The Amazing Pudding
More Recent Features

25 Jun 2015 // 2:30 AM

Bully: Feels Like

Alternative rock nostalgia gets a sunny facelift on Bully's debut full-length album.

READ more

25 Jun 2015 // 2:20 AM

KEN Mode: Success

A little anti-social rage never hurt anybody.

READ more

25 Jun 2015 // 2:15 AM

Amara Touré 1973-1980

Amara Touré was once the toast of Senegal and 1973-1980 is a succinct and comprehensive way to play catch-up.

READ more
Susie Glaze and the HiLonesome Band: Not That Kind of Girl

The fourth album from the neo-traditionalists finds them continuing to mine and hone their Celtic and bluegrass influences to appealing and dynamic effect.

READ more
‘God Help the Girl’ Is a Belle and Sebastian Jukebox in Movie Form

With its mix of silliness and seriousness, and music and melodrama, God Help the Girl is top-to-bottom charming.

READ more
The Textones: Midnight Mission, Cedar Creek

Although the Textones' two discs attracted only a passing glance originally, they’ve received belated recognition since.

READ more
Exposing the Dark Side of Philanthro-capitalism

In The New Prophets of Capital, Nicole Aschoff makes clear that there is something new, pervasive, and anti-democratic going on that we ignore at our peril.

READ more
What Neutral Milk Hotel’s ‘In the Aeroplane Over the Sea’ Is Really About

At the core of Neutral Milk Hotel's highly acclaimed 1998 album is an exploration of love and the process of unity and separation.

READ more
Eilen Jewell: Sundown Over Ghost Town

Jewell combines her thoughts on home (her own and the ones she's seen on her travels) into this sharply-observed set of songs.

READ more
AFI Docs 2015: ‘The Storm Makers’

Set in Southeast Asia, The Storm Makers underscores how war and genocide produce layers of legacy through the experience of a woman who was a victim of sex trafficking.

READ more
‘The Escapees’ Is Equally Preposterous and Poetic

At turns poignant and silly, The Escapees is a lesser picture by Jean Rollin, one devoid of his fanciful surrealism.

READ more
A Parallel History of America Through Filmmaker Debra Granik

Sure, Debra Granik helped direct Jennifer Lawrence to her first Oscar nod, but her new motorcycle documentary gives her oeuvre a theme: films about the neglected and disenfranchised in America.

READ more

24 Jun 2015 // 2:30 AM

Desaparecidos: Payola

Desaparecidos find giddy joy as they tear the establishment to pieces.

READ more
Smokey: How Far Will You Go?: The S&M Recordings, 1973-81

How Far Will You Go? collects the proto-disco glam rock sides from these out and proud iconoclasts.

READ more
The Vaccines: English Graffiti

Once touted as the Next Big Thing, the English band have done even better and become their own thing.

READ more
Nadifa Mohamed: Writing the Lives of Somalia’s Women

The complex psychology of pre-war Somalia, and the endurance of its women, is vividly portrayed in The Orchard of Lost Souls.

READ more

24 Jun 2015 // 2:10 AM

Alesso: Forever

Alesso assists the EDM/radio pop crossover with a melodramatic and aimless debut album.

READ more
Is Growing Up Such a Good Thing?

Adventure Time and Philosophy takes us on a journey to the land of Ooo in search of truth.

READ more
Wes Montgomery: In the Beginning

For Montgomery and those of the era, music was one of the dominant ways in which black Americans could show their pride and sense of accomplishment.

READ more
R.D. Reynolds, the Monday Night Wars, and the Death of World Championship Wrestling

It was going to be a powerhouse alternative to the World Wrestling Federation, but through mismanagement and unforeseen rivalries, Reynolds' book follows the league from its inception to its final tap-out.

READ more
The 2015 Contact in the Desert Conference Looked Up to Space for Answers

For most attendees of the Contact in the Desert convention, the question was not whether Earth is being visited, but rather, who is visiting?

