The Amazing Pudding
More Recent Features
Of Sweaty Basements, Short Skirts and the Paisley Underground: Vicki Peterson of the Bangles

The Bangles surveyed Los Angeles in the aftermath of punk and forged a new way. A new compilation looks back on that time as Vicki Peterson remembers the thrill of hearing herself on the radio for the first time and the terror of the group's first tour.

READ more
Coulda Been Country: The Allman Brothers Dickey Betts’ Great Southern Songs

The Allman Brothers band receives attention for its southern rock tendencies, but its secret weapon was, for a time, the country inflections brought forth by guitarist Dickey Betts.

READ more
Feminist Classic ‘Antonia’s Line’ Is Still Rewarding, Still Relevant

Given the wider "war on women", and an intensified "rape culture", Antonia's Line, now on Blu-ray, is as relevant as ever.

READ more
‘The BFG’ Is a Modestly Magical Film for a Grimly Realistic Age

In a deft interplay of shadow and hint, Spielberg shows again his organic genius for the long reveal.

READ more
BrainDead: Season 1, Episode 3 - “Goring Oxes…”

After a week in which this series finds its groove, the BrainDead universe hits a speed bump.

READ more
If Only ‘Everything Is Teeth’ Had Been Content to Remain a Mood Piece

It's as though Wyld is, ironically, scared of writing a story willing to give fear its due.

READ more
Spaceships and Scoundrels: An Interview With ‘Dark Matter’s Anthony Lemke

Dark Matter's Anthony Lemke discusses working on a genre show, sci-fi fandom, and ill-fitting pants.

READ more

30 Jun 2016 // 2:30 AM

Maxwell: blackSUMMERS’night

Just over 20 years after his debut album wowed audiences, blackSUMMERS'night is upon us.

READ more
Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders: Garcia Live Volume Six: July 5, 1973

Their partnership lasted about four years and 250 shows but a new archival record suggests that it was some of the best music either Merl Saunders or Jerry Garcia made at the time. And just who is that mystery trumpeter?

READ more
‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ Is a Very Western Guide to Afghanistan

Out on Blu-Ray, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot brings a few laughs and some mixed messages.

READ more
Elizabeth Cook: Exodus of Venus

It takes more than “balls”, as Cook used to sing, to get through life. Being tough is not enough.

READ more
Various Artists: Studio One Dub Fire Special

Studio One Dub Fire Special is as clear an overview of dub’s most basic essence as you could ask for.

READ more
A Shakeup in Wonder Woman’s Mythology Becomes Flat and Confusing

Although there's some intrigue, Wonder Woman #1 leaves too many unanswered questions, and too few reasons to get excited.

READ more
‘The Neon Demon’ May Shock, But It Won’t Challenge

Gorgeous and grotesque, The Neon Demon's metaphors of predation may be campy or self-serious, critiques of clichés or just clichés.

READ more
Wearing the Wrong Clothes: An Interview with Punk-Hippie Alig Fodder

Front man of shape-shifting post-punk act Family Fodder talks about the early days, the songwriting process, and how an unbridled fashion sense may have kept them out of the limelight.

READ more
Outlander: Season 2, Episode 11 - “Vengeance Is Mine”

The focus on politics and war sacrifices the necessary character moments that made season one so compelling.

READ more
Yearning for Re-enchantment With the World in Jessa Crispin’s ‘The Dead Ladies Project’

Meditations on love, life, and art in a book that combines travel writing and memoir with cultural criticism.

READ more
Must We Sacrifice the Beasts at the Altars of Our Fierce Gods?

Like the Aztecs before us, and despite the sheen of humane treatment, zoos continue to be sites of ritual animal sacrifice.

READ more

29 Jun 2016 // 2:30 AM

The Invisible: Patience

After four years and a couple brushes with death, the eclectic UK indie trio return with their most fully-realized meeting of the funky and the sublime.

READ more
Tegan and Sara: Love You to Death

Three years after their unlikely ascent into synthpop stardom, Tegan and Sara continue down the same path with minor shifts to their thematic compass.

