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11 Aug 2015 // 7:00 AM

When a Memoir Isn’t

In chapter after chapter of Hold Still, Mann unfolds the dark secrets of her father, her mother, her adulterous great-grandmother -- everyone, it seems, but Mann herself.

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11 Aug 2015 // 2:30 AM

Chelsea Wolfe: Abyss

Although Abyss is most unnerving in its quieter moments, the album is Wolfe’s most well-paced and effective release to date.

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In Praise of Kristen Wiig’s Risky Career Choices

Kristen Wiig’s genius is that she can generate humor and pathos from the same source, her characters’ pain.

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Sweet Baboo: The Boombox Ballads

The Boombox Ballads is, at its essence, all about surfaces. Gorgeous, sumptuous surfaces.

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Charlie Haden and Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Tokyo Adagio

An important reminder of Charlie Haden's great spirit and generosity.

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Some Memories Just Won’t Be Released in ‘Unfriended’

Unfriended successfully updates horror movie conventions for a social media savvy audience.

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Wendy & Lisa: Fruit at the Bottom

The late ‘80s album gets a fresh work-out with re-mastered expanded edition, featuring Prince remix.

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11 Aug 2015 // 2:05 AM

Rancid: All the Moon Stomper’s

Rancid have had an extremely colourful career, warmly regarded as a Californian foursome who eat, sleep and breathe punk rock.

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“This Awesome, Uncontrollable Surprise”: An Interview with Bastille

Mercedes-Benz has been curating a five-month, five-stop tour to try and target millennials, with Bastille as one hell of a headliner. For Bastille, it's just "exciting to have a whole new set of songs to play."

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Things Get Really Creepy in ‘The Gift’

Our protagonist's status as victim is mostly a function of images, mesmerizing shots from behind, so you might be stalking her in the shower or jogging on the streets near her home.

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A New World of Wonder in ‘Justice League Gods and Monsters—Wonder Woman #1’

A new Wonder Woman explores a new world in a bold new way.

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‘33 Days’ Is a Complex Portrayal of Life Under Nazi Occupation

A harrowing, psychological – and true – first-hand account of Nazi Germany’s invasion and occupation of France.

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Singapore’s ‘1965’ Sacrifices a Good Story and History at the Altar of Nationalism

Conflations, copouts, and confusions turn 1965 into a kitschy commemorative paean that will struggle to shrug off accusations of being propaganda.

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No Apologies: A Critique of the Rockist v. Poptimist Paradigm

Both rockists and poptimists treat music as not much more than a social commodity, a consumerized product within the spectacle of American capitalism.

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10 Aug 2015 // 2:30 AM

Tunde Olaniran: Transgressor

This is hip-hop in 2015. This is R&B in 2015. This is music in 2015. It isn’t static, it isn’t formally restricted, it’s hell-bent on blurring lines.

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10 Aug 2015 // 2:20 AM

Grace Potter: Midnight

Hopefully, Midnight is simply a test spin and not indicative of all Grace Potter intends to achieve.

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Carly Simon: Spoiled Girl (Expanded Edition)

Yuppie drama in expanded version of Carly Simon’s Spoiled Girl. Cult masterpiece or cult disaster?

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Life on the Inside of Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch

The story of the man behind Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch needs no embellishment to make it an emotional one, but that doesn't stop the filmmakers from trying.

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10 Aug 2015 // 2:10 AM

DJ Koze: DJ Koze

Tack on "tastemaker" to Koze's impressive resume.

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10 Aug 2015 // 2:05 AM

John Anderson: Goldmine

Anderson’s twangy inflections endow him with charm. He’s the good ol’ boy who enjoys simple pleasures of life.

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‘The Dying Grass’ Refuses to be Coralled

Like the unfenced West, William T. Vollmann's novel roams freely, evading control of the mechanical hand and conforming style.

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Missed Opportunities in ‘Fantastic Four’

Angry teenagers in the midst of superheros' origin stories.

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Chalice Brings Together Lovers of Music, Glass, Hash and Art Along Old Route 66

STS9 was headlining Chalice for the second straight year and once again drew a devoted audience that reveled in the chance to catch the jamtronica band’s groovy instrumental jams in an intimate setting under the summer stars.

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‘Diary of a Teenage Girl’ Is Really About Adults in Need of Parenting

We follow the exploits of Minnie (Bel Powley), a 15-year-old aspiring cartoonist in 1976 San Francisco. The first thing she tells us -- “I just had sex. Holy shit!” -- sets the film's tone.

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Songs About the Southland: Marvel’s Black Panther vs. the Klan

It was a hot Southern summer when the Black Panther came down South to do battle with the Klan.