READ more
A Giant-Sized Teaser in ‘Justice League of America #1’

A triple-sized story that has limited substance, but a lot of style and even more potential.

READ more
AFI Docs 2015 + HBO: ‘Requiem for the Dead: American Spring 2014’

As Requiem for the Dead shows, the clues that signal the violence committed by gun-bearing killers found on social media are missed until it's too late.

READ more

23 Jun 2015 // 7:00 AM

Prick Me, Do I Not Bleed?

Are feminists like Leora Tanenbaum oversensitive?

READ more
Meditations in Sound: The Jazz Africana of Pharoah Sanders

Exploring the realms of African mysticism, Pharoah Sanders walks an extraordinary path through the hinterland of jazz music's otherworld.

READ more

23 Jun 2015 // 2:30 AM

Wolf Alice: My Love Is Cool

Werewolves of London come to huff 'n' puff and generally blow your house down.

READ more

23 Jun 2015 // 2:20 AM

Son Lux: Bones

Son Lux only offers the bones of something once promising.

READ more

23 Jun 2015 // 2:15 AM

Dave Douglas: High Risk

If there's truly any justice, High Risk will serve as a template for the future electro-jazz.

READ more
‘Bank Shot’, ‘Cops and Robbers’, and ‘Harry in Your Pocket’ Capture the Evolution of Heist Films

Starting in the '70s, heist and caper films evolved from the high-society champagne crime of the '30s and '40s to gritty, realistic robbery pictures.

READ more
Buffy Sainte-Marie: Power in the Blood

Sainte-Marie takes the world personally and demands attention be paid to her concerns. What’s more, she’s fun!

READ more

23 Jun 2015 // 2:05 AM

The Banality of Destiny

Fateful Ties is exhaustive and exhaustingly catalogued history of the US' aggressively narcissistic relationship with China.

READ more

23 Jun 2015 // 2:05 AM

Dylan Stark: Heartland

An ambitious, modernistic debut with epic scale.

READ more
Jean-Luc Godard: A Montage of Attractions

The montage approach that Jean-Luc Godard celebrates in his films would become the driving force behind Historie(s) du cinéma.

READ more
‘Madame Bovary’ Infantilizes Gustave Flaubert’s Protagonist

We are left feeling about Madame Bovary much as Emma Bovary feels about her life: disappointed.

READ more
John Constantine Walks His Path Alone in ‘Constantine the Hellblazer #1’

Constantine's back, and up to old tricks.

READ more
Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2015: ‘(T)Error’

As compelling as (T)Error's restless images are, the film never lets you forget what you can't see, what's deliberately hidden, and what's receding from view even as you look.

READ more
Charting the Universal Evolution of Pop Music With ‘The Underground is Massive’

From rags to riches, the ghetto to the festival grounds, the story of electronic music is the story of modern art in America: vibrant, fruitful and progressive -- until it becomes a commodity.

READ more
Let the Music Move You: A Conversation with Eden’s Félix de Givry and Sven Hansen-Løve

Mia Hansen-Løve's Eden is a love letter to modern dance music (with a Daft Punk subplot), but its star and co-writer discuss its surprisingly realistic origins.

READ more
The Orb: Moonbuilding 2703 AD

The Orb sail over the moon on this one, making electronic greatness look easy as ever.

READ more
The Fall: Sub-Lingual Tablet

Long in the tooth but not without vitality, Mark E. Smith and the Fall are predictable, but satisfactory, on their new album

READ more
The Mothmen: Pay Attention!

This music is not pretty. It’s definitely not pop. But we're paying attention.

READ more
‘Hammer’ Introduces One of Blaxploitation’s Most Popular Figures

Significant for its launch of Fred Williamson's career, Hammer is a typical entry into the blaxploitation fold, a cauldron of genre tropes that never really reaches a boiling point.

READ more
Rocky Votolato and Chuck Ragan: Kindred Spirit

Kindred Spirit serves as a fine introduction for two artists clearly ready for prime time.

