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Beautiful Lies and False Gods in ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’

Zack Snyder's film interrogates two primal drives in American culture through the top characters of the DC pantheon: fear and its trauma (Batman) and naked power and its ambiguities (Superman).

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Beyond the Wizards Sleeve: The Soft Bounce

Beyond the Wizards Sleeve offer a heady mixture of ‘90s EDM and ‘60s psychedelia that transcends both stylistic reference points to become something wholly new and different and, most importantly, wildly enjoyable.

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Barbara Freese Reminds Us: Power Over Nature Is Bought at a Great Price

This new edition of Coal is a compulsively readable history of how coal made the modern world, and of modern attempts to to make a world without coal.

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The Avett Brothers: True Sadness

On their latest, the Avetts set their past, present, and future front-and-center in compelling fashion.

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The Kinks: Everybody’s in Show-Biz

A convoluted masterpiece in large part because Ray Davies passionately hates his life and lies with every breath -- and likewise, fears his death.

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Cameron Carpenter: All You Need Is Bach

If you've been waiting for Baroque music to get a fresh, modernist kick in the pants, then you just need to keep on waiting.

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Grateful Dead: Red Rocks 7/8/78

Jerry Garcia and Co. were capable of unbelievable highs and unfathomable lows. The lows take center stage on a lackluster set from Summer '78.

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Motorways, Bank Robbers, and Other Delights: A Conversation with Martin Bramah of Blue Orchids

John Peel and Nico loved his band and Mark E. Smith fired him. Martin Bramah marched through history with a band he can never seem to escape. After decades of trying not to, he's finally learned to embrace life in Blue Orchids.

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‘Ghostbusters’ Pays Homage to the Original, But Fails to Forge Its Own Identity

Like Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens before it, Ghostbusters relies on a familiar formula to ensure the safest product possible.

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The 100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the ‘90s - Part 2 (80 - 61)

The second part of our examination of the 100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the '90s includes Pavement, Suzanne Vega, Morrissey, Dinosaur Jr., and more.

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Preacher: Season 1, Episode 7 - “He Gone”

Jesse continues to push people away in an episode that delves deep into his guilt-ridden past.

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Imagine Hannah-Barbera Characters in a Beyond Thunderdome Setting

In Wacky Raceland #1, a post-apocalyptic Hannah-Barbera universe sees what classic characters do now that they're being written to think and act like adults.

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BrainDead, Season 1, Episode 4, “Wake Up Grassroots ...”

Threats, public television, ants, and a knife: BrainDead's uneven fourth episode sets up what should be an important episode five.

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Riding the Undercurrent: An Interview with Sarah Jarosz

After a whirlwind three years, Jarosz finds herself at the precipice of her most-anticipated release yet, and it all begins with stripping things down.

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‘Back to the Fifties’ Points the Finger Directly at the Rise of Ronald Reagan

Back to the Fifties sheds light on the politicized motivations behind the pop cultural revisionist view of the Fifties in the wake of the tumultuous Sixties.

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The Geek Feminist Revolution Is Not Only Changing Genres of Fiction, but Society Itself

Whether new worlds are created with the stroke of a keypad or the waving of a placard, both reflect the human capacity for growth, for reinvention, for hope.

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One Shot: Remembering Michael Cimino’s Masterpiece, ‘The Deer Hunter’

The Deer Hunter gets war, yes, but it also nails the beautiful, if banal simplicity of working class existence.

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14 Jul 2016 // 2:30 AM

Inter Arma: Paradise Gallows

Typhoon-sized riffs and adventurous song structures define Paradise Gallows, the latest release by Virginia metal outfit Inter Arma.

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14 Jul 2016 // 2:20 AM

Aphex Twin: Cheetah

Harnessing older sounds into something that sounds modern, the Cheetah EP transforms grotesque synth into something that sounds human.

