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4 Nov 2003 // 1:00 AM

The O.C.

Everyone feels like an imposter in The O.C.'s all-white, all-straight Newport Beach.

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4 Nov 2003 // 1:00 AM

The Handler

Offers the traditional CBS fantasy that nothing really bad happens to people who work on the side of the angels.

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	Shutdown 66: Welcome to Dumpsville

You don’t need to be an obstreperous record-store geek to figure out that the recent neo-garage trend has very little to do the original

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	Rasco: Escape from Alcatraz

“No one’s ever made it” out of Alcatraz, a voice tells us near the beginning of Rasco’s newest album Escape from Alcatraz. Why

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3 Nov 2003 // 11:00 PM

	The Pulltops: 8-Track

Milwaukee-based trio the Pulltops mix retro sounds of the 1960s and the 1970s into something fresh and new. Their eight-song CD (appropriately entitled 8-Track) is

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3 Nov 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Lazy: Essentially

First they were Mrs. God. Then they became Teen Idol Maker. In the end, they just became Lazy. Sure they’ve had their share of

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	Lyle Lovett: My Baby Don’t Tolerate

The fiddle and piano lines that open Lyle Lovett‘s newest album, My Baby Don’t Tolerate, offer an immediate indication of what Lovett has

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	John Frusciante: Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a T-Shirt

As the Red Hot Chili Peppers continue to enjoy a remarkably successfully career spanning 20 years, the life and times of enigmatic guitarist John Frusciante are

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3 Nov 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Belle & Sebastian: Dear Catastrophe Waitress

A Belle & Sebastian record is like a Wes Anderson film: a delicate, self-contained universe of immaculate detail and pitch-perfect wordplay, where unforgettable and nearly

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R. Kelly is no Marvin Gaye, nor should he be. But R. Kelly is a Soul Man, who seemingly for lack of any other recourse, has chosen to share his demons with us through his music as so many tortured Soul Men of the past have.

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3 Nov 2003 // 1:00 AM

The Family Guy, Vol. 2 (Season 3)

While The Family Guy's humor often obliterates the boundaries of good taste, it also espouses faith in the American Family.

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3 Nov 2003 // 1:00 AM

Whale Rider (2002)

Pai comes into her own by juggling expectations and desires.

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A Decade Under the Influence (2003) - PopMatters Film Review
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'Steal from us,' Coppola tells today's young directors. It's more than a shame that this is all that's left for anyone to do.

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The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)

Featuring the long-lost complete version of the film, Criterion's magnificent DVD of The Devil and Daniel Webster illustrates contrasts between Heaven and Hell.

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3 Nov 2003 // 1:00 AM

The Cars That Ate Paris (1974)

'As a result of their immoral acts, the young people were corrupted, totally. They'd grown up with this kind of violence and were uncontrollable.'"

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28 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Smith wrote beautiful, brutally honest and touching music, but his songs were most effective while he was still among the living. In the end, he didn't cheat death; he only cheated us.

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28 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Elliott Smith's art was an articulation of his soul -- his 'figurative self', if you prefer -- coming to terms with its inherently, inescapably flawed corporeal frame. This inner turmoil made for great music. And in the end, it probably killed him.

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	Guns ‘N Roses: Welcome to the Videos [DVD]

REFERENCED DVDS gunsnroses-videos.jpgGUNS ‘N ROSES Welcome to the Videos(Geffen Home Video, 1998) 28 October 2003 15 December 2003 GUNS ‘N ROSES Use Your Illusion I: Live in Tokyo

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Can rock and roll make you sick? And should we want it to? Day four of PopMatters CMJ Festival coverage.

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Day Three's coverage of CMJ seeks to find out where the girls are.

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24 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Like The Streets' Mike Skinner, Dizzee approaches UK Garage with a seriousness that elevates it from dancefloor juice to art. On 'Boy in Da Corner', he uses garage as the jumping off point for an ear-bending journey through the music of fin-de-siecle African diaspora, in much the same way Tricky used UK dance music 10 years ago on 'Maxinquaye'.

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More coverage of Day Two, including run-ins with the sensitive side of CMJ.

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24 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Strapped for cash? Day two of our CMJ coverage is a lesson in doing the festival on the cheap.

