Monday, March 9 2015
If death haunts fewer of the stories collected here than one might imagine, it's because there are things worse than death.
Hurry Sundown, Skidoo, and Such Good Friends welcome you to a world of crowded frames and uncertain tones.
PopMatters begins its look back at Radiohead's The Bends today. Here we examine The Bends track by track, examining it from angles spanning the cultural to the theoretical.
Rebel Heart has a profoundly human element to it, one that paints Madonna more as a person than a product, which is in and of itself a minor miracle.
Moments of calm within the hurricane rush of massed vocals and guitars, from a young York, England, punk trio.
In some ways, the line from his first album in 1962 to this one is straight and short, especially when one considers that Paxton has released more than 50 discs over the years.
Mourn condense the essence of Sleater-Kinney and PJ Harvey into an impressive bite-size debut.
Austrian bassist Georg Breinschmid has done it all on one release, a miracle to be shared by all.
Friday, March 6 2015
If you liked the first one, you'll love this return trip. All others should perhaps consider booking their entertainment lodging elsewhere.
Chappie is a weird combination of science fiction and South African rage-rap culture that's so off key, you can't see the good for the god-awful.
Unfinished Business is like a juggler given too many divergent elements to manage.
Comics covers may not always reflect what's inside, but it's difficult to see covers as distinct from the books they adorn.
Rebels is the book I was waiting for Brian Wood to attempt. Since long before Local, since before Northlanders since even before DMZ. It’s the story of the American Revolution, told in a way that only Brian Wood can.
The crowd is riveted to the intensity of the performance; some barely moving as they watch the stage, almost reverent in their witness. Sleater-Kinney has walked out onto the ledge with us and back. Again.
Sometimes the most successful and acclaimed films are marked and marred by the absolutely worst sequels imaginable.
These eight films collectively demonstrate a master filmmaker with a total understanding and command of cinematic language.
Seminal Scottish punkers show they’ve still got what it takes.
Expanded re-issue of CVB’s 2004 epic New Roman Times remains ambitiously thrilling.
Those of us who write only wish for half of author Priya Parmar’s talents, whose writing is a lovely, lilting thing.
Driver is heavy on melodies and breezy in its effortlessness. It's the kind of album that moves in different ways during different times and reveals aural layers on multiple listens.
JJ Grey and Mofro provide a connection to the past and a time when talent and tenacity moved the music forward.
A "new" CD of Ralph Stanley duets provides an easy metaphor for how music is currently sold.
Thursday, March 5 2015
Last month’s Moon Knight #12 saw the conclusion of the second arc of the book. But with two different creative teams and two different approaches, is this even the same book? Or an under-the-radar reboot?
Florian Illies embraces the importance of moments as he peers into a fragmented past to offer something that is simple yet monumental.
More than fetishizing his prizes, the collector fetishizes his own obsessiveness and glorious blindness to the machinations of what non-collectors call “real life”.
Les Blank's intimate documentaries are staged when time slows and music, food, and community come together.
Maison Close might not quite uplift you; but, then again, many of the best and most realistic series on television usually don’t.
Noel Gallagher may not be completely chasing yesterday, but he certainly isn't moving forward.
The Old Crow Medicine Show member stretches his solo songwriting muscle on his self-titled release.
Barry Miles' work depicts a complicated human being and visionary artist who has too often been dehumanized and made one-dimensional.
The deep, rich sound of Pops’ guitar captures the immense spirit of a human being that cannot be seen in the physical manifestation of a man.
Kid Ink is a major label rapper, and Full Speed is his collection of major label rap song facsimiles.
Martin Callingham plays it safe with a series of watery folk numbers that might soothe but are too slack and too nebulous to exert any real power.
Wednesday, March 4 2015
Batgirl began her stay with the kind of bang that could only come from being anointed by social media. In this issue, we see that fake love begin to unravel.
As in any scene, bands form, break up, and share the stage with each other, and the strong sense of community felt by the Lookout alums runs through the pages.
