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More Recent Features
Animation Film ‘Your Name.’ May Be the Best Body Swapping Movie in Decades

Although lacking slightly in character development, Makoto Shinkai's newest film is saccharine, gorgeous and heartwarming.

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25 Apr 2017 // 2:30 AM

Mew: Visuals

Visuals proves that Mew can carry on safely as a trio.

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All This I Do for Glory: An Interview With Saxophonist Colin Stetson

Extreme soul searching leads sax stylist Colin Stetson towards the very core of his creativity.

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Never Forget: Angela Sarafyan On ‘The Promise’ and The Armenian Genocide

Best known for her memorable work on Westworld, Sarafyan discusses her new film, The Promise, an epic memorial to the Armenian Genocide.

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Tamil Film ‘Mannan’ Presses the Limits of Using Violence on a Female Nemesis

Not only does Mannan inflict pre-meditated physical violence on a female superior at a workplace, it equates that retaliation to ‘manhood’ and brings in the angle of honour, for good measure.

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On State of Mind in ‘Hounds of Love’

Through its sheer sense of presence, Hounds of Love doesn't ask for, but rather demands, an appreciation for the visceral experience it cultivates.

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‘The Fuzzy and the Techie’ Argues That a Philosophy Degree Might Prove Useful, After All

Business powerhouse Scott Hartley examines those workers that bring context to elaborate codes and data, and humanistic ethics to the cold calculus of algorithms.

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Where the Heart Is An Interview With Multi-Grammy Winner Kim Carnes, Part Two

This is part two of our career-spanning interview with Kim Carnes.

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Slugabed: Inherit the Earth

A collection of solid, well-produced songs does not necessarily make for an enjoyable album.

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24 Apr 2017 // 9:20 AM

Sheryl Crow: Be Myself

The singer-songwriter reunites with producer Jeff Trott to deliver a strong return to rock and her earliest albums.

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Thurston Moore: Rock n Roll Consciousness

Thurston Moore and his band dig into his old sound while finding success in new ways.

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‘Exit Wounds’: On the Haunting Presence of a Missing Lover

An abandoned lover enlists the help of an abandoned son to identify the corpse of the terrorist victim who betrayed them both.

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Where the Heart Is: An Interview With Multi-Grammy Winner Kim Carnes, Part One

In this career-spanning interview with Kim Carnes, PopMatters goes beyond "Bette Davis Eyes" to explore the multi-Grammy winner's journey from LA to Nashville.

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‘Fences’ Finds the Beauty in Family Tragedy

Despite plodding direction, the resonant themes and rich performances of Denzel Washington and Viola Davis turn this stage play into a powerhouse melodrama.

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Willie Nelson: God’s Problem Child

Having released a seemingly innumerable number of albums over the last half century plus, Willie Nelson shows no signs of slowing down on the excellent God’s Problem Child.

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‘LA92’ Submerges Its Audience Into the Violent Aftermath of Institutional Racism

Oscar winners Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin's gamble on making the audience’s eyes do most of the work pays off with a feeling of heightened emotional distress and urgency.

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In Noir Fashion, ‘Americana’ Plays With the Reality of the Viewers Experience

Contemporary filmmakers break the 180-degree rule all the time, but seldom with the kind of flair that we see in Americana.

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Digital Dynamics With Analog Antics in ‘Ms. Marvel #17’

Ms. Marvel appeals to relevant drama, but struggles to make it a meaningful spectacle.

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A Lighter Touch in “Eat, Pray, Liv” Episode Helps ‘iZombie’ Move Forward

This episode puts a great deal in motion, yet iZombie never feels slowed down by too much plot.

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Fear and Loathing in Post-war Amsterdam

A bleakly funny book and a classic of Dutch literature, The Evenings tells the tale of a young man dealing with boredom and self-loathing during the last days of 1946.

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Romance and Genocide Don’t Mix in ‘The Promise’

One can argue about director Terry George's decision to focus on love in this milieu, but there’s no denying his execution fails on both a thematic and a narrative level.

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Remembering Prince’s Greatest Epic: 30 Years of  “Sign ‘O’ The Times”

One year after Prince's shocking death, we celebrate his greatest musical achievement as it passes its 30-year anniversary: Sign ☮ the Times

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You Say You Want A Revolution: André Cymone Talks Merging Poetic, Personal

After a 25-plus-year hiatus, André Cymone has begun speaking his mind. In so doing, he's providing a much-needed missive about the state of the world.

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21 Apr 2017 // 2:30 AM

Kendrick Lamar: DAMN.

The title is our reaction to his verbal gymnastics, his brazenness. And it’s a question: are we damned?

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Sun Ra and His Arkestra: Thunder of the Gods

Fifty years after their recording, we can finally hear some of Sun Ra's strangest and most complex compositions.