READ more
Next Stop Mars? ... Maybe

This breathless celebration of space travel in the post-shuttle era is long on beautiful pictures, but short on hard truths.

READ more

29 Jun 2016 // 2:15 AM

Sumac: What One Becomes

What One Becomes finds great musicians doing occasionally great passages during experimentally structured 10-minute songs with death growls that sound like belches; in other words, Sumac is a mixed bag.

READ more

29 Jun 2016 // 2:15 AM

The Power of Bullshit in ‘McCabe & Mrs. Miller’

In McCabe & Mrs. Miller, the 1971 western directed by Robert Altman, bullshit seems like the stuff empires are built on, but as we quickly come to find out, it can also turn to quicksand.

READ more
Whitehorse: The Northern South Vol. 1

The sexy cuts sound dirty, and the others -- oh, there are no others; after all, this is blues rock -- sound just as dirty.

READ more
Ruby Friedman Orchestra: Gem

With Gem, Ruby Friedman's powerful voice has finally gotten a full-length release of its own.

READ more
‘Popstar’ Stops Short of Mocumentary Greatness

Popstar pokes the softer side of celebrity satire.

READ more
Sticking It to the Man with ‘SteamWorld Heist’

SteamWorld Heist is a game of little things that elevate simplicity into something blissful.

READ more
Lick Your Fingers. Bite Your Nails. Now How’s That Appetite?

You’ll really feel like you’re in a KFC when those 11 herbs and spices waft up your nostrils on a wave of ethyl acetate.

READ more
Adam and the Ants: Kings of the Wild Frontier (Deluxe Edition)

Adam Ant was a pop music prankster who upended the post-punk chart game, but at the end of the day, the real joke may have been on the listeners themselves.

READ more
Future and DJ Esco: Project E.T.

Similar to Purple Reign and EVOL, Project E.T. lacks the urgency and eye for detail that made Future the star he is.

READ more

28 Jun 2016 // 2:15 AM

The Shelters: The Shelters

The Shelters exist somewhere indeterminately between Tom Petty's "American Girl" and the Strokes' "Last Nite", crafting a high-energy blend of garage rock and old-fashioned Americana.

READ more

28 Jun 2016 // 2:10 AM

The Posies: Solid States

After nine albums and almost 30 years as a band, the Posies continue to challenge themselves and push their well-honed power-pop sound to the limit.

READ more
Dave King Trucking Company: Surrounded by the Night

Dave King hitches seven new melodies to his Trucking Company, a modern jazz supergroup that likes to play it cool to a fault.

READ more
‘Life Moves Pretty Fast’ Hits Some Slowdowns

Freeman frequently complains about Hollywood's stereotypes about what male and female audiences are willing to watch, yet her own tastes are pretty stereotypical.

READ more
The Other Side of Terry Reid

In the middle of his busiest year in recent memory, Terry Reid -- subject of documentaries, rarities releases, and even Johnny Depp's affection -- could not be more excited.

READ more
In the Aftermath of the Brexit Vote: Staring Into the Void

Manufacturers of the ubiquitous ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ t-shirts can at least look to a rosy future, as that slogan is about as near to a plan as anyone has yet mustered.

READ more
‘Wacky Raceland #1’ Is Dark and Unexpected

For those of us old enough to remember televised Saturday morning cartoons way back when, this take on the genre is a revelation.

READ more
‘Worlds Elsewhere’ Makes Clear: Shakespeare Is What We Make of Him

Dickson takes readers on a journey of the many Shakespeares in our world; from an entertainer in Gold Rush bars, to the defender of freedom in apartheid South Africa, to a founder of communism.

READ more
UnREAL: Season 2, Episode 3 - “Guerilla”

UnREAL remains well written, wonderfully acted, and wildly entertaining.

READ more
‘Free State of Jones’ and Its Reimagined Popular History

However noble Gary Ross' revisionist history might be, Free State of Jones leaves unresolved -- and worse, unasked -- a series of vital questions.

READ more

27 Jun 2016 // 8:26 AM

Alto!: LP3

With as many tracks as the group has members, Alto!'s LP3 is intellectual, challenging, and downright weird.

