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More Recent Features

18 Mar 2016 // 2:30 AM

Boris with Merzbow: Gensho

Pushing the virtue of patience to full capacity, Boris and Merzbow combine their demented artistry to be listened to both separately and simultaneously.

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18 Mar 2016 // 2:20 AM

Glenn Jones: Fleeting

Fleeting creates a geography of sound, making these notes from guitar and banjo feel like the creaks and groans of an old house.

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Various Artists: Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music 1968-1970

If you have ever dropped a reference to Gram Parsons or Townes Van Zandt into casual conversation, you are morally obligated to purchase this record.

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18 Mar 2016 // 2:10 AM

Bonnie Raitt: Dig in Deep

One of the most dependable artists of her generation, the road and the music are linked indelibly to Bonnie Raitt’s identity. And we’re all the better for it.

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18 Mar 2016 // 2:05 AM

The Harrow: Silhouettes

The Harrow operates in a universe that may seem familiar but they’ve staked out their own dark sonic territory. Silhouettes is richly cinematic, nuanced and haunted headphone music that rewards repeated listens

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Waiting for Buddy Guy: Chicago Blues at the Crossroads

In the late '70s and early '80s, British blues fan Alan Harper became a transatlantic pilgrim to Chicago. He came to listen to the blues. This rich memoir captures not only the music, but the memories of many of Chicago's great blues legends and others who lived during this important era.

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Families, Flashbacks, and Fodder in ‘International Iron Man #1’

Tony Stark's secret origin takes a small, but meaningful step forward.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 3, Episode 11 - “Bouncing Back”

There’s a lot to catch up on as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns from its long hiatus.

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‘Small Town Talk’ and the Rise and Fall of Woodstock

Small Town Talk offers an in-depth look at the rise and fall of not only the town of Woodstock, but also those who made an icon of '60s idealism.

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‘The Walking Dead: Michonne’ Confronts the Issues of Surviving Grief and Trauma

Grief and trauma always seems a side venture to The Walking Dead's plots, never the central focus. Michonne seems to want to put these concerns front and center.

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Come to Dada: Maestro Gamin’s Hip-Hop Surrealism

Maestro Gamin's surreal and irregular grooves court hip-hop culture as much as they do jazz, his music transmitting from some Dadaist aperture of sound.

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Pere Ubu: Architecture of Language 1979 -1982

The second Pere Ubu box set from Fire Records collects their three most nightmarishly cheerful records, songs of innocence and experience that seek to invent their own language.

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Various Artists: New York Noise: Dance Music From the New York Underground 1977-1982

New York Noise is a comprehensive look at the post-punk and no wave era, a short period in time whose influence is still immeasurable and sensed today.

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Richmond Fontaine: You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing to Go Back To

An Americana capstone, artists present and future should aspire to reach the heights of Richmond Fontaine's You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing to Go Back To.

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‘Brooklyn’ Is a Story of Cultural Purgatory

Rarely do immigration dramas deal with the trouble of re-assimilating back to one's homeland.

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Big Ups: Before a Million Universes

Before a Million Universes might at times sound like Slint, but Big Ups have their own union and calamity to make their bleakness something of their own.

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‘We Have the Technology’ Bumps Up Against the Present Limits of the Human Brain

Have you ever wondered what the little voice inside your head would sound like if you could actually hear it out loud?

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17 Mar 2016 // 2:05 AM

B Boys: No Worry No Mind

B Boys draw from the patron saints of punk and come up with a raucous debut EP.

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Edward Rogers: Glass Marbles

An unremarkable homage to the 1970s.

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17 Mar 2016 // 2:00 AM

‘The Walking Dead’ and the Rise of Donald Trump

The Walking Dead offers an excellent frame with which to view Trump’s candidacy and shifts in American society.

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The Inimitable Quartet That Is Lake Street Dive

Lake Street Dive find the perfect foundation between unbridled soul and incredible technicality at Tucson's Rialto Theatre.

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The Magicians: Season 1, Episode 9 - “The Writing Room”

A quiet meditation on the inner life, "The Writing Room" succeeds in a way that no other episode of the season has so far.

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Better Call Saul: Season 2, Episode 5 - “Rebecca”

This week puts Kim's fight out of the doghouse at center stage, while introducing a pair of possibly influential new characters from the past and the present.

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Johnny Cash: Koncert v Praze (In Prague – Live)

The abridged Koncert v Praze (In Prague – Live) ranks as the most egregious profiteering on Johnny Cash's name to date.

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The Empty Apocalypse of Style

Muslim's short story collection, Age of Blight, is conceptually interesting but stylistically and thematically shallow.

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Mrs. Cosials You’ve Got More Than a Famous Daughter: An Interview with Hinds

Hinds is gaining popularity with its garage rock sound and for being from Spain. In fact, this may be the start of the Spanish Invasion.

