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More Recent Features
Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel

Paul Levitz weaves comic legend Will Eisner's life into the long history of sequential art in the 20th century.

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18 Dec 2015 // 2:30 AM

Rick Ross: Black Market

Black Market sounds like a simulacrum of Ross's critical peak, Rich Forever.

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The Punch Brothers: The Wireless

For those who like their music weird and impeccably performed on acoustic stringed instruments.

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18 Dec 2015 // 2:15 AM

Ramleh: Circular Time

Ranging from King Crimson-style heaviness to the deepest of space exploration, the return of the most obscure Ramleh goes down a storm.

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The Bluetones: Return to the Last Chance Saloon

This thorough two-disc reissue captures the underappreciated London band’s search for identity in the Britpop fallout.

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‘He Named Me Malala’ Will Make You Feel Good, But It Won’t Make You Think

Director Davis Guggenheim has a great subject and powerful, but his film believes that this young woman's greatest moment comes in the form of a prize.

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‘Drawing Blood’ and Doing Violence to Clichés

When Molly Crabapple stares down danger and corruption, and when she investigates the long reach of terror and greed, she succeeds.

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18 Dec 2015 // 2:00 AM

The Best K-Pop of 2015

At the end of 2015, the Korean pop scene looks hopeful in a way it hasn’t in previous years.

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Relationships Have Hidden Meaning in ‘45 Years’

45 Years is a kind of ghost story, as memories, personal histories, and truths, are found to have been hidden within dark crevices all along.

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Supergirl: Season 1, Episode 8 - “Hostile Takeover”

Two compelling stories, one about the return of Supergirl's Kryptonian aunt and the other about an email leak at Kara's employer, never quite manage to come together in "Hostile Takeover."

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‘Girlhood’ Is Céline Sciamma’s Lovely Reflection on Growing Up

Pulsing with reds and blues, the film shows that fluidity and discovery are not the same as freedom.

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‘Asking For It’ Is a Harrowing Read, But Offers Hope, Too

Kate Harding offers a damning survey of rape culture’s tenacious hold on American society, and argues that recognizing the problem is the first step to fixing it

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Buck Owens: Buck ‘Em!: The Music of Buck Owens, 1967-1975: Volume 2

This compilation of Buck Owens's late-'60s/early-'70s output focuses on live cuts, rarities, and alternate takes.

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Nigel Kennedy: The Four Seasons

This recording is endlessly surprising and sometimes delightful, cutting the Vivaldi classic to ribbons and reassembling it at will.

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17 Dec 2015 // 2:15 AM

Avvenir: Glyphs

An overall homage to three decades of glitch make this record one of the most interesting electronic debuts of the year.

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‘Southwest’ Eschews the Laws of Time in Favor of Beauty

This is a film that asks the viewer to meditate upon, rather than think about, its meaning.

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17 Dec 2015 // 2:10 AM

Wreckless Eric: amERICa

amERICa is a reminder of everything that was both exhilarating and unhinged during those heady days when punk and pop found common ground.

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Tamar Braxton: Calling All Lovers

Tamar Braxton shows off her ridiculous, magnificent pipes on third album Calling All Lovers.

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The Creep of Neoliberalism’s Effects Are Explored in ‘Disaster Capitalism’

A cool, hard look at the global structures that profit from those of us who are most vulnerable.

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17 Dec 2015 // 2:00 AM

The Best R&B of 2015

Modern R&B could very well be in the midst of a new, insanely fruitful Golden Age.

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The Good Wife: Season 7, Episode 10 - “KSR”

Expectation and disappointment are at the heart of The Good Wife's spotty, if not overtly head-scratching, midseason finale.

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‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Is a Fun But Shamelessly Pandering Cash Grab

J.J. Abrams’s sleek, feverishly hyped Episode Seven injects the moribund series with humor and humanity, but relies too much on remixed bits from the original trilogy.

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‘The Voice’ at 100: Frank Sinatra Jr. Speaks Out

On the centennial of his legendary father’s birth, Frank Sinatra Jr. strives to defend the Sinatra legacy, and keep his father’s music alive

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‘Guitar Hero Live’: Wait and See Before Reforming the Band

Playing the guitar in Guitar Hero Live is now more challenging, and challenge may not have universal appeal.

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‘Crocodile Gennadyi’: A Ukrainian Pastor’s Mission

Even if his methods to save street kids aren't exactly legal, no one can argue with Gennadyi's rousing effectiveness a performer.

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Justin Richards Delivers a Mixed Bag in Doctor Who: The Time Lord Letters

This is a thick and glossy volume featuring the Doctor's correspondence across time and space.