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Robyn Hitchcock: Robyn Hitchcock

The British elder statesman of indie rock comes out swinging with a terrific album that's both twisted and full of great hooks.

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‘Big Little Lies’ Proves That Women Really Are Stronger Together

By revealing the ways in which society pits women against each other, Big Little Lies makes a case for radical solidarity.

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‘Everything is Teeth’ Explores an Ambiguous Relationship With Art and Memory

Memoirist Evie Wyld and artist Joe Sumner explore beneath the surface of the graphic memoir form.

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Class and Classicism: An Interview With James Gray of ‘Lost City of Z’

A student of the game, filmmaker James Gray channels the old-school filmmaking form to make his latest as rich with ideas as the mid-century masterpieces that influenced his work.

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Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Loafer’s Hollow

The post-modern jazz group takes its second shot at pre-swing styles and nods to literature in the process.

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20 Apr 2017 // 8:55 AM

Porter Ray: Watercolor

Porter Ray's rapping on Watercolor is relaxed but quick, a style that emphasizes the intellectual bent to many of his rhymes, but intentionally fails to prepare you for the weight of his message.

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20 Apr 2017 // 8:46 AM

Jamiroquai: Automaton

After a seven-year hiatus, Jay Kay and band return with a sharp view of technological dominance.

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‘Free Fire’ Is Clever and Vigorous—Just Don’t Expect It to Be Smart

Ben Wheatley's latest is Reservoir Dogs meets Smokin’ Aces minus any and all narrative ambition.

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Mary Lattimore: Collected Pieces

Mary Lattimore opens up old boxes of memories, offering a fascinating glimpse of a unique talent

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20 Apr 2017 // 8:17 AM

Woods: Love Is Love

Woods deliver six new songs about uncertainty, shame, despair, and ultimately hope for a brighter future.

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Detachment and Re-attachment: The Mind of a Hermit No More

Christopher Knight disappeared into the woods at the age of 20 and returned at 47 without a masterpiece, without a testimony of life’s greater purpose, without anything profound to convey.

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Visual Literacy: An Interview With Robert Mockler of ‘Like Me’

Robert Mockler reflects on enabling collaboration, the solitude of the edit, the guidance of film history -- and the exciting changes social media is bringing to film.

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Drew Beskin: Cha-Ching Machine

Athens, Georgia mainstay Drew Beskin releases his first proper solo album.

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How Should the Story of Revolution Be Told?

UK scholar Helen Rappaport combines thorough scholarship with the stylistic grace of a novelist, and the result is a riveting tale of the Russian Revolution that’s difficult to put down.

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‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’ and Knowing How Far to Go Too Far

Some films disavow their own filmic presence, they attempt to be subtle by staying out of the way; this is not one of those films.

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What Defines the Line Between Inclusivity and Queerbaiting?

It was the year of the African American, not the LGBTQ, at the Academy Awards -- we can't have both. Perhaps the new hashtag should be #Oscarsoblackandwhite.

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Playboi Carti: Playboi Carti

Playboi Carti does not break new ground, but as an exercise in the millennial id delivered in Cam’ronian laziness, it’s sure a hell of a lot of fun.

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19 Apr 2017 // 8:31 AM

Somi: Petite Afrique

Stories of Harlem dance with soul, jazz, and West African rhythms on Somi's Petite Afrique.

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19 Apr 2017 // 8:15 AM

Gas: Narkopop

If previous Gas albums were all fog and illusion, Narkopop is striking for its clarity.

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Groundswell: An Interview With Angaleena Presley

The former Pistol Annie's brazen new album reflects on her time in the music industry and the future it holds for women.

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‘Doctor Who’: Mackie Is the Best Thing About “The Pilot” Episode

Pearl Mackie turns in a warm, charming, and entirely compelling performance in the role of Bill in only her second TV appearance.

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Living the Blues in ‘Chilly Scenes of Winter’

A sensitively framed composition of human nature, Chilly Scenes of Winter reveals the desires and neuroses that drive men to the brink.

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The Wooden Sky: Swimming in Strange Waters

Swimming in Strange Waters is, by far, the Wooden Sky’s most ambitious album to date.

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Max Richter on How Music Helps Him Understand the World

"I love the ballet because it's a language which I'm not a native speaker of. I admire and love watching ballet, but I'm not a dancer, so for me it has a magical quality."

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‘Anatahan’: A Bunch of Drones and “The Only Woman on Earth”

This film is a pure distillation of the lush, destructive jungle of desire.

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Ron Sexsmith: The Last Rider

Sexsmith pens songs that are smart without being smarmy, clever without being cynical, and earnest without being shallow.

