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15 Sep 2016 // 2:20 AM

Preoccupations: Preoccupations

Preoccupations is a battlefield survey from the struggle against internal and external impediments that encroach upon life and health.

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15 Sep 2016 // 2:15 AM

Morgan Delt: Phase Zero

Delt sounds like a vinyl LP left out in the LA sun, with the melted wax frozen into a popsicle that melts perfectly while you eat it.

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Led Zeppelin Loathed, Loved, Copied, Scrutinized and Glorified

For Zeppelin fanatics, Marc Roberty’s book will become an enduring bible of the good times, the bad times and even the boring times.

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BrainDead: Season 1, Episodes 12 and 13, “Talking Points ... ” and “The End ...”

As BrainDead says so long for the summer, it reaches its highest point yet.

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The Complicated Story of Race and Rock ‘n’ Roll in the ‘60s

In Just Around Midnight, Jack Hamilton explains what happened over the course of the '60s that turned rock 'n' roll white.

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14 Sep 2016 // 2:30 AM

Bastille: Wild World

Wild World sounds big, but it also sounds like more of the same.

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Let the Critics Out of the Closet

Anonymity turns restaurant critics into some kind of stealthy ninja with a distant or even adversarial stance, and this benefits no one.

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Wrekmeister Harmonies: Light Falls

Wrekmeister Harmonies' impressive new record, Light Falls, pairs down the number of guests and creates a central band, a smaller group on which to build a new kind of composition.

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Harrison: Checkpoint Titanium

While there are moments of humanity here, Harrison does not do enough to capitalize on his own strengths, and his weakness for generic sound palettes causes the album to sink.

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The Headcase and the Hydra: Why Jason Bourne Doesn’t Work as a Franchise Hero

Jason Bourne has big shoulders, but carrying the burden of misinterpretation is too much; he can’t chart a hero’s journey conceived in a rat’s nest.

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Chad & Jeremy: Yesterday’s Gone: Complete Ember & World Artists Recordings

Cherry Red collects Chad & Jeremy’s complete early albums along with a handful of singles, alternate mixes, B-sides, and live cuts, resulting in a hodgepodge that's equal parts beauty and filler.

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Life and Death, Worry and Humor: On Performing Beethoven’s String Quartets

Takács Quartet violinist Edward Dusinberre takes the listener-turned-reader on a guided tour between the notes of Beethoven's bewildering string quartets.

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Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer: Off-Grid Lo-Fi

A scintillating third step in what will hopefully be a very long ascent forward for the duo as they pave the way out for the rest of their career.

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Petunia and the Vipers: Dead Bird on the Highway

The wild quintet fuses country, rock, Cajun, and jazz influences for a weird and wonderful collection.

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Music with a Capital “M”: An Interview With Ethan Iverson of the Bad Plus

The Bad Plus may be known for their revisionist covers of pop songs, but pianist Ethan Iverson proudly reflects on jazz’s past and shares his hopes and fears about its future.

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Artist Phil Collins Examines How War Is Presented to the Public in ‘how to make a refugee’

Phil Collins examines the consumerist aspects of depicting war in his short film 'how to make a refugee'.

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Atlanta: Season 1, Episodes 1 and 2 - “The Big Bang” and “Streets on Lock”

Donald Glover's new series Atlanta is a confident and fully formed comedy.

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Restoring the ‘Women of Abstract Expressionism’

A well-designed, absorbing effort to restore women artists to their proper place in the history of the movement.

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Soundwalk Collective, Jesse Paris Smith and Patti Smith Pay Tribute to Nico’s Haunting Poetry

The works of the German art rock singer, who died in 1988, are reinterpreted through this ambient-sounding collaboration with Patti Smith.

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The Long, Hot Summer of 2016: How We Got Over

Simone Manuel’s winning a gold medal in this particular Olympic swimming event in this particular summer gave the especially besieged among us a chance to take a break from the siege.

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13 Sep 2016 // 2:30 AM

M.I.A.: AIM

M.I.A.'s pop-centric fifth and supposedly final album feels much more like a pit stop than a destination.

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13 Sep 2016 // 2:20 AM

The Divine Comedy: Foreverland

With the Divine Comedy's 11th studio album songwriter Neil Hannon delivers romance, comedy, and 18th century Russian history.

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Warhaus: We Fucked a Flame Into Being

Balthazar singer and multi-instrumentalist Maarten Devoldere makes a wish upon a Jim Thompson novel for his debut as Warhaus.

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This Next Number Will Be a Blues: Son House, Endings, Restarts, and a Delta Triptych

If you haven't heard the 80th anniversary CD of House’s first session, you have one of the most visceral, galvanizing musical experiences awaiting you.

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The Turtles: All the Singles

This collection is for the completest or the historian.

