Wednesday, March 4 2015
Akashic Noir series continues to serve up delightful and disturbing gems that offer remarkable insights into the world’s great (and not-so-great) cities.
The world's most popular Wham City wonk who transcended his viral video notoriety to make transcendent pop music loves Less Than Jake. He also has a stress addiction, and his new album Gliss Riffer all stems from, of all things, a mixtape.
Like all adaptations of this classic work of erotic literature, this film misses the mark in capturing any of the poignancy of the novel's fluid and lyrical prose.
Aureate Gloom is a soliloquy to anyone willing to listen, an intense affirmation of the confusion that comes with change, and of the uncertainty that comes with difficult choices.
Aureate Gloom is momentarily great, but it becomes infuriating in a instant.
What is essentially a live-version of Sunbathing Animal takes the hardest working group of lazy-bones in music to places new and exciting... just before it heads back to places familiar and boring.
The chromatic wash of a futuristic energy glistens over the Brit's latest offering, but stirring beneath are the time-honored signatures of classic pop music.
Waverunner provides a definitive answer to the question "what would it sound like if a veteran Japanese pop producer made an EDM album?"
Christian Lee Hutson stretches his songwriting muscle on Yeah Okay, I Know, but gets bogged down by a dreary overall delivery.
Tuesday, March 3 2015
Gwen Stacy takes on a new role and crafts a new legacy for Spider-Men and Spider-Women alike.
Reporter Jill Leovy’s intimate and intricate story of murder in Los Angeles is part crime epic and part call to arms about a crisis decades in the making.
The attacks of 9/11 may have caused a noticeable shift in the lyrical content of musicians and even sonic changes in the short term, but, in the end, normalcy finds a way to settle in.
Jenn Ghetto is well known for co-founding Carissa’s Wierd. Now as 'S', Ghetto has crafted an indie heartbreak record inspired by Katy Perry.
For Buffy, turning invisible allows her to indulge all her worst impulses; but in doing so, she realizes that she is not embracing life, but fleeing it.
This woman-centric western isn't a lost masterpiece, but rather an entertaining and sometimes fascinating pleasantry.
Purity Ring reinforce their pop charms by tightening their formula on their sophomore album, moving one step closer to pop perfection.
Shadow of the Sun’s fondness for repetition doesn’t come at the sacrifice of the element of surprise.
Amy Speace’s latest album is one that has the potential to take her over the top.
A hard-edged evocation of the free blues spirit of Charlie Parker by a modern saxophonist with the spirit to get Bird right.
Bollywood takes an acid trip in The Rough Guide to Psychedelic India.
Monday, March 2 2015
Fassbinder's stifling drama about the sufferings of dependence is high camp, where the sparks fly with radiant colours.
Its plotholes are not as obvious as they were in Season Two, but Season Three's real strength lies in Clarie Underwood, and her journey makes the best case for House of Cards' staying power yet.
Marz and Malsuni manage the difficult task of remaining true to the legacy of Edgar Rice Burroughs while producing a story that seems fresh and new.
ALO won’t likely be skipping San Diego again any time soon if the crowd reaction on this night was any indication.
The Guilt and the Shadow is more of a tone poem than a puzzle game.
This is an interesting historical survey of how Christian theologians have handled the thorny issue of truth and lies.
Jeff Chang's cultural history tackles how race has played out across the last 50 years, and counting, of American culture.
PopMatters' exclusive interview with Johnny Mathis and Thom Bell celebrates the legacy of a pop music masterpiece, I'm Coming Home (1973).
With her latest, Kelly Clarkson proves that what doesn't kill her (and that voice) only makes her (and that voice) stronger.
The former Soft Cell frontman's latest rejects pop convention for an album-length singer/songwriter collaboration
If Flatlands was a movie, it would have better been entitled Badlands given its barren settings and austere atmosphere.
Although Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair has a fairly distinct color scheme, it deviates enough to resist the pastel end of the indie rock rainbow.