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Istanbul: From Emperors to Street Vendors

Historian Thomas F. Madden's Istanbul leaves one with a sense of awe for how much of the human experience is on display in this one city, in this part of the world.

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18 Apr 2017 // 2:19 AM

Texas: Jump on Board

Texas strike some interesting new shapes, but don't stray too far from their comfort zone and therein lies the problem.

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Eleven Madison Park vs Alinea: The Ultimate Restaurant Grudge Match

On the comparative merits of Eleven Madison Park versus Alinea, on the occasion of Eleven Madison Park being named the best restaurant in the world.

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‘iZombie’: “Zombie Knows Best” Is a Signature Mix of Humor and Pathos

"Zombie Knows Best" balances Buckley's hilarious performance with the tonally different Clive flashbacks without missing a beat.

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Bureau of Sabotage Set to Rock for Resistance at Bicycle Day and Beyond

Burbridge says fans can expect to see Bureau of Sabotage take risks as they seek to be fully in the moment, following in the tradition of the original Acid Test parties where the fledgling Grateful Dead weren’t even necessarily required to play.

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Punk Meets Philosophy in ‘The House of Tomorrow’

Peter Livolsi's feature debut is a delightful coming-of-age story with few surprises but strong performances throughout.

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The String Cheese Incident: Believe

New Jerry Harrison-helmed outfit from veteran jam unit is better than you'd expect, even with a stumble or two.

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Tara Jane O’Neil: Tara Jane O’Neil

Tara Jane O’Neil's latest could be the beginning of a fruitful Laurel Canyon phase or another stop on her singular trail.

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17 Apr 2017 // 8:46 AM

Christian Sands: Reach

A journeyman pianist puts his influences out there (Corea, Glasper) but does so with energy and creativity. An artist on the rise.

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Can We Say the F Word Yet? On Fascism and Humor

In light of the decrees and executive orders signed thus far by Donald Trump, we might reasonably ask: is fascism relevant to America's current political state?

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Listen to Your Own Heartbeat: Katell Quillévéré‘s ‘Heal the Living’

The film traces loss and what comes after, the process of acceding to pain and encountering fears and anguish, and the implacable order of hospitals.

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Authenticity and Unbroken Chains in Rick Massimo’s ‘I Got a Song’

This book is about true believers who kept the torch burning for “authenticity” in folk music at any cost; even if it meant cultural appropriation and commercial compromising.

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17 Apr 2017 // 2:30 AM

Joe Goddard: Electric Lines

Hot Chip's Joe Goddard takes a solo turn with Electric Lines.

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It Takes a Village to Put a Man on the Moon: An Interview With the Creator’s of ‘Mission Control’

Director David Fairhead and Executive Producer Keith Haviland of Mission Control marvel at the men behind the first man on the moon.

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‘Exit West’ Is a Compassionate and Imaginative Fable of Migration

Mohsin Hamid rewrites the rules of time and space to tell the tale of migration in universal terms.

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14 Apr 2017 // 10:01 AM

J. Geils: 1946-2017

Hard Drivin’ Man: J. Geils brought blues, jazz, soul -- and his name -- to one of rock’s great bands

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‘About Time’ Is the Donald Trump of Romantic Comedies

About Time professes to celebrate life, but instead celebrates perhaps the most narcissistic, selfish behaviour ever rendered in film.

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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Is a Haunting Glimpse Into the Unfathomable

Timeliness of its themes and message aside, The Handmaid’s Tale is absolutely worth watching for the quality of the show on its own merits.

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Seeking El Dorado Is Its Own Reward in ‘The Lost City of Z’

Questing for humanity in the uncharted Amazon, James Gray’s new period epic is told at a whisper.

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14 Apr 2017 // 8:56 AM

Tamikrest: Kidal

Desert struggles make for purposeful rock and roll on Tamikrest's latest album of Saharan desert blues.

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Laura Marling: Semper Femina

This is art, not philosophy where the truth of beauty makes one slobber, not just salivate. Desire is too intense for good manners.

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The Bug Vs. Earth: Concrete Desert

This is difficult, oppressive music, full of sounds that would rather suffocate than eviscerate. The Bug vs. Earth really feels more like Earth's, and specifically Dylan Carlson's, project, in mood if not instrumentation.

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‘Colossal’ Stomps Along Its Own Quirky Path

Nacho Vigalondo’s monster dramedy is an intoxicating mix of the sublime and the surreal.

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‘The Lost City of Z’ Gets Lost In Its Own Ambitions

James Gray filters his rousing jungle epic through the lens of familiar melodrama with decidedly tedious results.

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‘Stephen Stills’ Won’t Be Making an Appearance Tonight

This new biography of Stephen Stills is an entertaining and informative overview of one of rock's most durable legends -- even without Stills' input.

