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Big Art and Big Ideas in Jack Kirby’s ‘Devil Dinosaur’

Today comics giant Jack Kirby would have celebrated his 98th birthday. It's time to commemorate his mightiest monster.

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Estrella Morente and Carmen Consoli Were Highlights at David Byrne’s Meltdown Festival

Estrella Morente and Carmen Consoli were among the artists who fired up this year’s Meltdown Festival at London’s Southbank Centre, the former with intense flamenco, the latter with punchy pop-rock.

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‘Z for Zachariah’ Is the Anti-‘Mad Max’

A post-apocalyptic pastoral turns primal radioactive love triangle in this throwback drama starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, and Chris Pine.

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Owen Wilson Plays the Hapless American in ‘No Escape’

Again and again, No Escape shows that this is not how the clueless American planned for things to "work out", that he's a victim.

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The Weeknd: Beauty Behind the Madness

Beauty swaps the Weeknd's black light laments for humming neon fluorescents, the party line kept intact though the guests are having much more fun.

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Noise Uprising: The Audiopolitics of a World Musical Revolution

The soundtrack to decolonization is heard in Havana’s son, Rio’s samba, New Orleans’ jazz, Buenos Aires’ tango, Seville’s flamenco, Cairo’s tarab, Johannesburg’s marabi, and more.

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28 Aug 2015 // 2:20 AM

Ghost: Meliora

Turn up the speakers and let the evil flow forth.

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Shrines of Supremacy: The Five Best Riverside Songs (So Far)

With Love, Fear and the Time Machine, arriving next month, it's worth discussing why these five tracks make Polish quartet Riverside one of the best modern prog rock bands.

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Ashford and Simpson: Is it Still Good to Ya / Stay Free

There are spaces where one can imagine audiences finding the groove in the disco rap suggested by these recordings.

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‘I Dream of Wires’, Like It’s Subject, Is Large, Intimidating and Multi-faceted

Before the film's halfway point, you are not dreaming of wires, you are in the wires.

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The Articulation of Outrage in Brian Michael Bendis’ ‘Scarlet’

Brian Michael Bendis pens a socially relevant tale of revenge.

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The Evolution of Racism: Coded Bigotry and Aggression in ‘Show Me a Hero’

With overt acts of racial violence are now less socially acceptable, writers David Simon and William F. Zorzi expose the coded racist rhetoric in the middle third of Show Me a Hero.

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George Carlin: Philosopher, Poet, Preacher

Few comedians have aimed for the mind over the funny bone (while still reaching both) quite like George Carlin has.

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27 Aug 2015 // 2:30 AM

FKA twigs: M3LL155X

The success of FKA twigs says as much about shifting public tastes as it does her unique style.

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FKA twigs: M3LL155X (take 2)

With M3LL155X FKA twigs cements her status as the most experimental pop musician within the last few years.

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27 Aug 2015 // 2:15 AM

Deaf Wish: Pain

The Australian noise-merchants return with their feedback, heavy distortion and stylistic juxtaposition.

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Orson Welles Is Like the Eccentric Uncle in ‘Around the World With Orson Welles’

A combination of sublime and ridiculous makes for a surprisingly enjoyable show.

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Elephant Revival: Sands of Now

Haunting and joyous, this is everything good folk music should be.

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Bodega Bay: Our Brand Could Be Your Life

Despite lacking the entire picture, Our Brand Could Be Your Life is as packed with as much profundity, wit, and energy as any indie debut this year.

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In ‘The Fly Trap’ Fredrik Sjöberg Writes Much Like His Subjects Behave

If Sjöberg's stylistic tics are an impediment to real investigation, they at least provide an aesthetic pleasure all their own.

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Who Cleans Up When the Party’s Over? An Interview with the Good Life

Eight years since their last effort, Tim Kasher of Cursive and Ryan Fox shake that "other band" tag by making their best, weirdest disc yet.

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The Struggling Economies of ‘Two Days, One Night’

With a clear respect for the struggle of its characters, Two Days, One Night crafts a story that reveals the strife inherent in the economic system.

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War Is Eternal in ‘Welcome Back #1’

Two warriors are reincarnated again and again to do Eternal Battle. Will either ever escape the cycle?

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‘Kyn’ Is a Straightforward Enough RPG in the Best Way Possible

Kyn is generic, but somehow it is generic in the most intriguing way that a fantasy game could be.

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How Might ‘Meru’ Be Measured?

Climbing Meru might be represented in a film, but even as it's shared here among the three climbers, each has his own version of what happened.

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John Moreland Restores Hope in a Hopeless World

John Moreland sings tales that crawl through the soil, hiss in the night, and burrow themselves into the heartpocket of listeners.

