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9 Mar 2017 // 9:01 AM

Dude York: Sincerely

The Seattle trio’s second album accentuates their comely power pop features.

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Craig Taborn: Daylight Ghosts

Taborn is a candidate for jazz MVP in the 20-teens. This album is his resume and calling card.

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9 Mar 2017 // 8:42 AM

Gailes: Seventeen Words

A chance snowstorm leads to a new project for two familiar collaborators.

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9 Mar 2017 // 8:41 AM

Sunny Sweeney: Trophy

Sweeney’s a true romantic, not only about love and family, but about the Lone Star state as well.

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9 Mar 2017 // 8:32 AM

Nathan Fake: Providence

Nathan Fake conquers chronic writer’s block and reshapes his sound on emotionally triumphant new album.

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Tennis: Yours Conditionally

Tennis's fourth LP adds nuance, definition, and depth to their already well-established sound.

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The Challenging Emotions of ‘The Crying Game’

Despite its setting against a backdrop of recent British political history, Neil Jordan's excellent drama is also a timeless exploration of gender identity and moral ambiguity.

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Turkeys from Turkey: The Best Bad Films on the Globe

Turkey has a rich cultural tradition in film, but lax copyright standards and low budgets led to some very bad rip off films that are funnier than ever today.

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‘Is It All In Your Head?’ When Imaginary Illness Is Real

Is it all in your head? According to neurologist Suzanne O'Sullivan, it doesn't really matter.

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The Way the Song Finds Its Way: A Conversation With Sam Phillips

Sam Phillips talks with PopMatters about new songwriting methods, her new EP, upcoming full-length, and yes, Gilmore Girls.

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‘The Good Fight’ “Henceforth Known As Property” Seeks Truth in Analogies

When it comes to discovering truth, The Good Fight knows which questions to ask without helping anyone else find the answers.

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Save Ferris Fizzles on Revival Tour Stop in New York

Whether her vocals were underwhelming due to a bad audio mix or because her voice is flagging after 15+ years of disuse, Powell was unable to sustain Save Ferris's momentum.

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Jaakko Laitinen and Väärä Raha: Näennäinen

Väärä Raha cuts a southward swath across Europe for its latest collection of dramatic folk fusion.

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The Country and the Metropolis: Thomas Hardy, a Divided Man

Mark Ford's compelling study offers the first thorough account of Thomas Hardy as "a London Man".

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Is A.I. the New Other?

Aliens and robots are swapping seats as filmic sci-fi reformulates its visions of the foreign and the familiar.

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8 Mar 2017 // 3:30 AM

WHY?: Moh Lhean

WHY? makes peace with mortality on their expansive new album.

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Hurray for the Riff Raff: The Navigator

Alyndra Segarra proves that moonlight and a bottle can function as well as the Bible for one looking for salvation.

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Rose Tremain’s ‘The Gustav Sonata’ Is an Honest and Sensitive Look at Human Foibles

It’s a mark of Tremain’s accomplished writing that in these relatively short chapters there's nearly always some kind of revelation or surprise, some kind of turning point.

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Steve Hackett on His New World Music-Influenced Album and Leaving Genesis 40 Years Ago

The progressive rock guitar legend offers a message of unity on his latest The Night Siren.

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Gasparilla Film Fest: Interview With ‘Burn Your Maps’ Director Jordan Roberts

A conversation on "burning maps" during the creation process, racial and sexual identity, cultural appropriation, and of course, movies.

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Hot Tuna Sizzles Back at Hallowed Ground in San Francisco

The melodic syncopation ideas are a big part of what made Jefferson Airplane stand out from the pack in the ‘60s and have continued to power Hot Tuna through the decades.

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Clap! Clap!: A Thousand Skies

Clap! Clap! combines West African rhythms and influences with warm, low-key electronics. It's a good, interesting album that also fades into the background a bit too easily.

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Darkest Hour: Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora

No matter your take on Darkest Hour, the D.C. outfit reminds us that passion is nine-tenths of metal law on its newest effort.

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On Race and Meritocracy in Academia

Today's elite universities and students claim to value diversity. But do they really?

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7 Mar 2017 // 9:26 AM

Parlor Walls: Opposites

Parlor Walls may have missed fertile earlier periods of New York avant rock, but Opposites is powerful enough to motivate an agitated faction during a crucial moment in history.

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‘Orange Is the New Black’ and Ethnic and Racial Differences Within the Latinx Community

One of the most important messages of this show is that race is not all encompassing, but rather, it intersects with gender, sexuality, class, religion, and region in diverse ways.