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Mikael Tariverdiev: Film Music

Hopefully this handsomely packaged triple album will turn the rest of the world on to the masterful works of Mikael Tariverdiev.

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16 Dec 2015 // 2:29 AM

James Baldwin Matters

There's a reason why Ta-Nehesi Coates is often compared to James Baldwin, and there's a reason why Baldwin's work is so relevant in the age of Black Lives Matter.

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Alan Jackson: Genuine: The Alan Jackson Story

You probably know most of the material here, but taken all together we're reminded why Alan Jackson remains one of country music's greatest singers.

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What Can Be Said About ‘I Spit On your Grave III: Vengeance is Mine’?

This can be said: spit this one out.

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16 Dec 2015 // 2:10 AM

Tim O’Brien: Pompadour

If there's one musician who can cover James Brown’s “Get Up Offa That Thing” on banjo, it's Tim O'Brien.

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French Montana & Fetty Wap: Coke Zoo

What do you get when you mix French Montana’s Coke Boys with Fetty Wap’s Zoo Gang? You get ‘Coke Zoo’, of course.

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16 Dec 2015 // 2:00 AM

The Best Progressive Rock/Metal of 2015

While one-dimensional emulations of various styles dominate the charts, the acts within progressive rock/metal continue to create masterpieces for a very finite audience.

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The Frankenstein Chronicles: Series 1, Episode 5 - “The Frankenstein Murders”

As we draw closer to the end, moral beasts and political monsters threaten to overshadow child murder, until confessions of mad-science experiments gone wrong point Inspector Marlott towards the real mastermind of the season.

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Game of Thrones: Episode 6, “The Ice Dragon”

There is some great plotting and great reveals in episode 6. Unfortunately, this episode also reveals some hidden weaknesses of the game overall.

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The Essays in ‘I’ll Tell You Mine’ Speak Precisely Individual Truths

We are a species that longs for stories. We are also a species that longs for the truth. Both are found, here.

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15 Dec 2015 // 2:30 AM

Bersarin Quartett: III

Thomas Bücker has spun another ghostly miracle for the third time in a row.

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Making Movies to Survive in ‘The Wolfpack’

The Wolfpack is less about the power of movie consumption and more about the power of movie creation.

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Swans: White Light From the Mouth of Infinity / Love of Life

Though these early '90s records have a bright transcendence that makes them feel like outliers, they fit perfectly into the Swans canon.

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Frank Sinatra Was a Strange Cat

For many, Frank Sinatra is a caricature of a bygone era, a static character whose legacy commanded more respect than his work. That's only part of the story-- and so is this.

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Olivia Mainville & the Aquatic Troupe: Maybe the Saddest Thing

A successful blend of myriad influences make for a scintillating debut for this band of young talents.

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15 Dec 2015 // 2:05 AM

Young Galaxy: Falsework

Synthpop band makes good album, occasionally references '80s synth-pop. We swear this is not an Onion headline.

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15 Dec 2015 // 2:00 AM

The Best Metal of 2015

In a year rife with division, one band brought metal fans worldwide together like no other.

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14 Dec 2015 // 10:25 AM

Okokon: Turkson Side

Okokon offers a layered exploration of electronic soundscapes.

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American Horror Story - Hotel: Season 5, Episode 9 - “She Wants Revenge”

Completely foregoing the Detective John Lowe story really allows the entertaining and interesting plot lines to shine in this episode.

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The Dark Knight Keeps on Ticking in ‘Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1’

The Dark Knight Is back for round three of Frank Miller's saga. Or is he?

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‘Body’ Feels More Dead Than Alive

There are glimmers of hope in Body, but it isn't executed as well as it could be and suffers from a lack of distinctiveness.

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iZombie: Season 2, Episode 9 - “Cape Town”

This is the last episode until the series comes back in January, and it offered everything that’s made iZombie essential viewing this season.

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Maserati Remains Fun, Friendly With ‘Rehumanizer’

Don't worry about whether Maserati is rock band, post rock band, Krautrock band. In the end, it's just fun.

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What Can Mushrooms Tell Us About the End of Capitalism?

An anthropologist ties together mushrooms, salvage accumulation, and the end of capitalism’s progress narrative.

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14 Dec 2015 // 2:30 AM

Prince: HITNRUN Phase Two

Phase Two boasts enough classic Prince moments to sufficiently wash the worst memories of its vapid predecessor out of fans’ memory banks permanently.

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14 Dec 2015 // 2:20 AM

Love: Reel to Real

Arthur Lee turns Love into a tight-knit funk and R&B outfit on this long-lost 1974 gem.