For all the lip-service they pay cooperation, Doomtree's members fight against nobody so much as each other on this dilute offering.
Friday, February 27 2015
Because The Lazarus Effect takes so long getting to the supposedly scary stuff, we have to stay focused on either the characters or the content, and both fail.
This Will Smith vehicle is witty, brash Hollywood entertainment that's sexy, smart, and on the whole, successful.
The interview with creator Jeff Lemire on his newest book Descender, which releases in March.
While not in the vein of Cronenberg's classic body horror thrillers, the bleak showbiz satire Maps to the Stars could well be a horror film after all.
The '30s era Hays Code limited significantly what artists could express and what audiences could see. Today's LGBT media has blasted through all that.
Get a sneak peek of some of March's most compelling new releases, including albums from Courtney Barnett, Purity Ring, and Lightning Bolt.
Ethel Payne's gripping accounts of black life in post-World War II America provided critical information that was largely missing from mainstream journalism.
Lucy's idea of science is akin to a stoner complaining about how math doesn't really exist, but it does have an audacity that many sci-fi thrillers in the present day lack.
Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin's first last album, represents the most grandiose expression of these Brits at the height of their powers.
The rough carpentry of these songs lets the dust fly, lets the grain show, but the songs are all the purer, all the sweeter, for their scuffs.
This noble experiment often overextends its reach, but does so with such charming confidence you can’t help but enjoy its ramshackle pop confections.
Expanded re-mastered releases of Bellybutton and Spilt Milk with live cuts and demos from power pop cult band Jellyfish.
From 1979 to 1982, Andre Gibson's band recorded countless tunes with audio engineering students at Columbia College. Universal Togetherness Band compiles a tight cross-section of those recordings, showing the band's tight chops and expansive taste.
Thursday, February 26 2015
Every character in Bluebird reminds us of how we might deliberately distract ourselves, in ways that simultaneously buffer and generate pain.
Aerosmith has released concert DVDs before, but with Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014, they are on the silver screen for one night only. Tom Hamilton tells us about the hits, the fits, and the pursuit of naughty bits.
Released next Wednesday, Descender's a game-changer. Here's why.
Along the way to Preparation for the Next Life's dramatic conclusion, there's a good deal of lovely, Nabokovian-like descriptive writing.
Questioning cartoons, satire, and the role of the media after the Charlie Hebdo assassinations.
The comic mythologizing of Winnipeg becomes conflated with an urge for Maddin to mythologize himself.
At the peak of his game, Drake has begun to embrace the darker sides of success.
In an age of band reunions where anything is possible, we now have the Pop Group’s first album in 35 years.
Iyer’s trio returns for its ECM debut, a sharp rhythmic workout that continues this musician’s brilliant run.
The Hot Club of Cowtown fiddler Elana James makes it a point to let her folk flag shine high and mightily on Black Beauty.
Goffin understands the importance of keeping everything simple, from the music to the sentiments expressed.
Wednesday, February 25 2015
Mastermen is a masterwork. A perfect 10. The greatest issue yet in this stunningly good series. Bravo, Mr. Morrision! Bravo!
This deeply engrossing and sophisticated Japanese novel unpeels itself in multiple nested narratives over its 855 page length.
For centuries, Tajikistan has seen just about every monarchy, kingdom, religious faith and culture sweep through its land, leaving an indelible impression on its people and music.
He was the man behind hits like "Sugar Sugar" and "Rock Me Gently", but Andy Kim discovered something about himself in the creation of It's Decided, his emotional new album created with Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew.
This Mexican horror remake evokes the mood, atmosphere and acting of the classic era of horror.
On Restarter, Torche delivers the smoothest sludge.
The second instrumental adventure in the land of modular synthesizer from the golden voice of the Sea and Cake.
The Balkan Clarinet Summit has produced one of the most soulful, enjoyable, and diverse collaborative albums in some time.
