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Service of the Gods: An Interview With Composer Ramin Djawadi

As composer for Game of Thrones and Westworld, Ramin Djawadi will satiate your wait between seasons by touring his most famous compositions.

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Bert Jansch: Living in the Shadows

A warm, intimate collection of late-period recordings from one of the great unsung heroes of folk music is now available in a lush boxed set.

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27 Jan 2017 // 2:30 AM

Dream Baby Dream: Suicide - A New York Story

In response to the politics, culture and sheer madness of early '70s New York, artist Alan Vega and musician Martin Rev created the counter-cultural performance art statement that was Suicide.

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Max Richter: Three Worlds - Music From Woolf Works

Max Richter’s sound is best served without real pictures but paired with your dreams.

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27 Jan 2017 // 2:15 AM

Ty Segall: Ty Segall

The ever-prolific Ty Segall is back with another collection of rock 'n' roll excellence.

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Brigitte DeMeyer and Will Kimbrough: Mockingbird Soul

DeMeyer and Kimbrough are resolute artists who observe the world through their five senses. They see, hear, touch and even smell the people and places around them.

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Noura Mint Seymali: Arbina

Noura Mint Seymali takes a stripped-down and powerful approach to her psychedelic griot pop.

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The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 5, Joy Division to Gang of Four

This week we are celebrating the best post-punk albums of all-time and today we conclude with part five featuring Joy Division, Gang of Four, Talking Heads and more.

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‘Inhumans vs. X-men #3’ Gives Us Underwhelmingly Misguided Underdogs

In the Inhumans/X-men conflict, one side tries to be an underdog at the expensive of a compelling story.

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Iggy Pop: Post Pop Depression - Live at the Royal Albert Hall

Half a century into an improbably long career, the original punk continues to deliver, offering up a DVD/CD combo of a riotous performance at the Royal Albert Hall.

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In Detroit They Come Out at Night

Grafitti artists, the jazz, punk, and hip-hop scenes, and the lonely mean streets of Detroit are captured by this survey of 13 photographers.

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26 Jan 2017 // 8:00 AM

Sundance 2017: ‘Raw’ + ‘XX’

In recent years, Sundance has developed a reputation for showcasing distinct and notable horror films. This year, that prize might well go to Raw by default.

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‘Westworld’s “Contrapasso” Episode Suggests Dehumanization and Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell

The narrative pivots and complicates the reality of Westworld in "Contrapasso". The show is about the most HBO-ized episode of an HBO drama ever produced.

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Sleater-Kinney: Live in Paris

Sleater-Kinney celebrates their 2015 reunion with a live album that captures the excitement and mood of their concerts without any hint of their decade-long hiatus.

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Horse Thief: Trials and Truths

Every now and then Horse Thief adds a little twist to their formula of solid, listenable, easygoing rock and the songs become noticeably better.

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Black and White and Katrina All Over: Jazz Religion, the Second Line, and Black New Orleans

One of the best things about this updated edition of Jazz Religion, the Second Line, and Black New Orleans is that it looks at what’s to come just as much as it looks at bygones.

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Tobin Sprout: The Universe and Me

One problem with modern production is its reliance on mathematical perfection, and Tobin proves that genuineness is stronger than perceived perfection.

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The Infamous Stringdusters: Laws of Gravity

They aren't reinventing the laws of gravity on this release, but the Infamous Stringdusters put out yet another masterful collection of bluegrass songs.

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The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 4, James Chance to the Pop Group

This week we are celebrating the best post-punk albums of all-time and today we have part four with Talking Heads, the Fall, Devo and more.

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Sundance Film Festival 2017: ‘Lemon’ + ‘Wilson’

This year's Sundance Film Festival delivers misanthropy with two new comedies, Lemon and Wilson.

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Sundance 2017: ‘Before I Fall’ + ‘A Ghost Story’

'Before I Fall and A Ghost Story offer some haunting insight into the human condition.

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25 Jan 2017 // 8:30 AM

Iggy Is Not a Stooge

Total Chaos reminds us that the godfather of punk is not an idiot.

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Mark Eitzel: Hey Mr. Ferryman

A mix of postmodern lounge and his former band’s best moments, this odd and rewarding album adds to Eitzel’s reputation as an adventurous solo artist.

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Football in the Age of Late Capitalism: Field Notes From the 2016 Euro

Behind a veneer of youthful glamour, the Euro all but groaned under the weight of excess global capital, merciless media scrutiny, hyperprofessionalization, domestic French anxieties, and geopolitics.

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25 Jan 2017 // 2:20 AM

Cairobi: Cairobi

Cairobi's self-produced, self-titled debut has an international, globe-trotting feel while still maintaining an honest, straightforward, indie vibe.