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Deradoorian: The Expanding Flower Planet

On her debut, the former Dirty Projectors bassist proves herself to be a vital force in contemporary experimental pop music.

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26 Aug 2015 // 2:20 AM

Mick Jenkins: Wave[s]

Mick Jenkins is a masterful technician, but Wave[s] lacks a vital push into the mainstream.

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Daniel Romano: If I’ve Only One Time Askin’

Country revivalist Daniel Romano furthers his career evolution square into countrypolitan territory with masterful results.

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26 Aug 2015 // 2:10 AM

Jill Scott: Woman

On Woman, Jill Scott is both reflective and bitter: not only with the world, but also herself.

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The ‘Magician’ Is Orson Welles, But Not As You Know Him

The story of extravagant talent unfulfilled is turned on its head in this simplistic yet entertaining retelling of Orson Welles' career

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‘The Meaning of the Library’ Goes Beyond Mere Bricks and Mortar

Despite their apparent tidiness, libraries are also formidably entropic spaces, messy jungles, with their own undergrounds.

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The John Patitucci Electric Guitar Quartet: Brooklyn

A surprising album from the astonishing bassist, playing only electric along with guitarists Adam Rogers and Steve Cardenas, along with Brian Blade on drums.

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Laugh, Cry or Die: The Funny Young Women of Contemporary British Fiction

Unlike their "angry young men" predecessors, Caitlin Moran and Emma Jane Unsworth bring a sense of humor to the grit and grind of working-class life.

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Onward: The Trials (and Tours) of Yes

On the eve of a US tour with Toto, Yes bassist Billy Sherwood talks about the band's past, future, and the phone calls that forever changed his life.

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Meddling Progress in ‘Wonder Woman #43’

The redemption of Donna Troy begins, but just barely.

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‘Spirits Rejoice!’ Takes a New Look Into an Old Tradition

Scholar Jason C. Bivins thinks through more difficult aspects of the relationships between jazz and American religions, while at the same time examining the permeability of both.

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‘The Pawnbroker’s Daughter’ Tells Us How to Write Well and Live Beautifully

Maxine Kumin's final memoir is painfully brief, but like all her work, ever lyrical.

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‘Eyes Without a Face’ Is Full of Fairy Tale Aesthetics

In Eyes Without a Face, French director Georges Franju lifts a fairly standard horror film narrative into the realms of poetic fable.

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Silicon: Personal Computer

Silicon is an exposé of the superficiality of our technology-dependent lives, but does such a good job it feels superficial itself.

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25 Aug 2015 // 2:20 AM

Dope Body: Kunk

A top-notch rock record, of the disgusting variety.

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25 Aug 2015 // 2:15 AM

Elbow: Lost Worker Bee EP

Lost Worker Bee can't help but feel like something of a stopgap, but it shows flashes of Elbow's brilliance.

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25 Aug 2015 // 2:10 AM

Teen Men: Teen Men

Teen Men's take on synth-pop isn't groundbreaking, but their strong command of melody makes the album fun and worthwhile.

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25 Aug 2015 // 2:05 AM

Ryn Weaver: The Fool

An electrifying, although imperfect, debut that rightfully sets the anti-pop princess on the map.

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A Different (and Better) Shade of Grey: Reconsidering ‘9 1/2 Weeks’

Given the mainstream’s preoccupation with kink, it may be time to give 9 ½ Weeks the credit it deserves as a pioneering meditation on desire and power.

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Faith and Doubt in ‘Guardians of Knowhere #3’

In the midst of blood and battle, a moment unfolds, a human moment – in words, lines and colors.

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Roman à Clef: Abandonware

Roman à Clef quietly charms and shatters with this evocative debut album.

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‘Citizenfour’ Is Invaluable Cinéma Vérité

I welcome Oliver Stone’s forthcoming biopic about Snowden with an open mind, but I doubt that it will surpass the riveting realism of Citizenfour.

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24 Aug 2015 // 7:42 AM

Sorcery!: Episode 3

If you don't limit me by telling me what is possible, then I'll be far more interested in the journey that I have been sent on.

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Contemplations on the Nature of Truth: True Crime and Dark Empathy

How well can one digest murdertainment's darkest elements?

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Beach House: Depression Cherry

Indie dream pop band Beach House broaden their approach with bolder textures and brighter sounds on their fifth studio album.

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Barrence Whitfield and the Savages: Under the Savage Sky

Barrence Whitfield and the Savages sound as wonderfully raw and unhinged as ever on their latest record. Hopefully it will find an audience to match.

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The Maccabees: Marks to Prove It

Marks to Prove It shows that, even in 2015, Brit indie bands can still cut interesting and surprising recordings.

