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Omniscient Visions: The Genius of Devin Townsend
There's no modern prog musician whose approaches, innovations, and reinventions are as multifaceted, brave, intricate, and original as those of Devin Townsend. [24.Apr.14]
The Azzarello–Risso Yearbook, Part 2 of 4: Broken City
Once they’d established themselves as a formidable creative force with almost five years of excellent work on 100 Bullets, Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso got to take a crack at one of the biggest comicbook characters ever: Batman. [24.Apr.14]
For Tomorrow: The 10 Best Songs from Blur's Life Trilogy
Damon Albarn's got a new album arriving in a few days, and his band's most popular album commemorates its 20th birthday. What better time to pay tribute to the period when Blur put the "pop" in Britpop? [24.Apr.14]
Touring 'Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes'
Wander through the house of Metal Gear and marvel at the marvelous and the grotesque. [24.Apr.14]
'Sensation: The Story of the Who's Tommy' Lives Up to Its Name
What more is there to say about the rock opera, Tommy? Quite a lot. [24.Apr.14]
Today's Articles
24.Apr.14
Death: III
The once-forgotten Detroit proto-punk pioneers' third album is spotty at times, but still contains some true gems.
The Menzingers: Rented World
For what it is, Rented World slays.
Emm Gryner: Torrential
Retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield guest stars as a vocalist on Gryner’s 10th studio album, bolstering this from being just another indie release from a Canada cult icon.
Davidge: Slo Light
The Massive Attack producer's fruit doesn't fall far from the downtempo tree.
Matt Wilson Quartet + John Medeski: Gathering Call
Jazz's most fanciful drummer, his great band, plus the everything-at-once keyboard wiz equals celebratory music that also turns tender when it wants to.
For Tomorrow: The 10 Best Songs from Blur's Life Trilogy
Damon Albarn's got a new album arriving in a few days, and his band's most popular album commemorates its 20th birthday. What better time to pay tribute to the period when Blur put the "pop" in Britpop?
Omniscient Visions: The Genius of Devin Townsend
There's no modern prog musician whose approaches, innovations, and reinventions are as multifaceted, brave, intricate, and original as those of Devin Townsend.
Courtney Love - You Know My Name (audio)
The frenetic Courtney Love is back, only this time she's using her solo name.
Livin' the Dream: An Interview with Pure X
Guitarist Jesse Jenkins of noted Austin reverb-rockers Pure X opens up about the band's new album Angel and how their shift in style and attitude reinvigorated them as a band.
Veruca Salt - The Museum of Broken Relationships (video) + Tour Dates
The '90s are back! With Meshell Ndegeocello, Courtney Love, Tori Amos and now Veruca Salt all on the cusp of releasing new records this year, this '90s music fanboy's heart is about to explode.
'Only Lovers Left Alive' Is an Ode to the Eternally Undead City of Detroit
These vampires anticipate and understand death, and yet they mean to avoid it. Just so, Detroit -- decaying, yet vivid and eternal -- is their most perfect self-reflection.
'Sensation: The Story of the Who's Tommy' Lives Up to Its Name
What more is there to say about the rock opera, Tommy? Quite a lot.
'The Great Beauty' Is a Magnificent, Sensory-Rich Visual Poem that Pulsates with Life
Rome has mastered a balletic balance in chaotic dichotomy, where ruin and exultation beg for a kind of seduction that only film can provide.
The Butterfly and the Scorpion: 'Whistler: A Life for Art's Sake'
This biography of James Whistler is full of sharp notes of detail and anecdotes that help one glean various shades of his inscrutable personality
'The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson' Is a Revelatory Dissection of What It Was to Be a Gay Movie Star
Beyond tales of who slept with whom and who wrecked whose marriage, this is a unique character study of Henry Willson, who was a genius in his own right.
The Azzarello–Risso Yearbook, Part 2 of 4: Broken City
Once they’d established themselves as a formidable creative force with almost five years of excellent work on 100 Bullets, Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso got to take a crack at one of the biggest comicbook characters ever: Batman.
Touring 'Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes'
Wander through the house of Metal Gear and marvel at the marvelous and the grotesque.