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Various Artists: Boombox - Early Independent Hip Hop, Electro and Disco Rap 79-82

None of the artists on this in-depth Soul Jazz compilation went on to achieve Bambaataa levels of fame, but nearly 35 years removed, that early hip-hop flavor remains as fresh as ever.

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Chromatics: Cherry / Just Like You EP

The ever-prolific Johnny Jewel returns to his main project with two new releases that further assert his prodigious talent.

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‘Adultery’ Makes a Legal Argument With Clarity

Deborah L. Rhode examines infidelity in a variety of arenas; from the military to politics, from marriage to alternative lifestyles.

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‘The Night Of’ Is HBO’s Great New Noir

In the snappy but long-fuse start to this promising new HBO miniseries, a night of bad decisions and a conveniently patchy memory sends a prototypical "good kid" from Queens tumbling through the Dante-esque tribulation of the legal process.

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‘Global Punk’: The Longevity of Punk Encourages

No previous survey of punk has likely examined a Celtic band from Indonesia, or swept across the Basque Country, Poland, and Edinburgh as well as Long Island, Chicago, or Austin.

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Fantastic Negrito’s “Working Poor” Is the Soundtrack to the Summer of ‘16

America's working poor exist in a shadow cast by the harsh light of prosperity. "Working Poor" speaks from those shadows, creates light within that space, and insists on being heard.

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Only Tongues Can Tell: A Conversation with Frank Reader of the Trashcan Sinatras

Trashcan Sinatras bassist Frank Reader discusses the band's new album, the origins of the group and the reality of being a working musician in 2016.

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13 Jul 2016 // 2:30 AM

The Avalanches: Wildflower

Wildflower is an hour-long musical journey through dimensions of sound and invention that were previously only accessible via the Avalanches' magical debut.

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The Sad Rest of Kurt Cobain

Nick Soulsby’s interview book for completists is not meant to entertain -- it's a 500-page death march.

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Brad Mehldau Trio: Blues and Ballads

Twenty-five years into a great career, Brad Mehldau issues one of subtlest and most comfortable trio performances.

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Stage 773’s Comedy Ensemble Unlikely Company Finds Their Footing in Farce

Unlikely Company’s talented ensemble finds both the humor and the melody in adult life, urging us to laugh at our own indulgent banality.

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13 Jul 2016 // 2:15 AM

M. Craft: Blood Moon

Blood Moon is a quiet album made at a time when everything else churned out these days comes with pomp and circumstance at wake-the-dead volume levels.

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Various Artists: Day of the Dead

Aaron and Bryce Dessner have masterfully assembled a dizzying array of contemporary artists to reinterpret the songs of the Grateful Dead.

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The 2016 Saskatchewan Jazz Festival

Ms. Lauryn Hill, Metric, and Hiromi highlighted a diverse opening weekend of the 30th annual festival.

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12 Jul 2016 // 10:00 AM

Bloodline: Season 2

The black sheep finds his herd in an excellent second season for Netflix's Bloodline

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‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ Is a Crash Course of Self-discovery and Independence

Richard Linklater's spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused hits the '80s with a little education and a lot of partying: self-discovery lies somewhere between.

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Roadies: Season 1, Episode 3 - “The Bryce Newman Letter”

It's all fun and games, until a wild critic is sent into the midst of the Fellini meets The Monkees tour of the Staton-House Band.

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‘The Technomancer’ Takes Your Suspension of Disbelief for Granted

The Technomancer's botched combat system and lazily constructed narrative undermine an otherwise interesting premise.

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‘Horses, Horses, In the End the Light Remains Pure’

Hideo Furukawa’s journey into Fukushima, post 3/11, is a journey into overlapping, concentric circles.

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“It’s not something you get to play very often”: Interview with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s Clark Gregg

Clark Gregg shares his insights on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the MCU, and whether his Lip Sync Battle moment influences his performance.

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Brexit Blues: It’s the Anti-Intellectualism, Stupid

'Leave' campaign figurehead Michael Gove set the tone in early June when he claimed that ‘people in this country have had enough of experts’.