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23 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Seal: Seal IV

Sealhenry Samuel has always been a little bit out of his time. He writes folk songs, belts them out like a penniless soul singer, and

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	The Strokes: Room on Fire

You can’t blame The Strokes for getting just a bit sick of all the pressure. Two years ago, critics and music geeks saw these

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	Robert Earl Keen: Farm Fresh Onions

Don’t get me wrong: I love this record. I understand this record. I feel like Robert Earl Keen and I could sit down and

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	Kaskade: San Francisco Sessions: Soundtrack to the Soul

Hey, kids! Do you like deep, groovy, San Francisco house with lots of soulful vocals? The kind of stuff they play in those really hip “

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23 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Ima Robot: self-titled

Los Angeles noise-synth-pop-etc quintet Ima Robot demonstrate an important lesson on the art of being a willfully bizarre band: You can’t be only half-assedly

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	The Gourds: Growin’ a Beard

Growin’ a Beard is an unassuming little documentary that visits the small town of Shamrock, Texas during its annual beard-growing competition, following the efforts of

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23 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	The Distillers: Coral Fang

Without accusing her of selling out, Brody Dalle (not Armstrong!) is the latest in a line of avatars selected by their respective record companies to

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23 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Jimmy Cliff: Anthology

The general perception of Jimmy Cliff is that he is one of the great also-rans in reggae history; that even though he was one of

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23 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Art Ensemble of Chicago: Tribute to Lester

For the past 35 years or so, Art Ensemble of Chicago has been making some of the most interesting jazz records around. Like most free-jazzers, the

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Day One of our coverage of the New York-based new music festival, including pit stops with Travis, the Killers, Menlo Park, and the Prosaics.

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23 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Scary Movie 3 (2003)

Just when you thought the Scary Movie franchise had run out of ideas, here it comes again -- looking like it's run out of ideas.

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23 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Radio (2003)

The white father-black son relationship is initiated by the white man's need for redemption.

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23 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Pieces of April (2003)

And April sits in the window frame, hair damp, contemplating the disaster she expects her day to become.

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23 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Carnages (2002)

Carnages' denizens spin into each other's orbits and offer the prospect of communion and regeneration.

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23 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Beyond Borders (2003)

The scene inspires Sarah to do a right thing, that is, leave her comfy urban environs for the deserts of Ethiopia.

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22 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Neil Young (with Crazy Horse): Tonight’s the Night

It has been said that a drunken man is an honest man. Neil Young personifies this claim in his 1975 album Tonight’s the Night, notable,

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	The Soundtrack of Our Lives: Behind the Music

>Behind the Music definitely qualifies as a slow-burner of an album. Swedish pop-rockers the Soundtrack of Our Lives originally recorded and released the disc in 2001,

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22 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Lee Ritenour: The Best of Lee Ritenour

In the early ‘90s, music critics created the label “acid jazz” to define the fusion of jazz, funk, and hip-hop. British guitarist Ronny Jordan was

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22 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Pennywise: From the Ashes

Thank god for political musicians. I’m serious. If it weren’t for musicians who planted their feet firmly, gripped the bullhorn tightly, and spoke

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22 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Omid: Monolith

On his third full-length album, producer Omid offers up a mix of moody instrumentals and contemplative vocal cuts, showcasing a yen for smoky Middle-Eastern sounds

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22 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	MC5: Back in the USA

Man, they were ugly. It was almost like their calling card, plastering their ugly mugs all over their record covers. But I knew I would

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22 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	The Modern Lovers: self-titled

Last Halloween, I made a mini-pilgrimage from Chicago to Madison, Wisconsin to a small and strange theater. The room hosting the event I was attending

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	Kraftwerk: Tour De France Soundtracks

Like the preponderance of bouncing booty in a hip-hop video, there is a sad inevitability about the cyclic nature observed in music trends. Most recently,

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22 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Jawbreaker: Unfun

I feel like I’m betraying an old friend by writing this review. Before he condemns me for my transgression, however, let me begin to

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Steve Earle: Just an American Boy: The Audio Documentary

Just an American Boy cements Earle’s status as one of the most vital, brave singer-songwriters of the past couple of decades, and also one of the most prolific, as this album is his seventh stalwart effort in the past eight years.

