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28 Jul 2015 // 2:30 AM

Future: DS2

On his second installment of the Dirty Sprite series, Future redeems himself and creates his own minimalist paradise.

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‘Superman’ and ‘Superman II’: What Is, and What Might Have Been

Superman and Superman II are two of the best films of their kind, but budget and time overruns necessitated a number of changes from the original vision.

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28 Jul 2015 // 2:20 AM

High Tides: High Tides

High Tides swirls nostalgia, synthesizers and neon-coated pop together for a sun-bleached beauty

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Watkins Family Hour: Watkins Family Hour

The long-running L.A. musical variety show yields a slight but enjoyable album without pretensions to being anything more than slight and enjoyable.

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What Zone Were the Writers of ‘Zone Troopers’ In?

This banal imitation of WWII B-movies is a perplexing and tedious film that never fully commits to the genre blending that could have elevated it to B-movie standards.

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Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen: Love & Life

Love & Life creates a continuous buzz that often translates into a very deep groove or the sound of a persistent rumble.

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Kopecky: Drug for the Modern Age

Drug for the Modern Age shows Kopecky's ability to repeatedly create instantly catchy indie-pop tracks over and over again, almost to a fault.

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What Happens When the Sappiness of ‘The Bachelor’ Meets the Plotting of ‘Inception’?

Experiencing Chris Harrison's The Perfect Letter is similar to that of the show he hosts, The Bachelor: you love to "hate-read" it.

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In ‘Tea Time’, 60 Years of Illusions and Pretense Are Pleasantly Lost

Filmed over six years, Maite Alberdi's lovely, profound documentary observes five former Catholic high school classmates' conversations.

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‘Godzilla’ Holds Its Fun Hostage

Godzilla is a love letter to the giant lizard in all his incarnations, and it's a cynical abuse of that love.

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Barbarians Weep in ‘Weirdworld #2’

Weirdworld gives us a barbarian king at his wits end, at the end of his rope, and at the brink of tears.

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‘Ex Machina’ and the Moral and Intellectual Facets of AI Development

Ex Machina treats its audience with reverence and care, and as a result, it's a film that can be dissected and appreciated by both humans and sentient robots alike.

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Queen Said It Best: We Are the Champions

The Invaders considers the tenuous position of the planet's top dogs.

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Lovecraft Was Wrong: Knowledge Is Power in ‘Bloodborne’

Bloodborne is not about the horror of knowledge, but the horror of unfettered knowledge.

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How a Streetwalker Became America’s Sweetheart

Pretty Woman was porn-lite for women long before Fifty Shades of Grey came along, and apparently, it still is.

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27 Jul 2015 // 2:30 AM

Lianne La Havas: Blood

With Blood, Lianne La Havas rediscovers herself and adds a prefix to her name.

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27 Jul 2015 // 2:20 AM

Mas Ysa: Seraph

Many moments of Seraph may seem random but are really meticulously placed in an effort to create something truly graceful and charming.

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The Dustbowl Revival: With a Lampshade On

If these cats don’t get you out on the dance floor, you need to see a doctor about your missing pulse.

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27 Jul 2015 // 2:10 AM

LA Priest: Inji

Producer Sam Dust arises as a maverick electronic pop revisionist on his full-length debut as LA Priest.

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The Political Allegory in ‘White God’ Has Quite the Bite

White God ferociously tells a universal story about the ties that bind us, and the forces that try to tear them apart.

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‘The Dark Net’ Peers Beyond the Headlines About the Hidden Web

Part investigative journalism, pop-anthropology, and travel diary, The Dark Net finds a bizarre world; a funhouse refraction of our surface interests, intents, motivations, and mores.

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27 Jul 2015 // 2:05 AM

Simply Red: Big Love

Big Love come across as a kind of audio time capsule, one that makes the passage of the past 30 years simply disappear.

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27 Jul 2015 // 2:02 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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Forecastle Festival: Louisville, KY (Day Two)

My Morning Jacket headline Day Two, bringing hometown rock glory to Louisville's riverfront.

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‘Lantern City’ and Its Steampunk Origins

Origins aren't predicative of outcomes. But the consequences of choices are compounded over time. This becomes remarkably apparent with Lantern City's choice of genre in steampunk.

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The Fight Scenes in ‘Southpaw’ Are Brutal and Beautiful

The fight scenes comprise a slamming mix of point of view shots, ringside images, and dazzling choreography showcases, as well as generally corny reaction shots.

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‘Pixels’ Can’t Survive It’s Hackneyed Script

Other elements of the movie almost work. The screenplay definitely doesn't.

