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Full Possession of All Their Powers: A Chat with Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin wanted to record an album that sounded nothing like their early stuff. Of course, the label loved it 'cos it sounded like their early stuff.

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16 Jun 2015 // 2:30 AM

Hudson Mohawke: Lantern

Boisterous beats, chintzy synths and quietly anthemic vocals bring electropop and hip-hop production together on Mohawke's first LP since 2009.

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The SteelDrivers: The Muscle Shoals Recordings

Two parts dark elegance and grit, the SteelDriver’s latest Muscle Shoals Recordings feels like a natural extension of their previous release, Hammer Down in a multitude of ways.

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Rob Mazurek / Exploding Star Orchestra: Galactic Parables Vol. 1

Rob Mazurek returns to the perfect musical vehicle for his lofty narratives and massive sound. This time, it's double.

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16 Jun 2015 // 2:10 AM

William Basinski: Cascade

With a single endlessly echoing piano loop, aching yet serene, Basinski demonstrates the fluidity of music.

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Michael Mann Delves Into Digital Video With the Underwhelming ‘Blackhat’

Globe-trotting and often ridiculous, Blackhat plays like a dour, withholding installment of Mission: Impossible.

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Drivin N Cryin: Best of Songs

As a compendium, it keeps its consistency, resulting in an album that makes for not only a superb comeback of sorts but also one of the best sets of songs since Drivin N Cryin’s earliest outlays.

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16 Jun 2015 // 2:00 AM

Banished to Oz: The Vanishing Ladies of ‘Supernatural’

The female characters of Supernatural shouldn't always have to be sacrificed to develop the plots of their male costars.

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Striking Matches: Nothing But the Silence

This male-female country-roots duo is at their best while exploring their diverse interests in blues and rock. When they try mainstream country? Not so great.

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Human Rights Watch Festival 2015: ‘This is My Land’ Documents Education in Palestine and Israel

In observing these many experiences of education in Palestine and Israel, This Is My Land doesn't connect them, or even offer explanations so much as it presents them for your contemplation.

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‘Justice League #41’ Chronicles a Catalyst of War

A war of dark secrets, epic scales, and everything in between.

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‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’ Serves as Another White Boy’s Life Lesson

Earl and Greg make their movies for each other. When they expand their audience, the framework for their jokes, their references, their bond, changes inalterably.

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The Aliens Landed in Latin America a Long Time Ago

Past Futures makes clear; futuristic and fantastical art has long been a feature of Latin American sci-fi.

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Governors Ball Day 3: Fascinations with Lana Del Ray, Noel Gallagher, Tame Impala + More (Photos)

The final day of Governors Ball had some amazing sets including Noel Gallagher, Flying Lotus, Hot Chip and Royal Blood.

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Barney Frank Is the Neville Longbottom of US Politics

Barney Frank is a self-deprecator, a self-doubter, a teller of bad jokes, and a wearer of ill-fitting suits, but his talent for economics is rather like Longbottom’s talent for herbology.

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Can I Say That? Stand-Up Comedy in the Age of Political Correctness

For all the alarmist propaganda about political correctness in the US, insensitive speech is still protected by the First Amendment. The complaints about PC are BS.

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The Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers (Super Deluxe Edition)

During their peak years, the Rolling Stones were the world's preeminent band and here they re-release one of their greatest albums in multiple versions.

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Major Lazer: Peace Is the Mission

Peace Is the Mission provides the comforting thesis: if peace can be achieved by dancing, this is the album to spin.

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Henry Threadgill & Zooid: In for a Penny, In for a Pound

Henry Threadgill and Zooid use In for a Penny, In for a Pound to do something they've never done before -- take you on a long road trip.

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‘Winter Sleep’ Is a Cinematic Essay on Emotional Collapse

Filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan captures the haunted air of a quiet Turkish village in his Palme d'Or winning film.

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High Fidelity: Jay Gonzalez and the Crowdsourcing Renaissance

Jay Gonzalez may be one of the more familiar faces of the Drive-By Truckers, but with a expansive new EP, he reflects on the sheer delight of crowdsourcing as a musician.

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Claire Holley: Time in the Middle

It takes only a perfunctory listen to Claire Holley’s new album Time in the Middle to recognize the hold that’s maintained on her music by her Mississippi roots.

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What’s So Scary About Data Management, Psychology and Social Groups?

Robert Charles Wilson's The Affinities has subtle and intelligent writing, dedication to character, and believability -- and a message.

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Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2015: ‘Cartel Land’ and the Never-Ending Story of the Drug War

Cartel Land reveals the false opposition between good and evil in the drug wars.

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Will the ‘Supergirl’, ‘Lucifer’ and  ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Shows Be Transmedia or Tranq-Media?

Our expectations around for these upcoming TV shows get to the very heart of transmedia as a phenomenon.