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Not Safe for Children, ‘Cop Car’ is a Crafty and Cool-Handed High Plains Thriller

When two ten-year-old boys steal a seemingly abandoned police cruiser, they get roped into an absurdist crime drama they don’t comprehend any better than the audience does.

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‘The Crimson Field’ Addresses War and the Changing Roles of Women

The Crimson Field may not completely enthrall but it is consistently interesting. For a show without grand ambition, you can say much worse.

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Lush Life: The Music of Brazil’s Doris Monteiro

Doris Monteiro, Brazil's "Queen of Radio", offered in 1976 what was perhaps her finest musical declaration with Agora, a now obscure and luxurious treasure of Brazilian pop-delights.

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The Jam: About the Young Idea: The Very Best of the Jam

You can dock About the Young Idea a point for its lack of marketing vision, but the Jam were as good as three-and-a-half minutes or less gets.

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The Bird and the Bee: Recreational Love

The subtle charm and sly sophistication of the style makes you gaze at shoes and tap your feet at the same time.

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Warren Haynes: Ashes & Dust

Mostly known for his work as a rocker, Haynes shows off his Americana side in just as seamlessly a manner.

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Meek Mill: Dreams Worth More Than Money

On Dreams Worth More Than Money savvy potential hits are overshadowed by tracks with chips on their shoulders, made for a guy who sounds like he leaves blood on the mic.

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Two Masters of Hollywood Expressionism Go Back to Europe

Escape From East Berlin and War-Gods of the Deep both try to escape from tyranny.

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7 Aug 2015 // 2:05 AM

Ministry: Trax! Box

The nine hours of early Ministry and co-conspirators on the Trax! Box just doesn’t get old.

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A Massive Attack on America’s Ideological Fiction

The WikiLeaks Files examines how 21st century American imperialism works; the military and economic interventions, the covert actions, the violations of national sovereignty and human rights.

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Existential Rap: An Interview With LOSTBOYEVSKY

With the release of his debut mixtape Rhymes 'N' Puns 'N' Shit, art rapper LOSTBOYEVSKY talks about rapping in South Korea, the nature of art rap, and technology's impact on life.

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A Battle of Wills and Faiths Ensues in ‘Moon Knight #17’

Moon Knight faces the other followers of Khonshu. Yes, other followers.

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An Excellent Ensemble Shines In ‘The Casual Vacancy’

The series does an admirable job of adapting J.K. Rowling’s dense book into a miniseries, even with the sacrifice of several storylines.

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In ‘Hard to Be a God’, Slumming It Has Never Felt so Real

Aleksey German's last film is part genius, part a confusing mess, and 100 percent a cinematic experience like no other.

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What Is the Real Story of the Atomic Bombings?

America claimed the atomic bomb ended World War II and saved American lives. Journalist and historian Paul Ham calls that “a pack of lies”.

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6 Aug 2015 // 2:30 AM

The Delta Saints: Bones

The Nashville outfit dips into moonshine barrels of influence to create a heady cocktail of roots rock.

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The Whistles & the Bells: The Whistles & the Bells

A complex and musically surprising account of Bryan Simpson's Christian journey.

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6 Aug 2015 // 2:15 AM

Zachary Cale: Duskland

Zachary Cale's excellent new record is full of travelers at rest, people taking stock of what already was and caught between worry and hope over what comes next.

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‘The Salt of the Earth’ and Tensions Between Peace and Disruption and Beauty and Destruction

The Salt of the Earth shows that Sebastião Salgado is as much of an activist as he is an artist.

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Nate Ruess: Grand Romantic

Nate Ruess anchors his first solo album by doing what he’s always done best: blowing the roof off the place with astronomically rangy, patently catchy hooks.

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Jay Gonzalez: The Bitter Suite

Gonzalez's focus on power pop sets him apart from his fellow Drive-By Truckers' solo projects, which makes it more interesting.

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What Is New Orleans Producer Carlo Ditta Talkin’ About?

A "keeper of the flame of funk", Carlo Ditta, releases his first album.

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What Drives a Man to Challenge the ‘Angry Sky’?

Long before Felix Baumgartner, the Austrian skydiver who set the Stratos jump record, there was maverick high altitude jumper Nick Piantanida.

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There’s More Than Zombies vs. Robots in Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies #2’

Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies is about more than an army of Ultrons battling an army of zombie supervillians, as cool as that sounds on its own.

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‘Toe Tag Parole: To Live and Die on Yard A’

This documentary looks at the knotty effects of life without parole at Yard A, an experimental program at the maximum-security California State Prison in the Mojave Desert.

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How Do the ‘Merchants of Doubt’ Sell Skepticism?

Merchants of Doubt shows how simple it is for corporations to sell lies to the American people, and how stupid the American people are to believe them.

