The Amazing Pudding
More Recent Features
Radicalism & Music: An Introduction to the Music Cultures of al-Qa’ida…

How can music move people to sudden violence that they may later regret or not fully understand?

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Colin Stetson: SORROW - A Reimagining of Górecki’s Third Symphony

Saxophonist Colin Stetson focuses on leading over playing here, assembles a group and building compositions with them to both honor a classic work and render it entirely new.

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The Dandy Warhols: Distortland

Growing up doesn't have to mean growing apart: the Dandies come the closest they ever have to making a hometown album.

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Kilo Kish: Reflections in Real Time

In Reflections in Real Time, Kilo Kish flies through impulsive depictions of her post-adolescent, internet-age anxieties

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Damien Jurado: Visions of Us on the Land

A culmination of his stoner tryptich with fellow merry prankster Richard Swift, a spiritual narrative on getting lost to become found.

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Com Truise: Silicon Tare

The latest EP from Com Truise cements Seth Haley as one of today's most consistent beat makers, for better and worse.

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On Entertaining Terror: Film v Television

While United 93 was released "too soon" for viewers' comfort, a mix of critically derided films and critically acclaimed series continue to depict the age of terror.

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‘Justice League: Darkseid War Special #1’ Attempts to Shed Light on Its Villain’s Motivations

Insight into Darkseid's daughter reveals an atypical daddy's girl.

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7 Apr 2016 // 10:00 AM

‘Louder Than Bombs’ Is Rich With Visual Poetry

Joachim Trier’s English language debut plays with time and multiple perspectives to offer a lyrical meditation on the nature of grief.

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Vinyl: Season 1, Episode 7 - “The King and I”

Wise men may say only fools rush in, but when Richie and Zak get the opportunity of a lifetime, it's a rush to Viva Las Vegas.

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Holding on to Hag: Remembering Merle Haggard 1937-2016

Merle Haggard died at age 79, leaving behind a legacy of authentic country music.

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‘Living on Paper’ Illuminates the Intimacies That Influenced Iris Murdoch’s Work

Active love: this fine collection proves richer and more rewarding than some of the strangely reductive and moralising responses that it’s received would suggest.

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‘Shardlight’ Offers a Different Take on the Apocalypse

In Shardlight survival as not an all encompassing good, but an activity that must be accomplished alongside other equally important aspects of life.

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Let’s Play at Kentucky Fried Chicken, America

In this game we consumers are reduced to plastic playthings, happy to be fingered. This and other thoughts on American culture.

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Not a Common Man: Duncan Sheik and the Crafting of an American (and London) Pyscho

After winning a Tony for his work on Spring Awakening, pop craftsman Sheik now tackles bringing American Psycho to the stage.

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7 Apr 2016 // 2:29 AM

Ash Koosha: I AKA I

Ash Koosha's latest album is ambitious, creative, and overall an exciting showcase of his musical skills.

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Mike and the Melvins: Three Men and a Baby

20th century sludge metal finally emerges from a decades-long morass. Was it worth it? Don’t believe the hype.

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Ronnie Spector: English Heart

Yes, there are backup singers and playing, but Ronnie’s vocals are front and center. There are many times when it is just her soloing, or just a few quiet instruments behind her. The results are surprising.

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Various Artists: Looking Stateside: 80 U.S. R&B, Mod, Soul & Garage Nuggets

A copious collection of '60s deep cuts pulled from the vaults of a diverse and exciting catalog

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In the Excellent ‘Sweetgirl’, Home Is Just Another Storm

Sweetgirl wonders about home, and about what happens when you're born into the wrong one.

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7 Apr 2016 // 2:05 AM

Aparat: Aparat

Achingly fragile and beautiful, Aparat's self-titled debut captures the wide scope of cinematic arrangements in closed and personal spaces.

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7 Apr 2016 // 2:02 AM

Colours: Ivory

Ivory, the debut release from the synth duo Colours, is a sonically sex-drenched affair.

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Better Call Saul: Season 2, Episode 8 - “Fifi”

Jimmy makes a bold move that promises to come back to haunt both his friends and enemies.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 3, Episode 14 - “Watchdogs”

The last two episodes showcase a series that's coming into its own, rather than just a placeholder in the MCU.

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Vinyl: Season 1, Episode 5 - “He in Racist Fire”

Kip struggles to find the balance between image and music, while Richie whores out his wife to sign an act in an episode that highlights the age-old battle between genitals and brains.

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Wrestling With the Replacements’ Legacy in ‘Trouble Boys’

Based on Mehr's plethora of interviews, it seems that most of what seemed grist for the rumor mill about the Replacements was, if anything, understated.