Akashic Noir series continues to serve up delightful and disturbing gems that offer remarkable insights into the world’s great (and not-so-great) cities.
The world's most popular Wham City wonk who transcended his viral video notoriety to make transcendent pop music loves Less Than Jake. He also has a stress addiction, and his new album Gliss Riffer all stems from, of all things, a mixtape.
Like all adaptations of this classic work of erotic literature, this film misses the mark in capturing any of the poignancy of the novel's fluid and lyrical prose.
Aureate Gloom is a soliloquy to anyone willing to listen, an intense affirmation of the confusion that comes with change, and of the uncertainty that comes with difficult choices.
Aureate Gloom is momentarily great, but it becomes infuriating in a instant.
What is essentially a live-version of Sunbathing Animal takes the hardest working group of lazy-bones in music to places new and exciting... just before it heads back to places familiar and boring.
The chromatic wash of a futuristic energy glistens over the Brit's latest offering, but stirring beneath are the time-honored signatures of classic pop music.
Waverunner provides a definitive answer to the question "what would it sound like if a veteran Japanese pop producer made an EDM album?"
Christian Lee Hutson stretches his songwriting muscle on Yeah Okay, I Know, but gets bogged down by a dreary overall delivery.
Tuesday, March 3 2015
Gwen Stacy takes on a new role and crafts a new legacy for Spider-Men and Spider-Women alike.
Reporter Jill Leovy’s intimate and intricate story of murder in Los Angeles is part crime epic and part call to arms about a crisis decades in the making.
The attacks of 9/11 may have caused a noticeable shift in the lyrical content of musicians and even sonic changes in the short term, but, in the end, normalcy finds a way to settle in.
Jenn Ghetto is well known for co-founding Carissa’s Wierd. Now as 'S', Ghetto has crafted an indie heartbreak record inspired by Katy Perry.
For Buffy, turning invisible allows her to indulge all her worst impulses; but in doing so, she realizes that she is not embracing life, but fleeing it.
This woman-centric western isn't a lost masterpiece, but rather an entertaining and sometimes fascinating pleasantry.
Purity Ring reinforce their pop charms by tightening their formula on their sophomore album, moving one step closer to pop perfection.
Shadow of the Sun’s fondness for repetition doesn’t come at the sacrifice of the element of surprise.
Amy Speace’s latest album is one that has the potential to take her over the top.
A hard-edged evocation of the free blues spirit of Charlie Parker by a modern saxophonist with the spirit to get Bird right.
Bollywood takes an acid trip in The Rough Guide to Psychedelic India.
Monday, March 2 2015
Fassbinder's stifling drama about the sufferings of dependence is high camp, where the sparks fly with radiant colours.
Its plotholes are not as obvious as they were in Season Two, but Season Three's real strength lies in Clarie Underwood, and her journey makes the best case for House of Cards' staying power yet.
Marz and Malsuni manage the difficult task of remaining true to the legacy of Edgar Rice Burroughs while producing a story that seems fresh and new.
ALO won’t likely be skipping San Diego again any time soon if the crowd reaction on this night was any indication.
The Guilt and the Shadow is more of a tone poem than a puzzle game.
This is an interesting historical survey of how Christian theologians have handled the thorny issue of truth and lies.
Jeff Chang's cultural history tackles how race has played out across the last 50 years, and counting, of American culture.
PopMatters' exclusive interview with Johnny Mathis and Thom Bell celebrates the legacy of a pop music masterpiece, I'm Coming Home (1973).
With her latest, Kelly Clarkson proves that what doesn't kill her (and that voice) only makes her (and that voice) stronger.
The former Soft Cell frontman's latest rejects pop convention for an album-length singer/songwriter collaboration
If Flatlands was a movie, it would have better been entitled Badlands given its barren settings and austere atmosphere.
Although Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair has a fairly distinct color scheme, it deviates enough to resist the pastel end of the indie rock rainbow.