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	Joan Baez: Dark Chords on a Big Guitar

Joan Baez was an icon of the early folk-revival movement, a popular concert attraction back in the early 1960s and the patron of Bob Dylan

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True to form, Rush Limbaugh had managed to rile up the nation and draw attention to himself while boosting Sunday NFL Countdown viewership to the tune of a 10 point ratings increase.

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22 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

When we're in Japan, we feel we've somehow become more worldly and debonair than we really are.

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The Tree of Life: A Book Depicting the Life of Charles Darwin by Peter Sís

Children need heroes. Science has many. Unfortunately, few of them have lived lives as adventuresome as Robin Hood.

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22 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

My Cold War by Tom Piazza

As a phenomenologist, Delano recounts his childhood and family life in the same way he explores public history: by plundering the surfaces and small events for meaning.

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22 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Lizard Dreaming of Birds by John Gist

John Gist's second novel isn't concerned with forensics and sleuthing; it simply surveys the ever-increasing carnage that Gist implies is symptomatic of our world gone wrong.

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22 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Eagles and Angels by Juli Zeh

The real states here, though, are states of mind, and in particular those freaked-out mental states that characterise the tradition of drug-trade books and films from Burroughs to Welsh.

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	Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players: Vintage Slide Collections from Seattle, Vol. 1

Jason Trachtenburg plied his singer-songwriter trade for several years with little success, but when he and his wife Tina found some old movie slides, a

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21 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Strangelight: Lux

Far be it from me to say that music from Texas is dull. Time and again, I have championed many a fine band from the

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21 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Quasi: Hot Shit

On Quasi‘s previous albums, there’s always been a clash between the despairing melancholy they seemed determined to project and Sam Coomes wholesome, high-school-musical

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21 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	The Mercury Program & Maserati: Confines of Heat

Confines of Heat is a split-EP by Mercury Program and Maserati, featuring three tracks by each group. The two bands have teamed-up on this record

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21 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Mark Keali’i Ho’omalu: Call It What You Like

Throughout the world, indigenous music has undergone many changes in recent years as musicians steeped in tradition have moved into a more commercial or mainstream

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	The Fire Theft: self-titled

Jeremy Enigk has had a tumultuous existence as the founding father of emo. Sunny Day Real Estate found their way into the hearts of every

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	Brigitte DeMeyer: Nothing Comes Free

On her latest release, Nothing Comes Easy, singer/songwriter Brigitte DeMeyer, delivers the kind of elegant, uncomplicated Southern backwater blues that makes the heart thump

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21 Oct 2003 // 10:00 PM

While the city of Chandigarh -- modular man -- marched visibly, unabashedly into scientific modernity, Nek Chand -- the trash man -- began secretly transforming his odd collection of junk into art.

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When I reviewed Goldfrapp's first U.S. tour two years ago, I fell short of giving them a rave because I felt they needed to loosen up a little.

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

The headline on the flier emphasized Orlando-based progressive house DJ Jimmy Van M’s name. Those going to the weekly “Spundae” at Circus Disco in

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

S E T    L I S T Begin the BeginSo Fast So NumbThe Wake Up BombDriveAnimalSitting StillExhuming McCarthyBad DayThe One I LoveStrange CurrenciesMaps

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Photo credit: Danielle St. Laurent Rainer Maria has been touring for what seems to be close to three years straight, non-stop, traversing the country and

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

One would have to do some serious, pilates-enhanced stretching to make a case for any kind of similarity between Pretty Girls Make Graves and the

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

It’s easy to forget the boundless potential of the pop song until you’ve seen the King of France perform their smartly skewed take

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

You never would have guessed it from the quiet way she took the stage on the first night of a two-night stand in Brooklyn, but

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

28 Days Later (2002)

In time for Halloween, Fox has released the DVD of 28 Days Later, a frankly brilliant and scary scary movie.

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Rudy (Deluxe Edition) (1993)

The racialized ideology that informs Rudy is made more pronounced by the racial discourses of today's sports.

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Respiro (2002)

Respiro, as its title suggests, is about breathing, in a spiritual, vivacious sense.

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Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

The extras in this two-disc set are ample and appropriately Python-y.

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

The Man Who Laughs (1928)

Director Paul Leni integrates German Expressionist techniques with the demands of the Hollywood system without compromising their effectiveness.

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Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Illustrates the many complexities found in the relations between colonized and colonizer.

