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When a song is anachronistic, it’s best to make its visual accompaniment equally difficult to pigeonhole to a particular era. That’s the approach with the video for Emily Kempf’s “Dynamite”, for the tune itself doesn’t sound as though it is either historic- or futuristic-leaning, but rather like it’s emanating from a parallel timeline altogether.

“Dynamite” is an avant-garde baroque dream pop number with a dash of gypsy elements; its nebulous music has a Tim Buckley-meets-Björk flavor. Kempf’s haunting bellow is the star amid minor piano chords, hammered on and resonating as though played in a dusty mausoleum. As digital effects twinkle in the background, the song abruptly transitions to a comparatively upbeat, galloping keyboard melody.

Like some mad alchemist, frenetically creating mystery elixirs and potions in search of forming something out of nothing, Chris Claremont singlehandedly forged the modern day X-Men universe from almost nothing at all during his initial 16 year run as writer on Uncanny X-Men. He took a comic book that had been cancelled for five years, made it a monthly series, and then turned it into the highest selling comic book on the market. During this run, which lasted from 1975-1991, Claremont took what was originally considered a second-rate Fantastic Four knock-off and turned it into the gold standard to which all other series were measured against.

PopMatters writer Jordan Blum caught one of the first stops (in Philadelphia) of Sufjan Stevens tour in support of his 2015 release Carrie and Lowell and covered it for this site. The review from Philadelphia is up here, but we also caught Stevens and opener Cold Specks (supporting her new album Neuroplasticity in Hartford, his first performance in Connecticut, for the fourth night of his tour. Blum wrote, “Not only does his catalog contain some of the most personal, unique, varied, and overall magnificent music of the last 20 years, but the visual accompaniments within the live setting elevate the performance into grippingly tender yet colorful art.”, which should encourage you to go out and catch Stevens while you can. His upcoming tour dates, photos and a couple illicit videos from Hartford are below.

Mark Danielski’s novel House of Leaves is a horror story that begins with one of the novel’s protagonists, Will Navidson, discovering that his house is slightly larger on the inside than it is on the outside. This off putting detail, a bending of the laws of the physical universe, signals that which provokes fear, that which we can’t know or fully understand. As the novel’s story expands, of course, so too does the interior of the house, leading to a seemingly endless labyrinth that is undetectable from the outside of Navidson’s home, a space that defies the rules governing architecture and thus what we understand about spatial laws and mathematics.

Of course, the clever thing about the novel is that its title, which alludes only in part to Navidson’s house, is also a description of the thing held in its readers’ hands. The physical space of a book is defined by an architecture of its own. A book is two walls wrapped around a series of leaves (“leaves” being the term that bibliographers use to describe the front and backside of a page within a book), a house of leaves of a different sort. A book, then, metaphorically parallels Navidson’s house. Its interior (since it contains a whole world, its characters, its objects, etc.) is indeed “larger on the inside than it is on the outside.”

In his 9 out of 10 PopMatters Pick review of Courtney Barnett’s Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, Arnold Pan writes, “Barnett pretty obviously succeeds on Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit in meeting a more mainstream audience at least a little bit of the way. But for those who aren’t willing to follow… Barnett all the way as she goes on the rest of a twisting, turning path that’s uniquely her own, that’s their loss, not hers.”

Below you can watch Barnett perform the Sometimes I Sit and Think cut “Dead Fox” in the cozy environs of the Black Cab Sessions.

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