to the next Xbox, just wait for that – there aren’t enough games to make it worth your while. And that’s hard to argue with. Kinectimals was about the closest thing to ‘revolutionary’ I’ve seen out of the Kinect yet. And the version of Android and iPad looks just as fun.

I’m still torn, but I’m certain I’ll cave sooner or later – I just plan on holding out until “Black Friday.” By then we’ll know if they plan on releasing a revised version for the holiday shopping season, and if not, there’s bound to be sales!