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Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker: Overnight

Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker breathe fresh air into classic folk sounds while also managing to travel beyond the characteristics of any one genre.

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18 Oct 2016 // 1:20 AM

Bell X1: Arms

With a newfound interest in sonic spaciousness and avant-prog song constructions, Irish indie-rockers Bell X1 offer what is arguably their most focused effort to date.

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The Flat Five: It’s a World of Love and Hope

A collection of happy sounds for a troubled time, this record evokes the innocence of another era while acknowledging the artifice of such nostalgia.

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Barbara Yelin’s ‘Irmina’ Makes Clear: There’s a High Cost to Ignoring One’s Political Climate

The provocative and visually stunning Irmina explores Nazi-era questions of culpability that resonate eerily with today's world.

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Die Antwoord: Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid

Die Antwoord's latest is an album that’s too obnoxious when it’s not boring and too boring when it’s not obnoxious.

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Biosphere: Departed Glories

Vast, open expanses; flowing places full of emptiness and gaps; but at the core, always one thing: life.

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Readings on Eluvium: Putting Matthew Cooper into Perspective

In this interview, Eluvium describes the cognitive dissonance that birthed his new album and opens up about his perceived identity in the modern compositional landscape.

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New York Film Festival 2016: ‘Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened’ + Aquarius’

A bittersweet documentary looks back at the Stephen Sondheim masterpiece that almost was, and Sonia Braga slaps old age (plus racism, classism, and Brazilian corruption) right in the face.

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The Blacklist: Season 4, Episode 4 - “Gaia”

Even at its worst, The Blacklist never seemed lazy. Until now.

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‘The Innocents’ Brings Quiet Depth to Suffering in Silence

The Innocents is very much a story about what is going on beneath the surface, of reaction more than action, but its devastating power will demand your attention.

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Why Are So Many White Americans So Fearful These Days?

Published just as many white American conservatives embrace a xenophobic demagogue as their savior, Hochschild’s emotive and empathic study provides guidance for how the US came to this crisis point.

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‘Feral’ Creator Morgan Jon Fox on Telling One’s Own Story

Fox discusses art, illness, community, and the importance of not losing touch with one's roots.

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Benoît Pioulard: The Benoît Pioulard Listening Matter

After a stretch of largely wordless ambient releases, the Seattle dream-folk artist has formidable weight to get off his mind.

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To Live and Die in Pixelation

Death by Video Game is a must read not only for gamers, but for anyone interested in learning about well researched and supported argumentation.

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17 Oct 2016 // 1:15 AM

AlunaGeorge: I Remember

AlunaGeorge double down on a radio-friendly approach, but their latest effort suffers for a lack of variety.

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Machinedrum: Human Energy (take one)

Machinedrum is one of the finer talents in modern electronic music, but on his latest album, he’s catering to the wrong crowd.

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Isaiah Rashad: The Sun’s Tirade

Isaiah Rashad doesn't go out of his way to prove his transcendent talent on The Sun's Tirade, but it's undeniable by the album's conclusion.

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Machinedrum: Human Energy (take 2)

Will EDM be destined to the disco burn pile? Probably, but, standing near the flames in 2025, you might take your copy of Human Energy, slip it into your pocket, and watch the rest burn.

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Nation-Building on Bajor: Why ‘Deep Space Nine’ Is Really the Post-9/11 ‘Star Trek’

Despite debuting in the early '90s, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine offers timely insights into 21st-century global politics.

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Sigur Rós Stun Radio City Music Hall with Fantastic, Gorgeous Show (photos)

Sigur Rós remain a powerful force as they tour as a three piece outfit, without any additional strings or brass sections.

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Jason Isbell Chats Solo Career and Song Craft at the New Yorker Festival

Grammy-winner Isbell sat down with John Seabrook for a humorous, "college-y song-writing seminar" followed by a short acoustic set.

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Atlanta: Season 1, Episodes 5 and 6 - “Nobody Beats the Biebs” and “Value”

Atlanta continues to capture the mix of ennui and outright desperation felt by smart, capable people as they see themselves underachieve, in addictive, off-kilter ways.

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Quiet and Beautiful, ‘Certain Women’ Is Observational Storytelling at Its Best

Kelly Reichardt has made some of the most powerful American movies in recent memory, and Certain Women may be her best.

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Adding Spice Amid the Chaos, an Interview With Faith No More’s Billy Gould

Faith No More's producer, songwriter and bassist on the songwriting craft, the re-release of their first album, and the real reasons behind guitarist Jim Martin's departure.

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The Orb: COW / Chill Out, World!

The Orb's COW / Chill Out, World! is a career milestone amid a 25-year career already full of career milestones.