READ more
Penguin Prison: Lost in New York

Penguin Prison's second album is serviceable dance-pop, but lacks personality.

READ more
‘A God in Ruins’ Perpetuates the Deep Sadness in Atkinson’s Writing

Kate Atkinson's characters, from private investigator Jackson Brodie to Teddy Todd, are often lonely people with surprising secrets.

READ more
Abandoned ‘Star Wars’ Plot Points Episode IV: A Family that Slays Together Strays Apart

Planet of the Wookiees, expendable heroes, familiar clones, depressing endings, unknown siblings, and more twins than you can shake a saber at: is this the Star Wars saga you remember?

READ more
AFI Docs 2015: ‘Drone’ Shows How the World Is Becoming a War Zone

Drone raises vital questions not only about how drones shapes the modern military experiences, but also about how drones reshape moral ground.

READ more
‘Prez’ Answers Thomas Jefferson’s Call for a ‘Dangerous Freedom’

Thomas Jefferson said, "Rather a dangerous freedom than a peaceful slavery." The stunning comic Prez shows the true meaning of that statement.

READ more
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood Cooks Up “Psychedelic Filling in a Folk Blues Pie” to Rock North Park

There’s no looking back now, as Chris Robinson is all in with his Brotherhood and the "freak power" movement.

READ more
‘Inside Out’ Finds Disney and Pixar Working Together Successfully

Although it sends reductive messages about the emotions of young girls, Inside Out is of the kind of brilliance that Pixar used to churn out regularly, before it was bought out by Disney.

READ more
Human Rights Watch Festival and AFI Docs 2015: ‘Of Men and War’

Of Men and War, shot over six years, follows multiple mostly unnamed veterans as they share their rage, fear, and frustration.

READ more
Sexism Just Won’t Die in ‘Burying the Ex’

Playing like a "Rom-Zom-Com" helmed by Judd Apatow, Burying the Ex suffers from a repository of sexist tropes, a somewhat redeeming ending notwithstanding.

READ more
Edward St. Aubyn Is Compulsively Readable

'The Complete Patrick Melrose Novels' is a bitter comedy of manners that takes readers on a sordid, stylish, disturbing, funny and profound moral journey.

READ more

19 Jun 2015 // 2:30 AM

Giorgio Moroder: Deja Vu

With his first solo album in 30 years, iconic electronic music pioneer Giorgio Moroder tries his hand at contemporary EDM with mixed results.

READ more
Birdman v Uttama Villain: Portrait of the Artiste As an Older, Wiser Man

Making their films resistant to easy consumption and demanding respect for the artiste is essential to the spirit of Birdman and Uttama Villain.

READ more

19 Jun 2015 // 2:20 AM

Mika: No Place in Heaven

No Place in Heaven is Mika's most assured and confident set of tunes since his debut, Life in Cartoon Motion.

READ more
Christopher Paul Stelling: Labor Against Waste

A new voice joins those of the masters before him on this album of spiritual travel and travail. A strong candidate for best folk album of the year.

READ more
Ensemble Signal: Music for 18 Musicians

Ensemble Signal reproduce Steve Reich's '70s minimalist masterpiece with inhuman precision.

READ more
‘Odd Man Out’ and ‘The Lady From Shanghai’ Set the Stage for Carol Reed’s ‘The Third Man’

These two movies can be seen as cinematic cousins of Carol Reed's The Third Man, sharing some lineage while nonetheless carving out their own idiosyncratic identities.

READ more
‘Pedro’ Is a Glorious Romp Full of Stories That Only Pedro Martinez Can Tell

No one can say Pedro did not walk the walk.

READ more

19 Jun 2015 // 2:05 AM

Boney James: Futuresoul

Genre-bending sax legend Boney James is back with his 15th album to show that it's not just whiskey and Meryl Streep that get better with age.

READ more

19 Jun 2015 // 2:00 AM

Case: Heaven’s Door

Case delivers a pleasant, if predictable ‘grown and sexy’ effort on Heaven’s Door.