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12 Jun 2015 // 9:30 AM

‘Jurassic World’ Revists Monstrous Corporate Greed

For obvious reasons, Jurassic World can’t directly call out corporate titans, but it does in a subversive way. The dinosaurs aren't the only ones with claws, here.

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12 Jun 2015 // 8:21 AM

Forever Mr. Flay: A Forgotten Role of Christopher Lee

Sir Christopher Lee was particularly known for his roles as Count Dracula, Saruman, and Count Dooku – but his acting range extended far beyond the role of the arch-criminal.

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Minding the Gap of ‘The Great Divide’

Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz examines the causes of economic inequality and proposes solutions in this compilation of essays.

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Governors Ball Day 2: The Distractions of Björk, Future Islands, Ryan Adams + More (Photos)

The end of Day 2 was a choice between Ryan Adams and Deadmau5, but before them Future Islands, Björk and many more provided welcome distractions.

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Sun Kil Moon: Universal Themes

The contrast between Mark Kozelek's native Ohio and his globetrotting career has always been in his music, but on Universal Themes, that dichotomy is one of the strongest throughout.

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12 Jun 2015 // 2:20 AM

Banditos: Banditos

Banditos’ debut album throws together a backyard shed’s worth of rock and country influences and comes out sounding like a Deep South bar band that got tired of playing covers and started writing their own songs.

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Look at You, You Big Silly, Says ‘Assassin’s Creed 3’

Assassin's Creed 3 is an enormous, beautifully rendered sandbox game designed to kick sand in your face.

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Sara Serpa and Ran Blake: Kitano Noir

Fragile, tranquil and dreamlike, together Sara Serpa and Ran Blake explore the delicate side of jazz's avant-garde.

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12 Jun 2015 // 2:10 AM

Della Mae: Della Mae

Thrusting, driving, rootsy, and gutsy, Della Mae hit home on their self-titled sophomore album.

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The Funny Vignettes in ‘Wild Tales’ Are Rooted in Anger, Frustration, and Misery

The Argentinian anthology film Wild Tales is proof that the most compelling artists, in this case director Damián Szifron, channel their rage into their work.

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Pale Blue:The Past We Leave Behind

Mike Simonetti's latest project Pale Blue produces a beautifully emotive and retrospective album, but maybe the electro king shouldn't have been in such a rush to leave the past behind.

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On Tony Judt’s Endless Train

Be suspicious of romantic narratives, Judt reminds us, for they will only derail our understanding, and take us nowhere.

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Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba Has Nothing to Be Sad About

Taylor Swift made her best friend's dream come true by bringing Chris Carrabba to her surprise party, but in touring this summer, Dashboard's main driver has even bigger things in store.

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Peggy Seeger Brought the Best of Past and Present to London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall

Songs old and new, earnest and irreverent, and personal and political made up the setlist for Peggy Seeger’s vibrant London stop on her latest tour.

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Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2015: ‘3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets’

The 2015 Human Rights Watch Film Festival opens tonight with a timely, precise, and painful look back at the Jordan Davis trial in 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets.

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The Many Faces of Love in ‘The Names’

Our three-part series looking at Peter Milligan and Leandro Fernandez's The Names draws to a close with a love note of sorts.

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After a Slow Start, ‘Jurassic World’ Delivers the Dino Delights

When its focus is on dino-centric destruction, Jurassic World is wonderful. When it doesn't, it's a dump -- an expositional dump, to be precise.

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Geeks, Chihuahuas, and Our Obsessions With iPhones

The Geek's Chihuahua makes clear that Apple and iPhones are changing us in ways we might not realize. Here's how.

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Jon Ronson and the Outcry Over Outrage

This book warns us that, in an increasingly rough online culture, we might well end up being ashamed of being shameless if we shame others.

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Poverty Prepares You to Survive the Worst - Even the Zombies of ‘The Walking Dead’

The ways in which poverty shapes the psyche of The Walking Dead's Daryl Dixon are very rarely seen in the current television landscape.

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Keeping the Acclaim: The Legacy of Coheed and Cambria’s ‘Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV’

A decade after its release, Coheed and Cambria's third full-length album remains the group's highest benchmark, as well as one of the genre's best modern albums.

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Florence and the Machine: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

Florence Welch is still the master of massive choruses, but on How Big How Blue, How Beautiful, she also finds restraint.

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A$AP Rocky: At. Long. Last. A$AP.

If Live. Love. A$AP. was the start of Rocky's trip, then At. Long. Last. A$AP. makes for one hell of a disappointing comedown.

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11 Jun 2015 // 2:15 AM

Snoop Dogg: Bush

Occasional vocal overproduction keep Bush from being an absolute home run, but it’s too much of a catchy, feel-good record to really slight.