Dionne Farris + The Russell Gunn Quartet: 10 April 2014 - New York
Exploring jazz with the Russell Gunn Quartet, Dionne Farris is clearly in full bloom.
Recent Articles
Wednesday, 23 April 2014
The New Puritanism, or, Some Troubling Tendencies in Video Game Criticism
Is the role of the video game critic to protect us from that which we may find offensive?
Conquering Demons: A Conversation with Gazpacho's Thomas Anderson
"If we were a soda, we’d be a soda with pepper and ginger." A humorous, insightful, and honest discussion with the founding keyboardist of Gazpacho, Norway's leading prog storytellers.
'Pokemon Battle Trozei': How Many Times Do I Need to Catch Them All?
Other games that have a successful collection system follow the idea that what the player collects should have some sort of pragmatic value. This iteration of Pokemon does not.
Eels: The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett
Mark Everett admitted that Cautionary Tales was an uncomfortable record to make, but what's most unsettling is how familiar it sounds.
'To Chris Marker, An Unsent Letter' Has Insufficient Postage
Collaborators and admirers provide an enlightening, but at times opaquely idiosyncratic assessment of the maverick French filmmaker.
Father and Son = Author and Reader in 'A Fairy Tale'
Jonas T. Bengtsson takes us down unexpected paths, reminding us that life is too complex for us to assume we know how things will turn out.
Heartsrevolution: Ride or Die
Choose your own adventure. Heartsrevolution give you two choices: Ride OR Die. (Hint: Say "Ride, please").
The Baseball Project: 3rd
The Baseball Project goes deep into the lore, heritage and shadows of the great American pastime -- and comes up with an awesome record.
Nina Persson: Animal Heart
First solo effort from the Cardigans and A Camp vocalist is pleasant enough singer-songwriter fare that doesn’t truly find its footing until the back half of the album.
Witch: Movin' On / Kuomboka
This is what we're left with after the fuzz guitars go away.
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
Cassette Fever in the Age of Bandcamp
The cassette tape is a miniature monument to a lost age of music; a small casket in which to hide memories and last hopes.
The Little Joys (Not Pleasures) of Scopophobia: On Mystery Science Theater 3000, Vol. XXIX
From our fear of the culture industry emerges a new sense of self—a negative self to be sure, created from the fear of being hypnotized by one’s inferiors, yet a self less likely to get lost in the dark.
The Music Industry's 1-2% Death Knell
Articles hailing "the death of the music industry" are a dime a dozen, but recent stories about album sales, iTunes Radio, and radio audience shares -- when bundled together -- indicate that the big shift everyone has feared is actually genuinely happening.
Five Reasons Why 'Transcendence' Failed
It could have been a late April sleeper. Instead, Johnny Depp's sci-fi thriller failed to ignite the box office. Here are five reasons why.
The Safes - 'Record Heat' (album stream) (Premiere)
Chicago's the Safes smoke on their new record of classic power pop rockers with a bit of punk sneer and AM radio melodic harmonies.
'30 for 30 Soccer Stories: Maradona '86 and The Opposition'
These two soccer stories, focused on the World Cups of 1974 and 1986, reveal the politics, culpability, and legacy of FIFA in broader contexts.
'Casebook' Is an Engrossing Example of the Coming of Age Novel
Mona Simpson’s novels, always sensitive and complex, have only become more so with time, acquiring the depth only a seasoned writer can proffer.
Divine Was a Master in the Fun of Making Fun
Divine was large and loud, an actor who challenged expectations, even among drag queens.
Beautiful Disasters: The Surprising Fun of 'Bridge Constructor'
Bridge Constructor's trial and error format yields miniature dramatic struggles against gravity that -- in their brevity -- are stressful, engaging, and beautiful.
Paradoxical Obscurity: All New X-men #25
A time travel paradox that's overdue yet underwhelming.
TEEN: The Way and Color
The Way and Color is a welcome and daring departure from TEEN's Spacemen 3-laced debut, 2012’s In Limbo, even though it doesn’t always hit its marks.
Monday, 21 April 2014
'LOST' and Found: Mystery Boxes and Pleasure Domes
LOST arrived with the thunderous roar of exploding fuselage. It cut wildly through pop-culture stereotypes, and then left its fans lost and bewildered amidst the wreckage.