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This Graphic Novel Adaptation of ‘Kindred’ Is Made Awkward With KLOKs! and CHOOMs!

If you’ve never read any of Octavia E. Butler's works, Kindred is a good place to start, but this version is a little too manga for such a serious work.

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Kid Koala featuring Emiliana Torrini: Music to Draw to - Satellite

The 18 tracks that make up Music to Draw to: Satellite fade in and out of each other, never actually reaching anything that could be called a climax, but hitting moments of particular beauty.

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The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 3, Echo & the Bunnymen to Lizzy Mercier Descloux

This week we are celebrating the best post-punk albums of all-time and today we have part three with Echo & the Bunnymen, Cabaret Voltaire, Pere Ubu and more.

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24 Jan 2017 // 11:15 AM

Sundance 2017: ‘The Big Sick’ + ‘Roxanne Roxanne’

These two Sundance entries introduce fast-talking protagonists who take the art of comedic dialogue to new heights in speed and certainly in social satire.

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Kamasi Washington Takes Jazz to the Next Level in San Francisco

This is jazz that can dazzle the music mavens and impresarios while still remaining accessible to a more mainstream audience

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French Horn Rebellion: Classically Trained

Nailing a retro '80s synthpop style only takes you so far. French Horn Rebellion has a full album of good songs in them, but this is not that album.

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24 Jan 2017 // 10:00 AM

Sundance 2017: ‘Whose Streets?’ + ‘Dayveon’

On opening night at the Sundance Film Festival, two films raised questions about how black Americans' experiences can be more effectively shared and understood.

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“Pilgrim Rick” Shows the Best (and Worst) Parts of Holiday Traditions

The past becomes the present and the present informs the past in This Is Us's Thanksgiving episode "Pilgrim Rick".

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Howe Gelb: Future Standards

Gelb reminds us how good a songwriter he is, but his new record doesn't quite live up to its title.

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Priests: Nothing Feels Natural

DC punk band Priests' Nothing Feels Natural dials the in-your-face confrontation down a few notches.

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The Mystery of the Medieval ‘Voynich’ Manuscript Still Holds the Power to Fascinate

From the court of the 17th century Holy Roman Empire to the National Security Agency, The Voynich Manuscript has been scrutinized but not yet deciphered.

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Sundance 2017: ‘Person to Person’ + ‘Landline’

At Sundance, the indie dramas Person to Person and Landline take markedly different approaches to bring their eccentric characters to life.

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In Celebration of Life: An Interview with Nosound’s Giancarlo Erra / “Scintilla” (video) (premiere)

Nosound mastermind Giancarlo Erra offers an insightful and honest look into the making of Scintilla, among other things.

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24 Jan 2017 // 3:00 AM

Matthew Dear: DJ-Kicks

Matthew Dear offers an accessible mix that embraces the idiosyncrasies of electronic music’s most beguiling talents.

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Space Oddity: ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’ is Strictly a Vehicle for David Bowie

Nicolas Roeg’s mid-'70s sci-fi misfire about an alien (Bowie) trying to save his planet but falling prey to Earth’s temptations is self-indulgent garble with a haunting premise.

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Three Americans Visited Cuba…

Dan Goldberg, Andrea Kuhn and Jody Eddy visited Cuba three times. Then they wrote a cookbook.

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The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 2, The B-52’s to Magazine

This week we are celebrating the best post-punk albums of all-time and today we have part two with the Cure, Mission of Burma, the B-52's and more.

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Free of the Movie’s Shadow, ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ Makes the Case for More

The first six episodes grappled with the necessity of the reboot; the last two episodes make the case for a second season.

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John K. Samson: Winter Wheat

John K. Samson continues writing songs of solace and expansive generosity.

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Miniature Tigers: I Dreamt I Was a Cowboy

Miniature Tigers try out romantic bedroom indie-pop while rejuvenating their penchant for strange sounds.

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Sundance 2017: ‘Ingrid Goes West’ + ‘Bitch’

Sundance continues the Hollywood tradition of exploring mental illness with Ingrid Goes West and Bitch.

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Matthew Shipp Trio: Piano Song

Pianist Matthew Shipp's final album for Thirsty Ear finds him going about his usually adventurous trio business.

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Tift Merritt: Stitch of the World

Tift Merritt puts forth a vision that's as unguarded as it is unlimited.

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Japandroids: Near to the Wild Heart of Life

Japandroids prove once again that they are one of the very best rock bands on Earth with their third album, Near to the Wild Heart of Life.

