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Jazz, Loss, and Understanding in ‘I Called Him Morgan’

While exposing the fragments and fault lines of memories, I Called Him Morgan tells the stories of Helen and Lee Morgan. It's also a story of storytelling.

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‘Frantz’ Unfolds Elegantly Into a Haunting Meditation on Xenophobia and Acceptance

Franz Ozon again proves to be a most singular voice in world cinema with this deceptively haunting romance mystery.

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‘Life’: A Mainstream Action Fare or a Ridiculous Monster Movie?

Stylistically, Life owes more of its inspiration to David Cronenberg than Ridley Scott.

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All Hail the King: Chuck Berry Reinvented Music, and America

After Chuck Berry, rock music would forever be a gumbo of competing and complimentary source points, but his first-person flights of fancy still represent its most undiluted potential.

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Peter Silberman: Impermanence

Antlers' frontman Peter Silberman releases the solo LP Impermanence which works wonderfully as a peaceful protest among louder glitchier new releases.

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Daniel Brandt: Eternal Something

Daniel Brandt commits himself to his vision and challenges the expectations behind typical song composition to produce a sound all of his own.

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‘Life’: Wait, Haven’t We Seen This Before?

Life disregards its genre predecessor, Alien to the detriment of the film.

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24 Mar 2017 // 8:24 AM

Mastodon: Emperor of Sand

Emperor of Sand is by no means a bad album, but there's little here that the band hasn't already explored.

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The Microscopic Septet: Pioneers Across Jazz Boundaries

In the '80s, "The Micros" mixed tradition and avant-garde jazz with impunity and almost got famous doing it. Today they're just playing the blues.

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Identity Is a Provocative Spectre Throughout Noel Malcolm’s ‘Agents of Empire’

In Noel Malcolm's important microhistory, we encounter complex individuals who appear resistant to simple categories, generalizations, or identifications.

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Capping Off a (Somewhat) Extraordinary Journey: ‘Extraordinary X-men #20’

To go from the brink of extinction to a friendly baseball game is a journey that requires a lot more than 20 issues and a crossover event.

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Will Johnson: Hatteras Night, A Good Luck Charm

Complex and incongruent, the songs of Hatteras Night, A Good Luck Charm linger like a West Texas wind, proving us all saints.

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A Breezy Visit With Arthur Conan Doyle and His Most Famous Creation

With Arthur and Sherlock, Michael Sims seeks to answer how Arthur Conan Doyle went from modestly successful physician to world-famous writer of detective stories.

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23 Mar 2017 // 2:59 AM

The Show Must Go Wrong

From Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction to the 2017 Academy Awards, the gaffe reveals that the system is not just broken; breaking is the system.

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‘Allied’ and the Tired Fumes of Nostalgia

Despite an appealing cast, Robert Zemeckis' WWII romance relies too heavily on its influences and too little on engaging drama.

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Chuck Berry’s Defiant, Ground-Shaking Rock

The late Chuck Berry's biggest hit may have undermined one of his greatest talents: his gift for storytelling.

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Anthrax: For All Kings (7-Inch Box Set)

A set like this is less about the music and more about having something that says, "I am a fan, and this is the proof".

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Red Baraat: Bhangra Pirates

Stripped-down production and intricate arrangements let Red Baraat get the party started on Bhangra Pirates.

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Samantha Fish: Chills & Fever

Chills & Fever finds Samantha Fish injecting a dose of Detroit-bred garage rock into her paradigm of Memphis soul, Delta blues, and Motown R&B.

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What Is It About Teens Behind Closed Doors That Scares Us So?

Jason Reid’s Get Out of My Room! takes us inside the private enclaves of the adolescent being, revealing both individual and collective anxieties and expectations.

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‘Dirk Gently’ Season One Violates the Spirit of Its Source Material

Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently books were popular with fans, but this new BBC series strays too far from the spirit of the material to be considered a true adaptation.

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‘Song to Song’: Malick On Repeat

Terrence Malick retreads familiar motifs and themes in yet another nebulous navel-gazer.

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‘Song to Song’ Revels in the Chaos of the Austin Music Scene

With layered character development to accompany his typically arresting visuals, auteur Terrence Malick may have finally found a palatable balance between his visual and narrative poeticism.

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‘A Little History of Economics’ Provides a Charming Overview of the Dismal Science

Niall Kishtainy, writing for a general audience, provides a breezy stroll through economic thought, from Plato to Thomas Piketty.

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Green Day’s ‘Revolution Radio’ Tour Wallops Audience at Barclays Center

Billie Joe and co. are on the road for a supercharged tour -- and Trump is only stoking their fire further.