More Beautiful Blues: An Interview with Eels' Mark Oliver Everett
The Eels prime-mover answers questions about the band's new album The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett, which follows the tradition of other tragedy-driven greats in his storied and beautifully sorrowful discography.
When I Grow Up: The Beach Boys - Don't Hurt My Little Sister
Originally offered to Phil Spector to record with the Ronettes, the third track on The Beach Boys Today! presents a conflicted and guilt-ridden autobiographical narrative.
'McSweeney's Internet Tendency' Takes on the Bathroom Reading Format
The beloved McSweeney's is stripped of its Internet cloak and laid before us on the bare, naked pages of print.
Which Is More Interesting in 'A Brief History of Time', His Ideas or Stephen Hawking Himself?
Errol Morris delivers an impressionistic take on a remarkable life that is perhaps more wondrous than it has any right to be.
The Psycho in a Batsuit is My Friend: Batman #30
I find myself growing tired of Zero Year, a yearlong story that has come after two other lengthy storyarcs. I’m especially tired after lines like this: “Gentlemen, meet my friend…the ‘$%$^! psycho in a batsuit.’
'Fez': Revisiting Exceptional Design
Curiously, getting lost in Fez's pixelated world becomes the game's greatest pleasure.
Keb' Mo': BLUESAmericana
On BLUESAmericana, Keb' Mo' clears a few emotional cobwebs then plays in the mud. It's not his best, but it's got one of his best songs.
Mean Streets Meet Clean Streets: 'Bill Elliott Detective Mysteries'
Despite tough breaks, happy endings prevail thanks to the intelligence and professionalism of law enforcement.
Smoke DZA: Dream.Zone.Achieve
Smoke DZA's third album, Dream.Zone.Achieve, is strong on beats but weak on personality.
'Shotgun Lovesongs' is One Big Nostalgic Ballad
Nickolas Butler’s golden-toned Bon Iver-inspired novel about four friends in a small Wisconsin town has gorgeous intent, but too little purpose.
Friday, 18 April 2014
The Success and Failure of Silence: Gordon Freeman in 'Half Life' and 'Half Life 2'
In terms of silent protagonists few come bigger, or quieter, than Dr. Gordon Freeman, whose beard, glasses, and crowbar cut an iconic figure, which has left an imprint on video game culture, reaching the tops of popularity polls.
What Do We Do When Our Online Comics Collections Explode?
Complications or confusion aside, the hacking of comiXology demonstrates a disconcerting vulnerability in digital comics.
That Thing, That Time…: A Look at Mimi Ponds Over Easy
Over Easy is hauntingly beautiful, breathtaking, ferociously intelligent. It allows us to peer behind the veil of private lives in a radically different way to other biographies.
Counterbalance: Disclosure's 'Settle'
When a fire starts to burn, right? And it starts to spread, right? Then it's time for another edition of Counterbalance. This week it's electronic time with a critically acclaimed UK hit from 2013.
Slint: Spiderland: Deluxe Box Set
The expanded story of Slint's Spiderland shows that the album doesn't define place or genre so much as it illuminates a singular approach to making music.
Miley Cyrus + Sky Ferreira: 5 April 2014 - Brooklyn, NY
Miley Cyrus's performance is not a sexed-up act, but a manifestation of her bad-ass, "female rebel" persona.
Johnny Depp Is Ubiquitous Not Only in Real Life, but in 'Transcendence', Too
The decision to preserve the consciousness of Johnny Depp's AI researcher is a Frankenstein- and Skynet-like Very Bad Idea.
'Cloudbuilt': The Devil Is in the Design
Where Cloudbuilt really shines is at the intersection of art and level design. Art and science operate in a delicate dance, blurring the lines between the two.
'Americas Forgotten Constitutions' Bear Potent Messages for Our Times
What can the ‘failed’ constitutions of American history teach us about building community and galvanizing social movements?
Place and Space in 'Device 6'
Device 6 does a wonderful job conveying the physical layout of an environment, but does a relatively poor job conveying the unique characteristics of a location.
Medeski, Martin & Wood plus Nels Cline: Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 2
The funky organ trio gets together in the studio with a live audience and an adventurous guitarist to break the mold.
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