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Murakami’s ‘Absolutely on Music’ Is Sort of a My Dinner With Andre for Classical Music Fans

A famed Japanese novelist who just happens to be a supreme music fanatic sits down with a celebrated Japanese conductor for a series of informal talks.

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Sundance 2017: ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ + ‘I Don’t Feel at Home in This World’

The 2017 Sundance Film Festival opens with two films about making the world a better place -- in two very different ways.

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One of Them Is Not One of Us in M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Split’

The movie's version of Dissociative Identity Disorder is not science, but metaphor, and horror movie metaphor at that.

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Tim Dorsey’s Latest Gives Us Beer and Loathing in Florida

Clownfish Blues places trademark characters Serge A. Storms on arguably their wildest and funniest ride yet, resulting in plenty of sex, drugs, violence, and lottery winnings.

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The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 1, Gang of Four to the Birthday Party

This week we are celebrating the best post-punk albums of all-time and we kick things off with Gang of Four, Public Image Ltd. Throbbing Gristle and more.

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‘20th Century Women’ Holds Particular Relevance for 21st Century Women

As much as it considers the past, 20th Century Women's profound confidence in women's strength and ingenuity proposes a way to look forward.

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For Better or Worse ‘Detour’ Plows Ahead

Christopher Smith's new noir outing is a scuzzy and flawed 90 minutes, elevated by a compelling, three-pronged cast.

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Marvelous Monstrous Mayhem in ‘Monsters Unleashed #1’

This is an over-the-top, action-packed thrill ride that pits iconic heroes against giant monsters

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Miyazaki’s Haunted Utopia: The Ghost of Modernity in ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’

This is not truly a witch’s story, but a ghost story of modernity.

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Memory Drawings in Film and Print: ‘Seth’s Dominion’

Seth’s Dominion offers a full picture of an exciting artist brimming with imagination, and with a great deal more to create.

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20 Jan 2017 // 2:30 AM

Foxygen: Hang

With full orchestra in tow, Foxygen’s Sam France and Jonathan Rado deliver an absurdly overblown, gloriously over-the-top album celebrating all of pop's excesses without the slightest hint of ironic detachment.

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Heartbreaks, Musicals, and Relationship Struggles Characterize the ‘Gilmore Girls’ “Summer” Season

Despite the (over)extended musical sequence, "Summer" succeeds in moving both the plot and Lorelai and Rory's characters forward.

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Neil Young: Peace Trail

Peace Trail offers Young's folkie assertiveness, but it could have benefited from more gestational time.

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Curtis Hanson’s Sunny, Sinister ‘L.A. Confidential’

The late director's sprawling adaptation remains the ultimate tabloid film noir.

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Stagecoach: The Texas Jack Story

Trace Adkins and company bring Western cosplay to the forefront in this 90-minute elegy to a once mighty genre.

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19 Jan 2017 // 2:30 AM

Bonobo: Migration

Migration does not so much change course from Bonobo's prior work as refine it to its artistic pinnacle.

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Trump’s Inauguration: Five Songs by Five White Men for a Very White Administration

Think pieces, fiery speeches, and fact-checking takedowns of a demagogue’s rhetoric can overwhelm the true power of great art -- specifically the strength of a song to save or change the world.

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Delbert McClinton: Prick of the Litter

McClinton understands how to lure a listener into an imaginary night club world of sophistication and rural hospitality.

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Not Lame Records’ Jellyfish Story Is a Fitting Tribute

This is the story of two talented Bay Area songwriters who create a pair of brilliant power pop records and then fade into obscurity.

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Holly Bowling’s Tahoe Trip Leads to Terrapin Station and Beyond

San Francisco pianist uses music of Phish and Grateful Dead as stepping stones to her own dream career.

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Roots Run Deep in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy #16’

This is a grounded and compelling story that shows why Groot is so lovable.

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Amanda Shires: My Piece of Land

Disciplined and literary, Shires' latest is still a highly personal work.

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C.A.M.P.O.S.: Miracles & Criminals

Psychedelic grooves and electronic cumbia fusions shine on Miracles & Criminals, an album that never quits (even when it probably should).

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What Next, Frozen French Fries? ‘The Founder’ and McDonald’s Origin Story

For this surprisingly hard-edged biopic on the businessman behind McDonald's, Michael Keaton unfurls the black flag of unrepentant capitalism.

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“The Best Washing Machine” Comes Equipped With Sibling Rivalry, Hard Choices, and Big Secrets

With "The Best Washing Machine in the World", This Is Us reaffirms its understanding of the tone and rhythm of its narrative and its protagonists.

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18 Jan 2017 // 8:30 AM

Glam Is Good

Simon Reynold's Shock and Awe is a thorough investigation into the many facets of rock's most maligned moniker.

