Tuesday, October 21 2014
As in Faber's previous fiction, the situation the protagonist meets in The Book of Strange New Things appears to be more complex than what this idealistic but flawed Everyman can fully comprehend.
Artist Christian DiBari's black-and-white panels feel more than a little like a woodcut – roughly done with a pocket knife, all slash marks and scars, as if the killer herself is carving out this story with her bloody blade.
Readers familiar with these artists will be happy with this representative selection, while newcomers such as myself will find much to pore over, much to enjoy and much to provoke thought.
The Pineapple Thief mastermind delves into the making of Magnolia, the [un]fair criticisms of fans, and the joys of modern Opeth, among many other topics.
Without room for doubt, uncertainty, and even self-hatred, the tyranny of Aspiration Culture prevails, and meaningful defiance is thrown out the window.
Live at the Rainbow '74 doesn't contain all of Queen's biggest commercial hits, but features some of their heaviest rock from their amazing early days.
Phantom Radio is the quintessential Mark Lanegan album, both a great starting point for those uninitiated to his world and a document that the most devoted members of his cult fanbase will cherish as one of his best.
Thurston Moore's most ambitious solo album and the best Sonic Youth-related release since 2004's Sonic Nurse.
American-Canadian singer-songwriter Suzie Ungerleider ropes in other Canadian musicians to write songs for her to wildly varying results.
On Live at Wembley Arena, ABBA deliver a tightly choreographed and wildly enjoyable performance during the height of their powers.
Richard Chartier returns with another exploration of post-modernist exploration in detached existence of suburban pink-hued glamour.
Reissue of the final solo album by the hugely overlooked Australian post-punk hero, Rowland S Howard.
Monday, October 20 2014
Wolverine's demise had just enough substance and not nearly enough style.
While it looks quite amazing, the problem with Neverending Nightmares is that there is a real lack of a bigger picture, either strategically or narratively, to motivate the play itself.
Brutality can take many forms, from war making to banking.
Vincent Price brought class to everything he did, a quality evident even in the B-movies of The Vincent Price Collection II.
When Flynne Fisher witnesses a murder, a contract is taken on her life. The contract holders are from the future.
This collection of films is significant in illustrating the development of Mack Sennett's contributions to early film comedy and the lasting effects of Sennett and his troupe.
The romantic sentiment that rock was better in the past and has, as they say, given up the ghost, is a charming but misguided notion.
There's hardly enough killer fish action in Killer Fish to keep the film afloat.
Twin titans of the underground come together to craft essentially what you'd expect a collaboration of this nature to sound like, for better or worse.
The history of the Scientific Revolution, retold: Clear, detailed, and as overwhelming as drinking from a fire hose.
In overemphasizing the pure pop side of its style, Jukebox the Ghost oversimplifies and dumbs down its songwriting smarts.
The Nightjar and the Garden is a highly literary effort, a testament to a woman's trying faith in a time and place where it is a commodity that is being continuously challenged.
Simpson's grumbling's gotten boring, but Oh-No's beats are as fresh as they've ever been (straight off the farm, we're talking).
This lost live record captures one of rock’s most unassailable giants, right when it was discovering how to really belt out its “fee-fi-fo-fums”.
Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen are poised to become a lasting force in bluegrass and also demonstrate the potential for broader success.
Friday, October 17 2014
The commercial approach of The Book of Life is to draw on a wide range of celebrities to craft an entertainment that just about anyone could like.
A onetime Hollywood superhero takes a stab at respectability by adapting Raymond Carver’s writings to Broadway in Iñárritu's hallucinogenic satire of the entertainment industry.
The Last of the Greats was published by Image in 2011-12, a five-issue mini-series that received deserved critical acclaim but ultimately flew under the radar, popularity-wise.
Ian Bell explores Dylan's unparalleled second act in a quintessentially American career. It's a tale of redemption, of an act of creative will against the odds, and of a writer who refused to fade away.
