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Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll: The Science of Hedonism and the Hedonism of Science
By Zoe Cormier
The colourful science of marijuana and psychedelic drugs will make you wish you paid more attention in science class. [27.Mar.15]
30 Musical, Literary and Cultural Reasons to Celebrate 30 More Years of Phish: Part Two
By Katherine Factor
From Romanticism to structuralism, the musical ingenuity of Phish pays tribute to a variety of cultural movements; they're more dada than dad rock. [27.Mar.15]
Counterbalance: The Who's 'The Who Sell Out'
What's for tea, darling? Darling, I said, What's for tea? It's a 1967 pop-art masterpiece. You're going to choke on it, too. A pioneer in the art of the concept album is this week's Counterbalance. [27.Mar.15]
How to Use the Media
By Norman Ball and Paul Toth
Don’t just sit there looking at your computer (or tablet, or phone). Engage! [27.Mar.15]
Janelle Asselin, Rosy Press and the Reinvention of the Ordinary
Sometimes once in a rare while someone with a single idea disrupts an entire industry. Veteran Editor Janelle Asselin's Rosy Press might just be that idea for this generation. [27.Mar.15]
Today's Articles
27.Mar.15
Liturgy: The Ark Work
Religious music, black metal, electronic, and 8-bit all come together in this bizarre yet ultimately captivating philosophical tome from Liturgy.
Zu: Cortar Todo
It roars, dilutes, squeals, shrieks, pulsates and squawks. Welcome to the world of Zu.
Chastity Belt: Time to Go Home
Chastity Belt brings the '90s nostalgia, but forgets to bring the variety along with it.
Joe Pug: Windfall
Pug fought through some tough times to produce this optimistic, rewarding record.
Ryan Bingham: Fear and Saturday Night
The candor of Bingham on Bingham reveals an intimate portrait of love and hope on Fear and Saturday Night.
Theophilus London: Vibes
True to its name, Vibes comes chock-full of different vibes for different situations.
Counterbalance: The Who's 'The Who Sell Out'
What's for tea, darling? Darling, I said, What's for tea? It's a 1967 pop-art masterpiece. You're going to choke on it, too. A pioneer in the art of the concept album is this week's Counterbalance.
Scarlette - 6ft Woman (video) (Premiere)
British rock 'n' roller Scarlette stars in a flashy music video for her tune "6ft Woman", which runs through a stylish history of cinematic iconography.
Lady Lazarus - Train Song (video) (Premiere)
The dreamy and evocative piano ballad "Train Song" comes from Lady Lazarus' recently dropped LP, Miracles.
Umphrey's McGee - Bad Friday (audio) (Premiere)
The Chicago prog jam outfit Umphrey's McGee were given 12 hours in the legendary Abbey Road studios. The funky and groovy "Bad Friday" is one of the results of that fruitful time in the studio.
Ben Stiller Takes on a Woody Allen Persona in 'While We're Young'
This examination of documentary filmmaking, of truth and not-quite-truth, is somewhat undercut by the neuroses of its male lead (Ben Stiller).
Jim Parsons Can't Escape Sheldon Cooper in 'Home'
Even though Jim Parsons is trying to distance himself from his Big Bang Theory character, his role in Home, like the film itself, feels awfully familiar.
'Serena' Re-Teams Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper Amidst Clichés
Every time the movie makes the claim that its protagonist is a "strong woman", it just as quickly reduces her to the worst clichés.
Tinseltown Has Rarely Seemed More Terrifying Than in 'Starry Eyes'
Starry Eyes presents a twilit world of hysterical ambition that would put Norma Desmond to shame.
'Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter' Finds Riches in the Coen Brothers' 'Fargo'
This film about a woman so obsessed with Fargo she thinks it contains clues to buried treasure turns into a beautiful, chilly odyssey.
Is 'Get Hard' Humor or Hate Crime?
You may find yourself laughing at the homophobia and hate on display in this borderline despicable film.Said snickers are nothing to be proud of.
Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock
Morningstar plays like a Star Trek episode that forgot to add in a moral message about the nature of humanity at the end.
There's a Reason 'Braid' Wasn't a Bullet-Hell Game
Disorder might have something profound to say, but it certainly doesn’t know how to say it -- or through what genre.
Business
How to Use the Media
Don’t just sit there looking at your computer (or tablet, or phone). Engage!