Hypercolor is a New York trio, an absolute mess of influences that can't help but play around with a blender.
Blackberry Smoke's fourth studio album is appropriately named after an analogy meaning "you're the winner".
Tuesday, February 24 2015
This penultimate issue is essentially Home Alone, if Macaulay Culkin was an Avenger and the Sticky Bandits were a bunch of Eastern European mobsters in tracksuits and armed with machine guns.
Max wants to make friends, survive high school, and impress her famous photography teacher to jump start her art career, the kinds of human and relatable stories not often seen in video games.
This novel's recurring themes of discontent and rivalry dominate whatever moments of tenderness and solidarity remain after Irish village life has given way to common death.
Fresh off of last year's divisive sx_tape and with the classic Candyman to his credit, director Bernard Rose talks horror's past and present, as well as his own forthcoming take on Frankenstein.
This is a traditional family sitcom, which means it's not funny.
Is Birdman's metacommentary the theatre within cinema that it appears to be?
Big Hero 6 demonstrates how Disney does animated storytelling like no other.
Gliss Riffer is by far Deacon's most successful and accessible full-length thus far, but it's just shy of being a masterpiece.
Australia's soul wunderkind Mahalia Barnes crosses her T's and dots her Betty Davis I's as she pays tribute to an artist who was too much, too soon.
With this EP, Pelican don’t seem to understand that promised tension that never delivers can be as frustrating as tension that never finds release.
This is feel-good music, played by a seasoned and assured troubadour equally at home on a spotlit stage or a front porch.
Kevin Drumm traffics in static, both the noun and the adjective.
The Merri Soul Sessions may be Kelly's most daring effort yet.
Monday, February 23 2015
Cindy Moon's story is just beginning, but her potential is still growing.
PopMatters speaks with Nightcrawler writer/director and Academy Award nominee Dan Gilroy about writing antiheroes, watching local television news, and questioning the pervasiveness of fear mongering media.
Blackguards 2 makes it feel good to be bad, but being bad also comes with a lot of responsibility.
A growing movement says we ought to help our kids lead riskier lives with the intent of improving society.
As the Gamergate controversy illustrates, Wikipedia’s call for unbiased writing is really a euphemism for the privileging of certain ideologies.
There are many surprises to be found in Caveman, not the least of which is that it is not a complete waste of time.
Never so pretty as Content or as clinical as their earliest efforts, this latest album from Gang of Four marks an ugly and interesting new era for the band.
The story of Jean-Michel Basquiat's longtime companion lets us see him as more than merely a brilliant artist.
How many modern electronic/downtempo acts take their primary inspiration from the Afrocentric American painter Romare Bearden? At least one.
London-based Doe resurrects '90s punk with a compilation of their First Four EPs.
The trumpeter, brother of guitarists Kevin and trombonist Robin, leads a sharp band of top players, and the result is a gem.
This year is barely eight weeks old, but Redemption of the Beast will likely be the worst rap album of the year.
Friday, February 20 2015
Although the "Great White Hope" overtones are troubling, McFarland, USA trumps the racism of its antagonists with sports team-building.
Julianne Moore's luminous performance as a woman with early onset Alzheimer's reveals how the disease makes it difficult to find oneself.
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 will be clever only to those who never outgrew hearing their first dirty joke at summer camp.
From Roswell to Aztec to Oa. The secret origin of Green Lantern, DC's science fiction superhero, is found among the crashed saucers and contactees of the 1950's UFO movement.
The zombies here aren't monsters, they're just another kind of terrorist.
Network and cable programming both demonstrate overwhelming irresponsibility and contradiction concerning depictions of sexual violence and abuse.
Performing in a country rife with racism and segregation, the tenor Roland Hayes was the first African-American man to reach international fame as a concert performer.
In pure madcap fashion, Preston Sturges' wartime comedy depicts just how absurd the constraints on women are in a patriarchal society.