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Jazz guitarist Nir Felder’s debut album, Golden Age, drops this month. Many a musician has his or her idea of what a “golden age” was or is, but Felder is reluctant to stake such a claim. In his words, the album’s title is “more of a question than a statement,” rhetorically asking if we are in a golden age for the arts right now or if we were ever in the throes of one at all.

Felder’s performing and composing chops are not unlike many a fusion jazz guitarist who came before him. Any fan of Pat Metheny or Mike Stern can wring much listening enjoyment from Golden Age. It seems to have just the right amount of virtuosity pitted against genuinely engaging writing, all buoyed by a tight group featuring pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Nate Smith.  “Ernest /Protector”, one of Golden Age‘s flashier tracks, premieres here on PopMatters. While the hard-bop qualities reveal one side to Felder, just know that there is much more to delve into later this month.

Back when the Electric Grandmother was still based in my hometown, a weekly paper tried to review the album Pee Sells…But Who’s Buying?. The poor fool assigned the task just couldn’t do it. He called the title “oddly fitting” and that it was “a challenging listen in the sense that it’s hard to make it through the damn thing.”

Gerrymandered districts have resulted in far right Republican majorities in many communities around the nation. In North Carolina, the “artificial” districts designed to produce Republican majorities have had a devastating effect on public education, voter rights, medicare expansion, and access to women’s healthcare and abortion facilities.

New York’s Wry Climate inventively updates ‘90s shoegaze riffs with notes of dreampop and bits of noise, turning their subtly complex tunes into something much more than the sum of their parts. The group has earned comparisons from Deerhunter to Dirty Projectors to Pavement, meaning they’re in good, eclectic company.

//Blogs

Is Black Widow Still a Hero? Dissecting the Misogynistic Outrage Against the Avengers

// Short Ends and Leader

"Black Widow may very well be the pinnacle of the modern action heroine, so why is there so much backlash about her role in the new Avengers film?

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