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‘The Tree of Wooden Clogs’ Is Extraordinary in Its Depiction of Tenant Farmers

In a world of absolutes and cruel consequences, if an entire family’s future is destroyed due to the cutting of a single tree, then that’s simply how things are.

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Chicano Batman: Freedom Is Free

L.A.'s Chicano Batman combine vintage psychedelic soul with a strong social message. They may just be the perfect band for our times.

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Food Films Get Eaten Alive by ‘Feasting Our Eyes’

So we should watch more Super Size Me and less Babette’s Feast? C’mon.

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Decoding the Message: An Interview with Thievery Corporation

Unafraid of genre or style, Thievery Corporation are back with an album influenced by everything from Jamaica to the current political climate.

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Galactic and the Funky Meters Bring the Sound of New Orleans Back to the Warfield

One of the hardest working bands in showbiz over the past two decades, Galactic continues to tour relentlessly to carry the torch for the New Orleans funk pioneered by the original Meters in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

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‘Beauty and the Beast’ (2017) Is Beautiful and Beastly, But Empty

Disney's new film's nostalgia for Disney's animated classic is overshadowed by a love affair that never blossoms and a story that never surprises.

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A Letter From Your Lesbian Friend to Your Black Friend

Some reflections on the challenge of educating allies, with the help of Ben Passmore's Your Black Friend.

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‘Supernatural’: Sam Finally Gets the Spotlight In “The Raid”

"The Raid" offers a challenging mix of interesting character exploration and stilted plot developments.

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Witnessing Sexual Trauma: The Complex Facets of the Gaze in Phoebe Gloeckner’s Work

How Phoebe Gloeckner creates the "Feminist Gaze" and critiques Western art in her taboo-defying graphic narrative, A Child’s Life.

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Something Isn’t Right with Criterion’s Release of ‘Something Wild’

This film itself is problematic, but Criterion's Blu-ray of Something Wild has me wondering, is Criterion slipping?

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6 Mar 2017 // 3:30 AM

Blanck Mass: World Eater

Blanck Mass's World Eater is a humungous, terrifying slab of electronic noise.

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sir Was: Digging a Tunnel

A hazy, hip-hop inspired album for the early hours that features moments of deep introspection from the impressive Joel Wästberg.

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6 Mar 2017 // 3:15 AM

Pieta Brown: Postcards

Brown penned simple acoustic version of the songs while in hotel rooms on tour and sent them to various musical collaborators to turn into a shared track.

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The Courtneys: The Courtneys II

The Courtneys' sophomore release unfortunately lacks the fun that surrounded their debut.

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John Abercrombie Quartet: Up and Coming

The influential guitarist and his regular group produce a lovely follow-up recording that could use a dose of caffeine.

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6 Mar 2017 // 3:01 AM

Ryanhood: Yearbook

Hood and Green expertly weave pop-sensible tracks that ride the alternative folk wave straight into a medley of musical influences

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How Foxygen Turned a Study of Genre into the Sound of the Future

PopMatters spoke to Sam France and Jonathan Rado about the themes that dominate the album, their work with a 40-piece orchestra, and their strange connection to the POTUS.

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David Duchovny Hits the Road to Seek the Musical Truth That’s Out There

The concept of witnessing the man who plays Mulder live on stage in a rock band seems like it’s what’s providing the buzz here for one of the more unique pop culture moments of recent years.

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“The Schtup List” Is Full of Surprises and Suspense for ‘The Good Fight’

What we thought we knew? Perhaps we shouldn't have been so sure. Plus, terrorism and political donors in the Age of Trump.

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Still Living Dangerously After All These Years

As autocratic leaders slowly take over the First World, popular representations of a Third World coup take on renewed significance.

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3 Mar 2017 // 3:30 AM

Thundercat: Drunk

With Drunk, Thundercat has delivered a fascinatingly scattershot series of song fragments, snippets, and ideas perfectly suited to the increasingly limited, equally fragmented attention spans of modern listeners.

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The World Is an Unfair Place: An Interview With Min Jin Lee

Min Jin Lee’s novel Pachinko is a multi-generational look at the little-known plight of Koreans living in Japan.

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3 Mar 2017 // 3:20 AM

Temples: Volcano

England's neo-psychedelic wonder boys bring grand vision and more explosions to sophomore release Volcano.

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Guy Clark: The Best of the Dualtone Years

Collecting Clark’s late-period songs and ending with a sprinkling of unreleased demos, this anthology is a reminder of what a singular songwriter he was.

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“I’m Just Bad-Assed”: An Interview with Delbert McClinton

Veteran singer-songwriter returns from heart surgery with a new label with a new career high in the form of Prick of the Litter.

