Tuesday, November 26 2013
Anachronism so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel.
Like Jimmy Darmody, his Boardwalk Empire counterpart, Tommy Shelby has grown up to find all Gods dead and all faiths in man shaken -- but not quite all wars fought.
Death Grips' creativity is flowing at its peak and they are only concerned with music, and you should be as well.
Mug Museum: a magical place that'll wrap your troubles in dreams (and likely have a gift shop, too).
It doesn’t seem enough that our conversations about pop culture only take one of two opposing poles: how it corrupts people totally and leads to “moral problems” and solipsism, or how it provides means of “agency” and “empowerment” and new ways of envisioning freedom.
This uniquely celebratory work is one of the best of the year.
Despite some minor quibbles, this is a very accomplished album and one that shows Flynn well on his way to becoming the U.K.’s next great folk troubadour.
Listening to this comp feels more like a college assignment, but the feeling of being properly educated is well worth it.
Monday, November 25 2013
When questions came up as to the toxicity of flame retardants, the three primary manufacturers made their case with faulty studies or deliberate misreadings of studies.
Ghosts doesn’t have the same ambition to attempt the social commentary that Modern Warfare had, but that allows it to go so buck wild crazy that the loss is worth it.
At 75 years, both Superman and the print collection that celebrates his anniversary, suggest the idea of perpetual fictions as public good.
Among the A-list jambands born in the mid-‘80s through about the early ‘90s, none has been more consistent that this one for as long a period, nor seems as poised to remain so.
Not many noise/electronic duos get their music featured in the Olympics, but Fuck Buttons aren't any ordinary group, and they talk to PopMatters about their big gold medal moment, their new album, and so much more.
Here as in all his works, William T. Vollman sides with the poor and the marginalized, but he tries to remain fair to all he meets, even as he confesses his prejudice, or tolerance.
Graham Nash has always seemed like an affable dude, but his personality grates rather quickly in this mercifully short memoir.
Welcome to another edition of Mixtarum Metallum. Heavy tunes aplenty have their best features amplified and illuminated here, and there's sure to be something to add to the naughty list just waiting to be discovered.
Six of the very best episodes and a treasure trove of extras make this boxed set worthy of commemorating the 25th anniversary of one of the funniest shows ever made.
The liner notes may actually be the most insightful part of this record, and that is no slight to the music.
Norway's Obliteration practice musical necromancy on Black Death Horizon, conjuring up that old time death metal sound from its grave, but with a seemingly inherent Norwegian urge to blacken it up.
As that tattooed tearaway Wade "Crybaby" Walker might say, "La Luz got it raw."
There's no way to sum up such a dynamic career on one disc. Period.
Time capsules from the golden age of Chicago house. Some of these tracks have aged better than others.
Friday, November 22 2013
Judi Dench's character journeys to America, haunted by the loss of her baby son and traumas at the hands of nuns in the Magdalene Laundries.
"Nostalgia is a seductive pleasure these days, but I worry about what it means for the ongoing health of comics…" A Look at Superman: A Celebration of 75 Years and Lois Lane: A Celebration of 75 Years.
The cinematic worlds presented in the Cornetto Trilogy may be ending, but the legendary collaboration of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost lives on in The World's End DVD/Blu-ray set.
The spirits of Morrison and Manzarek feel like they’re in the house ...
Lilly Looking Through depends on silent storytelling to communicate its delightfulness.
Both Elements of a Life and A Life Worth Living offer concise, eloquent, and learned treatments of the life and work of Albert Camus.
Mama Rosin is breathing new life into Cajun and zydeco, and this from a group an ocean and a continent away from the music’s origins in southwest Louisiana.
Audrey Tautou is too internal an actress to make us feel her character's passionate quest for meaning.
A great band releases a set of carbon-copy versions of great songs to mark the beginning of their third decade. Confusingly, it's about as good as it is inessential.
Experience the dark and rumbling corners of today's innovative sounds from Planet Mu.
WBCN catapulted the careers of the likes of Aerosmith, the Cars and U2, provided a comfy road stop for guest DJ’s like Joey Ramone, and hosted Bruce Springsteen’s first radio interview.
Forever Becoming is an apt title for the Chicago-based post-metal outfit Pelican, who despite significant name recognition and years of experience is still struggling to come to its own.
The greatest band to ever come out of Rugby, England, sees their first three albums rereleased on vinyl, sounding just as powerful and distinctive as ever.
TV Ghost continue their evolution on Disconnect with better production and more sophisticated arrangements.