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Tokyo Police Club: Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness (Part One)

Tokyo Police Club were a hype band in 2006. Ten years and multiple full-length releases later, Tokyo Police Club have continued to make pretty much the same music.

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Envisioning a World With No Need of Humans in ‘The Age of Em’

The next great era will dawn sometime in the 22nd century, its outline shaped by a disruptive technology: “brain emulation”.

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12 Sep 2016 // 9:00 AM

Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll: Season 2

Denis Leary investigating his own mortality is just one way season two of Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll shows why the series deserves a third season.

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Dreaming the Book: The Works of Antonio Tabucchi and Fernando Pessoa

These writings evoke a powerful, hypnagogic imagery, presenting possible scenes from Pessoa’s impossible dreams.

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Artful Conversation in ‘The Return of Rubén Blades’

Like the man himself, The Return of Rubén Blades is proof that art is important, but only a part of living a rich, thoughtful life.

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Sumptuous Buffoonery: The Continuing Appeal of ‘Jeeves and Wooster’

A combination of Fry and Laurie's talents and timeless source material keeps Jeeves and Wooster funny more than 20 years later.

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12 Sep 2016 // 2:30 AM

Wilco: Schmilco

On their tenth studio album, Wilco dial down the noise but remain compelling, edgy and tuneful.

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Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Suzanne Ciani: FRKWYS Vol. 13: Sunergy

On Sunergy, the intimacy with which Smith and Ciani collaborate is striking, and the best parts of the record pull you into that quiet conversation.

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12 Sep 2016 // 2:15 AM

WWWings: Phoenix

WWWings drop brutal nightmarish post-internet music on the masses from the Russian motherland

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12 Sep 2016 // 2:10 AM

Butch Walker: Stay Gold

Butch Walker gives his greatest performance to date on heart-filled album.

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Juliet Nicolson Breaks the Cycle of Unhappiness in ‘A House Full of Daughters’

Juliet Nicolson has a storied family tree, the family writing talent, and an unhappy legacy: which she reversed.

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12 Sep 2016 // 2:05 AM

YG: Still Brazy (take 2)

On Still Brazy, unresolved tensions tug at YG.

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Foreverland: An Interview with Neil Hannon of the Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy frontman discusses his latest record, cricket, composing operas, Gilbert & Sullivan, posthumous fame, musicals, his European tour, and "Catherine The Great".

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Is the Flash Fast Enough in Season 2?

The Flash remains true to its namesake character and proves that DC Comics can indeed be translated successfully (and accurately) into live action.

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Jerry Castle: Not So Soft Landing…

The songwriting is sound and Castle himself proves authentic enough to be the only one to steer his tracks forward.

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Joanna Wallfisch: Gardens in My Mind

An orchestral merging of classical, jazz, and folk styles that is equal parts eloquent, fun, and sincere.

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Mr. Robot: Season 2, Episode 10 - “h1dden-pr0cess.axx”

The frayed parts of the Mr. Robot universe begin to come together as we enter the final stretch of season two.

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Exposing the Ridiculousness of Hypermasculinity: An Interview With Justin Tipping

Walk in his shoes. Filmmaker Justin Tipping talks about his feature debut, Kicks, and redefining modern masculinity.

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Fear the Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 10 - “Do Not Disturb”

Chris's bloodlust reaches a crisis point for his father Travis; meanwhile, Alicia and a new ally struggle to reach Madison and Strand.

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‘Global Undergrounds’: The Lost, Forgotten, and Hidden Places Beneath Our Feet

Readers may use their own backgrounds and interests to frame the 80 underground sites surveyed here, but the differing storytelling styles allow a few rich stories to shine through.

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“We Became the Band We Set Out Against”: An Interview with Wild Beasts

"This album is the first time where someone says, 'Hey, I like the sound of you guys. What are you called?' And I'd say Wild Beasts. And they'd say, 'Oh, obviously.'"

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Clint Eastwood’s ‘Sully’ Belly-flops

Clint Eastwood's latest is riddled with structural flaws and baffling directorial choices.

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The Verve: A Storm in Heaven / A Northern Soul

If the Verve had stayed broken up after their 1995 split, leaving behind only the music on these two reissues, it still would have been enough.

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Question Everything, Especially If You Believe in It: An Interview With Stuart Jeffries

It’s difficult to imagine today’s neoliberal universities producing anything remotely like critical theory, or even a school of thought that substantively challenges prevailing intellectual paradigms.

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The Dear Hunter: Act V: Hymns with the Devil in Confessional

While it feels a bit too much like Act IV, Part II at times, Act V is still another magnum opus.

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9 Sep 2016 // 2:15 AM

Chook Race: Around the House

Australian bedroom-pop outfit Chook Race put together a vibrant and hopeful breakthrough record.