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‘Girls’: An Engrossing “American Bitch” Just Misses Transcending Its Sitcom Medium

In "American Bitch", the novelistic approach squares up against polarized argumentation.

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‘Before I Fall’ Can’t Break Free From Its Built-in YA Shackles

Before I Fall is more cinematically interesting than its contemporaries and boasts a solid lead performance from Zoey Deutch, but it's bogged down by teen-drama clichés.

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‘Champions #6’: There Are Better Ways to Do Good

The Champions have successfully started a movement, but they've also triggered a backlash.

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The Power of Small Acts of Kindness in ‘The King of New Orleans’

A tale of a man who talks people off ledges -- from the seat of his cab.

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‘The Book of the Dead’ Reflects the Complexity of Its Author and His Times

Orikuchi Shinobu's work helps to illustrate the power of fiction and literature to bring to life -- quite literally, in this case -- academic theories surrounding religion, folklore and sociology.

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Dream Theater: “Images, Words & Beyond” at the Forum Karlín, Prague

Combining old classics with new cuts, Dream Theater demonstrates why they've managed to stick around all these years.

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2 Mar 2017 // 4:00 AM

The Reluctant Superhero: Marvel TV in the ‘70s

Before the rise of the MCU, Marvel attempted to bring some of its most famous superheroes to television.

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2 Mar 2017 // 3:30 AM

Sleaford Mods: English Tapas

Sleaford Mods call their music "electronic minimalist punk-hop rants for the working class." On their newest album, they are as aggressive, unpolished, and totally unapologetic as ever.

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Slice of Life: Sinkane Lives it Up With His Latest Work, ‘Life & Livin It’

Sinkane’s counterintuitive approach to making (and performing) his music forces his roots to show unabashedly in ways that are almost punkishly defiant.

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Old 97’s: Graveyard Whistling

The band still band finds complexity in apparent basics, and depth within its play.

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Hecker: A Script for Machine Synthesis

Hecker presents a dissertation told as much through the way it makes the listener feel as what it tells the listener to think.

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Dead Sara Lets It Bleed for the Resistance at the Chapel in San Francisco

Dead Sara has a sound that now seems destined to help lead the rock resistance against the Donald Trump regime’s assault on America.

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1 Mar 2017 // 10:57 AM

The Paperhead: Chew

The Nashville band’s fourth album reads like vintage rock CliffsNotes.

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Various Artists: Young Art Sound

On TOKiMONSTA's electric Young Art label, the bold thrive. Young Art Sound is a brilliant showcase of what the crew can do.

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‘Testosterone Rex’ Delivers an Anticlimactic Attempt to Extinguish Gender Myths

Light on science, heavy on smugness, Testosterone Rex, does everyone a disservice.

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‘La La Land’ Is a Delightful Return to Mise en Scène Cinema

The melancholy in this film's musical sequences serves as commentary on cinema’s bygone capacity to produce a unique kind of magic.

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Valerie June: The Order of Time

Valerie June returns with a stirring journey through time and its impact on love and life.

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Visible Cloaks: Reassemblage

On Reassemblage, Portland's Visible Cloaks craft ambient soundscapes where machines talk and muted light suffuses even the remotest of places

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Vulgarians 101: A Course for Future Leaders of America

A dystopian syllabus for an inevitable future at a hypothetical university.

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Lady-Killer: Exploring Coming-of-Age Through Horror in ‘Lady in White’

Lady in White is a patiently-crafted example of how setting and atmosphere can supersede character and action in a story.

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There’s a Reason Why There’s No Biography of John Hughes

Searching for John Hughes is among the finest tragedies in the brave new genre of memoir wherein the author’s own life is reflected in the undertaking of a biography fail.

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There Never Was an Academy Awards Battle Between ‘La La Land’ and ‘Moonlight’

It's important to recognize storytelling that gives voice to the voiceless. The Oscars, however, are not that important.

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How to Study Kafka in East Berlin Without Really Trying

A review of Schadenfreude, a Love Story, including some personal observations and self-identification that connect to a memoir with a really long title and lots of German words

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Ibibio Sound Machine: Uyai

Ibibio Sound Machine's sophomore album is a nonstop block party, bursting with summer soul, retro electronics, and funky Afrobeat.

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Unearthly Trance: Stalking the Ghost

One of the best and heaviest bands to come out of NYC in the past several decades returns with a vengeance to stake their claim.

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Molly Burch: Please Be Mine

Molly Burch makes yearning an art on her debut, only faltering when she questions herself and her love.