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Judith Butler’s Latest on Making and Unmaking the Self

The essays in Senses of the Subject taken together, explore the ways in which human passions (e.g., touch; desire), influence the formation of the subject.

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20 Questions: Tim Noyes of Handsome Ghost

Last year, PopMatters premiered Handsome Ghost's "Blood Stutter". This year, we caught up with Tim Noyes after a performance to have him answer '20 Questions'.

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5 Aug 2015 // 2:30 AM

Mac DeMarco: Another One

Whether his heartbreak is the fault of geography or the turn of love’s fickle tides, Another One continues to flex DeMarco’s unique gifts for phrasing and double meanings.

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Reappraising Ian Anderson’s ‘Minstrel in the Gallery’

Minstrel in the Gallery seems as autobiographical as any Jethro Tull album, before or after, and there is a vulnerability and sensitivity that the songwriter was simply growing into.

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5 Aug 2015 // 2:20 AM

Telepathe: Destroyer

"Tonight we dine in hell!" Brooklyn duo on rampage after four-year incarceration!

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Runner of the Woods: Thirsty Valley

Thirsty Valley is a strong, assured debut that works best when the band plays around the outer edges of its country-rock sound.

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Rock’s Bad Boy Mick Jagger Is Not Bad Enough for ‘Ned Kelly’

Tony Richardson’s 1970 Down Under biopic Ned Kelly provides lovingly filmed scenery--including the Rolling Stone’s Mick Jagger--but, in this version of the folk legend, bad boy Ned seldom seems to be the “wild colonial boy”.

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Evan Caminiti: Meridian

At its best, this type of music should evoke half-forgotten childhood memories of snowstorms or high fevers.

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Jim Croce: The Definitive Croce

Jim Croce is an essential artist, but The Definitive Croce is not an essential record.

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‘Muse’ Is a Story Not About Love, but About Worship

Johnathan Galassi's send-up to the publishing industry and his own past offers nothing to the tradition it so lionizes.

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5 Aug 2015 // 2:02 AM

All Hail Hair Metal Heart

Ever since grunge rock turned Heart’s hair metal meal ticket into a scarlet letter, the Wilson sisters have twisted one of the greatest arena rock trilogies ever into a Judean desert-level tale of temptation with a Mutt Lange-ish Devil offering up industrial-sized cans of Aqua-Net, too-tight corsets and platinum albums in lieu of all the kingdoms of the world.

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To Embody a Darker Ideal in ‘Justice League Gods and Monsters - Superman #1’

Taking a different path to become an icon with Hernan Guerra and not Clark Kent.

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‘Wyrmwood’ Breathes Fresh Life Into the Undead

While not perfect, this independently produced passion project is a surprisingly refreshing and original zombie movie with a twist.

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‘I Am Big Bird’ Pulls Back the Curtain on a Remarkable Entertainer

This film deftly strings together the highs and lows of beloved puppeteer Caroll Spinney’s career with enough evidence to back up the illuminating profile of its subject.

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Let Us Now Praise Dale Watson, American Treasure

Dale Watson wants to secede from country music and all we can do is hope that this is one rebellion that comes to a happy end.

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The Jesus and Mary Chain: Live at Barrowlands

Live at Barrowlands is as much a kick to the groin as Psychocandy was on its release three decades ago.

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Sleaford Mods: Key Markets

Sleaford Mods continue to not give a single flying f**k, to grand results.

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Jackson C. Frank: The Complete Recordings

Fully remastered and appending 57 tracks to the ten cuts comprising Frank’s sole record, this should be considered the definitive collection of the tragic and enigmatic songwriter.

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‘The Four Warriors’ Boldly Goes Where Everyone Has Gone Before

A highly derivative fantasy adventure, The Four Warriors feels like it might just manage to save itself. And then it promptly walks straight off a cliff.

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4 Aug 2015 // 2:10 AM

Terranova: Restless

On their first album since 2012, the German techno duo offer up more stark, well-produced minimalism with guests including Stereo MCs and WhoMadeWho.

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Peaches and Dreams: On Tour and Out and About With Peaches

Berlin-based photographer Holger Talinski captures the 'magic and the realities' of Peaches on tour in What Else Is in the Teaches of Peaches.

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The Bad Plus Joshua Redman: The Bad Plus Joshua Redman

Two jazz "stars" unite for a recording and tour that proves to be more than the sum of its parts.

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Heavy Hitters: An Interview With the Isley Brothers

Kendrick sampled them, UK dance groups cover them, and that's just a smattering of the Isley Brother's current legacy, summed up in a new history-packed box set.

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David Foster Wallace and ‘The End of the Tour’

The End of the Tour observes the process of reverence, its reductions and lapses.

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‘Lantern City’ and its Steampunk Futures

There's a depth to Lantern City that great artists like Victor Hugo and J.D. Salinger and the Marx Brothers have been struggling with since the very beginning.