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Oozing Wound: Whatever Forever

Whatever Forever demonstrates Oozing Wound as a band willing to try anything to make their sound rougher and more aggressive--even if it means taking the reins of a black metal atmosphere.

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Faith No More: King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime (Reissue) / Album of the Year (Reissue)

These reissues cover the original end of the band. The overstuffed King for a Day and the (unfairly?) maligned Album of the Year make for interesting revisits with equally interesting bonus discs.

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Necessary Failure in Marlon Brando’s ‘One-Eyed Jacks’

In Marlon Brando's world, there is no self, just inept flailing gestures pointing to the void. See One-Eyed Jacks at Film Forum this week.

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14 Oct 2016 // 1:10 AM

Jah Wobble: In Dub

This collection of selections and collaborations spanning 30 years confirms Jah Wobble as the foremost interpreter and practitioner of dub on the global scale. He is a consummate musician to boot.

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The Speed of Sound: Breaking the Barriers Between Music and Technology

In this excerpt from his memoir, Thomas Dolby recalls the breathtaking experience of playing with David Bowie at Live Aid, 2004.

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14 Oct 2016 // 1:02 AM

Few Bits: Big Sparks

The Belgian band's second album has arrived to wring the last drops of warmth out of summer's end.

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‘Darth Vader #25’: It’s Not Enough for Our Villains to Just Be Villainous Anymore

Make no mistake. Darth Vader does nothing remotely heroic in this issue. Yet Kieron Gillen's creation is darkly compelling.

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‘The Accountant’ Isn’t This Year’s ‘John Wick’, But It Will Do Nicely

Gavin O'Connor’s action-thriller is a glorious hodgepodge of graphic violence, dark humor, and gaping plot holes.

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The Blacklist: Season 4, Episodes 1 to 3

While it was disappointing to see one of the best characters -- Mr. Kaplan -- killed off, it was even more disappointing to see her brought back.

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A Marimba in Every Pot: Thor Harris on Friends, Minimalism, and the Unknowable Audience

Thor Harris talks about his new band, Thor & Friends. Or, as he puts it, "Awesome ladies playing marimba and xylophone."

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Joe Lovano Quartet: Classic! Live at Newport

With Classic! Live at Newport, several generations of jazz luminaries shine on the historic Newport Jazz Festival stage.

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‘The Angel of History’ Reflects on the Costs of Assimilation

The Angel of History is an evocative religious and sexual elegiac with a dark and stirring current of comedy running through it.

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John Brown’s Body: Fireflies

With their 12th record John Brown's Body become the poster children for commitment.

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13 Oct 2016 // 1:30 AM

Future Technology in the ‘Star Trek’ Reboots: Complex Future(s)

Star Trek doesn’t foretell a type of future as a concrete inevitable outcome and final destination, it presents us with a fictional diegetic vision of how the world could be.

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13 Oct 2016 // 1:30 AM

Dusky: Outer

London's Dusky return after a five-year hiatus with their first major label release that shows increasing focus and direction, which results in not only some fantastic songs but a well-structured and perfectly paced record.

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13 Oct 2016 // 1:20 AM

Jenny Hval: Blood Bitch

Blood Bitch invites listeners with its conceptual bite, controlling them effortlessly through Jenny Hval's journey along lonely spaces.

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13 Oct 2016 // 1:15 AM

Luke Roberts: Sunlit Cross

On his third album, Roberts wrests songs of uncommon depth out of a simple indie-folk backdrop with amazing results.

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Jonas Mekas Had the Right Attitude for Looking at Movies

For a decade and a half, Mekas covered experimental film for the Village Voice and was read by John Waters, Peter Bogdanovich, Jim Jarmusch, and countless others.

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‘Traveling the Stars, Action Bronson and Friends Watch Ancient Aliens’ - Season 1

Pot, snacks, rapper Action Bronson, and the series Ancient Aliens is a surprisingly winning and entertaining formula.

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Surprise After Jaw-Dropping Surprise at the Roots Inaugural Picnic in New York City

It took a few days to reduce the frequency of declarations of affection towards the Roots Picnic that burst from my mouth to random passersbys.

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12 Oct 2016 // 8:00 AM

Divorce: Season 1, Episode 1 - “Pilot”

Breaking up is hard to do in HBO's new sort-of comedy Divorce.

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Various Artists: Nigeria Soul Fever

Sharp turns and bumpy backroads trace a strange path from polished funk to low-budget disco and back again.

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12 Oct 2016 // 7:30 AM

An Ode to Total Immersion

Land of Love and Ruins is an Icelandic meditation on the present that blurs the line between memory and fiction

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Bon Iver: 22, A Million (take 2)

While tapping into textures you’d never expect from him, Justin Vernon continues to craft songs so effortlessly majestic and mesmerizing that only the most timid would be repulsed by them on the grounds that they go too far.