Janelle Asselin, Rosy Press and the Reinvention of the Ordinary
Sometimes once in a rare while someone with a single idea disrupts an entire industry. Veteran Editor Janelle Asselin's Rosy Press might just be that idea for this generation.
Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll: The Science of Hedonism and the Hedonism of Science
The colourful science of marijuana and psychedelic drugs will make you wish you paid more attention in science class.
Culture
30 Musical, Literary and Cultural Reasons to Celebrate 30 More Years of Phish: Part Two
From Romanticism to structuralism, the musical ingenuity of Phish pays tribute to a variety of cultural movements; they're more dada than dad rock.
Björk: New York - 25 March 2015 (Photos)
Björk's New York City residency, about seven shows over two months plus a retrospective at MoMA, is a dream come true for fans and, fortunately at least, her live show delivers.
Recent Articles
Thursday, 26 March 2015
The Artist Is Not Present: The Significance of Sia's Anti-Pop Persona
For once, a pop artist has rejected the idea of stardom, and as a result, has become one of the world’s most discussed pop stars.
Too Smart to Be Naïve, Too Young to Be Jaded: 'The Bends' and Teen Angst
Even teenagers two decades removed from The Bends' original release can still find deep emotional connections to its depiction of isolation and dissatisfaction.
'Stranger at My Door' Is a Western That Doesn't Settle for the Obvious
This isn't some towering milestone of the genre, but it's something harder to pull off: a quietly intelligent, handsomely made, satisfying B-western.
Laura Marling: Short Movie
The eclectic guitar becomes a tool that complements Laura Marling's lyrics on this pivotal album, at times articulating visceral anger and, at others, obliterating psychic barriers and clearing space for something new.
On the Agony of Becoming
Green Girl is Kate Zambreno's searing meditation on a young American girl's coming-to-being in London.
The Go! Team: The Scene Between
With heavier rock influence and toned-down electronic methodology, The Scene Between represents the Go! Team's greatest deviation from their original template yet.
Tobias Jesso Jr: Goon
Goon isn’t great, but it is a fine example of what might evolve from pure pop purpose.
Andrew Combs: All These Dreams
Andrew Combs is either ignorant of or recording in deference to the past by rekindling the gilded countrypolitan spirit on his sophomore release, All These Dreams.
Tangerine Dream: Booster VII
The Booster series wraps up as the world bids farewell to Edgar Froese.
RxGF: Any Other Way
There's an innovative sound happening here, with many tracks sounding like they came from the soundtrack of some dystopian sci-fi world or even just the dark Orwellian future that’s currently on Earth’s horizon right here in 2015.
Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Where Do We Go from Here? 'The Bends' of the 20th Century and Beyond
The Bends is the 20th century's identity emerging under pressure, forced to search bleakly for some form of cohesion among an increasingly artificial and commercial world.
What Would Don Draper Do? Reading Dante in a Secular Age
Many readers of our generation emulate Don Draper, having lost Dante's connections to Christianity or perhaps to any such deity.
Thursday's Geoff Rickly on Reissues, the Future, and Selling Crockpots
Thursday is no more, but their legacy lives on, with singer Geoff Rickly reissuing Waiting on his own label and talking about what chances, if any, there are to the group reuniting.
'White Night', 'American Psycho', and Economic Inequality, the Killer Who Devours America
I'm not especially bothered by violence in media, but the rich-on-poor violence seen in American Psycho and suggested by White Night seem exceptionally detestable.
The 10 Best Films of Sir Alan Parker
With film fans around the world still reeling from the auteur's recent announcement, here are ten reasons to mourn the retirement of one of England's most interesting directors.
In Gotham The Kids Are Alright, Day Two
By incorporating genres as diverse as Harry Potter, Dan Brown and Van Helsing, Gotham Academy #5 is as close to perfect as you can get.
Earl Sweatshirt: I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside
Earl Sweatshirt leaves shock horror behind and finds something much better on his brilliant third album.
'Twice a Judas' Is Saved by Klaus Kinski's Brilliant Acting
Just as some sports fans enjoy the mental face-off that is every at-bat in baseball more than the constant scoring and dunking on a basketball court, many will find the slow pace of this spaghetti western inviting.
Marge Piercy and the Geography of Home
In topics ranging from poverty to war’s ravages to environmental collapse, Piercy obeys the poet’s dictum to act as witness with Made in Detroit.
'Watership Down' Is a World of Rabbits in Darkness
Like all great films based on great literature, Watership Down does a fine job of not replacing, but rather complementing the source material.