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Terra Lightfoot: Every Time My Mind Runs Wild

Catchy, soulful, and genuine, Lightfoot’s latest efforts soar just as much as her soulful vocals.

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The Brandi Carlile and Old Crow Medicine Show Revue Thrills Tucson

Brandi Carlile and Old Crow Medicine Show entertain Tucson as a conjoined entity with incredible Americana flair.

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‘Supergirl #1’: Same Symbol, Different Journey

Within her cousin's shadow, Kara Zor-El forges her own path.

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BrainDead: Season 1, Episode 11 - “Six Points ...”

With only one week left, BrainDead picks up the pace, and boy, does it work.

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‘Multiple Choice’ Is Like a Mark Rothko or Jackson Pollock Painting

This sparse, abstract literary text gives us ample room to interpret and to question the very notion of interpretation.

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‘Ohklos’ Combines the Humorous Abstraction of 16-bit Games with the Slickness of a Modern Game

Ohklos could pass any elevator pitch, but it never grows beyond that elevator pitch.

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8 Sep 2016 // 8:14 AM

Maren Morris: Hero

From the very first song off of her highly anticipated big label debut, Maren Morris makes it clear that she is more interested in creating refreshing, genre-defying anthems than limiting herself to the overused, underwhelming country formula.

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Mild High Club: Skiptracing

As can be assumed with a group named Mild High Club, the journey they take us on during Skiptracing is a little woozy yet pleasurable. You just might crack a half-smile.

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8 Sep 2016 // 7:54 AM

Whiskey Myers: Mud

Despite making notable efforts to diversify their style, Whiskey Myers still "love it deep down in the South" on Mud.

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8 Sep 2016 // 7:38 AM

Cass McCombs: Mangy Love

Cass McCombs, one of the foremost character architects in the contemporary indie scene, introduces a new dramatis personae of eccentrics and troubled souls on Mangy Love.

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19 Years on, ‘South Park’ Is Serialized, Fully Realized, Never Homogenized SoDoSoPa

Who better to mock and satirize our world than our ever-evolving South Park characters?

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Taking the Bitter With the Swede: Adam Tensta’s Moody Hip-Hop Soul

One of Sweden's most outspoken and celebrated rappers returns with an album of eerie hip-hop noir, where the heavy grooves luxuriate in the nebulous fog of despair.

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Hip-Hop Abroad: An Interview With Chad Hartigan and Markees Christmas

Chad Hartigan and Markees Christmas break down their new cross-cultural, coming-of-age movie, Morris From America.

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8 Sep 2016 // 2:30 AM

Okkervil River: Away

Wherever Will Sheff sets his guitar case down, there is Okkervil River.

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8 Sep 2016 // 2:30 AM

The Reluctant Superhero: The Bionics

Television sci-fi finally landed on a winning formula with the reluctant, cyborg-like bionic superheroes, Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers.

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Sex, Lies, and Sleeping Aids: ‘Scary Old Sex’

On the whole, Heyman definitely has a sharp, witty take on heterosexual relations and is attuned to the comedy inherent in the act itself.

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7 Sep 2016 // 12:44 PM

Geeking Out: Season 1

Renaissance man Kevin Smith tries his hands at a fluff talk show; it's better than most, but still limited by the genre.

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Tights and Pride in ‘Arrow: The Complete Fourth Season’

The fourth season of Arrow looks toward a wider universe.

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Hometown Blues: An Interview With John Krasinski and Margo Martindale of ‘The Hollars’

John Krasinski and Margo Martindale talk about family, parenthood, and their new film, The Hollars.

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On the Art of Pairing Cover Art With Literature: Classic Penguin: Cover to Cover

The kind of detail and broader thinking that goes into creating a singular design aesthetic for a Penguin series is often imaginative, clever, and beautiful.

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7 Sep 2016 // 2:30 AM

Teenage Fanclub: Here

Teenage Fanclub sounds timeless as the band upsets the pure melodic centers of these songs with masterful, subtle shifts in layering and tone.

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At Last, a Sober and Punk Rendering of Bruce Springsteen’s Life and Work

Boss is a solid book because the firm, understated power of Gillian Gaar’s gutter feminist voice cuts through all that glitters around Springsteen.

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7 Sep 2016 // 2:20 AM

Allah-Las: Calico Review

The sound may be retro, but Allah-Las focus upon the now with a strong set of songs on their third release.

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7 Sep 2016 // 2:15 AM

Mike Keneally: Scambot 2

The most brilliant multi-instrumentalist you’ve never heard of releases a stunning new album that sounds like a rock opera co-written by Thomas Pynchon and Kurt Vonnegut.

