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More Recent Features
‘Rosemary’s Baby’ and ‘Son of Rosemary’: From Demonology to Religious Fundamentalism

Whereas the original finds horror in alienation from mainstream culture, the sequel finds horror in the force that mobilizes all culture into a monolithic mainstream.

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28 Oct 2016 // 1:30 AM

Owning It: An Interview With Trails and Ways

"How do I find confidence in myself and belief in my own voice, now that there's no pretense to it being a totally shared project and it's totally centered on me as a songwriter?"

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St. Lenox: Ten Hymns From My American Gothic

Albums of such shear artistry, originality and thematic immediacy are few and far between. This is the album of perspective and hope we need in this time of political and social unrest.

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28 Oct 2016 // 1:20 AM

Honeyblood: Babes Never Die

With Babes Never Die, Honeyblood stirs up a scuzzy rock storm filled with pop hooks that gets better the deeper you dig.

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Eyeless in Gaza: Picture the Day (A Career Retrospective 1981-2016)

This career-spanning anthology reveals not only Eyeless in Gaza’s import to the development of synthpop but also their ongoing commitment to exploring and even breaking the boundaries of that genre in consistently rewarding ways.

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28 Oct 2016 // 1:10 AM

July Talk: Touch

Toronto quintet crafts fantastic sophomore LP fusing primeval blues, post-punk clamor, and sexual dynamism.

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28 Oct 2016 // 1:02 AM

Tillery: Tillery

Three singers known mainly for jazz collaborate on a haunting record that isn't really jazz but it's still very special and unique.

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‘Patterns’ Examination of Corporate Culture Still Resonates

Patterns is, above all, a reflection on the human relationship with success, something Rod Sterling admittedly had a troubled relationship with in his career.

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Divorce: Season 1, Episode 3 - “Counseling”

In its third episode, Divorce pulls the trigger on a gun that’s clearly been loaded for years.

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Former OED Chief Editor’s ‘Word Detective’ Makes for Compelling Reading

Dictionaries: "They are the nasty medicine which you are handed when you display even the slightest ignorance about the meaning of a word." Or so we thought.

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“It’s All a Big Action Movie”: An Interview with Hungrybox

You've heard of video game competitions before, but no one player's life has been as filled with drama or redemption as that of Juan "Hungrybox" DeBiedma.

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27 Oct 2016 // 1:25 AM

Kuedo: Slow Knife

Kuedo envelopes the listener in a bold, cinematic album that transcends time and place.

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27 Oct 2016 // 1:20 AM

NxWorries: Yes Lawd!

Yes Lawd! wants to be a neo-soul version of Madvillainy or The Unseen or Donuts, but comes up short.

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‘The Case of Alan Turing’ Gives the Enigma Project the Graphic Treatment

This treatment focuses not just on the technical matters of encryption, but also on the human factors that may prove decisive in breaking a code.

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27 Oct 2016 // 1:15 AM

GAS: Box

Kompakt releases another GAS box set, one that is less comprehensive than its predecessor.

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Luke Winslow-King: I’m Glad Trouble Don’t Last Always

A break-up album that covers both a map of the heart and America’s musical heartland.

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Drugdealer: The End of Comedy

Michael Collins & Co. reference musical views of both past and present on The End of Comedy, and in doing so provide listeners a sonic smile.

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Kelly Lee Owens: Oleic EP

From four tracks alone, it's obvious that London producer Kelly Lee Owens has been an avid studier of what makes great dance music "great".

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Lost and Found: A ‘Blair Witch’ Postmortem

As the latest Blair Witch exits cinemas, PopMatters asks what was the aura of the first Blair Witch Project, and has it been lost?

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Rockaway Beach Is the Surreal Festival That Avoids Fatigue

In a society stricken with music festival fatigue, Rockaway Beach aims to be an antidote for all that ails the average show-goer.

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‘Brief Histories of Everyday Objects’ Ponders, What’s Up With the Toothbrush?

In comic form, Brief Histories of Everyday Objects puts everyday objects under clever ideological scrutiny.

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There Is Something for Both Board Gamers and Video Gamers in ‘Mechs vs. Minions’

The hijinks and pratfalls of the League of Legends branded board game, Mechs vs. Minions, will make gamers of all stripes smile.

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Is Indian Cinema’s First Chick Flick, ‘Mouna Raagam’, a Hindu Nationalist Fantasy?

The "chick flick" medium doesn't completely obfuscate the espousal of the triumph of Hindu conservatism over secular-liberal institutions and socialist ideology.

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Solange: A Seat at the Table

With this unapologetic examination of blackness in America, Solange boldly cements her status as a voice to be reckoned with.