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12 Jul 2016 // 2:30 AM

Blood Orange: Freetown Sound

It’s a flawed love-letter to the '80s, to the people who just want to dance, to the people who feel marginalized, to the people who feel oppressed. Given recent events, it’s an uplifting album in embarrassing times.

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12 Jul 2016 // 2:20 AM

Moon Bros.: These Stars

A post-rock homage to the rich vein of cinematic western music, Matt Schneider’s Moon Bros. offers a warm kind of cool.

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12 Jul 2016 // 2:15 AM

Beth Orton: Kidsticks

British songwriter Beth Orton stretches to the heavens on her latest album.

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12 Jul 2016 // 2:10 AM

Kaytranada: 99.9%

Montreal-based producer Kaytranada attempts a lot of things on his debut. When he hits the mark, it's great. If only he hit the mark just a bit more often.

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James Thomas Shares His Oddball Sensibilities in Book Form

Why the Long Joke? is the perfect anecdote to all of the sad and terrible news and information with which we are pummeled on a daily basis.

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“No One Creates Art in a Vacuum”: An Interview with Car Seat Headrest

One of the most promising indie songwriters in a generation, Car Seat Headrest's Will Toledo talks about revisiting old material, living a modern life abutting Colonial Williamsburg, and the way that artists have always built on each other's ideas ... or at least until now.

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Corin Raymond: Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams

The weird and wonderful side of Americana.

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11 Jul 2016 // 10:50 AM

Jeff Parker: The New Breed

While unpacking boxes, Chicago guitarist Jeff Parker found demos for a fun, nifty little album that stands equal to his day job in Tortoise.

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UnREAL: Season 2, Episode 5 - “Infiltration”

If "Treason" was about betrayal, this episode keeps the theme going while dealing with some long-simmering consequences.

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Is Justice Merely Forgetfulness in ‘Justice League Rebirth #1’?

Apparently, the death of Superman and the absence of Hal Jordan don't matter.

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Outlander: Season 2, Episode 12 - “The Hail Mary”

On the eve of Culloden, it's the twists and turns in everyone's relationships that are front and center.

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‘The Naked Blogger of Cairo’ Combines Erudition With Style and Wit

Dwelling on the role of social media in political upheaval risks ignoring the human body, which lies at the root of creative insurgency.

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11 Jul 2016 // 3:00 AM

Pop Music and the Demise of Genre

Is musical genre outdated in today's Network Society? Or might it be harnessed for democratic ends?

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11 Jul 2016 // 2:30 AM

ScHoolboy Q: Blank Face

This is some 74 minutes of dark nights on the West Coast, looking for temporary satisfaction in women and drugs, with a production and feature roster that’ll make you drool.

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11 Jul 2016 // 2:20 AM

Kaleo: A/B

Kaleo exhibit raw, aggressive talent with their first American full-length, eager to showcase their wide skillset of styles and genres.

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11 Jul 2016 // 2:15 AM

Ben Trickey: Choke & Croon

The Atlanta-based singer-songwriter serves notice that he is ready for a larger stage, offering nine songs that embody our age of anxiety.

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‘Dissent & Disruption: Alan Clarke at the BBC’ Is a Radical Revelation

Period adaptations, pagan pastorals, hard-hitting experimenta, and Bowie in Brecht: the BFI’s collection of Alan Clarke’s work at the BBC is essential, revelatory viewing.

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‘Warren Zevon: Desperado of Los Angeles’ and the Balance of Fandom and Criticism

George Plasketes has to balance fan appreciation and critical detachment here. He succeeds in providing a deep compendium of all things Zevon.

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‘Zero Days’ Makes Clear: Innovation in Warfare Is Governed by Short-sightedness

The US, so brilliantly networked, so technologically advanced, is "the most vulnerable nation on earth".

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‘Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates’ Abandons Comedy at the Altar

A collection of stupid people doing stupid things that even the stupidest person wouldn’t do.