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12 Oct 2016 // 7:17 AM

Frode Haltli: Air

Composers Bent Sørensen and Hans Abrahamsen help Frode Haltli create a career and genre masterpiece with Air.

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Brought to You By the Letter ‘E’: Thalia Zedek on Her New Records, New Band

Thalia Zedek discusses how she turned toward quieter music after the breakup of Come and how a creative rut led her back to the land of the loud.

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Danny Brown: Atrocity Exhibition

Danny Brown's latest album is also his greatest musical achievement.

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The Notwist: Superheroes, Ghostvillians & Stuff

All of Superheroes, Ghostvillians & Stuff” does not reach memorable heights, but it's not from a lack of trying.

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“This Is the Next World”: The Stealth Futurism of ‘Person of Interest’

Beneath the procedural trappings, Person of Interest offers a nuanced portrayal of artificial intelligence and what it means to be human.

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11 Oct 2016 // 8:00 AM

Feral: Season 1

Feral offers a queer coming-of-age drama stripped of stereotypes.

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Punk on Paper: One Page Per Item, 550 Artifacts

Oh So Pretty's value lies among those images that challenge a quickly stultifying norm.

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Hymns and Confessions: A Conversation With Casey Crescenzo of The Dear Hunter

Crescenzo is proud yet humble, blunt, and occasionally enigmatic in discussing Act V, as well as the past and future of The Dear Hunter in general.

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The Kindness of Scoundrels: Douglas Sirk in the ‘40s

A Scandal in Paris and Lured mix Hollywood with European sensibility.

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The Dillinger Escape Plan: Dissociation

A dark, heavy, somber, and beautiful work of art. And the proper farewell to fans from the Dillinger Escape Plan.

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Future Technology in the ‘Star Trek’ Reboots: Tethered and Performative

If space is the “final frontier”, then the technology that facilitates the adventure is one of the central mechanisms by which we can learn new things about ourselves and our society.

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11 Oct 2016 // 1:20 AM

Acid Arab: Musique de France

Parisian electronic music crew Acid Arab embark on a transcultural sonic journey that seeks to resolve the political and ideological differences in which many on the continent are currently embroiled.

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Luke Haines: Smash the System

In a just world, disaffected children everywhere would be shouting “Do you like the Monkees?” ala the album’s title song and Alpha Industries would be using “Bomber Jacket” in an ad campaign.

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Bobby Rush: Porcupine Meat

A throwback for the ages, long live Bobby Rush and his funked up soul blues.

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11 Oct 2016 // 1:05 AM

The Bad Plus: It’s Hard

For the Bad Plus, unpredictable covers have become the most predictable part of their career.

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Fear the Walking Dead: Season 2, Episodes 14 and 15 - “Wrath” and “North”

Travis faces a difficult truth about Chris and finally lets his emotions out; meanwhile, Alejandro must face difficult truths of his own.

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Fear the Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 13 - “Date of Death”

Madison tries to maintain order at the hotel in the face of new refugees; Travis arrives with the story of how he and Chris parted ways.

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Every F***ing Thing You Need to Know About Profanity

Why "jeepers creepers" should be more profane than any word you (still) can't say on television, why it isn't, and why that matters.

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Russ Meyer, the Auteur of Superfluity

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls shows Meyer editing his films in the manner of a coked-up, horny 17-year-old with ADD and a perverse obsession with Sergei Eisenstein.

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Real Dreams of the West Coast: An Interview with Shawn Lee of Young Gun Silver Fox

"This was the first record I've ever made where I felt like it was totally understood by people."

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Green Day: Revolution Radio

Green Day's first album since 2012 sparks whenever Billie Joe Armstrong's lyrics get personal but falls flat when he takes on society's problems.

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DVA:Hi:Emotions: NOTU_URONLINEU

DVA offers a dystopian concept album that perfectly encapsulates our troubled relationship with technology.

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Balance and Composure: Light We Made

The Pennsylvania post-hardcore band Balance and Composure have changed a bit. Is it a slick and successful movement toward a fresh sound, or is it an awkward stumble?

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Jah Wobble and the Invaders of the Heart: Everything Is No Thing

Just because the post-everything bassist Jah Wobble has mellowed doesn't mean his drive has depleted.

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10 Oct 2016 // 1:05 AM

Lesbian: Hallucinogenesis

New singer, new concept: Lesbian gets higher and higher with latest release.

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A 50th Anniversary Reflection on the Greatness of Lenny Bruce

Chief among Bruce’s peeves is hypocrisy of any stripe, and chief among his virtues is his constant willingness to cop to his own sordid contradictions.