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Choose Your Companions: Bill Vitt on Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders

"We never rehearsed. That probably helped." Longtime Jerry Garcia drummer Vitt looks back on how it all started and what it meant.

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Secret Identities and Secret Codes in Ken Hughes and Jack Gold Films

The Internecine Project and Who?: Two twisty, methodical, unusual thrillers whose heroes are masters of secret codes.

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William Basinski: A Shadow in Time

Channeling his classic Disintegration Loops, William Basinski's A Shadow in Time contemplates life and death with great clarity.

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Barack Obama Bio ‘Audacity’ Is at War With Itself

Chait's defense of gradualist politics-as-usual undermines the supposedly audacious achievements of President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

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Joan of Arc: He’s Got the Whole This Land Is Your Land in His Hands

Long after a prodigious if hit-or-miss early ‘00s, patience and collaboration continue to focus and invigorate the left field Chicago group.

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Public Image Ltd.: Metal Box / Album

This pair of massive reissues offers all of the Public Image Ltd. you could ever want and more.

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18 Jan 2017 // 2:00 AM

Negotiating Technological Creep

Mind-blowing TVs, dog poop dropping drones, and other thoughts from the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show.

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Karl Denson Brings Balance to the Force in 60th Birthday Fillmore Fiesta

The fact that Denson turns 60 on this same day that beloved Rebel Alliance leader Leia Organa has passed away at the age of 60 herself presents some deep insight on what a difference lifestyle can make in human longevity.

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The Lack of Imagination in ‘The Bye Bye Man’ Is Vexing

The Bye Bye Man's illogic is typical of horror movies.

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17 Jan 2017 // 8:57 AM

Wovenwar: Honor Is Dead

Wovenwar returns with an entertaining if safe sophomore effort. The group hasn't yet found its groove, but it's getting there—one radio-ready growl at a time.

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17 Jan 2017 // 8:53 AM

Jeff Parker: Slight Freedom

Guitarist Jeff Parker has now surpassed his previous solo albums and everything he ever did with Tortoise on his vinyl release Slight Freedom.

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17 Jan 2017 // 8:40 AM

J. Cole: 4 Your Eyez Only

A deeply personal album 4 Your Eyez Only represents J. Cole's most mature and cohesive record to date.

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On Speaking to Southerners About Southerners

The Liberal Redneck Manifesto is poised to really put a dent in this mess that landed that creepy moneybag in the White House.

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Menace Beach: Lemon Memory

Menace Beach return with their sophomore effort, Lemon Memory, with their ‘cool’ intact and some new tricks.

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A Minute to Breathe: Interview With Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

"The last thing I wanted to do was make a song that was preachy about climate change," says Reznor, who with Ross tackles the world's biggest issues on their own terms.

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‘His Girl Friday’: What a Difference One Sex Change Makes

By switching the main character’s gender and adding romantic sparks, Hawks turned the masterful, raucous Chicago newsroom farce The Front Page into the perfect screwball comedy.

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17 Jan 2017 // 2:30 AM

The Flaming Lips: Oczy Mlody

Oczy Mlody feels less like the group's 14th grand artistic statement and more like a minor footnote to a once-great band's recent output.

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To Live in The World of Edena—With an Orange-Haired Tyrant

Moebius' The World of Edena is a masterpiece that's fitting for reintroduction in our troubled times.

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Ancient Worlds: A Global History of Antiquity by Michael Scott

We are invited to adjust our angle of vision to consider multiple ancient worlds in Central Asia, India, and China.

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“The Bad Beginning” Is Anything But in Netflix’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’

Both visually and narratively, A Series of Unfortunate Events works far better as a series than the ill-conceived film that preceeded it; a gothic fable for our time.

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Dropkick Murphys: 11 Short Stories of Pain and Glory

The Celtic rockers offer messages of confrontation and recovery in the faces of losers, fools, and habits.

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16 Jan 2017 // 9:20 AM

The xx: I See You

Building off Jamie xx's In Colour, the xx have at last escaped from their own self-imposed limitations.

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Documenting the Little Abuses: Copwatching, Community Organizing, and Video Activism

The ascent of affordable video technology assists in propelling movements for self-determination and self-respect.

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Transience Permeates the Introspective Pages in ‘Turkey Rediscovered’

Where Job scraped his sores, where Xenophon crossed the Euphrates, Krause Reichert links the stories he knows well to their terrain and traces.

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The Similitude of Dreams: A Conversation With Neal Morse

American prog rock icon Neal Morse delves into the creation of his newest opus, The Similitude of a Dream.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Learning the Barbarian in 'Conan Exiles'

// Moving Pixels

"There's no one better than a barbarian to teach you how to become civilized.

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