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Tom Jones: Long, Lost Suitcase

Tom Jones' latest once again finds Ethan Johns behind the boards with a new stash of standards ripe for interpretation.

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Believe the Hype: ‘Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation’ Is One of 2015’s Best Action Films

If you're looking for a fun popcorn movie in which likable characters do amazing things in exotic locales, then you are going to love Rogue Nation.

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Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings: It’s a Holiday Soul Party

Soul revivalists Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings bring funk and fun to the holiday album and even give Hannukah the anthem it's been waiting for.

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‘Food Whore’ Critiques the City of Dining and Deceit

Jessica Tom captures the psychology of NYC’s elite dining scene in her aspiring debut.

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The 30 Best Album Re-Issues of 2015

The music world saw amazing reissues from all over the genre map, spanning rock titans to indie upstarts and experimental to folk.

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It’s in the Blood: A Conversation with History Writer Tim Hannigan

Treading the lines between journalist and academic, travel writer and scholar, author Tim Hannigan talks about his latest book and his unorthodox approach to writing historical narratives.

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‘In the Heart of the Sea’ Tells of Hunting Whales and Losing Souls

The whale is an embodiment of a nature that's furious at those humans who mean to exploit and squander its riches.

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The Flash: Season 2, Episode 9 - “Running to Stand Still”

Mark Hamill returns as the Trickster; he's both frightening and hilarious, as any good Joker or Joker-wannabe should be.

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War Is a Beast in ‘Monstress #1’

Marjorie Liu's new comic deals with monsters in all their forms.

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Once Upon a Time: Season 5, Episode 11 - “Swan Song”

In "Swan Song", we delve into Killian's childhood past, confront all the Dark Ones who ever were, and prepare for a journey to the underworld.

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‘The Big Short’ Is a Satire of Gag-inducing Folly

Adam McKay's film is a ragged, jolting, and savagely funny guerrilla agitprop that gives after-the-fact credit to the financial crises Cassandras.

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‘Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl’ Is Littered With Discarded Costumes and Thwarted Ambitions

Carrie Brownstein’s book is not really meant or ready for sharing. Not yet.

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11 Dec 2015 // 2:30 AM

Psy: Chiljip Psy-da

For his first proper release since the viral success of 2012's "Gangnam Style", South Korean entertainer Psy sets out to prove he can do it again on his seventh album.

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The Telescopes: Splashdown: The Complete Creation Recordings 1990-1992

Splashdown gives this short, prolific period of the Telescopes’ history a sense of balance that few back in the day might've admitted.

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11 Dec 2015 // 2:15 AM

jennylee: right on!

Applying Warpaint's thin sonic veneer to yet another decade past on right on!, jennylee runs in place rather than moving forward.

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Critereon’s ‘Kwaidan’ Set Provides Four Masterful Tales of the Uncanny

Masaki Kobayashi’s masterpiece, Kwaidan, exists on the boundary between the living and the spirit worlds.

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David Lynch and Marek Zebrowski: Polish Night Music

An American film director and a Polish composer joins forces to make cold, austere music worthy of, say, a David Lynch film.

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11 Dec 2015 // 2:00 AM

The Best Americana of 2015

From the old guard reaffirming its status to upstarts asserting their prowess, personal tales voiced by true artists continue to connect on an emotional level.

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Redemptions and New Roles in ‘Scarlet Witch #1’

Wanda Maximoff enters a bold (and overdue) new era.

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A Fragile Tomorrow: Make Me Over

A Fragile Tomorrow continue to weave the signature sound that’s marked their motif since their founding in 2003, one that’s at once complex and yet also easy on the ears, sensual and yet sophisticated all at the same time.

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Jekyll and Hyde: Series 1, Episode 6 - “Spring-Heeled Jack”

Spring-Heeled Jack is no Jumping Jack Flash, but the real villain of the piece will make your skin creep as it crawls out of your mouth!

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‘Janis: Little Girl Blue’: Maybe It’s for Love

On the one hand, you're reminded of the prodigious talent Janis possessed. On the other, you understand that none of the stories here can do her justice.

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Supergirl: Season 1, Episode 7 - “Human for a Day”

This episode of Supergirl illustrates the difficult task of making the narrative and character elements of a story match the iconic imagery associated with the heroes.

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X = Why? Annette Peacock’s ‘X-Dreams’

In 1978, legendary music artist Annette Peacock released X-Dreams, a phantasmagorical exercise in harnessing the slipstreams of dreamed noises.

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‘Easy Riders, Rolling Stones’ Explores the Migratory Nature of Music in America

Scanlan's work explores an expansive subject without losing too much time or focus to detours and alternate routes.