Goofing around with Garfield on The Garfield Randomiser and Garfield Minus Garfield evokes the poetic Surrealism that arose from Dadism.
Throughout her long and legendary career, Lucinda Williams has garnered a reputation for dismissing any notions of rules, expectations, or boundaries.
Rhino’s seven CD retrospective box set Soundtracks covers off the bulk of Ry Cooder’s ‘80s film work. Interesting and varied, this is a worthy re-issue.
Even though How I Learned to Write Backwards is arguably the band's darkest hour, it's still affirming and affecting, the final piece in a wonderful trilogy of albums.
Italo Calvino offers a rarely personal, and deeply insightful, glimpse of the adolescent experience of war.
The constantly morphing new jazz trio moves into deeply atmospheric, electronic territory and dares you to follow.
This EP bears the mark of idle hands merely wanting to keep busy.
The latest from M.C. Taylor and Scott Hirsch's country-leaning band serves as an re-introduction and a rebirth for their signature sound.
When playing corridos, one must be absolutely modern. If you play them as hard as possible, that helps.
Thursday, October 16 2014
Lilting challenges what it means to assimilate into a culture, suggesting that blending in isn't necessary for shared experience.
From the first selfie to the importance of jazz musicians, Steven Johnson puts a few surprises into How We Got To Now.
Just keep moving, folks. There is nothing to see here, especially nothing scary. This Klarion, this Witch Boy, is a lot more boy than witch.
The Essential Jacques Demy provides an insightful look inside an auteur who may finally be getting the recognition he deserves.
Written in vivid detail and expertly researched, Mike Stobbe's chronicle of the office of the Surgeon General parts the curtains on some surprising heroes and brings us to a surprising conclusion.
Phil Elverum brought minimalist arrangements of songs from upcoming Mount Eerie release Sauna to NYC's Le Poisson Rouge, along with plenty of mystery and endearing stage banter.
Hannibal, unlike much-hyped pulp revival shows like True Detective and Fargo, refuses to give its audience neat answers on matters of right and wrong.
Spanish punkers came swinging harder than ever, screaming not for the sake of inducing change, but screaming for the sake of screaming – because now they could.
Lara Meyerratken, the Los Angeles-by way of-Australia indie pop musician, returns with her first new album in four years.
In its third season, Revenge jumps the shark and drowns slowly afterwards.
From the club to the bedroom, the Bloc Party frontman explores the empty sensuality of sleeping with complete strangers.
Johnny Marr's second solo album suggests a consummate musician becoming more comfortable with his solo status.
Lars Iyer's latest novel explores sadness and genius while contemplating the end of philosophy.
Bestial Burden really knows how to work a mood, and beat that sense of claustrophobic misery right into the ground.
These Birmingham lads mine their musical past to create a sound in keeping with their influences without straying too far from established templates, finding comfort in familiarity.
A long-shelved power pop gem gets its chance to shine.
Trigger Hippy's roots run deep and the down-and-dirty, soul-tinged blues they rock is the real deal.
Wednesday, October 15 2014
The revamped Pixies prove there's plenty of fuel left in the tank yet.
Terry Gilliam's quest for life's biggest answers finds a new formulation in The Zero Theorem: perhaps, the film suggests, there is no meaning to it all.
A high concept that's high on potential and low on refinement.
Tim & Eric, with Dr. Steve Brule in tow, shared their brand of entrancingly preposterous, thoroughly sweet comedy during an extended set in Boston's Back Bay.
These days there's so much technodread floating around that you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a thinkpiece about how smartphones are ruining our minds.
Nation isn't an opus. It's a warning.
Sarah Silverman's second HBO special/comedy album gives us another healthy helping of rape, incest, oral sex, profanity and jokes about Jews. In other words, Sarah Silverman being herself.
He's almost single-handedly invented the Blaxploitation film genre, but as his recent collaboration with Heliocentrics proves, Melvin Van Peebles is so much more than simply a filmmaker in command of his craft.