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Jimmy Eat World: Integrity Blues

Arizona's power-pop emo heroes are back with a diverse new album full of sonic riches and emotional maturity.

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‘Everything Explained That Is Explainable’ Contains the Intrigue of a Thriller

This is the story of not only the modern accumulation and dispensing of knowledge, but also of early marketing and public manipulation through the impressive power of persuasion.

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C Duncan: The Midnight Sun

The Scottish composer's latest effort takes on a more electronic direction without necessarily abandoning his penchant for dreamlike orchestrations.

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26 Oct 2016 // 1:10 AM

Grumbling Fur: Furfour

While much of Furfour relies on the same Depeche Mode-meets-Eno format, the LP showcases the clarity of Alexander Tucker and Daniel O’Sullivan's heterogeneous psych-pop vision.

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26 Oct 2016 // 1:05 AM

Cassius: Ibifornia

Cassius offer up a sunshine disco album sorely lacking identity.

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Cheena: Spend the Night With…

Cheena’s music can sometimes feel like a vapid novelty: fun while it lasts but short on ideas that would give you a desire to revisit.

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Your Tape Is Our Tape: Mike Mogis Looks Back on Bright Eyes

The saga told across The Studio Albums: 2000-2011 isn't just the story of Conor Oberst's evolution as a songwriter. It's also the story of Mike Mogis's evolution as a producer.

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Thievery Corporation Steals the Night With Truth Bombs at Berkeley Greek

The energy in the Berkeley air crackles as the band and audience unite in a collective groove that makes it feel like the political revolution still has a chance.

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Stranger Things: Seasons 1, Episode 7 - “The Bathtub”

A shorter, but brilliant, episode brings together adults and children as the season rushes headlong into the finale.

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The Mystery of ‘All That Man Is’

David Szalay's novel preserves the mystery of modern manhood within an anthology of realism.

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How to Break a Person: Is ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 7 Examining Slavery?

Despite claims by both villains and producers, can people really be "broken" so quickly?

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The Coen Brothers’ ‘Blood Simple’ Beginnings

Don't let the word "simple" in the title fool you: even with their debut feature, the Coen Brothers were already refining their idiosyncratic calling cards.

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The Radio Dept.: Running Out of Love

The Radio Dept. take on the political crises of the day with megalithic electronic epics, adding another essential release to their discography.

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I Can Do Zat!: Anton Yelchin’s ‘Star Trek’ Legacy

Remember how Yelchin wrestled with vampires, neo-Nazis, pirates, and adultery to earn his place as Chekov aboard the USS Enterprise?

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‘Land of Fish and Rice’ and Elegantly Subtle Cuisine

Fuchsia Dunlop leaves the peppercorns behind for the "pure" and "light" flavors of south China.

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25 Oct 2016 // 1:19 AM

Conor Oberst: Ruminations

Conor Oberst's Ruminations finds the seasoned folk bard in a bare room with just his guitar, piano, and harmonica to keep him company

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25 Oct 2016 // 1:15 AM

Swet Shop Boys: Cashmere

Cashmere is a transatlantic hip-hop album that challenges representation of South Asian people in pop culture.

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25 Oct 2016 // 1:10 AM

Sumerlands: Sumerlands

Sumerlands' debut album channels the history of metal music with subtley and style.

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25 Oct 2016 // 1:05 AM

Macy Gray: Stripped

Macy Gray reimagines some old work, provides some new work, and tackles other artists' work in an exciting, triumphant new LP.

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Bossacucanova: The Best of Bossacucanova

To take a beloved classic and update it is always a risky endeavor. Bossacucanova has made a career out of it.

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Plugging In and Loosening Up: An Interview With Richard Shindell

Shindell is an influential figure in the Fast Folk genre, and with the release of his 10th album, spoke to PopMatters about the long and ultimately rewarding process of creating Careless.

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Great Performances: ‘Hamilton’s America’

Marketing meets documentary in Hamilton's America, which makes it no less interesting and worth watching.

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‘Autumn Lights’ Eschews Genre for Trivial Melancholy

In his debut feature, Angad Aulakh fails to provide engaging characters after turning his nose up at the sexy thriller that could've been.

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Melvin Seals and JGB Keep the Flame Burning at Terrapin Crossroads

There’s a spiritual sustenance of sorts in Garcia’s music that can be hard to put a finger on per se, but the continuing demand and praise for these celestial harmonics is empirical evidence of its existence.

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24 Oct 2016 // 9:00 AM

Divorce: Season 1, Episode 2 - “Next Day”

This week, characters get locked out of their homes and their own lives.