Here is the Matt Mitchell / Ches Smith Duo: piano and percussion in a banging set of patterns that rivet and hypnotize.
Thursday, November 21 2013
Two documentaries explore the circuitous processes of remembering and forgetting, how these shape both collective and individual experiences.
The madwoman, whether in the attic or the ancestral house, is always a spectacle. I find Miss Havisham to be a troubling enigma.
If Christian Petzold’s languidly paced, intoxicating character study Barbara were an American film, an appropriate marketing campaign may have consisted of posters splattered on street corners that asked “Who is Barbara Wolff?”
Each new artist that treks to New York to play a few sets over four or five days does so to gain exposure, to use CMJ as a launching pad toward a wider audience. They’re trying, and trying isn’t cool.
Going along is one means of survival in a game where poor folks fight and kill each other to save their district. Their struggles serve as entertainment for the privileged "1%", if you will.
While the primary focus of this narrative is Miles Morales’ return as Spider-Man, the road there is paved with the tribulations of all the other characters involved.
RAC are no longer just reworking your favorite rock tunes. His scope now includes developing his own hit tunes. We spoke with Anjos before seeing his first live show in New York.
There’s a lot of noise at the average sporting event. Study this list to learn when to break out the earplugs.
Expecting the unexpected has always been a good way to go about experiencing Throwing Muses' music. But if there's a constant to the beloved band and its leader Kristin Hersh, it's that she follows her own, well, muse, as she explains in an interview with PopMatters.
The disparate influences, caginess, and behind-the-scenes difficulties in The Uninvited make for an intoxicating snapshot of a genre on the verge of popular acceptance.
This is new age music before it became a commodity, before it evolved into aural wallpaper and background music. When it was the domain of outsider artists, eccentrics and experimentalists.
The stygian, genre non-conforming hybrid of black metal and punk on Cara Neir's latest makes for a hard-to-pigeonhole, easy-to-love album that might just be the best metal record put out all year.
The book I hoped to write about Tommy Wiseau has already been written by the person most intimately connected with the debacle that is Tommy’s mind
Eminem's revisitation to his most accomplished album is a recipe for disaster that somehow turns into a pleasant surprise worthy of being called a sequel.
In 1993, Lenny Kravitz released his finest record, Are You Gonna Go My Way. On its 20th anniversary, a deluxe edition has arrived that nearly buries that achievement under the weight of a mass of minimally interesting material.
Dexys' first album in 27 years highlights the mercurial talents of Kevin Rowland and bandmates on this suburb album of love, loathing and confession.
Braids drop the guitars, get a little house-y and cut another great compilation of indie rock trends.
Wednesday, November 20 2013
Drive-By Truckers's performance at the Bluebird Nightclub in Bloomington, Indiana was a total triumph -- raucous, profound and very, very loud.
It's Green Arrow vs. Batman in the pages of Green Arrow #24, but not quite. Because it's the past, and Ollie it's quite Green Arrow yet, and it's not quite "versus."
We're the Millers is like a less allegorical, more accessible Pleasantville.
Sebastian Faulks' impersonation of P.G. Wodehouse, master of English prose and the comic novel, evades total embarrassment but chooses a too sentimental attitude toward its subjects to get off many good gags.
John Carpenter's classic siege thriller isn't quite the old Hollywood throwback it's reputed to be, but it offers a striking reworking of genre mechanics and imagery to make up for its unsentimental atmosphere.
I don't want to tell you anything about this game. You will probably just scroll down to see what number is at the bottom of this review. You don't care. You just want validation.
In light of his recent feud with WFAN radio personalities, it's time to realize why Keith Olbermann works so well in the sports-broadcasting world.
Zachary Cale may know everything you'd want to know about the fingerings and folk-picking styles of artists like Mississippi John Hurt and Blind Willie McTell, but he's not interested in recording historical artifacts.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia pushes the boundaries of human decency -- in a good way.
Sleepwalker is one of the most obscure British films ever made, and it's easy to see why: almost everything about Saxon Logan's weird, unsettling and dreamlike film is unconventional.
Bottle Rockets and The Brooklyn Side offer a welcome addition to the alt-country pantheon and still hold up as generally great, if slightly flawed, albums.
Nobody wants to walk out of a rave and into a damn crystals shop. Yet in more than one instance, this Brighton producer insists on taking us there on this truncated follow-up to last year’s compelling Nebula Dance.
