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More Recent Features
Was Your iPhone Produced by Slaves? Has It Made You One, As Well?

Media scholar Jack Linchuan Qiu argues that slavery-like conditions, which define digital media workers, mirror the slavery-like obsessions of consumers.

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Instead of a Black Comedy, ‘The Executioner’ Offers Varying Shades of Gray

Instead of hitting us in the gut with it themes, this Spanish gem plays a more subtle and satisfying game.

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Otis Redding: Live at the Whisky a Go Go: The Complete Recordings

Three historic nights spread out over six discs makes for an unprecedented, essential Otis Redding listening experience.

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30 Nov 2016 // 2:20 AM

6LACK: FREE 6LACK

6LACK has carved out a niche in Atlanta by drawing from the Soundcloud production aesthetic and combining his rapping ability with a smooth, if at sometimes disaffected, voice.

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30 Nov 2016 // 2:15 AM

Loscil: Monument Builders

Monument Builders is a tribute to those who have sought to make grand artistic statements in their medium of choice, and Scott Morgan subverts this concept by adhering to a minimalist script.

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Hawkwind: The Charisma Years 1976-1979

The Charisma Years captures a band constantly on the verge of transition, willing to explore more commercial-leaning avenues without fully sacrificing their underground bona fides.

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Immersion: Analogue Creatures Living on an Island

Electronic duo Immersion combine two EPs to make an album that is better than the individual parts.

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You Can Go Home Again: An Interview with R.E.M.‘s Mike Mills

Mike Mills of R.E.M. tells PopMatters about his new "Concerto for Violin, Rock Band, and Orchestra" project.

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Phish and the Spiders From Mars Take Las Vegas

Phish has personally transformed Halloween into the holy high holiday of the rock world due to their legendary musical costume performances...

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‘Divorce’ Gets a Lot Wrong in Its Seventh Episode, but Ends With an Emotional Gut Punch

Frances and Robert unearth even more secrets, personal and financial, that drive them further apart.

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Zadie Smith’s ‘Swing Time’ Does a Difficult Dance

Learning from the past is not as simple as pressing rewind: it's a dance that's quite difficult to execute.

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‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’: “The Good Samaritan” Leans Too Heavily on the Supernatural

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gets a little too magical for a science fiction series, with decidedly mixed results.

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Archive: The False Foundation

Despite some exciting and vital moments, The False Foundation struggles to cohere into a cogent statement befitting of a legitimately scary political moment.

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29 Nov 2016 // 8:44 AM

Cut Copy: January Tape

Cut Copy fans may enjoy this record, but ambient lovers should know to beware of what lie ahead.

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The Pack A.D.: Positive Thinking

The Pack A.D. deliver their most hard hitting, personal and overall best work to date.

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Roger Ebert Was Tuned in to the Average Reader’s Frequency

The Great Movies IV may be thinner than its predecessors, but it's just as essential for fans of the late critic.

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Various Artists: Pop Ambient 2017

Another calendar year, another blissful blessing from Kompakt's long-running Pop Ambient series.

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29 Nov 2016 // 8:16 AM

The Weeknd: Starboy

Starboy has something for each individual, without a doubt, but it has nothing for everybody as a collective, a balance he managed on his first three releases.

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The Best Progressive Rock and Metal of 2016

The following ten albums rightly outshine the competition and best represent what made 2016 such a diverse and phenomenal year in progressive music.

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Rediscovering an Overlooked Non-Masterpiece: ‘The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend’

Preston Sturges' funny western farce has a few subversive ideas.

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The Future and Past of Batman, Superman, Fantastic Four and Hunger Games

Can Batman and Superman save the DCEU or will their efforts fail, again? These and other The Next Reel speculations, past, present and future.

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‘Agnes’ Is a Bleak Tale About the Misuses of Storytelling

Peter Stamm's work is an example of how stories can hold their creators in their power.

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‘Westworld’ Continues to be a Cerebral Examination of Consciousness and Story

"The Stray" deepens the narrative as both story and characters move forward in unexpected ways.

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The Fight Is Rigged in Death of X #4

Death of X is a cage match between one side that has the unconditional backing of Disney's lawyers and another that remains under the boot of a rival company.

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‘The Road Not Taken’ Travels the Blurred Boundary Between Sincerity and Performance

David Orr's exploration of Robert Frost's famous (and famously misinterpreted) poem will have you questioning Frost's intentions -- and your illusions of self-agency.

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Bitori: Legend of Funaná - The Forbidden Music of the Cape Verde Islands

Accordion-fueled revolution reigns on the first worldwide release of an album of Cabo Verdean classics.