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Both Obvious and Evasive, Carol Morley’s ‘The Falling’ Fails to Do Justice to Intriguing Theme

There’s a genuinely provocative, disturbing film trying to get out of The Falling.

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24 Aug 2015 // 2:05 AM

Drug Cabin: Wiggle Room

While it's not great, everyone involved seems to be having a good time, fully committed to their very specific, laid-back style.

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Disco, AIDS and Nuclear War Permeate Jane Smiley’s ‘Early Warning’

Smiley doesn’t overlook defining political moments in part two of her trilogy, including the 1981 presidential election of Ronald Reagan and the ensuing sociopolitical shift rightward.

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The Case for the Velvet Underground’s Sterling Morrison

Even as the Velvet Underground has graduated from cult favorite to part of the '60s canon, guitarist Sterling Morrison has largely faded from public view.

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Talking ‘Steampunk’d’ With Jeannie Mai

Jeannie Mai hosts GSN's Steampunk'd, a ten-episode long experience into the world and culture of steampunk.

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‘Underground’ to ‘Wonderland’: BFI’s ‘London on Film’ Season Celebrates the Nation’s Capital

From Asquith’s Underground (1928) to Winterbottom’s Wonderland (1999), BFI celebrates cinematic representations of the English capital with an ambitious summer season that highlights the city’s continuities and changes.

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Someone Sprayed Paraquat on ‘American Ultra’

This movie will harsh your buzz, man.

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Gardens & Villa: Music for Dogs (take 2)

Music for Dogs strikes a delicate balance of emotional warmth and cerebral chill.

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Gardens & Villa: Music For Dogs

Gardens & Villa ditch the dull synthpop of their previous outing and turn out one of the year's best rock albums, a gritty art-pop statement crackling with energy.

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Yellow Fever and Yum-Yum Girls

Multiple versions of the classic story The World of Suzie Wong offer different takes on a social phenomenon, but can any of them escape the biases of their authors?

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The Isley Brothers: The RCA Victor & T-Neck Album Masters (1959-1983)

This boxed set reveals the full scope of the Ohio-born group's genius across 23 discs and hours of pure joy.

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The Jean Paul Sartre Experience: I Like Rain: The Story of the Jean Paul Sartre Experience

New Zealand’s noisy and delightful Jean Paul Sartre Experience, overlooked in their time, are resurrected in this box set for a new generation that should not let them pass by unnoticed again.

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Golden Rules: Golden Ticket

Golden Rules is the unlikely brainchild of Paul White, a South London producer, and Eric Biddines, a Floridian rapper

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‘Person of Interest - Season 4’ Continues to Offer Smart, Binge-worthy TV

This show's war of heroes, villains, and recurring characters of unknown loyalty interact and battle against each other in a way that demands the viewer's complete attention.

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The Birth of DC/Vertigo Comics Was a Messy One

In the '90s, Vertigo was a brand new day for comics, completely unprecedented. It celebrated grunge and alternative music. And then it became embraced by the mainstream.

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Corrupted Ideals, Seedy Underbellies: There’s No Place for Heroes in ‘Show Me a Hero’

Writer David Simon and director Paul Haggis explore the seedy innerworkings of institutional politics in a powerful new miniseries.

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Al Pacino Is the Showstopper in ‘Danny Collins’

Al Pacino steals the show as Danny Collins in a feel-good redemption story that also happens to be his best role in many years.

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‘A Little Life’ Is an Epic of the Intimate

We have all experienced joys and hardships, but through the lens of Jude's tortured existence, we truly are transported to an emotional landscape that is not our own.

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Pavement: The Secret History, Vol. 1

As a vinyl-only reissue, Matador is focused a on a very specific and very curious quadrant of consumers, but those that need what is the first in many likely volumes are assuredly still going to get their money's worth.

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Why the Arcade Matters

The arcade snatched video games from the rarefied spaces of industry and academia, making playing video games into a truly populist pastime.

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Darius Jones: Le bébé de Brigitte (Lost in Translation)

Darius Jones continues his Man’ish Boy epic with the highly expressive, vital and wildly compelling Le bébé de Brigitte (Lost in Translation).

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20 Aug 2015 // 2:15 AM

Kip Moore: Wild Ones

Kip Moore makes his long-awaited return, innovating just enough to step out of the conformity of standard "bro" country.

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20 Aug 2015 // 2:10 AM

Midnight: Into the Night

Yet another in a seemingly endless series of “lost” metal and proto-metal albums, Into the Night’s appeal will be largely predicated on just how you approach such music.