Vashti Bunyan is given the final word on a sporadic yet influential career with the organic swan song Heartleap.
I’ll Be the Tornado is an enrapturing album, and one that you simply must hear with your mind and your heart.
It’s not that Anna Karina couldn’t act, but that she didn’t have to. Her physical presence was the art, and her beauty, in and of itself, was a significant contribution to the culture.
Though a surface reading of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy suggests compelling depiction of women, underneath lies ages-old patriarchal myths.
Million Dollar Arm is a film that picked the wrong protagonist.
Try as you might to take Foxygen's ...And Star Power at face value, it's hard to because the mischievous duo does everything but play it straight on the 82-minute double LP.
Coma Witch is a bracing, unapologetic, mesmerizing album. And it could very well be easily one of the best metal albums of the year.
This real-world account of an ill-fated Yale student's life will be haunting me for many months.
Tuesday, October 14 2014
For Werner Herzog, man’s tug-of-war with nature is not a present imbalance but a lost cause, the barbarous beauty of nature made mere barbarism by humankind.
Pearl Jam's shows are more and more memorable for hardcore fans but they still remain approachable for everyone as they pulled from their earliest releases in St. Louis.
The challenges for Americans and other countries to grapple with are not economic ones, and they are not narrow, technically ‘scientific’ ones. They are moral and philosophical ones.
"It’s not the greatest #1 I’ve ever read by a long shot but…"
Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke talks his new solo album, Trick, and explains how the album pushed him to make music in an entirely fresh way.
With its Apple-sponsored free public release, U2's Songs of Innocence betrays just how far the band has come from their past, despite its attempts to bring back a Dublinesque vision.
Richard Brooks's adaptation of Elmer Gantry lives and dies on Burt Lancaster's strangest, most unforgettable performance.
Gazelle Twin's Unflesh is as immaculate as a hotel in a JG Ballard novel, and just as bloody scary.
Celebrated book designer Peter Mendelsund considers how readers construct (or fail to construct) visual images in their minds in What We See When We Read.
Deathless should cement Revocation as one of the top metal bands in the world, if they haven’t already reached such lofty heights on previous releases.
Aldean's personal life, and Nashville's change of direction, isolate the listener and reinforce stereotypes.
Abaporu is a record that, despite all of its differing hues, manages to come across as a unified mosaic of sound.
The jazz trio, supplemented by frequent partner John Scofield, put out another appealing blend of jazz and groove music -- a flavorful if somewhat slight version of what they do best.
Texas in July is so lifeless that not even the transfusion of a whole new line-up can revive this corpse.
Monday, October 13 2014
Why shouldn’t a maligned genre -- and romantic comedies are nothing if not maligned -- follow in drama's footsteps?
Just ahead of tomorrow's second episode of The Flash, we present this special Iconographies on this show isn't very different from This American Life's spinoff, Serial.
His Ph.D revoked, a man fueled by anger returns to an institution he despises in Primordial: An Abstraction.
The trend in alternate reality gaming fits a traditional definition of hyperreality; the condition where fiction and the real become indistinguishably blended together.
He's an iconic photographer for rock stars such as the Beastie Boys and Bruce Springsteen. Here, he talks about his first book and the stories behind some of his most memorable images.
Even when Obvious Child lacks interesting conflict, it still admirably presents women in a way atypical from mainstream cinema.
OK Go successfully dips a toe into synth-rock without forgetting their power-pop roots, yet they still manage to include a small handful of outright clunkers.
What really happens when you hit rock bottom?
How many times can you challenge your audience to join you at the top of the room before these big moves become big tropes?
The Canadian singer-songwriter decides that pop music is no place for individualism or high-energy performances on her third album.
The latest from Philadelphia guitar wizard Mike Polizze gives voice to his catchy, pop-loving side.
Fly guy Mark Turner makes a sparse quartet really work for him and you.
FaltyDL's newest floats around without aim or interest.