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On the Fatal Inertia in ‘ADR1FT’

After an intriguing opening, I found myself frustrated with how strong the concept of the game is compared to the game itself.

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6 Apr 2016 // 2:30 AM

The Field: The Follower

The Field's new album is not a case of diminishing returns, but a work about refining electronic music which was, by definition, already perfect.

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Stewart/Colbert Effect: Jon Stewart’s ‘The Daily Show’ and the Rise of Media Accountability

It took 16 years of hard work, but Jon Stewart's The Daily Show finally began to restore something like truth to political and social discourse.

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Parquet Courts: Human Performance

The Brooklyn quartet's latest album is incredibly broad in its sonic palette and focused in its approach.

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Matt Elliott: The Calm Before

British fingerstyle guitarist Matt Elliott may not change up his formula much on The Calm Before, but the changes he makes are significant.

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‘Paris Belongs to Us’ Sets the Blueprint for Things to Come

Jacques Rivette's engaging debut sees the New Wave master experimenting with the ingredients he perfected in later films.

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Graves at Sea: The Curse That Is

Graves at Sea have been around for over a decade and sound like they have spent most of it surviving a prolonged bar fight with the actual sea in their band name.

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The Saint Johns: Dead of Night

The Saint Johns might not reinvent any wheels or blaze any trails, but there’s nothing wrong with making solid, country-inflected indie rock. Especially when this much talent and emotion goes into it.

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Straddling the Divide Between Karen Silkwood and Edward Snowden in ‘The Whistleblower’s Dilemma’

While the Snowden chapters are often, at best, worthy of a cursory skim, virtually every word about Silkwood here is captivating,

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We Are the Hope: An Interview With Jazz Master Wynton Marsalis

Marsalis speaks to PopMatters about The Absynnian Mass, his inspirations, compositional techniques, and the reason he plays music.

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11.22.63: Season 1, Episode 8 - “The Day in Question”

In the end, the most important question ends up being the choice between grand gestures and quiet heroism.

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‘Dreams Rewired’ Makes Valuable Connections to the Past

Spoken in the language of our time, weaved in visual poetry, and deep in its reach, this film documents a world barreling towards a technological revolution.

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Once Upon a Time: Season 5, Episode 15 - “The Brothers Jones”

Killian reunites with his brother Liam; David considers his brother James; complications ensue.

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Outsiders and Marxists and Nazis ‘At the Existentialist Cafe’

When it comes to reconstructing the lived experience of historical figures and philosophers, the devil is in the details, and the devil is probably a Nazi.

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The Walking Dead: Season 6, Episode 15 - “East”

As Carol departs, Morgan and Rick seek her, and Daryl seeks revenge in a visually rich and resonant episode.

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A Brief Lesson on Poetry for Physicists

Praise for Carlo Rovelli's international bestseller Seven Brief Lessons on Physics has been near universal. Can the reviewers all be wrong? Yes, they can.

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Lenny Abrahamson’s ‘Room’ Could Change Our Perceptions of Mental Illness

Few films explore abuse, mental illness, and post traumatic stress disorder as realistically and poignantly as Room.

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5 Apr 2016 // 2:30 AM

Maturing at Their Own Pace: An Interview with the Thermals

"We want the songs to be joyous, or like a celebration, even if what were singing about is not a happy thing. We want our songs to be fun even if it's a dark subject or a sad subject."

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Tim Hecker: Love Streams

Tim Hecker and his accomplice Ben Frost are cooking up some of the most striking, beautiful, and genre-defying music of our time.

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5 Apr 2016 // 2:20 AM

Black Mountain: IV

Black Mountain blends the best of its heavy and progressive tendencies on a record that proves that space can also be sexy.

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Anthony Hamilton: What I’m Feelin’

A reflective record for a man much more conflicted than one might guess, What I'm Feelin' turns out to be somewhat of a fascinating listen.

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Frank Solivan: Family, Friends and Heroes

The thematic connections between "Pretty Woman" and "Day Tripper" are probably accidental, but they work serendipitously as both are streetwalkers

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5 Apr 2016 // 2:05 AM

Nevermen: Nevermen

Mike Patton, Doseone (Adam Drucker), and TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe create a weird and fun collaboration that avoids the twin supergroup traps of lazy songwriting and forcing chemistry.

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‘Sleep of the Righteous’ Underlines Why Hilbig Had Won Almost Every German Literary Prize

Life within East Germany is exposed in all its repressive, absurd horror in a recently translated collection of short stories by Wolfgang Hilbig.