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Various Artists: Aloha Got Soul: Soul, AOR & Disco in Hawai’I 1979-1985

With Aloha Got Soul, a previously overlooked, vibrant Hawaiian music scene finally gets its due.

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The Pop Group: For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder?

Harsh, abrasive, uncompromising and wholly unique, the Pop Group's sophomore album is as essential in 2016 as it was in 1980.

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Throwing Shade: House of Silk

Whereas Throwing Shade's best material is incisive in its airiness, House of Silk lacks any such bite.

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The Magnetic North: Prospect of Skelmersdale

It's a trip back home for singer Simon Tong as the Magnetic North paints a portrait of his hometown on their new album.

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11.22.63: Season 1, Episode 5 – “The Truth”

The journey to the truth takes some interesting, and disturbing, turns this week.

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Vacationing in Style With ‘Youth’

Jumping from crescendo to crescendo, Sorrentino hits all the high notes in his bombastically entertaining comedy/drama.

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‘The Smith Tapes 1969-1972’ Offers an Insider Report and Perspective on Numerous Cultural Events

The Smith Tapes 1969-1972 offers a fascinating glimpse, through first-hand accounts, of an era often overly romanticized by hindsight and a rose-colored view of the Age of Aquarius.

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‘Superhot’: It Is Super. It is Hot.

The rhythmic dance of bullet ballet, dodge and discharge, sidestep and slash, is a taste that is acquired, and you must acquire this taste. You must play Superhot.

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The Dark Side of Pacifism in ‘Undertale’

What does mercy mean to someone who hates herself? How can pacifism combat depression? How does euthanasia fit into Undertale's moral code?

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15 Mar 2016 // 3:30 AM

Primal Scream: Chaosmosis

Primal Scream's 11th album needs more "Chaos" and less, er, "Osmosis".

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15 Mar 2016 // 3:20 AM

Sean Watkins: What to Fear

Sean Watkins adds a rhythm section and opens up his sound, but the strong songwriting is what really makes What to Fear work.

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Emmy the Great: Second Love

The beloved itinerant wanderer finds herself expanding further into postmodern musicality.

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15 Mar 2016 // 3:10 AM

Jovanotti: 2015 CC

Like a decadent box of gourmet sweets, there is, on Jovanotti's 2015 CC, fun to be had in discovering the tasty surprise centers of these songs.

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The Jazz Butcher: The Last of the Gentleman Adventurers

Swansong or not, this is a worthy entry in the impressive oeuvre of the British cult heroes.

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‘Guapa’: Lost Within Pockets of Hope

Saleem Haddad’s unwavering dedication to detail, narrative arc, and consequence make Guapa necessarily poignant, uncomfortable, and meaningful.

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Flower Turned Inside-Out: An Interview with Glenn Jones

He's the master of the American primitive guitar, but Glenn Jones followed up the most personal album of his career with proof that he has no signs of slowing down.

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The Walking Dead: Season 6, Episode 12 - “Not Tomorrow Yet”

Rick leads a strike team against the Saviors, but this battle will be different from any they've faced before, both externally and internally.

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Once Upon a Time: Season 5, Episode 12 - “Souls of the Departed”

The Storybrooke gang arrives in Underworld -- which looks suspiciously like Storybrooke -- to rescue Hook, but they may have more souls to rescue than his.

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‘The Big Short’ Falls Short

An informative and sometimes entertaining take on the recent financial crisis,The Big Short doesn't quite deliver on our investment.

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Agent Carter: Season 2, Episode 10 - “Hollywood Ending”

It’s a wrap on the "Hollywood Ending" of Agent Carter season two; will there be a sequel?

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The Compulsive Artist: An Interview With Julie Doucet

Julie Doucet is still often associated with her award-winning comics work of the ‘90s. As Carpet Sweeper Tales demonstrates, however, she’s been doing a lot more since moving on from comics.

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Underworld: Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future

Legendary electronic music duo make a relaxed, confident, lovely album that's unabashedly themselves.

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14 Mar 2016 // 3:20 AM

Lucius: Good Grief

Good Grief contains rewarding singles, but falters as a complete work.

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Ryan Keberle and Catharsis: Azul Infinito

South American music and jazz brilliantly merged by one of our best trombonists with the help of rising star vocalist Camila Meza

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Various Artists: The Rough Guide To Americana (Second Edition)

It's not that rough to embrace this expertly curated 14-track slice of Americana.

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14 Mar 2016 // 3:05 AM

Eric Prydz: Opus

He may be best known for "Call on Me" and his Pink Floyd remix, but left-of-center DJ Eric Prydz will be remembered because of his truly astounding Opus.