READ more
The Return of the Great White Boss, Bruce Springsteen

The seven albums in this Collection capture the tension inherent to Springsteen's ultimate transformation into a global megastar.

READ more
It’s Time to Hear the Truth After Growing Up Spidey

"Spider-Man No More", like other superhero stories of loss, are so universally true, so much about loss, responsibility, and guilt.

READ more
‘Your Band Sucks’ Ain’t No Self-Pity Party

Finally, a rock ‘n’ roll memoir that's just as much about disappointment as it is about success.

READ more
High on Fire: Luminiferous

Thunderous riffs and relentless rhythms aside, Luminiferous is truly shaped by the vastly improved vocal melodies.

READ more
Heartless Bastards: Restless Ones

Heartless Bastards' dusty, rusty Restless Ones finds so much joy in its detours that it’s hard to argue with its wanderlust logic.

READ more
Steve Coleman’s Analogies in Various Places

The music constantly shifts and moves in Steve Coleman and the Council of Balance's Synovial Joints, flexing one set of instruments against another in a creative tension.

READ more

18 Jun 2015 // 2:15 AM

Power and Disability in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

More needs to be said about Furiosa as not only a powerful female character, but a powerful, disabled female character.

READ more

18 Jun 2015 // 2:15 AM

Robert Glasper: Covered

Covered stands, in the end, as a multi-layered work possessing an air of adventure, while still remaining accessible. It’s a rewarding collection by one of the most significant composers and interpreters in contemporary jazz.

READ more
Christian Lopez Band: Onward

Onward is inoffensive, vivacious folk-rock that’s delightfully reflective of the shortcomings and hopes of a young man with the whole world ahead of him.

READ more
Every Timeline in ‘Project Almanac’ Is Plagued With Cliché

There's a kernel of an interesting, emotional idea at the core of Project Almanac, but it's hard to get invested in it due to the overwhelming familiarity of the plot.

READ more
Almond Joys, Coffee Shops, and ‘The Triumph of Seeds’

Thor Hanson is the kind of writer who can take something so seemingly simple and so often overlooked and make it not only relevant, but fun.

READ more
Jonathan Edwards: Tomorrow’s Child

Edwards’ genial approach on his latest enhances that sepia-tinted appeal, establishing Tomorrow’s Child as a beacon of seemingly timeless appeal.

READ more
‘Green Arrow #41’ Is Just, Plain, Good Storytelling

A grittier, more grounded Green Arrow is nothing new, especially for fans of CW's Arrow, but Benjamin Percy and Patrick Zircher take that concept to a new level of dark in Green Arrow #41.

READ more
Israel, Palestine, and the Visual Administration of Occupation

Attending to the visual practices that regulate the Israeli occupation of Palestine, Gil Hochberg’s Visual Occupations opens up new ways of seeing life under occupation.

READ more
Before Charlie Hebdo: The Cartoon Wars

Why is it that cartoons, more than any other expressive form, have incited the wrath of religious backlash?

READ more
Neil Young: The Monsanto Years

Neil Young hits the equilibrium between songwriting and performance best when he brings his heart to the table through rebellion.

READ more

17 Jun 2015 // 2:20 AM

Alpine: Yuck

In an effort to appeal to a broader audience, Alpine diminish the flimsy post-punk mold of their debut effort in favor of haughty, cool detachment.

READ more

17 Jun 2015 // 2:15 AM

Jaga Jazzist: Starfire

Starfire's Daft Punk-style synth lines scattered inside bold big-band arrangements affirm Jaga Jazzist’s command of style, but confirms the price of crossover success.

READ more

17 Jun 2015 // 2:10 AM

Arcturus: Arcturian

The veteran avant-prog band returns with a release that doesn't always live up to its potential but is still better than half of what you streamed this morning.

READ more
Two Jack Hill Flicks Are Resurrected in ‘Spider Baby’ and ‘Pit Stop’

Spider Baby and Pit Stop are two lost obscurities from the '60s that now look sharper than ever thanks to reissues from Arrow Films.