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22 Mar 2017 // 9:01 AM

Béla Fleck: Juno Concerto

For his second foray into classical composing, banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck enlists the help of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra to bring to life the concerto inspired by his son, the titular Juno.

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Formation: Look at the Powerful People

South London quintet, Formation, release a debut packed album with rich grooves tailor made for the dancefloor, but their socio-political ambitions fall disappointingly short.

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22 Mar 2017 // 8:38 AM

Pallbearer: Heartless

Pallbearer’s third album Heartless exists outside of easy genre signifiers. This band is in a league all their own.

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The Old Dominion in Song: Clipse and the Virginia Schism

Though the trappings may be different, the rhetoric layered beneath Lord Willin’ is a borrowed form of dubious justification that reeks of the Virginia slave system.

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Spending the Night: Three Old Dark Houses Give Up Their Secrets

Chamber of Horrors, A Game of Death and Invisible Ghost bring '40s black and white thrillers to Blu-ray.

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‘Welcome to Night Vale’ Is a “Welcome” Introduction to a Strange New World

Although it takes a while for the heart of Welcome to Night Vale to be revealed, it's ultimately worth the journey.

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Born Anew: An Interview with Bombay Bicycle Club’s Ed Nash

Once a member of the mighty, shifting Bombay Bicycle Club, Ed Nash now branches out on his own in gloriously unexpected ways.

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Speed Bumps Are Dumb, and Other Thoughts on ‘Traffic’

Everybody hates traffic, but what should we do about it?

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21 Mar 2017 // 9:30 AM

It’s Not Easy to Love Netflix’s ‘Love’

A hip, East L.A. backdrop, an indie soundtrack, fashionable faces -- yet Love is shockingly archaic in its depictions of heterosexual relationships.

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21 Mar 2017 // 9:29 AM

Ed Sheeran Is Essentially the English Ginger Drake Now

÷ is the final step in Sheeran’s shift from baby-faced ginger kid whispering about class A’s over acoustic guitar to England’s version of a man who constantly refers to himself as "The Boy".

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The Most Hated Woman in America: An Interview With Filmmakers Irene Turner and Tommy O’Haver

PopMatters spoke with writer Irene Turner and director Tommy O'Haver during SXSW 2017 about the remarkable life and death of Madalyn Murray O'Hair.

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Craig Finn: We All Want the Same Things

Craig Finn's new album continues to differentiate his solo material from the Hold Steady, but without Tad Kubler's guitar heroics as a buffer, his lyrics can be pretty harrowing.

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21 Mar 2017 // 2:20 AM

Anjou: Epithymía

Epithymía is ambient music at its grandest scale, molding a sense of sublime wonder through its six tracks.

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Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Loafer’s Hollow

For their latest avant rendering of jazz and culture in a broader sense, MOPDTK take on trad jazz in a decidedly non-traditional manner, using literary titans from Pynchon to Joyce to Vonnegut as source material.

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This Will Be the Last Time You Hear from Me: John Darnielle’s Universal Harvester

Universal Harvester won’t shock you or stay with you for a long time, but like most found footage movies, it’ll keep you on the edge of your seat along the way.

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Los Campesinos!: Sick Scenes

The British indie pop collective are still going strong ten years after their debut album. Their latest shows the remarkable consistency of their songcraft.

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21 Mar 2017 // 2:02 AM

Natalie Hemby: Puxico

In the case of Natalie Hemby, she takes an old trope in dedicating an album to a small town and making it new again, all by her own means.

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‘The Good Fight’ Goes Meta in “Stoppable: Requiem for an Airdate”

The return on Elsbeth Tascioni marks the best The Good Fight episode yet, even if that means Maia might be getting played by her father.

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Sting Wraps up North American Leg of ‘57th & 9th’ Tour on Winteriest of Nights

Sting went back to rock on his latest album. His enjoyable tour covers the entirety of a phenomenal musical career.

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20 Mar 2017 // 9:00 AM

Chuck Berry, O.G.

Chuck Berry was a black man who spent the majority of his career entertaining white audiences with music more deeply rooted in black culture than they ever thought to ponder.

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There Is Only One Reality, and It’s Analog

Digital dystopians beware: the analog counterrevolution is here.

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DeadPhish Orchestra Soars Over the Hills and Far Away in the Bay

There’s only band that actively seeks to mix Phish and the Grateful Dead together like Reese's Pieces and that’s the DeadPhish Orchestra.

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20 Mar 2017 // 3:00 AM

The Improbable Birth of American Rock Writing

Paul Williams, the 17-year-old founder of Crawdaddy!, believed that rock 'n' roll could reach the aesthetic, political, and social equal of any other art form.

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Mount Eerie: A Crow Looked at Me

A Crow Looked at Me is a masterpiece in the manner of A Grief Observed and “She Will Find What is Lost”. These works create a special communion between creator and observer.