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Robert Altman’s ‘The Player’ Is Art—Now More than Ever

Robert Altman's multi-layered sarcastic skewering of Hollywood culture still has to be seen to be believed, from the first moment to the last.

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Róisín Murphy: Take Her Up to Monto

Róisín Murphy's fourth album is an ambitious, intoxicating blend of art pop, jazzy cabaret, and cautionary love songs.

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Preacher: Season 1, Episode 6 – “Sundowner”

The true battle lines are finally drawn in a revelatory and impressive episode.

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Familiar Tones Bring New Life to Spider-Man on the Internet

Hannah Blumenreich's Spidey Zine takes the classic character through old paths on the digital highway.

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Roadies: Season 1, Episode 2 - “What Would Phil Do?”

Roadies shifts from the magic-surrealism of music love to the down-to-Earth mishaps of a road comedy in a big, entertaining step up from the pilot.

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The 100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the ‘90s - Part 1 (100 - 81)

The first part of our examination of the 100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the '90s, starting with 100 through 81. Stay tuned for part two on July 11th.

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‘Haven: The Final Season’ Barrels Like a Freight Train Toward Its Conclusion

The "final Season" of Haven rushes toward a satisfying end through inordinate amounts of death and destruction so that love can ultimately triumph.

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‘The Statesman and the Storyteller’: The Imperatives of State and the Imperatives of Conscience

Mark Zwonitzer's work offers a searing and sobering exploration of how America’s imperialist century opened: just as brutally as it would end.

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Like Its Titular Character, ‘The Phenom’ Is an Uneven Film, But Holds Promise

The Phenom is at once remarkable for both its transfixing cinematography and Johnny Simmons's tightly coiled performance, but it's mired by its over reliance on exposition.

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In ‘Cool Characters’, a Cultural Monstrosity Is Wrangled

Lee Konstantinou provides America with the definition of "Irony" it probably needs. As long as there's a dictionary nearby.

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‘Inside’ Embodies the Horrors of Collectivism

Like Limbo, Inside never tells you what you should do. Instead, by killing you, it only suggests, “Don't do that”.

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Forays Into the Fragment: Heidegger and Kant

Our relationship with fragments of art is one of a desiring proximity predicated upon an unfathomable and necessary distance.

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Roadies: Season 1 Episode 1 - “Life is a Carnival”

Rock 'n' roll is still the untellable enigma that us plebes will never understand in the pilot for Cameron Crowe's show about the backstage lives of our idols.

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UnREAL: Season 2, Episode 4 - “Treason”

Regardless of the state of Quinn and Rachel’s current relationship, theirs is the central one on UnREAL.

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‘Country Comes to Town’ Illuminates Nashville’s and Country Music’s Internal Struggles

A fascinating piece of analysis about Music City, USA, Jeremy Hill's book is a thoughtful and thorough urban scholarship on origins and authenticity, among other things.

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A Beautiful Restoration of a Modern Classic: Bille August’s ‘The Best Intentions’

Bille August's The Best Intentions with a screenplay by Ingmar Bergman, offers a view of the tumultuous relationship of Bergman's parents

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The Veridical Dream: Running on Empty With Etienne Daho

It’s funny how a dream, which has its basis in the intangible unknown and is full of fanciful fabrications, can lead to an indisputable truth. Daho soundtracks such dreams.

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5 Jul 2016 // 10:00 AM

Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle: Seasons 1 to 4

Stewart Lee's series offers rare fidelity to the "warts and all" of live comedy.

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Strained Sweetness Leads to a Bitter Feeling in ‘No Stranger Than Love’

Obsessing over gross small town stereotypes, facile symbolism, and mawkish philosophical exposition, this is an uneven mess, and misses opportunities.

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5 Jul 2016 // 9:00 AM

Lady Dynamite: Season 1

Lady Dynamite is wonderfully weird, brutally honest, and always very funny.

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Who Doesn’t Love the Smell of New Book?

"The sensual experience of reading still exerts its hold on us, as does the desire to represent and display our knowledge, attitudes, and passions on our bookshelves."