READ more
Martha: Blisters in the Pit of My Heart

Blisters in the Pit of My Heart is an impressive record and a thoughtful ode to art as both expression and refuge.

READ more

27 Jun 2016 // 8:11 AM

Mitski: Puberty 2

On Puberty 2 Mitski has hit a deep stride, delivering music with effortless power and resonant wit.

READ more
Red Hot Chili Peppers: The Getaway

The Getaway has the unmistakable aura of pointlessness. There’s no passion, no tension, no thrills, nothing memorable to draw the listener into the sonic world the Chili Peppers and producer Danger Mouse have tried to create.

READ more
Wim Wenders’ Road Movies as Journeys of Disaffection

With his "Road Trilogy", Wenders suggests that to find our place, we must be displaced.

READ more
Get All You Deserve: An Interview with Steven Wilson on Streaming Music

Porcupine Tree's centerpiece Steven Wilson held out to streaming services longer than the Beatles and Led Zeppelin. Why he changed his mind recently proved worthy of a lengthy discussion.

READ more
Above All Else, ‘Finding Dory’ Is a Poignant Story of Self-acceptance

Pixar's latest is predictably enchanting, unexpectedly layered and complex.

READ more
‘The Shallows’ Takes Anthropomorphising Deeper

The camera hovers over the ocean's surface or dips below, forcing you, too, to scan apprehensively through the blue-green waters for this relentless stalker.

READ more
Bracing for Heartbreak and Embracing It in ‘Ms. Marvel #8’

Her heart is in the right place. Her ideals are respectable. She sees the world through Disney-like ideals. It's clear that those ideals are destined to shatter.

READ more
Game of Thrones: Season 6, Episode 9 - “Battle of the Bastards”

"Battle of the Bastards" may have satisfied the age-old bloodlust for war; unfortunately, it did so through the more recent tradition of dramatizing, aestheticizing, and making war cool.

READ more
AFI Docs 2016: ‘Tickled’ + ‘Zero Days’

These two documentaries explore the consequences -- the "wormholes" -- engendered by advancing technologies.

READ more
Outlander: Season 2, Episode 10 - “Prestonpans”

A few victories, infighting, and mud put Jamie and Claire's ability to change history in doubt.

READ more
Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble: Sing Me Home

Under Yo-Yo Ma's direction, the latest effort by the Silk Road Ensemble is a joyous, mesmerizing experience.

READ more

24 Jun 2016 // 8:54 AM

Yumi Zouma: Yoncalla

Yumi Zouma have crafted an album for the summer, positively gleaming with synths and airy vocals that intone sunshine.

READ more
‘Bukowski In a Sundress’ Is a Book You Should Judge By Its Cover

Kim Addonzio's memoir in essay ain't no summer beach read. Be very happy.

READ more
Steve Vai: Passion and Warfare (25th Anniversary Edition) / Modern Primitive

The 25th anniversary edition of Passion and Warfare does something that anniversary reissues rarely do: provide a re-framing of a classic album.

READ more
‘I Ain’t Afraid of No YouTube’: When Hollywood Trailers Become Unhitched From Their Films

Key scenes in trailers are briskly propelled before our eyes like a Willy Wonka candy-machine set to rapid-fire auto-spoiler by some sucrose-soaked Oompa Lumpa Tony Montana.

READ more

24 Jun 2016 // 2:20 AM

Psychic Ills: Inner Journey Out

Inner Journey Out has a cracked but unbreakable zen demeanor as it searches for serenity along a desert roadside.

READ more

24 Jun 2016 // 2:15 AM

Luke Bell: Luke Bell

Luke Bell's debut handily assists in saving country music.

READ more
Dark Knight of the Republic: The Terrifying Monsieur Pasqua

As hatchet man and master of dirty tricks for Charles de Gaulle, Pasqua operated under the ethos that "democracy ends where the interests of the state begin."

READ more
Divisions in a Dystopian Present in ‘Civil War II: X-men #1’

A bad situation brings out a different kind of drama within the X-men.