If you like getting lost in language and a book that resists fixity and linearity (and don’t mind hearing about people’s entrails being eaten by pigs), consider spending a few hours with Miss Homicide.
Melodic structure and concessions to accessibility are abandoned in favor of an approach to playing focusing on textures and impressions.
Those who love Jon Hopkins’ stellar 2013 release Immunity will find a lot to love in his work for the film How I Live Now, which brings together spare piano chords with textural ambient and noise backgrounds to a Malick-esque effect.
Ginnungagap, the latest album from doom and death merchant Seidr, is an utterly beautiful and brutal flight through the stars.
Two decades long, Andre Nickatina's career appears to be little more than a victory lap gone too long at this point.
Tuesday, November 19 2013
A Fragile Trust and Patrolman P consider the parsing of stories -- what they can mean, who might be parsing, and what effects both teller and listener might have on them.
She would lose herself in the moment and let go and be pure... and that, of course was exactly the wrong thing to do...
Treme is the most kaleidoscopic show being produced these days. Its artistry in the arc of the episodes demonstrates gorgeous design throughout the season.
Behind the rhetoric of the drug war and the feverish promises of politicians lies an incredible network of corruption that has turned one of the world's most notorious criminals into one of its most powerful men.
Valley Girls Sam and Reggie’s skills make them much more adaptable to a future that values spontaneity and spunk over brains and bookishness.
Into 1988's pop music climate came “Under the Milky Way”, a moody, jangly song that didn’t fit in. Its closest contemporaries were R.E.M. and the local “paisley underground” scene of Los Angeles, which included bands like the Bangles and Rain Parade.
This game revels in watching Batman struggle, throwing villain after villain and crime after crime in his way, trying to overwhelm him, trying to break him -- and it almost does.
Wolf Parade. Sunset Rubdown. Moonface. No matter what moniker he's donning, Spencer Krug remains a compelling figure, and with his vulnerable new album, people see new sides of him, and he tells PopMatters about that, the status of all his bands, and so much more.
Amanda Seyfriend conveys Linda’s blunt, emotional thought process without judgement and is excellent at acting badly. That’s no jab. Acting like a bad actor is no easy feat
This album isn't really a rock opera. This is rock architecture. The kind where nothing ever gets finished, but how the structures tilt or fold in on themselves is where the amazement lies.
Less Than Jake's first album in five years doesn't quite live up to their '90s heyday, but it's still packed with hooks and energy.
One of the best ways to celebrate the short story is still through anthologies such as The O. Henry Prize Stories. It's a tradition that deserves to endure.
After years of waiting, Sky Ferreira releases her debut full length.
Flat, lifeless and repetitive, the only atmosphere created by Bailter Space's new album is one of tedium and frustration.
Barbez seek out inspiration between the cracks of Hasidic history.
Renowned DJ, producer, and label head makes his first real album-length statement, and it's a shaggy, craggy wonder.
Monday, November 18 2013
A heavenly plot with a devilishly entertaining narrative.
Catastrophic violence becomes more central to the Superman mythos than ever before.
How to Watch Television brings TV enthusiasts compelling discussions on matters like neoliberalism, social engagement, feminism, irony, transnational viewing, and more.
Deadfall Adventures fails in delivering an exciting action experience or a world worth exploring. Struggling to live up to its two greatest influences, the Quatermain novels and Indiana Jones, it is eclipsed in their shadows, unable to carve out an identity of its own.
The year 2013 has featured some of the most exceptional and inventive orchestral jazz in years.
Ghostface Killah rose through the ranks of Wu-Tang Clan, paid his dues, and deserves his rightful place as the savior of the Wu-Tang regime.
From an odd and tragic childhood, to life as an underground metalhead, to crazy success, James Hetfield has managed a mountain of rage quite well.
René Clair's lavish and elegant retelling of the Faust legend is revitalized through the vibrant, sometimes comical performances of the two leads.
Because of both the theatrical side and her careful wavering between directness and fanciful wanderings, this is perhaps Josephine Foster's most fun album.
Dev Hynes, who has developed into a venerable pop producer, releases his second album as Blood Orange.
Hollywood Said No! is classic fan fodder, essentially inessential, and given the kind of loving attention to detail familiar from DVD box sets and limited edition doo-gadgets.
Oud and guitar player Gordon Grdina tries to tell us there's No Difference between his instruments and style. But life's too short to split hairs.
Ghost Avenue lovingly and accurately recreates the sound of '80s hair metal, without any irony. I found that confusing.