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20 Mar 2017 // 2:20 AM

A7PHA: A7PHA

Alt-rap veterans Doseone and Mestizo combine for A7PHA's debut record, an experimental album that will challenge and bemuse many listeners but remains deeply original and technically fantastic.

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Ruthie Foster: Joy Comes Back

Like all of Foster’s albums, this one contains a diverse selection of bluesy material with a folk-rock edge and a gospel bottom.

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Science, Creativity, and Imagination (and the Earth)

Earth partners something even more unlikely than pumpkin and coffee or Nutella and bacon: an English professor and a planetary scientist.

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The Grateful Dead: The Grateful Dead (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)

Fifty years on, the Grateful Dead’s debut gets the deluxe reissue treatment along with an early, previously unreleased live performance.

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‘Personal Shopper’ Dancing With the Camera

Maureen's (Kristen Stewart) ongoing dance with the camera seduces you, because it is, after all, a dance with you.

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‘After the Storm’ Is a Moving Story About People Trapped Between the Past and the Future

Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest domestic drama, this one about a spiraling writer and the family he’s disappointing, is tightly observed as always but slighter than usual.

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25 Classic Beatles Songs

They're not necessarily the “best songs” in their storied catalogue, but these are the songs through which (perhaps) we might gain the deepest appreciation for their popular genius.

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‘Raw’ Feasts On Forbidden Flesh, Tastefully

Underneath all of Raw's blood and viscera is a carefully crafted weave of progressive and primal ideas that will keep you thinking long afterward.

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Donald Byrd: Love Has Come Around - The Elektra Records Anthology 1978-1982

Donald Byrd’s late ‘70s/early ‘80s studio albums are sliced and diced in this newly issued collection of the most forgettable era of his otherwise illustrious and well-regarded career.

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The View From There: Joan Didion’s ‘South and West’

Joan Didion went on the road 50 years ago. The trenchant observations, however fragmentary, are timely.

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17 Mar 2017 // 8:27 AM

Lusine: Sensorimotor

Lusine strikes the same synapses as Tycho. That is Lusine's music feels designed to accompany visuals.

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17 Mar 2017 // 8:12 AM

Pontiak: Dialectic of Ignorance

The Carney brothers’ latest album fumes with ominous portent but still holds on to the hope of a hopeless romantic.

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17 Mar 2017 // 8:02 AM

Shobaleader One: Elektrac

Shobaleader One defy the expectations of what a band can do with electrifying reinterpretations of Squarepusher tracks.

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Farewell Songs and New Beginnings in Late Night TV

How late night TV talk shows move on musically.

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Colm Mac Con Iomaire Brings Pastoral Tranquility to Muldoon’s Picnic

NYC's Irish Arts Center hosts a regular literary/musical salon curated by poet Paul Muldoon and will offer free books on St. Patrick's.

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The Enemy Within (and Beyond) in All-New Wolverine #18

Tom Taylor channels the spirit and passion of "Enemy of the State" and succeeds.

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Being on TV Can Be Scary: Satire, Bassem Youssef and Jon Stewart on ‘Tickling Giants’

Daily Show producer Sara Taksler submits that comedy is a good way to reach supporters. But viewers can also be divided by fear.

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‘Variety’ Is a Fascinating, Inviting Exploration Into the Concept

Analogous to the elements (i.e., atoms) generating the varied world around us, so too the elements of language can be rearranged to create a vast number of meanings.

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16 Mar 2017 // 8:25 AM

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Curious Legacy of Outkast

When it comes to hip-hop, everyone remembers who kicked down the front door -- but no one remembers who opened the windows.

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Kath Bloom: This Dream of Life

We're all dreams, evaporating before each other's eyes, within Kath Bloom's complicated folk, transcendent but grounded in human weakness.

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16 Mar 2017 // 7:55 AM

Auto-Tune In or Out?

Those who would doubt the influence of music technology on the development of pop music need to remember that rock music would not be possible without the invention of the electric guitar.

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Methyl Ethel: Everything Is Forgotten

Methyl Ethel might not forge anything very unique in their introspection, yet their power to possess still manages to yield results.

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Lawrence English: Cruel Optimism

Lawrence English's Cruel Optimism is a noise-ambient gem and a work of pained beauty.

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16 Mar 2017 // 7:30 AM

Ed Sheeran: ÷

There are plenty of fine songs here, as long as you can see them through the knobs and faders.

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Swinging Two Hammers: ‘The Man Who Could Cheat Death’ and ‘The Skull’

Two British horrors with iconic stars about doctors who can't heal themselves and the women who love them.

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City Plans and Vulcan Hands: Spiral Stairs’ Scott Kannberg Speaks

Doris and the Daggers is the first release from Spiral Stairs since 2009. Scott Kannberg explains what took so long. Spoiler? Life.