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Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003)

Whatever the writers' ambitious intentions for 'plot,' the movie is essentially a series of first, fabulous dance and stunts scenes, and second, zany costume changes.

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20 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Ween: Quebec

So once again Dean and Gene Ween have returned after a few years to grace us with their newest disc Quebec. To some fans, the

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	The Stills: Logic Will Break Your Heart

It’s been about a year or so since Turn On the Bright Lights hit CD shelves and the first wave of Interpol-apers have struck

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20 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

Iron and Wine: The Sea & the Rhythm

Beam is actually a film professor in Miami Beach, Florida, but his songs resonate with so much artistry, loneliness, and authenticity that it seems that he could easily make a living with his music should he so choose to in the future.

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	Melissa Gibson: Welcome to Stay

I’m a firm believer in the concept of country music as therapy. Whatever the complaint, from financial issues and problems within the family construct

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20 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Yo Gotti: Life

Yo Gotti? Yo Gaudy is more like it. One could be forgiven if, after examining the cover art for Yo Gotti’s new album, Life,

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20 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Ray Brown: Walk On

“We all miss Ray Brown”, says his admiring fellow bassist John Clayton on a sleevenote to this splendid twofer. I’ve said the same here

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20 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

It's October. The dying days of 2003 loom on the horizon, heralding chilly fronts, wind-stripped trees and lashings of rain. Thankfully it's not all bad news, however, because October also ushers in this year's London Film Festival.

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	Various Artists: For Jumpers Only

It’s no put-down to say that this cut-price CD can’t ever be supposed one of the musically major issues by the outstanding Delmark

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19 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Luke Vibert: YosepH

Luke Vibert doesn’t like to stay bored for very long. As one of the many English compatriots (like Squarepusher and Aphex Twin) who rewrote

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	The Vanishing: Songs For Psychotic Children

The Vanishing are about as kitsch as they come. The band’s official web site tout them as a “sci-fi horror disco group”, which seems

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	The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow

The Shins dare to take some chances on this CD, and their boldness winds up elevating this album over their first one by a considerable margin.

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	Andy Smith: The Document II

Strange as it may seem, less than 20 years ago a generation of ardent young men had to play music rather than merely spin vinyl in

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19 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Suntan: Send You Home

Walls of thick, feedback-laden guitars. Lazy, meandering rhythms that sometimes build, other times simply ebb and flow. Distant, half-buried vocals that drift along on a

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19 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Bent: The Everlasting Blink

Nobody was entirely happy with The Virgin Suicides soundtrack. I’m sorry, but it’s true. Now don’t get me wrong, it was a

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OutKast: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

Reinventing hip-hop is hard work. And yet it must be done, if for no other reason than to repromote the idea that it’s been reinvented. Again.

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16 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Various Artists: Shake Your Popboomerang

If you’re listening to the Stoneage Hearts’ “Shake Your Popboomerang”, the first song on the identically-titled Shake Yer Popboomerang, you may find yourself thinking, “

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	Various Artists: The Story of Tone-Cool, Vol. 1

This 50th release from Tone-Cool, a two-CD sampler derived from the previous 49, indicates a very strong contemporary blues catalogue. The one complaint concerns how long

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16 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Wakefield: American Made

“Made in the USA” is a point of pride stateside (and maybe a punchline in the rest of the world, but I’m ‘Merkan, so

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	Alasdair Roberts: Farewell Sorrow

Upon hearing this quavery-voiced Scottish singer-songwriter with a penchant for inherited melodies and ballad forms, and recognizing that this, his most recent release, has been

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16 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Matmos: The Civil War

Midway through the first two tracks on Matmos’ The Civil War, the follow-up to 2001’s well-received A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure,

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16 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	The Forms: Icarus

I’m just going to cut right to the chase—the Forms, with their stunning debut effort, Icarus, are one of the most exciting, if

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16 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

Gary Allan: See If I Care

Gary Allan’s always been searching for how to be both Californian and country, and here he’s found it.

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16 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Alien Ant Farm: truANT

One of the great rock ‘n’ roll stories: Band makes hit record. Gets real famous. Struck by tragedy, nearly killed. Creates a stellar comeback album

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

NYFF 2017: 'Mudbound'

// Notes from the Road

"Dee Rees’ churning and melodramatic epic follows two families in 1940s Mississippi, one black and one white, and the wars they fight abroad and at home.

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