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Miles Davis: Miles Davis at Newport: 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series Vol. 4

With the fourth installment in the so-called bootleg series, the evolution of Miles Davis is on full display. To say these recordings are essential to understanding the artist’s progression would be an understatement.

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The Chemical Brothers: Born in the Echoes

The legendary electronic duo modernize the roots of house and techno music on their first studio album in five years.

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24 Jul 2015 // 2:15 AM

Unbuttoning America: A Biography of Peyton Place

With its frank discussions of poverty, sexuality, class and ethnic discrimination, and small-town hypocrisy, Peyton Place was more than a tawdry potboiler.

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Joe Satriani: Shockwave Supernova

Joe Satriani is joined by a crack band on this album, but it also features some of his most emotive and brilliant playing in 26 years.

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‘Timbuktu’ Sends a Powerful Message About Jihadism

Timbuktu isn’t just a film about jihadism. It’s a film about the vibrant cultures jihadism can eradicate if it continues to spread.

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Robert Glasper: Covered (The Robert Glasper Trio Recorded Live at Capital Studios)

The Best R&B Grammy winner who is really a jazz pianist does both on this acoustic trio record.

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Roger Waters: Amused to Death (take 2)

Amused to Death, emerged as a dark, desultory look at the domination of the media as a brainless but powerful influence in the shaping of mankind’s political, religious and social ideals.

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Animotion Talks About the Hit Song That’s Been an ‘Obsession’

Animotion member Bill Wadhams looks back at the band's big hit, "Obsession", which marks its 30th anniversary this year.

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Jack Savoretti: Written in Scars

At turns rustic and sensual, Jack Savoretti's Written in Scars proves his most lustrous effort.

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Los Angeles Film Festival 2015

The Los Angeles Film Festival continues to lean in amongst a decidely crowded festival market.

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‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ 30 Years On

In 1985, Crisis on Infinite Earths was a necessary evil to tie together inchoate timelines in DC's grander continuity. No one could foresee this book coming to define the next 30 years in comics.

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The Majesty of U2 Shines at the First of Eight NYC Shows

U2's eight night run at Madison Square Garden began with a powerhouse performance including many of their classics and a huge production that embodies a global theme.

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‘It Follows’ Has a Deep Dread on Its Mind

This movie is often creepy and unnerving, but it's not unbearably terrifying, if only because Mitchell's distinctive voice as a filmmaker is such a pleasure to behold.

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Roger Waters: Amused to Death (take 1)

In 1992, Roger Waters released a mighty record that was given the bum's rush by pop history. Remixed, repackaged, and remastered, it's back to teach us a lesson.

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Danielewski’s ‘The Familiar, Vol. 1’ Is Too Much, All at Once

As a compendium of inventive thought and prose, The Familiar, Vol. 1 succeeds. As a coherent novel, it's impenetrable.

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23 Jul 2015 // 2:20 AM

Years & Years: Communion

There may be the odd misstep, but Communion is a solid debut, and one of the better pop albums in recent memory.

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Joss Stone: Water for Your Soul

Think of it as the aural equivalent of a Lego set. One can use the simple bricks in different styles and colors to make something that stands out as special.

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The Lover Speaks: The Lover Speaks

Full of bouncy, ebullient grooves and an atmosphere of high drama, the Lover Speaks’ lone 1986 album is a solidly written and performed work which still maintains its charm nearly 30 years later.

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Soldiers vs. Werewolves in the Scottish Highlands

Through their relentless bloodlust and willingness to organize and plot with their own kind, these werewolves are, in many ways, like us.

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23 Jul 2015 // 2:05 AM

Kool Keith: Total Orgasm

A master provocateur, Kool Keith unleashes three discs' worth of the scatological, pornographic and often just plain absurd.

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Tom Petty and George Harrison Were Two Sides of the Same Bicentennial Coin

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Thirty Three & 1/3, and self-destruction in the Spirit of '76.

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The Forecastle Festival: Louisville, KY (Day One)

Sam Smith blows the crowd away at a busy, memorable opening day of Forecastle 2015.

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Comedy’s the Game in ‘Minimum Wage: So Many Bad Decisions #3’

Dating Awkwardness Takes the Stage (with help from Marc Maron).

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In ‘Go Set a Watchman’, Racism Is Resilient and Seductive

In Harper Lee’s dry run for To Kill a Mockingbird, it’s somehow less shocking that Atticus Finch is a racist but that his once-forceful daughter Scout is so powerless against him.

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20 Questions: Albert Hammond, Jr.

For Albert Hammond Jr., "Sometimes you wanna be James Bond and sometimes you wanna be Marlon Brando until you realize you can't be either!"