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Ryan Bingham: Ryan Bingham Live

A well-rounded live collection from one of today's best Americana artists.

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28 Nov 2016 // 9:27 AM

Harvey Mandel: Snake Pit

Harvey Mandel returns with his first widely-distributed album in roughly 20 years. The record finds him playing with the excitement of a newcomer and is a must-hear effort for six-string enthusiasts.

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28 Nov 2016 // 9:20 AM

Pale Hands: Graphism

Pale Hands' moody indietronica LP Graphism reminds us that, in a time of frothing demagogues and unsightly political upheavals, there are still euphorias to chase

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28 Nov 2016 // 9:03 AM

Jay Daniel: Broken Knowz

Jay Daniel blazes his own trail on forward thinking, innovative electronic album.

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‘This Is Us’: “The Big Three” Digs Deeper Into Story and Character

Post-pilot, the second episode offers deeper characterization, a big twist, and a lot more questions.

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Nouvelle Vague’s Olivier Libaux Talks About Why We Need Music to Discover New Worlds

Documentaries, tours, and the bossa nova song stylists' first ever stab at original songs infuses the celebrated group with new energy, new life.

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History, Commentary, and Religiosity in ‘No Man’s Sky’

The universe of No Man's Sky may be calm, but it’s certainly no utopia.

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‘My Love, Don’t Cross That River’ Showcases Love, Loss, and Nothing In-between

Mo-young Jin's debut documentary fails to develop its characters or story, and only scratches the surface of the universal emotions with which is grapples.

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‘Star Trek’: Where Have All the Starships Gone?

After the events of 9/11, many Star Trek fan clubs and online role playing ships disappeared from view. How do I know? I was one of the people in those communities.

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The Kids in ‘The Edge of Seventeen’ Are Adorable. You Know They’re in for Trouble

The kids in The Edge of Seventeen can't anticipate their mistakes like you do.

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23 Nov 2016 // 10:15 AM

The Peace: Black Power

When the Summer of Love meets 1970s Zambia, the result is fuzzy, free, and guaranteed to make anyone cooler.

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Biography of X-Men Comics Writer Chris Claremont Is Weighed Down With Words

Claremont's long-form X-Men story, told over 186 issues, proves he's the master of the form. Jason Powell's new book offers an exhaustive issue-by-issue commentary.

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The Brian Jonestown Massacre: Third World Pyramid

Psychedelia has a tendency to seem unhurried while keeping a tempo it can’t quite enjoy, and Third World Pyramid finds Anton Newcombe honing in on a progression that works.

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23 Nov 2016 // 9:38 AM

Nicolas Jaar: Sirens

Sirens is a masterpiece. Melding pop and experimental music, it reflects the uneasiness of our difficult times.

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23 Nov 2016 // 9:31 AM

DAWN: Redemption Heart

DAWN concludes her Red Heart trilogy with an enigmatic yet polished dance album.

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‘Allied’ Fizzles Despite Some Sizzle From Pitt and Cotillard

Half the fun of a movie like this is rushing to judgement, only to be proven wrong by a clever twist in the script.

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23 Nov 2016 // 9:06 AM

Prince: 4EVER

Prince 4Ever is a look back at some of the legend’s most familiar work, and a refresher for fans who want the big hits but might also be exposed to some singles they missed along the way.

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Alexander von Humboldt Carried the Spirit and the Genius of Goethe

Humboldt knew that nature, when properly channeled and understood, is something felt and experienced deeply and personally, that stimulates the imagination as well as the intellect.

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‘Ballistick’: Looking for the Most Efficient Kill

The stick figure killer never looks badass, but you'll feel like a badass playing him, and that’s a much more impressive accomplishment.

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Free Nelson MandoomJazz: The Organ Grinder

Leave it to a band like Free Nelson MandoomJazz to remind us that jazz and metal can be fused so easily.

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22 Nov 2016 // 8:50 AM

Ken Sharp: New Mourning

Ken Sharp’s first new studio album in nine years, New Mourning is a deceptively sunny 14-track song cycle that contemplates the beauty and endurance of the human spirit in the face of crushing emotional darkness, loss, and regret.

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‘Small Radios Big Televisions’: Small Game Short Review

Games like Jazzpunk make me laugh and make me think. Small Radios Big Televisions just reminds me of staring into a lava lamp for a couple of hours.

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22 Nov 2016 // 8:42 AM

Phil Collins: Singles

The main question with Singles is this: does Phil Collins really deserve all the critical revilement he's gotten for decades?

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Planes Mistaken For Stars: Prey

Post-hardcore outsiders reconvene to unleash a harsh and harrowing assessment of modern society.