READ more
‘O.J. - Made in America’: Race, TV, and All Kinds of Heartbreak

This film offers a remarkable analysis of US systems of race, media, and justice that to this day seem to be turning more complex and less flexible.

READ more
Preacher: Season 1, Episode 4 - “Monster Swamp”

Battle lines come into focus, as Preacher continues its weird and wild ride.

READ more
‘The Martian’ on Blu-ray: An at-Home Lesson in DIY Space Survival

The Martian puts the fun into being stranded hundreds of million miles from home.

READ more
BrainDead: Season 1, Episode 2, “Playing Politics…”

The ants keep coming, the heads keep exploding, and episode two begins the process of a series getting into its groove.

READ more
Custody-Con 2016: ‘A Hundred Thousand Worlds’

Proehl’s multisided take on geek culture (mixing fandom, creativity, and business) pulsates with colorful insight and ugly truths.

READ more
A Spiderweb of Sorts: Interview With Juanita Apraez Murillo of SEEYOUSOUND

The program at SEEYOUSOUND International Music Film Festival includes competitive sections of music videos, shorts, and feature film.

READ more
Sing My Songs to Me: Eric Johnson on the Return of Fruit Bats

Having left behind a highly identifiable name in 2013, Eric Johnson embarked on a career as EDJ. The music stayed the same but, Johnson says, a little bit of confusion in the marketplace had to go.

READ more
In Episodic Games, Space Should Matter More Than Time

The most successful episodic games have mimicked television episodes. What could a purely game-like "episode" look like, though?

READ more
Various Artists: Venezuela 70: Cosmic Visions of a Latin American Earth

Venezuela thrived culturally and economically in the '70s, and this compilation reveals the fresh and exciting experimental rock scene at a time when rock music in that country was finding its own sound.

READ more
Peter Bjorn and John: Breakin’ Point

With a stable of blockbuster producers in tow, Peter Bjorn and John reach indie pop nirvana on their seventh collection of upbeat, hook-driven bubblegum.

READ more
Blue Orchids: Awefull / The Once and Future Thing

Blue Orchids comes roaring back with new songs and a collection of early '80s Rough Trade sides.

READ more
Pointer Sisters: Greatest Hits (Expanded Edition)

Despite its title, this Greatest Hits comp deftly mixes radio smashes with lesser-known album cuts to paint a picture of a group burgeoning on pop stardom, but stops just a breath before they got there.

READ more
Ringo Starr Embodies Peace As He Leads Thrilling All-Starr Band

Starr's show is one of the most surprising and enjoyable throwbacks of the year.

READ more
Jon Savage’s ‘1966’ Explores How the Music Shaped the Culture

Jon Savage connects societal changes with the changing landscape of popular music and its role within not only popular culture, but in how it shaped an entire generation’s way of thinking.

READ more
The Pleasure of New Challenges: An Interview With Andrzej Chyra

The acclaimed Polish actor talks about collaborating with Warlikowski and Skolimowski, and the pleasure of playing Hippolytus opposite Isabelle Huppert in Phaedra(s).

READ more
For The Time Being: Robbie Fulks Reflects on His Rural Heritage With ‘Upland Stories’

For a moment Robbie Fulks worried that he'd gone to the well of southern life one too many times. Then he decided to embrace the kind of music and stories he loves best. The result? A new career high with the album Upland Stories.

READ more

22 Jun 2016 // 2:30 AM

Deerhoof: The Magic

Deerhoof exploit lo-fi warmth to signify their musical roots and chaotic beginnings on their lucky 13th album.

READ more
“Maybe Later You’ll Be Lucky”: The Wisdom in Louis C.K.

Louis C.K. and Philosophy reveals a man as insightful as he is entertaining.

READ more
Allen Toussaint: American Tunes

On his final album, New Orleans songwriter, producer, and pianist Toussaint puts his distinctive stamp on jazz, pop, and R&B classics.

READ more
FKi 1st: First Time for Everything (Part 1)

With First Time for Everything (Part 1), FKi 1st continues to construct the supersonic bridge to the days of future past with their amalgamation of trap, drum, and bass tones that sound more relevant than tomorrow.