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‘Miles Ahead’ Ponders Miles Davis’ Lost Years

Ponder this reality for a moment: Don Cheadle needs a white co-star in order to make a movie about Miles Davis.

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Words Aren’t Minced in Thomas Piketty’s ‘Why Save the Bankers?’

The bestselling French economist offers new advice on saving democracy from capitalism. The whole world needs to listen.

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Daredevil: Season 2, Episode 3 - “New York’s Finest”

Daredevil's latest episode carefully examines the varying heroes of Hell's Kitchen.

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Japanese Breakfast: Psychopomp

If we're to believe this album, Japanese Breakfast sounds tasty.

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‘The Art of Perspective’ Is a Little Gem of a Book Filled With Wit and Wisdom

Castellani does an excellent job guiding readers through numerous literary texts, but some of the most compelling parts are when he tells his own story.

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Lorraine Hansberry’s ‘Les Blancs’ Gets Extraordinary Production at National Theatre

The personal and the political are so interlinked in this play as to be inextricable, and Yaël Farber’s staging offers a dynamic mingling of the intimate and the epic.

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O.J. Still Holds Allure in ‘American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson’

American Crime Story reveals more about the audience than the already well-known elements of the O.J. Simpson trial.

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4 Apr 2016 // 2:30 AM

Pet Shop Boys: SUPER

Thirty years since "West End Girls" launched their career, Pet Shop Boys are back with a thrilling new album produced by Stuart Price, SUPER.

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4 Apr 2016 // 2:20 AM

Ihsahn: Arktis

Ihsahn's sense of adventure is all over the place on Arktis, but fortunately that doesn't prevent the music from unifying into a compelling whole.

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They Might Be Giants: Phone Power

They Might Be Giants' third album of the past year contains some real gems. It also has a lot of material that doesn't quite make the grade, making it feel like a leftovers record.

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4 Apr 2016 // 2:10 AM

Låpsley: Long Way Home

In Long Way Home, Låpsley weaves a rich, multi-layered sonic fabric from sound bites of errant longing

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How the US Government Spins ‘The War on Leakers’

Lloyd C. Gardner makes an alarming case for the elusiveness of American democracy and the astounding ignorance in which it operates.

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Time of Absence: Documenting Kanye West’s ‘Life of Pablo’

The Life of Pablo is an ideological attack against the pop institutions that continually try to mystify art and control the artist's identity for profit.

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The Extraordinarily Advanced Basics in ‘X-men 92 #1’

The golden era of X-men injects fresh energy into a current era of uncertainty.

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The Flash: Season 2, Episode 17 - “Flash Back”

"Flash Back" is a reminder of just how good The Flash was and continues to be.

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iZombie: Season 2, Episode 16 - “Pour Some Sugar, Zombie”

iZombie maintains a level of tension and momentum week to week that’s difficult to achieve; the series makes it look easy.

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1 Apr 2016 // 3:00 AM

The Banjo: America’s African Instrument

Laurent Dubois' biography of one of America’s iconic folk instruments spans continents and cultures. In this excerpt, we explore the banjo's humble origins.

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‘The Graduate’ Still Seduces

As energetic as it ever was, sharp jokes and even sharper edges aren't lost in the transition from hit film to cultural touchstone.

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Gasoline & Mirrors: An Interview With Bibio

He's considered the folktronica producer du jour, but Stephen Wilkinson's art runs much deeper than that. His latest unleashes his inner pop instincts.

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Andrew Bird: Are You Serious

Andrew Bird returns with the same sinuous, gypsy-folk style, but introduces a newfound thematic interest in love's complexities

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Young Thug: Slime Season 3

Slime Season 3 succeeds on multiple levels, none more exciting than his ongoing exercise in seeing just how elastic syllables are.

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Marco Benevento: The Story of Fred Short

Benevento has shown us how he can do as a keyboardist and composer, and it's disappointing to hear less than that on a new album.

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Prins Thomas: Principe del Norte

Forgoing more rhythm-based music, Prins Thomas explores sound and texture for the sake of itself rather than that of the dance floor.

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‘Freaks and Geeks’ Reels in High School Misery

Social awkwardness, uncomfortable dates, unrequited crushes, embarrassing conversations with adults, peer pressure, academic failure -- it's all here.

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Willie Nile: World War Willie

Willie Nile is part of dying breed of rockers and demonstrates once more how much we and rock 'n' roll need him around.

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Country Comes to Town: The Music Industry and the Transformation of Nashville

While some might think of country music as a repository of nostalgia, Hill argues that the genre is successful because its songs and its people address social and cultural issues as well as geographic change.

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Hank Williams Is Alive in ‘I Saw The Light’, But the Movie Itself Is D.O.A.