Lightning Bolt: Fantasy Empire
In the end, this is exactly what we have come to expect from Lightning Bolt; a set list of fuzzy, overwhelming, noise rock that keeps it simple while never missing its target.
Tuesday, 24 March 2015
Of Maus and Men: Postwar Identity Through a Postmodern Lens in Art Spiegelmans 'Maus'
Far more than a comic book with an edge, Maus interrogates the fallacious identity politics of the Nazis, to an unforgettable effect. Given recent events in Europe, this is a vital book to revisit.
'The Voices' Gets to the Very Essence of the American Nightmare
Disturbing, funny, alluring and repulsive in a uniquely American way that no one likes to admit, The Voices should trouble you.
How the Go! Team Puts the I in Team with 'The Scene Between'
Ian Parton, leader of the Go! Team, weighs the maturation and development of his crazed wall-of-sound schoolyard aesthetic on new album The Scene Between.
In the Game of Genre Television, You Win or You Get Cancelled
Networks will continue to falter in their attempts to imitate Game of Thrones if they fail to prioritize character development over flashy fantasy storytelling.
The Visual Games of IndieCade East 2015
Visuals tend to get a bad rap in video games. However, there are plenty of games in which the visuals are in part the point of the game.
Country Fried Rock: M. Lockwood Porter, an Okie in California
Oklahoma native M. Lockwood Porter left for California as a teenager, following his musical passions and inspired by the songs of Chris Bell (of Big Star fame).
In Gotham the Kids Are Alright, Day One
It’s when publishers create titles outside the hype of their most recognizable heroes that writers and artists are able take risks that can lead to some of the most innovative and original comic books available. This is where Gotham Academy comes in.
Van Morrison: Duets: Re-Working The Back Catalogue
Forgoing the obvious hits and contemporary pop star collaborators, iconoclast Van Morrison raises the bar for what duet albums can and should be.
Damn Scandinavians! Why Are They Always So Almost Nearly Perfect?
Michael Booth sets out to investigate the mystery of Scandinavian perfection. He doesn’t find the answer, but what he does find is equally entertaining.
There Aren't Many Reasons to Go 'Into the Woods'
Die-hard Sondheim fans may enjoy this adaptation, but the rest of the world should revisit Chicago and wonder why Marshall hasn’t been able to capture that film’s magic since.
Nellie McKay: My Weekly Reader
The assortment of different tunes here suggests McKay understands the complexity of the past and reveals her empathy for a more hopeful time when love and peace were fresh thoughts rather than a debased slogan.
Monday, 23 March 2015
The Annotated Guide to the Music Videos of 'The Bends'
With one album Radiohead left an impressive music video legacy, one that would extend to later masterpieces such as OK Computer.
Farther Than You Think: Mapping the Noir Terrain
Rope of Sand, Dark City, and Union Station each extend the shadowy reach of film noir.
James McMurtry and His Complicated Games
Americana legend James McMurtry is fiery, opinionated, and smart as a whip. His latest (accidental) endeavor: Occupy spokesman.
Double Take: The Player (1992)
Double Take would like to pitch The Player in 25 words or less, but it took us a little longer to break this one down. So hear us out -- and don't give us water in a red wine glass.
Fundraiser Concert: A Chat with Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic
Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic's Hail Mary Mallon project is one of indie-rap's best kept secrets, but nothing compares to Rob's knowledge of Conway Twitty albums.
Revealing Strengths and Vulnerabilities
Superman reveals his identity and spends a day without his powers, but he still finds a way to be a heroic ideal.
'Disorder' Is Disordered All Right
Disorder doesn't know how to balance its gameplay with its story or its art with its gameplay. It's a game whose individual pieces work well on their own, but when mixed together, they only break what was in the beginning a pretty fun game.
'A Bad Character' Is Courageous in Its Realism and the Many Chances Its Author Has Taken
This is Deepti Kapoor’s time to paint a picture of India that no one has the nerve to do anymore.
Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
Even though Courtney Barnett has tightened and punched up her sound, her songwriting still gets stuck in your head because she gets lost in her own imagination.
'Unbroken' Is a Merely Adequate Biopic
For every powerful moment, there is a scene that lacks force and overstays its welcome.
'The Identical' Is So Bad It's Not Even Hate-Watchable
The Identical is as egregious a cinematic misfire as could be imagined, bumbling its message, its music, and even in its spiritual intent during its ingratiating 107 minutes.
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