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22 Nov 2016 // 8:30 AM

Sad13: Slugger

Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz leaves her guitar and arch songwriting behind for sweet synthpop and a more direct, heart-on-sleeve lyrical perspective.

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Finding the Sublime in Jazz, an Argument for Abstraction

Jazz columnist Will Layman presents seven pieces of music as evidence of the beauty and urgency of pure sound in instrumental jazz.

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Smile! You’re on Cinerama

According to these "consumer celebration" films, the world -- even Russia -- was once a carefree, glowing place of gracious living.

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A Year in the Hype: Can ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ Live Up to Expectations?

Where they lead, we will follow… but what'll we find when we get there?

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22 Nov 2016 // 2:15 AM

Font Matters

Simon Loxley's Type Is Beautiful will have you realizing that you haven't fully lived until you've stared into the depths of Louis John Pouchee’s 18 Lines No. 2.

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‘Miss Sharon Jones!’ Captures the Remaining Days of This Wonderful Artist

Barbara Kopple’s documentary accomplishes a great deal in shining a light on such a dynamic figure at such a difficult time.

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Weird “Watkin” Is Nonetheless the Most Coherent ‘Dirk Gently’ Episode So Far

More focus and mind games lead to the most fulfilling Dirk Gently episode yet.

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In ‘Esteros’, When Intolerant Society Pushes, Love Pushes Back

While appreciating the beauty of Argentina, Esteros tells a story of timeless love.

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‘This Is Us’: The Ties Between Family (Biological, Chosen, Found) Resonate From the Start

This Is Us offers a pilot episode full of warmth and nuance, with enough edge to keep it from being maudlin.

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‘The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016’ Takes a Different Approach, This Year

When I learned that the content chosen for this anthology had been selected by high school students, I got nervous.

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Tales From the Trees: An Interview With Carly Simon

In her best-selling memoir Boys in the Trees, Grammy and Oscar winner Carly Simon finds Orpheus, fights the Beast, and shares the moment she saw clouds in her coffee.

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On Robert Altman’s Subversive Anti-western, ‘McCabe & Mrs. Miller’

McCabe & Mrs. Miller toys with and subverts western tropes and traditions while flat out refusing to fall into others.

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A Tribe Called Quest: We Got It From Here, Thank You 4 Your Service

This is A Tribe Called Quest’s most political album, but those politics flow naturally from everything the group has given us throughout its existence.

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Lower Plenty: Sister Sister

On Sister Sister, Lower Plenty has made a move towards something a little slicker, more intentional.

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Waylon Jennings: The Lost Nashville Sessions

Taking the vocal tracks from recording sessions done for the U.S. military’s recruitment program in 1970, this collection then wraps them in an anachronistically glossy sheen.

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‘Eileen’ Is a Grimly Funny and Dark Story of Breaking With the Past

Eileen is an atmospheric thriller with a seductively ugly narrative voice.

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21 Nov 2016 // 2:10 AM

Kris Davis: Duopoly

A new jazz pianist in careful dialogue with Bill Frisell, Craig Taborn, Don Byron, and five other great players: half written, half freely improvised.

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GQ: Standing Ovation - The Story of GQ and The Rhythm Makers (1974-1982)

GQ arrived in the days of disco and left its mark on American music, one funky bassline at a time.

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Western Education: Restless Dreams

Western Education draw on the sounds of their youth for their latest EP.

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Let’s Get the Good Stuff Out: An Interview With James Newton Howard

Enamored with the power of storytelling, the Eight-time Academy Award nominee was pleased to write the score for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

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‘Now Thanos #1’ Challenges the Complexities of Pure, Unambiguous Evil

Expanding the narrative of a wholly evil madman comes with challenges and surprising intrigue.

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The Night Before (and Morning After) “Christmas” Offers Drama and Insight Into ‘Divorce’

By forcing Robert and Frances together over one eventful Christmas, Divorce hits its comedic and emotional peak.

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‘Manchester By the Sea’ Is a Tragedy Bursting With Life

In Kenneth Lonergan’s intricate character study, Casey Affleck’s deadpan grief and humor remind us that he is among America's best actors.

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18 Nov 2016 // 9:09 AM

Redspencer: Perks

It is tantalizing to think of what Redspencer could do with a serious budget.

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“Rogue Wall Enthusiasts” Offers a Few Answers, and a Lot More Questions in ‘Dirk Gently’

Someone tells Dirk he's a good detective, the story begins its forward motion, and a secret room lead Dirk Gently's third episode.