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‘Incarceration Nations’ Suggests Americans Reconsider Their Prisons

What good does a conviction do the victim if the perpetrator feels no remorse?

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Soviet Misfit: The Life and Music of BB Gabor

A Hungarian-born refugee haunted by a host of personal demons, BB Gabor made a startling impression in Toronto's punk scene of the early '80s, producing arresting works of pop music which have left an indelible mark in Canada's rock music history.

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No One Is Looking for You in ‘10 Cloverfield Lane’

10 Cloverfield Lane carefully develops a very subjective story, which has you thinking that maybe the clichés aren’t adding up to the movie you thought it was.

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‘Eye in the Sky’ Shows There Is No Remove When Waging War From a Distance

For all the intelligence and firepower that such technology allows, drones also raise pressing questions, laid out in Eye in the Sky with a schematic and often unnerving precision.

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Terrence Malick’s Latest, ‘Knight of Cups’, Is Another Search for Meaning

Terrence Malick’s latest gauzy whisper of a drama has Christian Bale as a po-faced screenwriter grappling with an existential crisis while romancing most of Southern California.

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None More Black: Reassessing Black Sabbath’s First Three Albums

The sound Black Sabbath cultivated remains, at once, neither derivative nor capable of duplication.

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Morphing Into a New Era With ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1’

For the '90s kid in us, the Power Rangers are mighty once more.

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Esperanza Spalding: Emily’s D+Evolution

The jazz singer and bassist -- and former Grammy "Best New Artist" -- has created a beyond category masterpiece that sounds better than if Joni Mitchell hired Living Colour as her band and then grafted it all onto a hip-hop sensibility of sorts.

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Wriggling Down the Rabbit Hole Again With ‘The Esquire’, the Follow-up to ‘The Institute’

Arye Michael Bender reprises his role as defrocked '70s guru Octavio Coleman in the upcoming part spin-off, part sequel, part prequel and completely mind-bending film, The Esquire.

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The Feelies: Only Life / Time for a Witness

The Feelies remain one of America’s great underground bands. These re-releases of their two “late” major label records are a necessary reminder.

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11 Mar 2016 // 3:15 AM

Miike Snow: iii

Miike Snow’s latest record is a masterful producer’s blend of musical styles, with a heart beating at its core.

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11 Mar 2016 // 3:05 AM

Polecat: Into the Wind

Polecat offers up some delicious musical gumbo with their third album Into the Wind

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‘The Other Woman’ Tells of Class, Status, and Ambition in Gender Relations

This is a small gem of a novel, translated from Swedish, that looks at class and heterosexual desire, as well as female friendship, from the perspective of a dissatisfied and lonely young woman.

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11 Mar 2016 // 3:02 AM

Coypu: Floating

Coypu, featuring experimental journeyman Ben Chasny, delivers a debut LP that sounds almost narcotic, surrounding you at every turn in its sweet, heady layers.

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Soul Searching, Songwriting and Straight Up Hustling With Jim Lauderdale

It was a Sunday when Jim Lauderdale bumped into an old friend. Before he knew it it was Tuesday and he was on his way to making two new albums.

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‘Me Him Her’ Is a Romantic Comedy With an Appealingly Soft Center

Me Him Her's insistently daft, self-involved representations of Los Angeles and those who live there include clichés played mostly for laughs.

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Better Call Saul: Season 2, Episode 4 - “Gloves Off”

Mike's mysterious past and tumultuous present are brought to the forefront in this excellent episode.

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The Magicians: Season 1, Episode 8 - “The Strangled Heart”

An absolute mess of an episode that manages to be simultaneously dull, poorly directed, and insulting.

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On the Disturbing Disaster Pornography That Is ‘Knife Fight’

Watching the Esquire television network's food show brings to mind how Jean Baudrillard was so right about the ugliness in our reflections of reality.

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Kendrick Lamar: untitled unmastered

After a year of artistic triumph, Kendrick Lamar delves deeper into his thoughts and anxieties on an album that is anything but a lazy victory lap.

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“The Marketplace Is a Greater Democracy Than the Political Arena”

The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man may be the most important book of 2016, since reading it is like getting a top secret state department debriefing on world affairs.

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Poliça: United Crushers

Poliça's third full-length is an understated take on their singularly dark synthpop sound.

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‘Of Beards and Men’ Is a Fascinating Through-line of Social and Cultural History

Senior lecturer in history at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio Christopher Oldstone-Moore leads the reader through a sober but thought-provoking history of facial hair -- and not just men's.

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Sonny Sharrock: Ask the Ages

Hey, CD collectors -- if you're still out there, here's some news to make you smile: Sonny Sharrock's Ask the Ages has been reissued.

