ILLUSTRATION: Luke Ramsey
Video games have a shelf life. After spending 40 hours with Metal Gear Solid or Grand Theft Auto, most gamers are about ready to move on. But some games last longer. Some games aren't about beating a final boss or watching the closing cut scenes, they're about truly enjoying the experience of getting there. Katamari Damacy, an adorable title that first popped up in 2004 on the PlayStation 2, is one of those games. Its story—the player assumes the role of the Prince of All Cosmos, who must appease his father by rolling household items, cars, buildings and eventually whole worlds into ever-more-colossal stars—is charming but beside the point. The fun is in the playing. But Katamari is also a brightly colored visual departure from most games—making it especially popular with creative types. Which is why Floating World is hosting a Katamari art show this Thursday. The show, a fundraiser for anti-homelessness organization JOIN PDX, features prints from local and national artists (like this one, from Canadian artist Luke Ramsey) reimagining the game in strange new contexts. As a bonus, Portland-based retailer Panic, the only U.S. company licensed to sell Katamari merch, will be selling equally adorable gear at the show. All the prints we've seen thus far are so cool that we just want to…well, we want to roll them up in a big ball and push it all over the world. Is that so wrong?
[MUSIC] MUMIY TROLL, RUN RUN RUN
A too-perfect Cold War fantasy, Mumiy Troll began thrilling Vladivostok pubs some 25 years ago when the politburo found its loose-hipped "rockapops" socially dangerous. Think a post-punk Gogol Bordello.
Nashville band the Protomen doesn't just write songs about the old NES
games—it has transformed the 16-bit classic into an elaborate rock opera. It's like fan fiction with guitars.
Portland puppet presenter Beady Little Eyes invites local marionetteers to perform adult comedy with help from Cardboard Songsters and Juan Prophet Organization.
photographer Carl Corey's images of unintentionally retro-cool neighborhood taverns and their grizzled habitués afford a glimpse of the way drinking and socializing used to be done.
With addictive rhythms and a horn section that's tighter than a pair of leather pants, this Milwaukee soul 10-piece takes you back to the era of late Motown and early disco, while still sounding fresh.
The PDX reading for the new book of photos by Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Nick Zinner and essays by Freshkills singer Zachary Lipez promises multimedia madness.
Finkel's moving account of the Iraq war, looks at the individual soldiers affected.