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10 Oct 2016 // 1:00 AM

Nick Cave Predicts the End of Western Civilization

With “Higgs Boson Blues”, Cave simultaneously bemoans and embraces the existential crisis caused by hyperreality.

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‘The Birth of a Nation’ Makes Visible a Movement That Can’t Wait

The Birth of a Nation, troubling and aspirational, exposes the need for intersectionality, now.

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Cyclops Reveals a Bias Narrative in ‘Death of X #1’

We finally get a chance to see the horrific details of why Cyclops is the worst thing to happen to mutants since Chuck Austin.

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For ‘The Girl on the Train’ the Next Stop Is Boredom

The Girl on the Train delivers mildly interesting voyeurism, at best.

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Just How Heroic Is Star Trek’s “I Don’t Like to Lose” James T. Kirk?

Captain James Tiberius Kirk sets the benchmark by which we can measure the decline of the “hero” into anti-heroism.

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7 Oct 2016 // 1:30 AM

Bon Iver: 22, A Million

With a bold, experimental vision, Justin Vernon and company lose some of the nostalgia and start looking forward.

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Shovels and Rope: Little Seeds

Mournful, soulful, raw, and alive, their latest is the strongest set yet from the duo of Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent.

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Mike & Rich: Expert Knob Twiddlers

The classic pairing of µ-Ziq and Aphex Twin, aka Mike Paradinas and Richard James, back in print for the first time in years, points the way to an imagined musical future that never was.

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Betty Harris: The Lost Queen of New Orleans Soul

Of course, this is New Orleans music so much of the best stuff has a strong sexual presence. Harris’ excitement is itself exciting.

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7 Oct 2016 // 1:05 AM

Aufgang: Turbulences

For all its technical acuity and lavish spectacle, this album is decidedly lacking in emotional nuance.

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Part Journal, Part Art Exhibit: An Interview with Hiss Golden Messenger

"I had just quit my job and I think I was having a bit of an existential crisis because all of a sudden I had gotten what I had been hoping for, which is to be able to devote my days and waking hours, creative hours, to making music, to making art."

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The Absolution of Paul Theroux’s ‘Saint Jack’ in a World Lacking Irony

The narrative of Paul Theroux's (and later Peter Bogdanovich's) Saint Jack offers a palliative to the high-priced hedonism taking place in an American-owned compound in Singapore.

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‘American Honey’ Is Beautifully Bittersweet

Arnold weaves an intricate, expansive teenage odyssey through middle-America's forsaken corners and cul-de-sacs.

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Gene & Eddie: True Enough: Gene & Eddie With Sir Joe at Ru-Jac

Omnivore Recordings continues gets it right with latest reissue of the Maryland-based Ru-Jac label.

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Madeleine Peyroux: Secular Hymns

The acoustics of the place of worship allow the sparse instrumentation and vocals to sound pious, even when the lyrics promote the heavy consumption of alcohol and non-marital sexual relations.

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Ambition, Folksy Charm, and an Alligator: ‘Carrying Albert Home’

Homer Hickman's story offers a light-hearted, ultimately feel good series of stories that are more often than not as amusing as they are poignant.

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6 Oct 2016 // 7:19 AM

Trails and Ways: Own It

The Oakland band’s sophomore album is bright, optimistic and agile despite the weight on its mind.

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6 Oct 2016 // 7:15 AM

Why Isn’t American TV Comedy Funny?

It's as if Americans are afraid to find anything funny about their reality.

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6 Oct 2016 // 7:15 AM

Trentemøller: Fixion

With Fixion, Trentemøller continues the evolutionary process from straight electronic act to electropop artist with broad-ranging appeal.

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Placebo: A Place for Us to Dream

The British alt-rockers celebrate 20 years with an exhaustive singles collection. They're still going, if not exactly going strong.

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Jon Brion’s Meaningless: An Appreciation

Jon Brion is well known as a successful composer of film scores, but his 2001 self-released album, Meaningless, a lost power-pop classic, should be better known.

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6 Oct 2016 // 6:50 AM

Phantogram: Three

Phantogram's third (and best effort) hides a lot of sadness behind that swagger, and that tension helps define their most scintillating set yet.

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‘The Mandibles’ Presents an America Under Economic Siege

If you aren't terrified, you aren't paying attention.

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Black Marble: It’s Immaterial

Without crossing too far over his tastefully stark lines, Chris Stewart's new album allows a little more endearing color and candor.

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‘Death by Water’ Is a Postmodern Tale That Flows With the Tides of Life

Commingling the anticlimactic and the violently unexpected, Oe's novel rings true to life.

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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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