READ more
Bonnie “Prince” Billy: More Revery

Long out-of-print set from Bonny (no "Prince" and note the different spelling of Bonnie here) Billy resurfaces in expanded form. It's Will Oldham sounding ferocious and loud. A welcome return.

READ more
Love in the Time of Reboots: My 2017 ‘Twin Peaks’ Dysfunction

Despite the specter of disappointment, it's hard not to get excited over the potential of Twin Peaks' reboot.

READ more
‘Batman Rebirth #1’ Suffers Climate Change

The world of Batman has a new look post-Rebirth. But how much of it can we recognize?

READ more
‘10 Cloverfield Lane’ Just Goes to Show: It Could Be Worse

This is a fascinating if not always successful experiment that makes you realize there are far worse films to be locked in an underground bunker with.

READ more
The Felice Brothers: Life in the Dark

"The rain in Maine / Is made of Novocaine… / Minnesota / Is made of baking soda."

READ more
Orphan Black: Season 4, Episode 10 - “From Dancing Mice to Psychopaths”

With one season to go, the series has a great deal to wrap up; this season proves it's undoubtedly up to the task.

READ more
‘Empire of Things’ Is Both an Epic and a Necessary Look at Consumer Culture

Trentmann's historical analysis of consumption manages to be both depressing about our habits and hopeful about change.

READ more
‘Fragments of Him’ Is Emotionally Resonant, But Also Exhausting

Several times while I was playing Fragments of Him, I asked myself: why is this a game?

READ more
Mogwai Explores the Nuclear Age’s Benefits and Disasters on ‘Atomic’

Mogwai finds ways to balance their music to their political stance -- complete nuclear disarmament of all countries in possession of weapons of mass destruction -- with a strong emphasis of dynamics to match the themes of annihilation, despair, and hope, albeit bleak.

READ more
‘Gilda’ Is an Invitation to Look Deeper Into Pop Culture

Beautiful, classic, important, and thoroughly complex, Gilda is a real “aficionado” film, and yet it has an undeniable popular appeal.

READ more
case/lang/veirs: case/lang/veirs

case/lang/veirs makes the case that these three artists should do more than a once-off collaboration.

READ more
‘The Hunger Games’: The Writer’s Cut Really Is Better (Sponsored Article)

Even if you've seen The Hunger Games films dozens of times, the books will reveal character complexities that were left out of the film adaptations.

READ more

21 Jun 2016 // 2:20 AM

Young Mister: Young Mister

Young Mister's readiness to draw so authentically on a wealth of different styles make you think that this outfit really aren't as young as they claim to be.

READ more

21 Jun 2016 // 2:15 AM

Pete Seeger: Pete-Pak

A compelling example of Pete Seeger's artistry and character, in both audio and video form.

READ more
Wolf Parade: Apologies to the Queen Mary (Deluxe Edition)

Recreating the magic of something like Apologies to the Queen Mary is no easy feat, yet it shines as a stunning example for those who might want to make music matter again.

READ more
Why Is Opera So Derided in America?

Prokofiev's The Fiery Angel offers everything movie goers seek: debauchery, religious obsession, exorcisms, devilish abuses, graphic sexual assault, and a variety of horrific effects both musical and visual.

READ more
HRWFF 2016: ‘Starless Dreams’ + ‘The Crossing’

Two films in the 2016 Human Rights Watch Film Festival -- Starless Dreams focused on young girls detained in Iran and The Crossing, following Syrian refugees -- consider the ways that souls might be imprisoned, inside and outside of actual walls.

READ more
UnREAL: Season 2, Episode 2 - “Insurgent”

Season two of UnREAL isn’t shying away from the difficult or the unpleasant.

READ more
‘Janis: Little Girl Blue’ Avoids the Usual Rock Doc Clichés

Janis Joplin's life and career get the American Masters treatment in a doc that provides useful reminders about her titanic spirit and talent.

READ more
More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

I Just Murdered My Sister, and It Was Kind of Fun

// Moving Pixels

"The Deed makes murder a game, a pretty fun game.

READ the article