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What Sebastian Bach and ‘Gilmore Girls’ Taught Us About Music and Life

Gil (Sebastian Bach) was the physical embodiment of the themes Gilmore Girls tried to convey through music.

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22 Jul 2015 // 2:30 AM

Tame Impala: Currents

Australia's most promising young rock band masterfully blend psychedelia with dance music on their bold and epic third album.

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Fantastic Negrito: Fantastic Negrito

The immediacy and disjointed nature seems fitting, in tune with Xavier Dphrepaulezz’s rebellious nature and his disregard for formulaic music.

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Lee Bannon: Pattern of Excel

On his latest album, left-field garage producer Lee Bannon emphasizes his true sonic passions with moody ambient pieces and glitchy soundscapes.

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Sexual Horror in ‘Valerie and Her Week of Wonders’

This film presents adolescent desires as if it were a raging ocean of mercury – beautiful and deadly all at once.

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22 Jul 2015 // 2:10 AM

Joy Williams: Venus

On her first post-Civil Wars album, Williams sometimes hits the mark perfectly. And sometimes she sounds like she's trying on musical costumes to see what fits.

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What Is the Line Between Cultural Respect and (Mis)appropriation?

The Goddess Pose is fascinating story of how an Eastern European woman became a global chameleon and the most recognizable face of yoga in the world.

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Sun Ra: Duke Ellington’s Sound of Space

Dear patrons in attendance at The Bottom Line on the night of February 17, 1987: shut up, won't you?

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Where Have You Gone, Monsieur Hulot?

Persistent themes of Jacques Tati’s films were work and play, two forces in conflicting or complementary relationships, always inspiring creativity regardless of configuration.

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It’s a Political World in ‘Korvac Saga #2’

As I'm reading this issue of Korvac Saga I keep hearing Bob Dylan's Oh Mercy album playing in my head. Like a soundtrack.

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On Miyazaki’s Gross, Funny and Touching ‘Spirited Away’

The imagination of the film is unparalleled, but what truly makes Spirited Away a masterpiece is how it imbues the fantastic with so much real feeling.

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If You Can’t Say Anything Nice, Save It for the Internet

On the Internet, both scholars and non-academics alike find something about the genre of comment to sink their canines into.

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When Do Misogynistic Lyrics Become Hate Speech?

Hip-hop, free speech and misogyny at North by Northeast.

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21 Jul 2015 // 2:30 AM

Wilco: Star Wars

Saying "What's more fun than a surprise?" Wilco drops their shortest, barest album in their career, and it feels fresh and new.

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21 Jul 2015 // 2:20 AM

Frank Zappa: Dance Me This

Congratulations, Frank Zappa fans, you've made it to album number 100! Time to do a little dance.

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Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge: Twelve Reasons to Die II

Much too short, but as solid as you'd expect given the name of the rapper, the name of the producer, and the names of the features.

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‘Metal Hurlant Chronicles’: The Soul, if Not the Imagery, of Heavy Metal

While the series is often hit and miss, the Blu Ray musters up some interesting extras like motion comics (for fun comparisons), featurettes, convention appearances and more.

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21 Jul 2015 // 2:10 AM

Richard Thompson: Still

The Jeff Tweedy-produced Still may not surprise, but surprises aren't what Richard Thompson albums are about.

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How Do You Pin Down the Concept of Purgatory?

Heaven Can Wait surveys the impact of an otherworldly state on the earthly condition.

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Stephen Kalinich and Jon Tiven: Each Soul Has a Voice

Considering the substantial pedigrees of the principals involved, it’s hardly surprising that Each Soul Has a Voice boasts an archival feel, one that sounds so seemingly so retro it often goes askew.

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Turbowolf Talks Two Hands: In Conversation with Chris Georgiadis

Vocalist Chris Georgiadis of British hard rock act Turbowolf discusses his band's latest release Two Hands, creativity and inspiration and what it means to be 'punk' these days.

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Equals in an Unequal Struggle in ‘Superman/Wonder Woman #19’

When Superman is at his most vulnerable, the strength of his relationship with Wonder Woman is revealed.

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‘Report to the Commissioner’ Explores Personal Politics on the Force

New York City's seedy underbelly of pimps and prostitutes is explored in this crime drama of police department politics.

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Freedom of Speech: It’s Complicated

David K. Shipler's latest is an insightful and balanced romp through the contested zones of free speech in America.

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Get By with a Little Help from Our Elves: An Interview with Samaris

Samaris transform 19th century Icelandic poetry into haunting, modern compositions with electronics and a clarinet. Yet emerging success hasn't changed their disposition, or their sense of humor.