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The First Wave of Releases in ‘The Films of Charlie Chaplin’ Find the Tramp at His Comic Peak

The Kid, The Gold Rush and The Circus prove that the years have done nothing to diminish the brilliance of Chaplin's early comedy.

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Bob Dylan’s Magical, Controversial Night Shows No Signs of Losing Life

Elijah Wald expertly recreates the (in)famous Newport electric set, shifting perspective amongst Dylan, Seeger and others to fans in the crowd and even the beleaguered sound man.

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Hozier: Live in America EP

Hozier proves himself as one of the mainstream's most well-rounded assets with a live release to be admired.

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Trailers for Films That Don’t Exist: An Interview with Destroyer

Dan Bejar is a man of many talents, but after the burnout of promoting his breakthrough Kaputt, the man behind Destroyer made a record on his own terms.

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19 Aug 2015 // 1:26 PM

Jarryd James Delivers Soulful Electro-R&B in First NYC Show

Aussie Jarryd James performed like a seasoned music vet at the Bowery Ballroom following raucous openers Secret Weapons.

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Going Only Skin Deep in ‘The Beauty #1’

A new disease leaves its victims feeling pretty.

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‘Shaun the Sheep Movie’ Isn’t All Just Fluff

Aardman Studios' stop-motion film introduces basic yet layered characters and sends them on clever, oftentimes funny adventures.

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The ‘Frozen’ Characters’ Mix in ‘Once Upon a Time - Season 4’ Creates Quite the Slush

In what appears to be more of a publicity stunt to capitalize on the immense popularity of Frozen, Storybrooke is looking more like Disneyworld than a classic fairytale world.

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‘Girl at War’ Will Stay With You

Did I not want this story to end due to Sara Novic's literary architecture? Or was it my investment in a character so evolved that I didn't want to let her go?

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Professional Wrestling, Racism, Transracial Identity, and Why We All Need to Lighten Up

In contrast to our ossified conceptions of race in other aspects of life, race in professional wrestling is a gimmick, a performance of an identity, which one can adopt or drop as part of the game.

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Iris Dement: The Trackless Woods

Iris Dement’s The Trackless Woods sets Russian poet Anna Akhmatova’s poetry to music with excellent results.

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19 Aug 2015 // 2:20 AM

La Luz: Weirdo Shrine

Seattle-based group of retro-minded musicians tap Ty Segall to produce their latest set of girl group inspired surf doo-wop garage pop.

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19 Aug 2015 // 2:15 AM

Dr. Dre: Compton (take 2)

After 15 years of largely playing mentor to developing artists, Dr. Dre makes a triumphant 11th hour solo return.

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What About the Victim of the Victim of Homophobia?

Recent televisions shows are focusing attention on the plight of the spouses of gay men and lesbians. But is it enough to make their lives less traumatic?

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19 Aug 2015 // 2:10 AM

Trimpe Will Smash

Herb Trimpe didn’t care much for superheroes, but he worked for one of the genre’s most enduring titles and brought to life one of its most popular characters.

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19 Aug 2015 // 2:10 AM

A Bit of ‘British Noir’

There's a cool premise or two in this lot and, honestly, two fairly cracking pictures.

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Satoko Fujii Orchestra Berlin: Ichigo Ichi/Satoko Fujii Tobira: Yamiyo Ni Karasu

It's another day at the office for Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura -- meaning they just released two albums designed to kick down more doors in jazz.

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Various Artists: Buy This Fracking Album

As Buy This Fracking Album makes clear, a common cause can garner considerable attention if the right mix of artists are involved.

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The High Cost of Living in ‘Secret Wars #5’

Like Yahweh of old, Doctor Doom walks through the Garden of Eden that is his own creation, himself more a tempter than any serpent.

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‘Hackers’ Proved to Be Ahead of Its Time

Initially received with mixed reviews, Hackers has become something of a cult classic whose plot eerily makes more sense today than when it did when it was released.

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‘Child 44’ Is Worth 44 Seconds of Your Time, Probably Less

This universally panned "thriller" is about as thrilling as a conversation with a parking meter.

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Conservative Radicalism in Edmund Burke’s ‘A Philosophical Inquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful’

A reissued classic of aesthetic theory asks, Can the body be a critic?

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‘Fresh Romance’ and ‘Island’ Signal a Revival of the Anthology Periodical

The periodical anthology, or comics magazine, allows for a variety of experiments with form that may not otherwise fit into conventional publishing models in the US.

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Carly Rae Jepsen: E·MO·TION

With E·MO·TION's braintrust aiming for maximum pleasure-center overload, Jepsen has overlooked what made her such a ringing success: her voice.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Ubisoft Understands the Art of the Climb

// Moving Pixels

"Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed and Grow Home epitomize the art of the climb.

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