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DJ Krush: Butterfly Effect

After a ten-year hiatus, the trip-hop legend returns to find the times have caught up with him.

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How Did Four Young Black Boys Become Hollywood Stars During the Height of Jim Crow?

By foregrounding the stories of the black stars of the Our Gang comedies, Julia Lee uncovers how black America’s attitude towards its representation by Hollywood evolved.

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The Staple Singers: Faith & Grace: A Family Journey 1953-1976

History comes vibrantly alive on this comprehensive four-CD set of the influential family group who merged gospel, soul, and blues into a uniquely influential, perpetually uplifting sound.

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10 Dec 2015 // 2:20 AM

Cool Uncle: Cool Uncle

The unlikely pairing of contemporary producer Jack Splash and AOR icon Bobby Caldwell results in an interesting mix of old and new, the majority of which largely succeeds in its reverent treatment of an otherwise parody-prone genre.

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Richard Elfman’s Cult Masterpiece Gets a New Lease on Life Ahead of the Imminent Sequel

Released in 1980, this absurd musical comedy would influence a decade of absurdist flirting film and television despite being met with almost universal revulsion.

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Doctor Who and the Master Really Get in Your Face, 3D-Style

The BBC's 3D treatment of Doctor Who episodes ‘Dark Water’ and ‘Death in Heaven’ makes the cruel plot twists truly pop.

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Howard Eynon: So What If I’m Standing in Apricot Jam?

A psychedelic resurrection for lovers of waggish wonder.

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The Best Avant-Garde and Experimental Music of 2015

Music of all kinds are tending toward a consciously experimental direction. Maybe we’re finally getting through to them.

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9 Dec 2015 // 10:00 AM

Arrow: Season 4, Episode 8 - “Legends of Yesterday”

Green Arrow and the Flash, as well as Richard and Gregory, crossover into one another’s world in part two of this superhero/reviewer crossover event.

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Bass Giant Jaco Pastorius Is Remembered in ‘Jaco’

If the current generation of upcoming musicians isn't aware of Jaco Pastorius, they should be. This must-see rock doc. cements that matter deeply in our hearts

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 3, Episode 9 - “Closure”

Breathtaking action and heartbreaking turns lead to numerous confrontations as the show goes into its fall finale.

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9 Dec 2015 // 8:00 AM

The Flash: Season 2, Episode 8 - “Legends of Today”

Green Arrow and The Flash, as well as Gregory and Richard, crossover into one another’s world in part one of this superhero/reviewer crossover event.

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The Birth, Life and Death of the UK Film Council

The Rise and Fall of the UK Film Council provides an informative academic account of the recent birth, life and death of the UK's film funding body.

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Julien Baker’s ‘Real Life’ Music Tugs at the Heartstrings

The singer from Tennessee released one of the exceptional records of 2015 in Sprained Ankle.

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Underworld: Second Toughest in the Infants (Super Deluxe Edition)

Underworld's reissue project continues to do justice to their classic albums with a strong mix of material, unearthing fresh gems, and giving deeper insight into their creative process.

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Yesterday and Today—Jazz Trumpets Across the Divide

Avant garde trumpeter Nate Wooley has chosen to interpret the music of his childhood hero, the conservative Wynton Marsalis. Why not?

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The Mekons and Robbie Fulks: Jura

Members of the Mekons team up with iconoclastic songwriter Robbie Fulks for a collection of their own brilliant take on modern day sea shanties and British folk.

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The Marvels by Brian Selznick

The Marvels is a book about stories and the importance of stories—telling them, living them, keeping them alive.

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9 Dec 2015 // 2:10 AM

Esmerine: Lost Voices

Lost Voices is an immediate and arresting expedition into new wilds for the Montreal ensemble.

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‘Mystery Science Theater, Volume XXXIV’ and AIP Make a Perfect Match

The latest Mystery Science Theater 3000 release offers an excellent, if snarky, tribute to the late, not-so-great American International Pictures studio.

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Phantasma: The Deviant Hearts

Metal-driven supergroup creates concept album that will spawn many Trans-Siberian-inspired sequels. And yet it's not a ripoff. More power to all involved.

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The Best Pop Albums of 2015

This wasn't just a great year for pop music, it was the year when pop music was solely responsible for nearly all of 2015's best albums.

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Doctor Who: Series 9 Episode 12 - “Hell Bent”

Why couldn’t the Doctor’s recently deceased companion do the right thing, and stay dead?

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

It's Okay to Ask for Help in 'The Witness'

// Moving Pixels

"Looking up a solution isn't a sin. The only sin is not understanding that solution when you do.

READ the article