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Beth McKee: Sugarcane Revival

A restless spirit guides soulful songwriter Beth McKee on an album made equal parts for the head, heart, and feet.

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Isabelle Adjani Startles in ‘The Story of Adele H’

Delivering an astonishing performance in Francois Truffaut's story of madness and obsession, Isabelle Adjani proves herself an actress of ingenuity and depth.

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11 Jun 2015 // 2:05 AM

Polar Bear: Same As You

Polar Bear return with a tense but accessible album.

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11 Jun 2015 // 2:00 AM

Keller Williams: Vape

Keller Williams' new album, Vape offers another example of his willingness to stretch his parameters.

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Governors Ball Day 1: My Morning Jacket + Florence and the Machine + The Decemberists (Photos)

A photo gallery from the first day of Governors Ball, featuring Florence and the Machine, MMJ, The Decemberists, St. Vincent and more.

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The Other Dark Knight Returns in “Midnighter #1”

Midnighter's single and ready to mingle (and kill a lot of people) in latest solo series.

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Once You Log Into ‘The Ghost Network’, You Won’t Want to Log Out

Dizzyingly constructed yet undeniably fascinating, The Ghost Network is thoroughly intriguing and dense, with an abundance of techniques that make it feel entirely authentic.

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Go! Fight! Win! Ash and the Art of Creative Resurrection

Ash were a great band that worse themselves down after releasing a new song every two weeks for a year. Tim Wheeler tells us how he got his groove back.

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SCOTUS Is On the Verge of a “Defeat for Humanity”, Thank Goodness

Lessons from Europe and history help show the impact of a United States Supreme Court ruling allowing gay marriage.

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10 Jun 2015 // 3:30 AM

FFS: FFS

Virtually every song on FFS unfolds with boundless energy and hooks aplenty. It could almost be called “zany”, but these songs are a little too poignant for that.

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Palma Violets: Danger in the Club

Despite Palma Violets' continuing promise, aggression and abandon can't compensate for the lack of tunes on Danger in the Club.

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The Deslondes: The Deslondes

The Deslondes are stuck in the past, rather than rooted in it. That fact makes them fierce.

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John McCutcheon: Joe Hill’s Last Will

John McCutcheon's 37th album introduces a necessary voice from the past with an important message for the present. A triumphant work.

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‘Boo’ Is a Beacon of Light in YA Literature

Funny, uplifting, and poignant, Neil Smith's YA novel, Boo, is a fresh take on life, death, and friendship.

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John Brown’s Body: Kings and Queens in Dub

American reggae stalwarts go marching on as their 2013 album is given a successful makeover.

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‘New Life and New Civilizations’: The ‘Star Trek’ Saga in Comics

This is a deep and intelligent look at the various incarnations of Star Trek on the gridded page -- and not just from super fans and convention-goers.

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10 Jun 2015 // 3:00 AM

Rumer: B-Sides & Rarities

This odds and sods collection finds the Karen Carpenter-esque Rumer making these soft rock/pop classics largely her own.

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‘Judgment at Nuremberg’ Shows the Cost of Not Caring

Judgement at Nuremberg is a reminder that the courtroom drama is Hollywood’s most underrated and underused genre.

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Weird Al Wins the Governors Ball Armed With a Fat Suit and an Accordion

"Weird Al" gave Governors Ball an outrageous and entertaining parody performance -- even the sound guy was singing along.

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Sunday Morning Coming Down in ‘Airboy #1’

This stuff is irreverent. Funny. Not suitable for children. Not suitable for adults. Wrong in so many ways. Unexpected. Crazed. Perfect.

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Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville

Rebuild 3 is a game about city management, managing that city's populace, its food supply, its resources, and the zombie hordes that surround it.

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9 Jun 2015 // 8:00 AM

A Haint in Detroit

A tale of a city and family in flux, The Turner House is a gripping, nuanced reading, heralding the arrival of a major talent.

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9 Jun 2015 // 4:00 AM

Twenty Years Into Her Career, Margaret Cho Is Just Getting Started

From her standup tours to the Golden Globes to her new comedy Tooken, Margaret Cho is an unstoppable force, and one that tells us she might be going behind the camera soon.

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Unrealistic Colors and Naturalistic Philosophies in Jean Renoir’s ‘The River’

In The River, Renoir transcends his own attractive colors, stumbling into a “realistic” philosophy of nature that the portraiture of color so often forbids.

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9 Jun 2015 // 3:30 AM

Muse: Drones

Drones could have been a return to form for Muse, but its heavy-handed political paranoia drowns out the music in a sea of unsubtle Orwellian buzzwords.

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Indigo Girls: One Lost Day

The Indigo Girls are still at the top of their game on One Lost Day.