READ more
‘I Found My Friends’ Is a Drop in the Bucket of the Nirvana Story

Nick Soulsby tries to crack the case of Nirvana, the watershed band that very few saw coming.

READ more
Travis Bretzer: Waxing Romantic

Canadian singer-songwriter Travis Bretzer dreams up a wistful set of mildly psychedelic guitar pop for his debut album.

READ more

17 Jun 2015 // 2:02 AM

Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot, and Reverse Modernism

Agatha Christie's legendary detective Hercule Poirot is an example of a character responding defiantly and positively to the pressures of literary modernism.

READ more
Metropole Orkest and Snarky Puppy: Sylva

Metropole Orkest and Snarky Puppy deliver an electrifying, energetic genre-bending album with Sylva.

READ more
Marina and the Diamonds: Governors Ball Set + Aftershow (Photos)

Marina and the Diamonds' third album Froot contains some of her most vibrant and complex pop songs and make for an energetic live show.

READ more
It’s ‘Death Race 2015’ in ‘Ghost Racers #1’

Fast and furious! The demons take to the road! In Ghost Racers #1 the superhero genre is stretched to the limit.

READ more
The Women of ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ Are Complex, but the Cases Are Simple

If just some of the subtlety found in Rizzoli and Isles themselves could enter the crime-fighting in the show, TNT might find on its hands not only an audience favorite, but also a critical ground-breaker.

READ more
Romance and Science Conflict in ‘The Memory Painter’

A very cool sci-fi concept anchors The Memory Painter, but unremarkable prose and tonal inconsistency mar what is otherwise an interesting tale.

READ more
Full Possession of All Their Powers: A Chat with Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin wanted to record an album that sounded nothing like their early stuff. Of course, the label loved it 'cos it sounded like their early stuff.

READ more

16 Jun 2015 // 2:30 AM

Hudson Mohawke: Lantern

Boisterous beats, chintzy synths and quietly anthemic vocals bring electropop and hip-hop production together on Mohawke's first LP since 2009.

READ more
The SteelDrivers: The Muscle Shoals Recordings

Two parts dark elegance and grit, the SteelDriver’s latest Muscle Shoals Recordings feels like a natural extension of their previous release, Hammer Down in a multitude of ways.

READ more
Rob Mazurek / Exploding Star Orchestra: Galactic Parables Vol. 1

Rob Mazurek returns to the perfect musical vehicle for his lofty narratives and massive sound. This time, it's double.

READ more

16 Jun 2015 // 2:10 AM

William Basinski: Cascade

With a single endlessly echoing piano loop, aching yet serene, Basinski demonstrates the fluidity of music.

READ more
Michael Mann Delves Into Digital Video With the Underwhelming ‘Blackhat’

Globe-trotting and often ridiculous, Blackhat plays like a dour, withholding installment of Mission: Impossible.

READ more
Drivin N Cryin: Best of Songs

As a compendium, it keeps its consistency, resulting in an album that makes for not only a superb comeback of sorts but also one of the best sets of songs since Drivin N Cryin’s earliest outlays.

READ more

16 Jun 2015 // 2:00 AM

Banished to Oz: The Vanishing Ladies of ‘Supernatural’

The female characters of Supernatural shouldn't always have to be sacrificed to develop the plots of their male costars.

READ more
Striking Matches: Nothing But the Silence

This male-female country-roots duo is at their best while exploring their diverse interests in blues and rock. When they try mainstream country? Not so great.

READ more
Human Rights Watch Festival 2015: ‘This is My Land’ Documents Education in Palestine and Israel

In observing these many experiences of education in Palestine and Israel, This Is My Land doesn't connect them, or even offer explanations so much as it presents them for your contemplation.

READ more
More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Perspectives on Death in 'Game of Thrones - A Nest of Vipers'

// Moving Pixels

"How do you decide who lives and who dies?

READ the article