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Friday, Dec 19, 2014
Stephen Trask, co-creator of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Tits of Clay and some special guests played a benefit for Road Recovery, that doubled as a celebration for the reopening of Don Hill's venue.

The original Don Hill’s venue was essentially were Hedwig and the Angry Inch was born. Co-creators Stephen Trask and John Cameron Mitchell conceived of their musical at the venue’s weekly Squeezebox parties. But Don Hill’s closed in 2011, before the reincarnation of Hedwig on Broadway earlier this year. But the legendary venue has just been revived as The Hills NYC and, as one of the first events in the space, this show was a “benefit for Road Recovery, a New York-based nonprofit dedicated to helping young people battle addiction and other adversities by harnessing the influence of entertainment industry professionals who have confronted similar crises and now wish to share their experience, knowledge, and resources”. The organization invited the current Hedwig band, Tits of Clay with the current Broadway star Michael C. Hall and co-creator Stephen Trask for the performance along with some special guests.


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Friday, Dec 19, 2014
Folk musician Kristin Andreassen's new album, Gondolier, out in February, features contributions from Aoife O'Donovan and Punch Brothers. Stream the delicate "The New Ground" here first.

With a résumé including membership in two bands (Uncle Earl and Sometymes Why), several stints on A Prarie Home Companion, and touring with Sufjan Stevens, Kristin Andreassen has already well proven her musical chops. She also displays them quite well on her 2006 solo debut Kiss Me Hello. Now, Andreassen is preparing for the release of her sophomore studio LP, Gondolier, in early 2015. Below you can stream the tender folk of “The New Ground”, a warm introduction to the music that is to come on the album.


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Friday, Dec 19, 2014
They say the 235th most acclaimed album of all time gets off on frustration, but I know you've got an explanation. The 1981 debut from a power-pop legend is this week's Counterbalance. Bad reputation? Not hardly.

Klinger: A few weeks ago, when we were talking about the Violent Femmes, I mentioned my admiration for the dB’s, a group that is, both figuratively and literally, the missing link between the proto-power pop of Big Star and the college rock of R.E.M. I did a little checking over at the Acclaimed Music site, the wellspring of the Great List and our statistical overlord these past four years, and lo and behold their first album, 1981’s Stands for Decibels, is still hanging in there at No. 2355. In the next few years, I suspect it will drop off, as newer, shinier objects capture the critical imagination and these relatively obscure pioneers drop even further off the cultural radar, so I’d like to take a moment to sing the praises of an eminently worthy album (and band) while I have the chance.


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Friday, Dec 19, 2014
The Masterplan is about a heist gone right.

There have been a fair number of heist games released in the past year or so—from the neon-noir chaos of Monaco to the war-in-the-streets battlegrounds of Payday 2 to the grand spectacle of GTA V‘s bank jobs. Then there’s The Masterplan, an Early Access Game currently on Steam. Normally I’d say that it has a lot of competition, but it stands apart by offering a kind of heist those other games purposefully avoid. While all those other games revolve around the moment when a heist goes wrong, The Masterplan is all about a heist gone right.


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Thursday, Dec 18, 2014
Following massive hacking and numerous attack threats, Sony has decided not the release the political comedy The Interview. Here's why that is a bad idea.

It’s the hack still being heard around the world, a surreal situation made even more bizarre by the reaction of the target and the accompanying response from the community. Before Sony succumbed to the pressure put on it by a shadowy group known only as the “Guardians of Peace”, which led to the studio pulling the proposed Seth Rogen/James Franco political comedy The Interview from distribution, it was simply dealing with the collective face egg that comes from your private corporate business becoming Reddit fodder.


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