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Bernard Rose’s ‘Frankenstein’ Is a Tale of the Postmodern Prometheus

The director of Candyman and Immortal Beloved brings us a present day retelling of Frankenstein that is both as flawed and forgivable as its main character.

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10 Mar 2016 // 3:10 AM

The Orb: Alpine

Ambient house merrymakers expand a recent compilation track into a brief but potent suite.

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Various Artists: Soul Sok Séga

This set shines like on Séga, the traditional music of the island of Mauritius, and leaves you feeling like you've got no choice but to dig in and learn more about this tradition.

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Downton Abbey: Season 6, Episode 9 (Series Finale)

Downton Abbey ends its impressive run with a level of sheer joy never before reached in its six seasons.

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9 Mar 2016 // 10:00 AM

The Night Manager: Season 1, Episode 2

Typical of its narrative world, episode two revealed only what it wanted to, obscured when convenient with misdirection, and not always in good ways…

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9 Mar 2016 // 3:30 AM

Jeff Buckley: You and I

Hello old friend, goodbye dry eyes.

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9 Mar 2016 // 3:30 AM

‘Jessica Jones’ and Gendered Forms of Seeing

It’s alarming that Jessica Jones' expressions of self-control and autonomy play into rather than controvert the pedophilic misogyny she fights in the form of Kilgrave.

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9 Mar 2016 // 3:19 AM

M. Ward: More Rain

If Ward isn't out of his comfort zone, he isn't stuck in the mud, either.

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African Head Charge: My Life in a Hole in the Ground / Environmental Studies / Drastic Season

Hearing African Head Charge's four LPs now they play like one long, unfolding record, a complex document meshing experiments with structure, old sounds with new, and weaving various traditions into one heady mix.

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Hotel Lights: Get Your Hand in My Hand

An album worthy of a recommendation that also inadvertently makes the case for why Hotel Lights has been toiling in obscurity for a decade.

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The Pros and Cons of M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘The Visit’

M. Night Shyamalan creates an engaging found footage film that helps you to care for the main characters and wish them the best throughout this suspenseful (if never terrifying) ordeal.

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‘Keith Richards: A Life in Pictures’ Makes Addictive Eye Contact With the Living Legend

A lot of rock stars are hard to look at, either because when one gets up close you can see they've got simply too much crazy-eye, or dead-eye, or entitled-eye.

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The Life You Save May Be Your Own: The Rise of Toronto’s Nixxon

Redressing the issues of a troubled past, Toronto's Nixxon, a one-time musical associate of the Weeknd, cuts his own swath with the release of his new album -- a gothic-futurist exercise in R&B.

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11.22.63: Season 1, Episode 4 – “The Eyes of Texas”

There’s no escape from being watched, even in 1963.

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The Good Wife: Season 7, Episode 16 - “Hearing”

What's the best way to face down the demons of Will Gardner? Become him.

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Vinyl: Season 1, Episode 4 - “The Racket”

This episode's story isn't that interesting, but at least there's a fabulous funk man in sequins and velvet.

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“I’m Every Bit the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent That You Are”: Exploring Opposing Masculinities

The struggle of a man keeping his monstrous aggression in check has been played out many times in Whedon's work, not least the conflicted men in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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8 Mar 2016 // 3:30 AM

Loretta Lynn: Full Circle

Loretta Lynn’s latest may lack the thrilling novelty value of Van Lear Rose, but it compensates in relaxed, back-to-basics charm and grace.

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Dalhous: The Composite Moods Collection Vol. 1: House Number 44

Scottish electronic duo Dalhous attempt to manipulate our psyches with the quietly ominous first instalment of their Composite Moods Collection.

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Guerilla Toss: Eraser Stargazer

Guerilla Toss finds a focus in the center of shuffling beats and synths and shouts. The album is uneven, but it can tightens up the band's freak outs in a more focused way than ever before.

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Corn in the USA: Hee Haw, Buck Owens and You

Whether he wanted it to be or not Hee Haw was the vehicle that imprinted Buck Owens into the minds of millions of music lovers around the globe.

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8 Mar 2016 // 3:10 AM

The Fall: Wise Ol’ Man

The Fall have summoned another EP that will please the faithful while baffling everyone else.

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Sleep Talking: ‘Sleep With Me’ and Love in Generation X

A small and quiet film, Sleep With Me speaks to a margin of people who understand the difficulties of redressing issues that have carried over from their younger lives.

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8 Mar 2016 // 3:05 AM

Dr. Lonnie Smith: Evolution

One of the kings of the Hammond B-3 returns with one of his best outings yet, returning to the label that launched his career after a 46-year absence.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

'SUPERHOTLine Miami' Is Exactly What It Sounds Like

// Moving Pixels

"SUPERHOTLine Miami provides a perfect case study in how slow-motion affects the pace and tone of a game.

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