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Tower Records in a Nutshell: ‘All Things Must Pass’

A nostalgic and warm look at a defunct record chain that brings the real substance and heart of the rise and fall.

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Niki and the Dove: Everybody’s Heart Is Broken Now

An incredibly unprecedented but refreshing shift in focus by one of Sweden's best.

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The Valley Unpleasant in ‘Mount Pleasant’

Ruined by blind ambition, Mount Pleasant stands as a cautionary tale to any writer possessed of more aspiration than art.

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The Traveling Wilburys: The Traveling Wilburys Collection

The fact that the Traveling Wilburys even happened is what will be remembered most about the group, less so the songs they wrote together.

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“I Want to Feel Something Real”: An Interview With St. Paul and the Broken Bones

Paul Janeway of St. Paul and the Broken Bones talks with PopMatters about the band's quick rise and the inspirations, faith, art, and business behind new album Sea of Noise.

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‘Southside With You’ Is Strong on National Character

The Obama Administration is a testament to rising from progressive grassroots politics to The White House, and a small scale indie is an ideal medium for the Obama family’s origin story.

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‘Seinfeldia’: Yada yada yada ...

Seinfeld may have been “a show about nothing”, but Seinfeldia has plenty of fascinating things to say about it.

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Out of the Ashes and Making Smashes: Welcoming Whitney

Born from the ashes of Chicago's beloved rock stalwarts Smith Westerns comes Whitney: a sly pop duo whose sharp changes in direction and sound may very well change your life.

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While the Film Thinks She’s Special, ‘Morgan’ Is Not

A tired almost-trainwreck which borrows so heavily from the past that it's practically an antique.

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Travis Scott: Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight

After impressing with the Gothic grandeur of Rodeo, Travis Scott tries to make a cocktail with the same drugs on his sophomore album but fails to achieve the same high.

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Lucy Dacus: No Burden

Lucy Dacus’s new album, No Burden, is exactly the opposite of its namesake. For her, it is a life-changer and an obstruction.

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Toro Y Moi: Live From Trona

Toro Y Moi revitalizes old songs of his and ends up with one of the best live albums this year.

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Dusty Springfield: Reputation (Expanded Deluxe Collector’s Edition)

This might suffer from too much anonymous dance filler, but there are enough reminders why Springfield's place in the all-time vocal pantheon is fully merited.

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Stephen Fry Would Love Christian Thielemann’s ‘My Life with Wagner’

Part memoir, part biography, and mostly lumbering essay, this is Thielemann imparting a Wagner fan's point of view from the conductor's podium.

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“What’s Wrong With You?” Girlhood, Genre, and ‘Stranger Things’

Stranger Things is part of a long cinematic tradition of boyhood, including steamrolling more nuanced portrayals of girlhood.

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Hard Working Americans Conjure Vintage Vibes at the Fillmore

The Fillmore is elevated into its higher realm as a transformative sonic temple of sound and light.

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Fear the Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 9 - “Los Muertos”

Nick discovers a new set of friends, Strand and Madison bond over tequila, and Ofelia asks if it's worth going on in a world full of walkers.

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2 Sep 2016 // 9:42 AM

Shura: Nothing’s Real

Shura's thoughtful and emotionally resonant debut is as appreciative of the past as it is cognizant of its place in the present.

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Body-Swapping Superhero Slapstick in ‘All-New Wolverine Annual #1’

A body-swapping story that is high in entertainment value, but shallow in depth.

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Wilson Pickett: Land of 1,000 Dances - The Complete Atlantic Singles Vol. 1

In the first of a three-part set, the highly fertile artistic period of one of soul music's most powerful voices is lovingly chronicled.

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Radiohead’s Sublime Return to New York City (MSG Photos)

Radiohead performed "Creep" in New York City for a lucky 15,000 people (give or take).

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Roadies: Season 1, Episode 10 - “The Load Out”

In the season finale, we bid good-bye to larger-than-life uber-roadie Phil Valentine and wrap up the other, somewhat lacking, plot lines.

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‘The Light Between Oceans’ Is Dimmed by Predictable Melodrama

Cianfrance’s adaptation of the popular novel is an agonizing and deathly cold slog in shallow waters.

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Are You ‘Wasting Time on the Internet’? Is That Such a Bad Thing?

"I’m reading these days -- ironically, on the web -- that we don’t read anymore."

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‘The Walking Dead: S6’ Shows You Have More to Fear From Other Humans Than From Zombies

Since no one ever says the word "zombie", it's easy to assume such a thing doesn't exist in this world. This has allowed the characters to be unsure of what's happening to them.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

20 Questions: Rachael Yamagata

// Sound Affects

"After a four year break since her last album, Rachael Yamagata reveals a love of spreadsheets, a love for Streisand, and why it's totally OK to suck at playing guitar.

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