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‘The Purge: Election Year’ and Its Institutional Monsters

This film doesn't work too hard at making a wholly moral result inevitable, for it must deliver nasty death scenes, sacrifices and scares.

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Thomas-Christopher-Greene’s Well-Crafted Vignettes in ‘If I Forget You’

Green’s new novel takes about 30 pages to get used to, but once our seatbelts are securely fastened and we have attained cruising altitude, it's difficult to put down.

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‘The Legend of Tarzan’ Is Samuel L. Jackson’s Show

George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson) is shoehorned into this movie to make sense of the white savior, Tarzan.

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Preacher: Season 1, Episode 5 - “South Will Rise Again”

Preacher gets cocky, Tulip gets jealous, Cassidy gets laid, and Quincannon serves God (kinda) in season one's halfway point.

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1 Jul 2016 // 8:53 AM

Broods: Conscious

Broods continue to refine their infectious, high-stakes electropop on Conscious. Here, the songs are higher in intensity and wider in scope, and Georgia Nott delivers some of her most arresting vocal performances to date

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Sara Watkins: Young in All the Wrong Ways

On her third solo release, Sara Watkins struggles to find a true sense of self following the end of a relationship, resulting in a multi-level transitional exercise in soul-baring and genre-hopping.

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‘Swiss Army Man’ Is a Boundlessly Creative Freak-show

Terrific performances and a whip-smart script propel this fearless dramedy to dizzying heights of sublime stupidity.

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Of Sweaty Basements, Short Skirts and the Paisley Underground: Vicki Peterson of the Bangles

The Bangles surveyed Los Angeles in the aftermath of punk and forged a new way. A new compilation looks back on that time as Vicki Peterson remembers the thrill of hearing herself on the radio for the first time and the terror of the group's first tour.

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Coulda Been Country: The Allman Brothers Dickey Betts’ Great Southern Songs

The Allman Brothers band receives attention for its southern rock tendencies, but its secret weapon was, for a time, the country inflections brought forth by guitarist Dickey Betts.

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Feminist Classic ‘Antonia’s Line’ Is Still Rewarding, Still Relevant

Given the wider "war on women", and an intensified "rape culture", Antonia's Line, now on Blu-ray, is as relevant as ever.

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‘The BFG’ Is a Modestly Magical Film for a Grimly Realistic Age

In a deft interplay of shadow and hint, Spielberg shows again his organic genius for the long reveal.

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BrainDead: Season 1, Episode 3 - “Goring Oxes…”

After a week in which this series finds its groove, the BrainDead universe hits a speed bump.

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If Only ‘Everything Is Teeth’ Had Been Content to Remain a Mood Piece

It's as though Wyld is, ironically, scared of writing a story willing to give fear its due.

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Spaceships and Scoundrels: An Interview With ‘Dark Matter’s Anthony Lemke

Dark Matter's Anthony Lemke discusses working on a genre show, sci-fi fandom, and ill-fitting pants.

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30 Jun 2016 // 2:30 AM

Maxwell: blackSUMMERS’night

Just over 20 years after his debut album wowed audiences, blackSUMMERS'night is upon us.

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Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders: Garcia Live Volume Six: July 5, 1973

Their partnership lasted about four years and 250 shows but a new archival record suggests that it was some of the best music either Merl Saunders or Jerry Garcia made at the time. And just who is that mystery trumpeter?

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‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ Is a Very Western Guide to Afghanistan

Out on Blu-Ray, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot brings a few laughs and some mixed messages.

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Elizabeth Cook: Exodus of Venus

It takes more than “balls”, as Cook used to sing, to get through life. Being tough is not enough.

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Various Artists: Studio One Dub Fire Special

Studio One Dub Fire Special is as clear an overview of dub’s most basic essence as you could ask for.

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//Mixed media
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I Don't Get 'Pokémon Go'

// Moving Pixels

"I’ve never felt more out of touch.

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