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Is ‘Gemma Bovery’ Serious, Slapstick, Tragic, Romantic or Twee?

Unsure of the right tone to take, and weighed down by a dispiriting bunch of characters, Gemma Bovery is, unfortunately, the sum of all its parts

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Clive James Proves That Great Literature Is Not Dead

Clive James’ Latest Readings provide a source of inspiration, wit, and lessons about life and art.

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Newport Folk Festival 2015: Dylan ‘65 Revisited and the Community at Fort Adams

The 2015 Newport Folk Festival was an amazing event with a great lineup of artists, the vibe of a small community and a beautiful location.

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A Public Service Announcement From Your Future AI Overlords

Perhaps what worries Stephen Hawking and his fear mongering colleagues is not some hostile Other like Agent Smith from The Matrix, but the more pedestrian Other that is other people.

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3 Aug 2015 // 2:30 AM

Night Beds: Ivywild

Ivywild is an intoxicating, stunning purge of emotion whose only fault is that it runs a little long.

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Salim Nourallah: Skeleton Closet

Salim Nourallah’s knack for capturing the spirit of pure pop within the context of razor sharp hooks and sweet, seductive melodies make for pure old school enjoyment.

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3 Aug 2015 // 2:15 AM

Barnett + Coloccia: Weld

A pairing of experimental music all-stars results in an album ideally suited for an as-yet unscripted horror film.

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‘King of the Gypsies’ Should Become a Cult Classic

Eric Robert's big screen debut provides a beautifully shot and scored dramatic take on gypsy life in America.

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God Is an Astronaut: Helios | Erebus

While Helios | Erebus may not be the best the group has to offer, it’s still a gorgeous yet heartrending opus as only they could provide.

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Is ‘The Art of Forgery’ an Art at All?

Noah Charney's intriguing survey of art crime grapples with a question that he himself never fully answers: are the great forgers artists in their own right?

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3 Aug 2015 // 2:05 AM

HoneyHoney: 3

As evidenced by her authoritative drawl and smart sexuality, it is immediately clear Suzanne Santos is no damsel in distress.

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Garnet Mimms: The Complete United Artists & Veep Singles

Looking for You: The Complete United Artists & Veep Singles proves to be an excellent compilation of music highlighting a truly fantastic, underappreciated soul musician.

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Tom Cruise Teaches the Genre What Action Is All About With ‘Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation’

This is the best thriller of the year not named Mad Max: Fury Road.

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The Media Circus Begins in ‘Best of Enemies’

This gripping documentary about the invective-slinging 1968 William F. Buckley-Gore Vidal debates isn’t a celebration of intellectual combat, it’s an original-sin tale for where TV news went wrong.

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Class Actress Plays the Role of Femme Fatale on Her Latest EP

The synthpop artist's Movies is a concept work, with her native Los Angeles serving as the backdrop.

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Omar Souleyman: Bahdeni Nami

If you’re not dancing or clapping while listening to Omar Souleyman, you’re doing something wrong.

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Various Artists: Shirley Inspired

Contemporary folk revivalists assemble to pay tribute to one of the British folk revival’s leading lights, Shirley Collins.

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Mark Springer: The Watching Bird / The Rip Rig and Panic Piano Solos

In Mark Springer's work, there is a presence of emotional distortion that pushes forward a striking narrative of signatures and chords.

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31 Jul 2015 // 2:15 AM

Folk City: New York and the American Folk Music Revival

Folk City explores New York's central role in fueling the nationwide craze for folk music in postwar America.

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31 Jul 2015 // 2:10 AM

Elizaveta: Messenger

A cocktail of style, skill and beauty, Elizaveta's second album leaves fans wondering if there is anything this singer-songwriter cannot do.

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‘Tangerines’ Is a Passionate Plea for Diplomacy and Coexistence

Tangerines highlights the various reasons why people fight, and then shows why these reasons are inadequate.

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Lyfe Jennings: Tree of Lyfe

The script changes little for R&B singer/songwriter Lyfe Jennings on sixth album Tree of Lyfe, but it works out just fine.

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Image Comics Challenges the Comics Industry with ‘Island #1’

Island #1 brings something to comics that hasn’t been as popular for a long time now, the anthology comicbook.

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‘Listen to Me Marlon’ Makes It Clear That for Marlon Brando, Acting Was Surviving

Marlon Brando's face offers various sorts of "stages", as he puts it, acting as a character or asserting a truth, showing that he is cocky or wounded or fearful.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Country Fried Rock: Drivin' N' Cryin' to Be Inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame

// Sound Affects

""If Drivin' N' Cryin' sounded as good in the '80s as we do now, we could have been as big as Cinderella." -- Kevn Kinney

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