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27 Feb 2017 // 11:10 AM

Ministry: Trax! Rarities

Once more into the vault for a double-vinyl showcase of the many faces (and styles) of Al Jourgensen and Co. Culled from the awesome 2015 Trax! Box.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers Blast Through Tremendous Set at Madison Square Garden

I finally saw Red Hot Chili Peppers do their funky thing no matter that Kiedis rocked out while wearing a soft-cast boot. Find photos and tour dates here.

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‘The Good Fight’ Gets Its ‘Good Wife’ on in “First Week”

In "First Week", moral ambiguity, a Good Wife judge, and an affair pay tribute to the series that spawned it.

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27 Feb 2017 // 10:24 AM

Porcelain Raft: Microclimate

The third LP from professional dreamer Mauro Remiddi, Microclimate is filled with lush bedroom pop that transports you to strange, hermetic vistas

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Sarah Bethe Nelson: Oh, Evolution

On her gorgeous sophomore album, Sarah Bethe Nelson combines the sunny hooks of the '60s with the more contemporary feel of indie rock.

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‘The Sound of the One Hand’: Ancient Mysteries (Sort of) Revealed

Can a religious text be revolutionary if it's also inscrutable?

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Dirty Projectors: Dirty Projectors

What David Longstreth attempts to pass as daring, confessional experimentation often veers closer to self-indulgence.

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‘Muslim Cool’ Puts Its Faith in Hip-Hop, and Hip-Hop in Its Faith

Where Chance the Rapper injects spirituality into hip-hop, Muslim Cool injects hip-hop into spirituality.

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The Indeterminate Terror of the Neighbor in Kurosawa’s ‘Creepy’

The horror of the neighbor is not what is seen but what remains hidden.

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‘Groundhog Day’ and Iterations Toward a Theory of the (Third) Wheel: Or, Larry the Cameraman

No matter what the actor Phil Connors (Bill Murray) does, it's the cameraman Larry (Chris Elliott) who holds the power to make or break him.

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Red Gets Poisoned, but ‘The Blacklist’ Gets Better in “The Apothecary”

Decent writing, great casting, and a potential plot twist help The Blacklist recover some of its faded glory.

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‘Punching Henry’ and the Pains of Standup Comedy

Henry Phillips’ sequel to Punching the Clown revisits the difficulties of performing stand-up comedy (with his guitar,) but doesn't pose new questions about that experience.

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‘This Is Us’ Steps Into the Past for “The Big Day” Episode

Random circumstances are rarely random for the characters in This is Us.

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‘Santa Clarita Diet’: “The Farting Sex Tourist” Is Both Deep and Deeply Silly

Despite its title, the episode brings both the funny and the touching in the series' inimitable style.

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‘Get Out’ Is a Fantastic Freak-Out

Jordan Peele's new movie mixes humor, horror, and satire to create vital social commentary.

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24 Feb 2017 // 3:30 AM

The Feelies: In Between

Quieter but no less energetic, mature but still playful, the Feelies’ new record confronts the challenge of aging with eyes and hearts open.

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Dogs, Dialectics, and Academy Awards

Controversies involving A Dog's Purpose, The Birth of a Nation, and Last Tango in Paris reveal that access to more offscreen information can lead to greater accountability.

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24 Feb 2017 // 3:20 AM

Call Super: Fabric 92

Call Super offers a captivating mix to soundtrack the discoveries and revelations of the early morning

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Fabiano Do Nascimento: Tempo Dos Mestres

Awe-inspiring and all analog, Fabiano Do Nascimento fuses music and nature deep in the Amazon rainforest with enchanting results.

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La Nausée in the Spanish Empire: Antonio Di Benedetto’s ‘Zama’

A servant of the Spanish crown finds himself in remote Paraguay, entertaining fantasies and delusions that clash with the actual circumstances of his position. A bleak, comic, and tragic story of alienation.

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Mark Porkchop Holder: Let It Slide

Gritty bluesman Mark Porkchop Holder impresses on Let It Slide.

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24 Feb 2017 // 3:02 AM

Travis Linville: Up Ahead

Up Ahead showcases a bright and deserving future for this up-and-comer.

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24 Feb 2017 // 3:00 AM

Freedom in Movement: An Interview With Sarah Bethe Nelson

San Francisco-based songwriter Sarah Bethe Nelson got out of the West Coast's most expensive city and hit the road. The result: a new buoyancy and swagger in her music.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Tibet House's 30th Anniversary Benefit Concert Celebrated Philip Glass' 80th

// Notes from the Road

"Philip Glass, the artistic director of the Tibet House benefits, celebrated his 80th birthday at this year's annual benefit with performances from Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Brittany Howard, Sufjan Stevens and more.

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