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Ripples in the Water: A Conversation With Nick Allbrook of Pond

Nick Allbrook discusses politics, new music from Pond, and the influence of his native country, Australia, on his music.

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‘X-men Blue #1’ Brings Back an Original Cast With Renewed Energy

The original X-men get a fresh, but familiar infusion of energy.

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‘The Fate of the Furious’: Dom (Vin Diesel) Meets the Crocodile

Cipher (Charlize Theron) is the kind of smooth-talking villain you find in a Bond film, inflicting psychological and physical torture with abandon. Dom doesn't stand a chance.

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‘The Good Fight’: “Self-Condemned” Offers Needed Wins, Familiar Faces, and Bad News for Maia

Is Maia going to jail? Did Colin Sweeney just become a good guy?

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The Sexual, the Female, and the Forbidden Beckoned: ‘The Oxford History of Witchcraft & Magic’

It is hoped this solid anthology of level-headed observation will supplant spurious New Age-tinged assertions as well as lurid "exposés".

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In Praise of Comedy Films That Aren’t Funny

A look at the rather funnily not funny films, Blast-Off and Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood.

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13 Apr 2017 // 2:30 AM

Sam Gellaitry: Escapism III

The streaming era has opened up the floodgates for people looking to make music, but the chief indicator of breaking through is still sheer quality; Sam Gellaitry has that rare quality.

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Make What You Can: An Interview With Maximo Park

In a change of pace, UK guitar-rock giants Maximo Park tackle both the political and the personal on their latest effort.

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Marc Almond: Hits and Pieces - The Best of Marc Almond and Soft Cell

Hits and Pieces concentrates on the commercially-appealing aspects of Almond's recordings, painting him as the pop star he has always been so reluctant to be.

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Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer: Bach Trios

Three musical masters combine forces to tackle all manner of compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach, with thrilling results.

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13 Apr 2017 // 2:10 AM

Matt Mitchell: FØRAGE

Pianist Matt Mitchell has made a solo piano recording (his first) of compositions by Tim Berne, his longtime leader in Snakeoil. It is in every sense a masterpiece.

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So Help Me: Bartlet, Trump, and the Presidential God-complex

The West Wing's Jed Bartlet developed a God-complex because he became president; Donald Trump ran for president because of his existing God-complex.

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‘Win It All’ Plays It Safe

In Joe Swanberg’s latest amiable amble of a comedy, Jake Johnson plays a broke gambling addict who tries not so hard to do the right thing.

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‘Supernatural’: The Twisty “British Invasion” Is Confusing, Surprising, and Fun

Supernatural (finally) airs a must-see episode of genuinely surprising plot twists.

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King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard's experiments with microtones are ambitious, strange and dense.

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Rev. Samuel Dixon Presents the Voices of Freedom: My Soul Says Yes

You don’t need religion to love gospel music. If church ain’t your thing, just play this every Sunday and the light will shine upon thee.

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Fleetwood Mac: Tango in the Night

Somehow, time and a fresh remaster have turned Tango in the Night's digital sheen and cool, clinical professionalism into virtues. How'd that happen?

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The Old Dominion in Song: Lamb of God’s “Hourglass” and Virginia’s Brand of Violence

Bombardments, assaults, volley-fire, flank attacks -- this is the vocabulary of Virginia’s bellicose imagination. It's also an apt lexicon for describing Lamb of God’s catalog.

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Filmmaker as Prism: An Interview With Terence Davies of ‘A Quiet Passion’

Davies reflects on his response to Emily Dickinson's work and the echoes of the poet within himself.

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12 Apr 2017 // 2:30 AM

Gonjasufi: Mandela Effect

Gonjasufi offers a companion piece to his most recent album which furthers his dark and warped artistic vision.

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12 Apr 2017 // 2:20 AM

Sondre Lerche: Pleasure

Messy in its composition and its emotions, Pleasure finds Sondre Lerche creatively unhinged -- and what fun it is.

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Alfred Hitchcock May Be a Moralist, but He Does Not Moralize

Hitchcock’s Moral Gaze argues that Hitchcock examined the darkest edges of his characters to help his audience understand their connection with the act of watching, gazing, and sometimes not connecting.

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Ruby Amanfu Gives Rich Emotional and Musical Experience at Lincoln Center

Amanfu's rich, gorgeous set alternately had people itching to dance or wiping away tears.

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On ‘The Singing Detective’ and the Horrors of Tin Pan Alley

How Dennis Potter's 1986 BBC-TV masterpiece The Singing Detective still resonates in the new Golden Age of TV.

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More Recent Features

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Pilot X Puts a Crimp on the Business in 'The Mysterious Airman'

// Short Ends and Leader

"Mystery writer Arthur B. Reeve's influence in this film doesn't follow convention -- it follows his invention.

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