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15 Mar 2017 // 2:30 AM

The Shins: Heartworms

Heartworms is a sonic course correction from 2012's Port of Morrow, but the songwriting is still spotty, so it's simply too little, too late.

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‘Egg’: Bloomsbury’s Eggscellent Mission

Does Humpty Dumpty freak you out more or less than salmonella? Bloomsbury's Object Lessons books offer fodder for daily mindfulness.

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15 Mar 2017 // 2:20 AM

Joakim: Samurai

To listen to Samurai is to be regularly rebuffed in your efforts to firmly grasp something beyond its shifting surface.

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15 Mar 2017 // 2:15 AM

Eisley: I’m Only Dreaming

I’m Only Dreaming further solidifies Eisley as one of the best modern indie rock/pop groups.

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Philip Lewin: Am I Really Here All Alone?

A rare, long-treasured and rare loner folk touchstone is unearthed for a new generation.

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‘Personal Shopper’, a Personal Ghost Story

Olivier Assayas' most recent production offers layered thematic content and a strong performance from Kristen Stewart.

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Caroline Spence: Spades and Roses

Spence embodies authentic country; she has an incredible knack for enchanting listeners with her sweet soprano and emotional lyricism.

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‘Tharlo’ Is a Slow-moving Allegory About Innocence lost

Pema Tseden's Tharlo presents an allegory of Tibet and China in the guise of a film noir story set in Thailand

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The Asymmetry of Love in Fassbinder’s Fox and His Friends

Love always threatens to reduce one to the status of the mere thing, but Fassbinder finds hope precisely within this hopeless situation.

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14 Mar 2017 // 9:29 AM

Kurt Rosenwinkel: Caipi

The influential jazz guitarist makes a personal record that combines Brazilian music, current soul music, and jazz into something unique, sunny, and compelling.

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Jay Som: Everybody Works

Jay Som has made a glorious bummer of an indie rock record.

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Various Artists: Synthesize the Soul

A collection of early electronica from Cabo Verde, Synthesize the Soul boasts impressive range, rhythm, and pure island spirit.

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It’s Apple’s World, Just Click and Agree to It

Ever wonder what you agree to when you click on the terms and conditions for iTunes? Read R. Sikoryak's Terms and Conditions and be awakened.

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Five Lives in 15 Broad Strokes: An Interview With LaChanze

Through a one-woman show and new EP, "Feeling Good" celebrates the multi-faceted life of Tony Award-winning performer LaChanze.

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14 Mar 2017 // 2:30 AM

Anohni: Paradise EP

While none of the tracks here are quite as immediate or undeniable as "Drone Bomb Me" or "4 Degrees", Paradise is a searing and compelling indictment of our global predicament.

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How Far Will an Incomplete Woman Go to Obtain Her Sense of Self?

Much in the way the women of Persona and 3 Women assimilate into lives of their objects of affection, the women of Single White Female experience a similar fatal mutualism.

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‘Supernatural’ Alternates Between Humor and Dread in “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell”

The show takes a lighthearted break before the potentially intense road to the finalé begins.

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Works—Not ‘of Art’: Marcel Duchamp As Not an Artist

Filipovic's new book explores the ways in which Duchamp marshaled his curatorial efforts to investigate the ontological bounds of the artwork.

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Nate Smith: Kinfolk - Postcards from Everywhere

A veteran jazz drummer has produced a terrific collection that straddles jazz and contemporary soul without any of the compromise you expect. It's Glasper-esque... in the best way.

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Dirty Projectors: Dirty Projectors (take 2)

Returning to the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience.

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Violence Is the Vehicle, Not the Point, in ‘Headshot’

Headshot puts a few well-known action movies through something of a blender to come up with a strangely brilliant concoction.

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‘On the Nature of Daylight’: Arrival’s Gentle, Beating Heart

Max Richter's 'On the Nature of Daylight' signaled that as a new parent, I was going to have a relationship with Arrival's message.

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Has Corporate Malfeasance Signaled an End to Law and Order in America?

Has the US become a country where crime pays? Could the corporate death penalty help rein in America's criminal banks?

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13 Mar 2017 // 2:30 AM

Spoon: Hot Thoughts

The melodies on Hot Thoughts might be Spoon's stickiest in a while, and the album strikes a near-perfect balance between traditional songs and adventurous sounds.

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Paul Weller: Jawbone - Music From the Film

The ageless, prolific Weller steps out of his comfort zone with his first soundtrack, and it's a moody, psychedelic gem.

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'Steep' Loves Its Mountains

// Moving Pixels

"SSX wanted you to fight its mountains, Steep wants you to love its mountains.

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