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The Blacklist: Season 4, Episode 5 - “The Lindquist Concern (No. 105)”

Creator Jon Bokenkamp doesn't kill the ancillary characters, he just guts them of everything that makes them interesting.

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Animation: It’s Not Just for Children, Anymore

The inclusive approach in A New History of Animation will have you discovering the work of new animators, and new works by artists already familiar to you.

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Dreams, Diaries, and Getting Down: Individualizing the Past Through Youth and Nostalgia

Despite its limitations, television can help viewers make sense of and shape both the world and the struggle for social change.

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Leonard Cohen: You Want It Darker

Leonard Cohen gives us a darkness that isn’t just pure sad or heavy, but reflective and gentle. This isn’t just a work of art from a single period of time, but from a whole lifetime of living.

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Jamestown Revival: The Education of a Wandering Man

Jamestown Revival’s second album celebrates a fully realized and eclectic sound that is uniquely theirs.

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‘Wayward Heroes’ and Cold War Iceland

Wayward Heroes, for all its tangled itinerary, endures in this long-awaited translation as a cautionary tale for all who flock around despots or who applaud the cries of die-hards.

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24 Oct 2016 // 1:15 AM

Steve Hauschildt: Strands

While Strands subverts none of your expectations, it is also a gorgeous and well-executed record.

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Okkultokrati: Raspberry Dawn

Oslo-based unit takes us down to the dungeon where the jams are dank and the torture is pretty.

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24 Oct 2016 // 1:05 AM

Trygve Seim: Rumi Songs

Norwegian saxophonist Trygve Seim sets the 13th-century poetry of Jelaluddin Rumi to song, with mixed results.

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24 Oct 2016 // 1:02 AM

Pray TV: Horizontal Life

If we didn't give Pray TV enough attention 20 years ago, here's our chance to make it all up to them.

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24 Oct 2016 // 1:00 AM

Can Transparency Motivate Gamers?

Transparency means that I can always find enjoyment in improving my personal high score when I play a game, whether or not I win or lose.

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‘Jack Reacher: Never Go Back’, Please!

There isn’t a single moment of genuine peril in this listless action-thriller.

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‘American Pastoral’ Is Yet Another Lifeless Philip Roth Adaptation

Like so many before him, Ewan McGregor fails to do right by Philip Roth.

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A Ritual de lo Habitual in San Francisco With Jane’s Addiction and Fishbone

Jane's first two albums continue to represent a pinnacle of sorts for the classic trio of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll which few other bands have distilled in such a vibrant manner.

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21 Oct 2016 // 7:25 AM

Lady Gaga: Joanne

Even with all her extracurricular endeavors paying off cultural dividends, Gaga's greatest achievement is yet to come, and Joanne, flaws and all, feels like the necessary step to get there.

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Coming in to Land: Pigeon John Inducts Hip-Hop Into the Twilight Zone

Hip-hop’s most loquacious jester forges ahead into a twilight zone of skewed and jacked up hip-hop.

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Pondering Life Post-Capitalism in ‘Four Futures’

Can markets be separated from capitalism? From money? From the disenfranchising effects of equating social power with money?

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American Football: American Football

Midwestern emo legends American Football return with a companion album to their lone 1999 LP.

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Sankt Otten + N: Männerfreundschaften und Metaphysik

Three abstract German musicians walk into a studio and emerge with a heavenly noise that may never age.

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Melissa Etheridge: MEmphis Rock and Soul

MEmphis Rock and Soul finds Etheridge lacking the secret ingredient that once made these songs timeless classics.

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Las Kellies: Friends and Lovers

All the way from Buenos Aires, the dreamy post-punk trio delivers another fine collection of fuzzy, melodic garage rock.

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Situation Critical: ‘Thunderbirds Are Go’ Season 2 Preview

More practical effects and a grimmer tone in season two promise to build on the best of the rebooted series first season.

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Channel Zero: Season 1, Episode 1 – “You Have to Go Inside”

In episode one, we meet Mike, child psychologist haunted by his own childhood trauma: a mysterious TV show, a series of unsolved child murders, and a teeth-stealing monster.

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Channeling Heroism Through Infamy in ‘Infamous Iron Man #1’

Victor Von Doom enters a new and compelling role in the Marvel universe.

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20 Oct 2016 // 8:30 AM

Atlanta: Season 1, Episode 7 - “B.A.N.”

Atlanta takes viewers down the rabbit hole of the Black American News Network -- complete with commercials -- in the best episode so far.

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Green Day’s ‘Revolution Radio’ Sways Young Punks and Thrashes All Around

With Revolution Radio reaching number one on the charts, Green Day continue to cross a political line while garnering new fans.

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‘Becoming Unbecoming’ and the Toll Extracted From Survivors

This graphic novel offers an incomparably powerful critique of misogyny and male sexual violence against women.