For all the lip-service they pay cooperation, Doomtree's members fight against nobody so much as each other on this dilute offering.
Friday, February 27 2015
Because The Lazarus Effect takes so long getting to the supposedly scary stuff, we have to stay focused on either the characters or the content, and both fail.
This Will Smith vehicle is witty, brash Hollywood entertainment that's sexy, smart, and on the whole, successful.
The interview with creator Jeff Lemire on his newest book Descender, which releases in March.
While not in the vein of Cronenberg's classic body horror thrillers, the bleak showbiz satire Maps to the Stars could well be a horror film after all.
The '30s era Hays Code limited significantly what artists could express and what audiences could see. Today's LGBT media has blasted through all that.
Get a sneak peek of some of March's most compelling new releases, including albums from Courtney Barnett, Purity Ring, and Lightning Bolt.
Ethel Payne's gripping accounts of black life in post-World War II America provided critical information that was largely missing from mainstream journalism.
Lucy's idea of science is akin to a stoner complaining about how math doesn't really exist, but it does have an audacity that many sci-fi thrillers in the present day lack.
Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin's first last album, represents the most grandiose expression of these Brits at the height of their powers.
The rough carpentry of these songs lets the dust fly, lets the grain show, but the songs are all the purer, all the sweeter, for their scuffs.
This noble experiment often overextends its reach, but does so with such charming confidence you can’t help but enjoy its ramshackle pop confections.
Expanded re-mastered releases of Bellybutton and Spilt Milk with live cuts and demos from power pop cult band Jellyfish.
From 1979 to 1982, Andre Gibson's band recorded countless tunes with audio engineering students at Columbia College. Universal Togetherness Band compiles a tight cross-section of those recordings, showing the band's tight chops and expansive taste.
Thursday, February 26 2015
Every character in Bluebird reminds us of how we might deliberately distract ourselves, in ways that simultaneously buffer and generate pain.
Aerosmith has released concert DVDs before, but with Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014, they are on the silver screen for one night only. Tom Hamilton tells us about the hits, the fits, and the pursuit of naughty bits.
Released next Wednesday, Descender's a game-changer. Here's why.
Along the way to Preparation for the Next Life's dramatic conclusion, there's a good deal of lovely, Nabokovian-like descriptive writing.
Questioning cartoons, satire, and the role of the media after the Charlie Hebdo assassinations.
The comic mythologizing of Winnipeg becomes conflated with an urge for Maddin to mythologize himself.
At the peak of his game, Drake has begun to embrace the darker sides of success.
In an age of band reunions where anything is possible, we now have the Pop Group’s first album in 35 years.
Iyer’s trio returns for its ECM debut, a sharp rhythmic workout that continues this musician’s brilliant run.
The Hot Club of Cowtown fiddler Elana James makes it a point to let her folk flag shine high and mightily on Black Beauty.
Goffin understands the importance of keeping everything simple, from the music to the sentiments expressed.
Wednesday, February 25 2015
Mastermen is a masterwork. A perfect 10. The greatest issue yet in this stunningly good series. Bravo, Mr. Morrision! Bravo!
This deeply engrossing and sophisticated Japanese novel unpeels itself in multiple nested narratives over its 855 page length.
For centuries, Tajikistan has seen just about every monarchy, kingdom, religious faith and culture sweep through its land, leaving an indelible impression on its people and music.
He was the man behind hits like "Sugar Sugar" and "Rock Me Gently", but Andy Kim discovered something about himself in the creation of It's Decided, his emotional new album created with Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew.
This Mexican horror remake evokes the mood, atmosphere and acting of the classic era of horror.
On Restarter, Torche delivers the smoothest sludge.
The second instrumental adventure in the land of modular synthesizer from the golden voice of the Sea and Cake.
The Balkan Clarinet Summit has produced one of the most soulful, enjoyable, and diverse collaborative albums in some time.