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Miles Teller Is a Knockout in Boxing Tale, ‘Bleed for This’

Director Ben Younger delivers an entertaining reminder that defeat is only a temporary condition.

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A Show, a Lifestyle, a Religion: 20 ‘Gilmore Girls’ Episodes to Make You Excited for the Revival

Family matters and townie shenanigans are front and center in this list of Gilmore Girls faves.

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You, Me, Everyone: Martin Tillman Discusses Inspiration For ‘Superhuman’

Cellist and composer Martin Tillman opens up about his new album and remembers the big dreams he dreamed before coming to America.

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Metallica: Hardwired… to Self Destruct

The metal greats' first proper album in eight years shows a renewed commitment to discipline, craftsmanship, and best of all, fun.

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18 Nov 2016 // 2:20 AM

Jay Som: Turn Into

Melina Duterte of Jay Som has had quite the whirlwind year, and to cap it off, she is re-releasing her 2015 album Untitled as Turn Into on Polyvinyl.

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Rumer: This Girl’s in Love

Rumer has retreated to the safe territory of Bacharach/David to reignite her career. It works: refined and assured, this is a magnificent execution of vocal craft on a timeless set of songs.

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18 Nov 2016 // 2:10 AM

Barry Gibb: In the Now

For Gibb, the present is with us, but we don’t know what to do with it. He’s not so much waiting around to die as much as he’s too tired to dance.

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Alsarah and the Nubatones: Manara

Alsarah and the Nubatones blend classic Afropop and subtle electronic sounds to write a bold, beautiful new page in contemporary African music.

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The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1: 1920-1963

A new sound was cropping up in Detroit in the late '50s, a sound quite unlike anything heard before.

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‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ Entertains and Frustrates in Equal Measure

J.K. Rowling mixes up a strange potion of Jumanji and Carrie.

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The Fall: A Frustrating Season Still Highlights Gillian Anderson’s Brilliant Character Work

Season three of The Fall may not have lived up to the previous two seasons, but it remains a largely absorbing series.

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A Departure From Everything: An Interview With Ben Browder of ‘Outlaws and Angels’

Sci-fi icon Ben Browder discusses his new film, his sci-fi past, and the ambiguous nature of heroes and villains.

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Write Better Songs: An Interview with Sleigh Bells’ Derek Miller

On the band’s fourth album, Sleigh Bells’ Derek Miller fought to set parameters for their expansive sound.

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James Baldwin’s Resounding Words in ‘I Am Not Your Negro’

As James Baldwin reminds us, "History is not the past, it is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history."

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17 Nov 2016 // 2:30 AM

Great Wealth Pays No Dues

Brooke Harrington follows the One Percent's money around the world in Capital Without Borders and shows how the world's richest stay rich.

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17 Nov 2016 // 2:25 AM

Lambchop: FLOTUS

Lambchop takes a hard left turn on their new album FLOTUS , which makes heavy use of electronic instrumentation and treated vocals.

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Dawda Jobarteh: Transitional Times

The West African kora goes from classical to cosmic on Dawda Jobarteh's brilliant sophomore release.

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Eli Keszler: Last Signs of Speed

New York-based percussionist and visual artist Eli Keszler guides you through the exotic darkness with an album that overflows with chaos, noise, and order.

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Joan As Police Woman and Benjamin Lazar Davis: Let It Be You

Let it Be You contains 10 bouncy, jagged tracks that move in eccentric and peculiar ways.

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Lindsey Webster: Back to Your Heart

Lindsey Webster showcases incredible class and exceptional musicianship on her third album, Back to Your Heart.

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17 Nov 2016 // 2:02 AM

Beekman: Beekman Vol. 02

Accessible to the mind and easy-going to the ear, Beekman never sounds like a tri-continent mess.

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As George Orwell Might Appreciate, This New Biography Abounds in Piety and Wit

As with Orwell’s writing style, very little goes to waste here, and John Sutherland's work is a remarkable achievement of synthesis.

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‘Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories’ Offers Filling Comfort Food for the Viewer

Ten different Japanese dishes tell the story of ten different Japanese individuals finding love, battling personal demons, and searching for meaning between midnight and 7AM.

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Slapstick, Thrills, Spooks and Camera Tricks in the 9.5mm Format

Indie entrepreneurs Undercrank Productions and Grapevine Video keep old silent films preserved for new generations.

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16 Nov 2016 // 10:15 AM

Dead Elvis, Money and Jesus

The very exciting life of the King since his death in 1977.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Home Culinary Exploration Has Never Been More Fervent

// Re:Print

"Ever wondered what the difference between cinnamon and cassia is? The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs will teach you.

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