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Christopher Owens: Chrissybaby Forever

Chrissybaby Forever's invariant topic matter coupled with saccharine singing over slow-mid-tempo songs become much too much over its lengthy tracklisting.

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Sonny Landreth: Bound by the Blues

Bound by the Blues is exactly what the title implies. Landreth doesn’t take any measures to redefine the material, and aside from his explosive playing, it pretty much hews to a traditional template.

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Andrew Gold: The Late Show Live 1978

A pop music journeyman gets his critical due with this live release, captured at the height of his commercial, if not critical, success.

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‘A Matter of Breeding’ Will Have You Rescuing a Shelter Dog

We’ve done our best friends a grave disservice by forcing them to conform to artificial standards.

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Drudkh: A Furrow Cut Short

Drudkh seem content to offer us another predicable yet satisfying slab of black metal.

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From the Bleachers to Cheer Captain: The Devolution of Taylor Swift

Whereas universality and populism mark Taylor Swift's early years, with her recent LP 1989 she has become the cheer captain she once railed against.

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Moonbabies: Wizards on the Beach

Swedish husband/wife duo Moonbabies take a more rhythm-centric approach on their latest, the dance-heavy indie pop Wizards On The Beach.

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‘Sombrero’ Is a Forgotten Technicolor Gem

Some may find Sombrero's quaintness patronizing and stereotypical, but those people may be more politically correct than truly multicultural.

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‘Murder in the First’ Is Only a Mild Intellectual Puzzle

In Murder in the First we see TNT's obvious investment in production, some promising direction, and a professional cast doing its best with a dodgy script.

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E.T. Meets Robocop Meets Hip-Hop in the Disappointing ‘CHAPPiE’

The character CHAPPiE itself is endearing, but the story and supporting characters of CHAPPiE ultimately fall flat.

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Hollow Redemption in ‘Wonder Woman Annual #1’

Wonder Woman responds to the Amazons' atrocities, but it's not in time and not enough.

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In ‘Theatre of the Unimpressed’, Failure Is the Great Subversion

Jordan Tannahill's book is full of provocative insights and exciting examples of theatre that is striving to resist the mediocrity that bores audiences the world over.

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A Nightly Ritual: Bob Dylan’s Never-Changing Set List

Bob Dylan's current show is a book musical without the book, crafted by the American Shakespeare.

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8 Jun 2015 // 3:30 AM

Jenny Hval: Apocalypse, Girl

Jenny Hval’s latest embraces aspects of popular music while also disregarding the limiting expectations that come tied to such forms.

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8 Jun 2015 // 3:20 AM

Chris Stamey: Euphoria

By looking backward, Chris Stamey manages to see a bright, euphoric future, one colored just as much by his influences as his own illustrious career.

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8 Jun 2015 // 3:15 AM

Uncle Lucius: The Light

Uncle Lucius cling tightly to the past, funneling several specific rural rock influences and generally echoing a ragged, Dixie-fried sound with a communal embrace.

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8 Jun 2015 // 3:10 AM

Shampoo Boy: Crack

Vienna-based trio deliver a tension-filled soundtrack for a tour of a post-apocalyptic underworld.

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‘Alan Turing: The Enigma’ Is Surprisingly Spiritual in Its Epiphanies

People who read Alan Turing: The Enigma after watching The Imitation Game will feel let down by the film. The epiphanies in the book are remarkable.

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Pokey LaFarge: Something in the Water

New album from Midwest heroes Pokey LaFarge mines a rich seam of roots styles, on a record which is joyous, musically seamless, progressive, and celebratory all in one.

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The Rhythmic Redesign of Porcupine Tree: An Interview with Gavin Harrison

Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison talks with PopMatters about the long and complex process that went into his creation of the big band album, Cheating the Polygraph.

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Homeboy Sandman: Tour Tape

This limited edition, tour-only cassette release finds Homeboy Sandman directing the conversation in hip-hop towards its pure founding ideals.

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Paul Dano and John Cusack Bring Brian Wilson to Life in ‘Love & Mercy’

Brian Wilson's life has all the makings of a modern day epic poem, a promise that Love & Mercy delivers on.

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‘Heaven Knows What’ Blurs the Boundaries Between Documentary and Fiction

Heaven Knows What brings fiction and experience together, raising provocative questions about how you believe one and the other.

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‘Insidious: Chapter 3’ Is the Same Old Spooky Business

Despite glimpses of something new, this installment in the Insidious film series is preoccupied with conventionality.

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With ‘Spy’, Paul Feig Proves That Only He “Gets” Melissa McCarthy

A bright and funny espionage spoof featuring amazing comedic work from Melissa McCarthy, and of all people, Jason Statham.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

A Chat with José González at Newport Folk Festival

// Notes from the Road

"José González's sets during Newport Folk Festival weren't on his birthday (that is today) but each looked to be a special intimate performance.

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