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Why Country Music Really Needs Kacey Musgraves

At a time when mainstream country music is perceived as too pop, Musgraves has the potential to bring it back to the basics -- and in a progressive fashion, too.

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20 Jul 2015 // 2:30 AM

Ashley Monroe: The Blade

Her first album that can’t be construed as a debut, The Blade comes from a place of absolute confidence in talent, of assurance in what she’s doing.

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Eleventh Dream Day: Works For Tomorrow

Works For Tomorrow is not just a nice reminder of the Chicago rockers’ early vitality, it often feels as urgent and careening as any of their previous high-water marks.

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Fucked Up: Year of the Hare

Can a 23-minute long track with acoustic interludes be the best punk song of the decade?

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‘Mommy’ Is an Overpraised Mess of a Movie

Middlebrow, glib, and unjustifiably pleased with itself, the winner of the Cannes Jury Prize arrives on DVD.

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Bert Jansch: Live at the 12 Bar

Bert Jansch's intimate London gig from the mid-'90s changes hands again for reissue.

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Don’t Sign the Lease Just Yet

The journey in Housebreaking is gripping even though the payoff is light.

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Sun Ra & His Intergalactic Research Arkestra: Planets of Life or Death: Amiens ‘73

Afrofuturism and retroactive joys dominate this special Record Store Day release.

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20 Jul 2015 // 2:02 AM

From Vienna to Schoeller: The Revivals of Expressionism

The exquisite close-up technique of Martin Schoeller hearkens back to the thriving artistic times of Vienna circa 1900.

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‘Trainwreck’ Isn’t Enough of One

Amy Schumer’s rom-com isn’t the raunch fest that Trainwreck's pre-release hype has promised. It’s more like a typical Judd Apatow movie about childish adults growing up.

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‘Ant-Man’ Wants to Be So Much Bigger

Having given up on making stand-alones, Marvel's desire to tie everything into its "universe" hinders this movie's inherent joy.

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‘Court’ Is a Wise, Incisive Contemplation of India’s Institutional Mechanics

You see that the system is rigged, not to produce justice or even revenge, but to keep people performing, to keep workers in line.

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Plumbing the Depths of Space and Human Psychology in ‘Southern Cross’

On its surface Southern Cross is a simple tale—a beloved sister dies, a loving sister hops an interplanetary transport to reclaim the body and investigate the death. But there hidden depths here, both literary and human.

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Elliott Smith’s Story Gets Due Respect in ‘Heaven Adores You’

Rejecting the narrative of tragedy so often imposed on the life of Elliott Smith, Heaven Adores You celebrates the life and art of one of modern music's most revered figures.

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The Resurgent Power of Miles Davis’ Late Music

A new box set of Miles Davis' appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival remind us of his restless need to evolve -- and several new records remind us of how his later styles live on.

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17 Jul 2015 // 2:30 AM

Ratatat: Magnifique

Five years after Ratatat's bloated experimental effort LP4, the Brooklyn duo have are back with the more focused and accessible Magnifique, which finds them returning to a guitar-centric approach.

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Sly and the Family Stone: Live at the Fillmore East

On these two days in 1968, Sly and the Family Stone sounded like a perpetual motion machine far too powerful to ever break down.

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17 Jul 2015 // 2:15 AM

Ike Reilly: Born on Fire

In his 2015 offering, rock 'n' roll troubadour Ike Reilly defines the genre, and then some.

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Acid Hype: American News Media and the Psychedelic Experience

Acid Hype offers the untold tale of LSD's wild journey from Brylcreem and Ivory soap to incense and peppermints.

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Dziga Vertov’s ‘The Man With the Movie Camera’ Remains a Fascinating Documentary

Dziga Vertov believed that the camera could function as an extension of the human eye, and could see and record a truth that the ordinary human eye would miss.

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17 Jul 2015 // 2:10 AM

Ken Camden: Dream Memory

Camden creates a Rorschach palette of guitars and synths that allows the listener to create their own meaning.

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17 Jul 2015 // 2:05 AM

God Damn: Vultures

Loud yet dynamic, a duo that's never minimal, God Damn take heavy music to task on Vultures.

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Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ Tour Isn’t Full of Bad Blood, It’s Full of Heart (Photos)

Taylor Swift can't help but make new friends everywhere she goes. The 60,000 people who saw her each night at the Meadowlands can attest to that.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

The Eye of Lenzi: "Gang War in Milan" and "Spasmo"

// Short Ends and Leader

"Two wide and handsome Italian thrillers of the 1970s.

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