Not even game performances by its two leads can salvage a slapdash biopic that offers little insight and far too much superficial sentiment.

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Supergirl: Season 1, Episode 18 - “Worlds Finest”

The Flash runs so fast that he not only jumps between worlds but also networks, arriving in National City (and CBS), just in time to help Supergirl shine.

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11.22.63: Season 1, Episode 7 – “Soldier Boy”

Time and identity are the main antagonists as the series counts down to the day in question.

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Mona Awad’s Anti-Hero Lizzie Exists in a World of Mirrors

In 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, Lizzie confronts two sides of seeing -- how she sees herself, and how others see her -- and how neither gets it right.

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31 Mar 2016 // 2:30 AM

Moderat: III

After a shaky start, Moderat follow through with some of their best songs to date on their latest album.

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Time Only Makes the Cult Grow Stronger: Kids in the Hall’s ‘Brain Candy’

Brain Candy is considered the "darkest" chapter in Kids in the Hall's story. But dark is a part of their comedy and their appeal, so now's a good time to look at this film in a new light.

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31 Mar 2016 // 2:20 AM

Charles Bradley: Changes

Charles Bradley is the closest living equivalent to James Brown today. He’s a dynamic performer whose style is purposely reminiscent of the Soul King.

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Robbie Fulks: Upland Stories

It doesn’t matter if he’s singing about his aunt’s new old husband, an old man reminiscing in a nursing home, or the girls from Carolina. We are all a bunch of weirdos and better off for it.

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Various Artists: Punk 45: Chaos in the City of Angels and Devils

Sixth release in punk compilations series from Soul Jazz Records reveals that which made Los Angeles distinct from its American peers.

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‘Ctrl+Z’ Explains Why the World Just Won’t Leave Us Alone

Meg Leta Jones waxes metaphysical on the essence of privacy, the internet as garden-variety ephemera, and an ever-shifting idea of information "stewardship".

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31 Mar 2016 // 2:05 AM

The Prettiots: Funs Cool

The Prettiots will no doubt be described as cutesy indie-pop, but there’s a serious strain of nihilism, anxiety and realism within their songs, even the jokey ones

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Always Cry 4 Love, Never Cry 4 Pain: Prince’s 30-year ‘Parade’

On Parade, Prince allows an openness to ideas and collaboration to a degree he’d never experienced before, and it brings out the best in him.

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Better Call Saul: Season 2, Episode 7 - “Inflatable”

Jimmy transforms himself from sheep to wolf in the most hilarious way possible in "Inflatable".

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‘Born To Be Blue’ Props Up the Cult of the Intuitive Genius

This film slyly suggests that even Chet Baker himself couldn’t quite work out who ‘Chet Baker: Jazz Legend’ might or should be.

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The Magicians: Season 1, Episode 11 - “Remedial Battle Magic”

A few missteps aren't enough to deny "Remedial Battle Magic" its crown as a clever, well-directed gem of an episode.

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(Almost) Everybody Gets It in ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’

This film will thrill a certain set of men who experienced college during the '80s and had a meaningful period of personal growth during that time.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 3, Episode 13 - “Parting Shot”

The thrilling spycraft nature of "Parting Shot" portends big shifts in the team’s dynamics.

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Living Outside of Language With Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘In Other Words’

Lahiri's sense of alienation informs all of her writing and makes In Other Words, an achingly lonely, interior work.

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30 Mar 2016 // 2:30 AM

Mogwai: Atomic

Mogwai tackle soundtracking the fear of the bomb with a smart emphasis on how delicate and sacred life is.

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Driving a Spaceship Through Futuristic Jungles with Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

In EARS, Smith plays a Buchla 100 and other synthetic keyboards to match the futuristic movie that runs through her mind.

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30 Mar 2016 // 2:20 AM

Baauer: Aa

Though Aa is frustratingly short, it's nevertheless one of the best things the impressive young producer has created thus far.

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Bleached: Welcome the Worms

Bleached might have an endearing eccentric nature to them, but a lacking of emotion brings down Welcome the Worms.

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Mavis Staples: Livin’ on a High Note

Mavis never really went away. She’s always been in the mix. It’s just that new generations keep finding ways to discover her.

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Rasputin Stash: Devil Made Me Do It

Second album by Chicago’s underground funk heroes gets another chance to unleash its decidedly non-commercial approximations of commercial R&B on the masses in this new reissue.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

'SUPERHOTLine Miami' Is Exactly What It Sounds Like

// Moving Pixels

"SUPERHOTLine Miami provides a perfect case study in how slow-motion affects the pace and tone of a game.

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