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

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

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

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

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17 Mar 2017 // 8:27 AM

Lusine: Sensorimotor

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

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17 Mar 2017 // 8:12 AM

Pontiak: Dialectic of Ignorance

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

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17 Mar 2017 // 8:02 AM

Shobaleader One: Elektrac

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

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Farewell Songs and New Beginnings in Late Night TV

How late night TV talk shows move on musically.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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16 Mar 2017 // 8:25 AM

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Curious Legacy of Outkast

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

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Kath Bloom: This Dream of Life

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

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16 Mar 2017 // 7:55 AM

Auto-Tune In or Out?

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

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Methyl Ethel: Everything Is Forgotten

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

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Lawrence English: Cruel Optimism

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

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16 Mar 2017 // 7:30 AM

Ed Sheeran: ÷

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

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

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

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

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

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15 Mar 2017 // 2:30 AM

The Shins: Heartworms

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

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‘Egg’: Bloomsbury’s Eggscellent Mission

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

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15 Mar 2017 // 2:20 AM

Joakim: Samurai

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

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15 Mar 2017 // 2:15 AM

Eisley: I’m Only Dreaming

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

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Philip Lewin: Am I Really Here All Alone?

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

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‘Personal Shopper’, a Personal Ghost Story

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

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Caroline Spence: Spades and Roses

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

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

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

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

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

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14 Mar 2017 // 9:29 AM

Kurt Rosenwinkel: Caipi

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

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Jay Som: Everybody Works

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

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Various Artists: Synthesize the Soul

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

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

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

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Five Lives in 15 Broad Strokes: An Interview With LaChanze

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

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14 Mar 2017 // 2:30 AM

Anohni: Paradise EP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nate Smith: Kinfolk - Postcards from Everywhere

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

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Dirty Projectors: Dirty Projectors (take 2)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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13 Mar 2017 // 2:30 AM

Spoon: Hot Thoughts

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

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Paul Weller: Jawbone - Music From the Film

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

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Ha Ha Tonka: Heart-Shaped Mountain

A pleasant collection of ear worms, soon to appear on a soundtrack near you.

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All Hail The King: Kong - Skull Island Reigns Supreme

Savage violence and a surprisingly strong focus on character dynamics make Kong: Skull Island the most wickedly delightful action-adventure romp of the year so far.

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On Political, Religious, and Business Interests in The West Bank: ‘The Settlers’

The Settlers is a poignant documentary focused on the Israeli Settler Movement in the West Bank and the multiple forces perpetuating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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10 Mar 2017 // 3:30 AM

New Gen: New Gen

As the mainstream gradually catches up and embraces grime, New Gen delivers an exciting insight into the next wave of artists breaking through.

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These ‘70s Avant-Garde Jazz Musicians Blew Freely, Fiercely, and Reverently

These cats blew all night and day a new, astonishing page into the jazz lexicon. What they couldn't do was get gigs in jazz clubs.

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10 Mar 2017 // 3:20 AM

Idles: Brutalism

The Bristol band’s unrelenting debut stares down the ugly truths all around it and demands better.

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Various Artists: Hustle! Reggae Disco

Thirteen vintage reggae covers of classic disco tracks make for soothing international soul on Hustle! Reggae Disco.

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IT: We’re All In This Together

IT's gritty portrayal of life circa 2017 is a harrowing vision of the strains that many of us face trying to negotiate the often cruel snares of a contemporary society increasingly ruled by and for the elite.

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This Is How You Break Into My House to Find Me: An Interview with Sxip Shirey

Sxip Shirey found recent success with "Woman of Constant Sorrow", and now discusses robotic bells, the pleasure of composing for circuses, and his new album A Bottle of Whiskey and a Handful of Bees.

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‘Game of Thrones’ Live Recaps Six Seasons of Westerosian History at Madison Square Garden

Game of Thrones epic live concert experience featuring Ramin Djawadi's powerful score also serves as a two hour "previously on..." catch-up for the upcoming seventh season.

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‘Inhumans vs. X-men #6’: A (Not So) Bittersweet End

Inhumans vs. X-men fights an uphill battle that may as well be upside down.

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It’s Good to Be King in ‘Kong - Skull Island’

Jordan Vogt-Roberts’s monster mash may be one long setup for future films, but if the monsters are going to look this good, we should let them keep fighting.

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There’s an Impactful Tale Buried Within Emma Richler’s ‘Be My Wolff’

Richler’s details can be drearily extraneous and erudite, yet they also demonstrate how dedicated and well-researched she is in regards to her characters and the world in which they live.

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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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More Recent Features

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Players Lose Control in ‘Tales from the Borderlands’

// Moving Pixels

"This is an interactive story in which players don’t craft the characters, we just control them.

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