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The Market Knows All and Sees All

Renowned theologian Harvey Cox examines contemporary belief and modern America gods: Market, DOW, Nasdaq, and more in The Market As God.

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Hiss Golden Messenger: Heart Like a Levee

Arrayed next to 2013's Haw and 2014's Lateness of DancersHeart Like a Levee proves that M.C. Taylor and his morphing cadre of supporting musicians are on an impressive roll.

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20 Oct 2016 // 1:20 AM

Gucci Mane: WOPTOBER

WOPTOBER plays more like one of Gucci Mane's mixtapes than it does a traditional major label rap album.

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‘Star Trek’: Space-Time Compression and the Eventual Death of Money

Did Gene Roddenberry realize how “Marx-like” the world he imagined was?

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Obituary: Ten Thousand Ways to Die

Is it a single with live bonus material or a live album with studio tracks? Either way, Obituary still kicks major corpse with Ten Thousand Ways to Die.

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Blonde Redhead: Maculin Féminin

With this deluxe reissue, Blonde Redhead's fans will be jumping for joy, albeit probably in a lo-fi, no-frills kind of way.

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20 Oct 2016 // 1:05 AM

Cool Ghouls: Animal Races

Let Cool Ghouls be your guide through this museum of classic genre influences.

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“You Can’t Plan a Jam”: An Interview With Dean Ween

"If it's going somewhere, it might get a bass solo and a drum solo for two minutes. But that's jamming, you know?"

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19 Oct 2016 // 7:19 AM

No Piano, Please!

Four recent releases demonstrate the stylistic range and power of jazz that isn't hemmed in by chords.

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‘Night Train to Munich’ Is a Journey Worth Taking

More than just a rerun of The Lady Vanishes, Night Train to Munich overcomes wobbly moments by being so persistently fun.

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The Comedy Gift That Keeps on Giving: Late Night Hosts Respond to the Trump Tapes

The comedy gods bestowed on late night television the Trump tapes; all stepped up and answered the challenge.

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19 Oct 2016 // 1:30 AM

Big Star: Complete Third

The premiere cult band's strangest record is reissued with every recording from its legendary sessions, presenting a story of its creator's descent into madness.

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The Unfathomable Confessions of Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen's autobiography, Born to Run, is on a mission to deliver us into the paradox of holy terror.

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David Bromberg Band: The Blues, the Whole Blues and Nothing But the Blues

On his 18th album, David Bromberg teaches a master-class not only in the history of blues-inflected Americana but also in how to keep that music alive and relevant.

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A 21st-century Muckraker Pierces the Heart of the Internet in ‘Reading the Comments’

If Eggers' The Circle gave us a glance at the inimical nature of social media via Orwell’s idea of “groupthink”, then Reagle takes us even deeper into why we love to comment on anything and everything.

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19 Oct 2016 // 1:15 AM

Oathbreaker: Rheia

Oathbreaker's third album is wonderful in terms of contrasting black metal fury with quieter moments, but the songwriting lags behind the atmosphere.

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Zomba Prison Project: I Will Not Stop Singing

The Zomba Prison Project's second album once again lays bare the lives and thoughts of the residents of Malawi's only maximum security prison.

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The Seshen: Flames & Figures

While there are tracks that stand out, Flames & Figures genuinely suffers from monotony in its attitude and aura.

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The Mountain Goats Turn a Concert Into a Celebration of Survival

Sharing good times to help get through the bad with the Mountain Goats.

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Westworld: Season 1, Episode 1 - “The Original”

Ethical conflicts between creator and created are just one aspect of Westworld's brilliant and epically ambitious first episode.

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The Cure’s Lol Tolhurst Shares His View Behind the Drum Kit

Founding drummer of The Cure Lol Tolhurst explores the creation of the classic band, their meteoric rise, his alcohol-fueled crash, and his personal rebirth.

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Lowering the Boom: An Interview with Boz Boorer

Although an acclaimed collaborator of Morrissey's and Adam Ant's, Boz Boorer still has a focused solo career, and speaks to PopMatters about Age of Boom, his latest salvo.

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What Happened, Miss Simone? Captures Its Subject in Stained Glass

This award-winning documentary raises the bar for how Simone is represented in popular culture and history books. It's now on DVD with a 15-song bonus CD.

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Harry Belafonte and the Art of Activism

Harry Belafonte's life and work looms large over this moment, when artists of color are exercising their activist voices.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

'Cube Escape' Is Free, Frustrating, and Weirdly Compelling

// Moving Pixels

"The Cube Escape games are awful puzzle games, but they're an addicting descent into madness.

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