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Friday, Oct 10, 2014
Ásgeir took a quick stab at PopMatters' 20 Questions before his show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Ásgeir is a rapidly up and coming Icelandic singer-songwriter who has played New York several times in the last year (I first caught his show at CMJ in 2013). He continues to win over fans as visible by the larger and larger venues he has been performing at, and selling out. His recent jaunt in New York included two shows, one at the Bowery Ballroom and one at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Unfortunately, the crowd wasn’t actually sold out at MHOW but that wasn’t a deterrent from the musician diligently performing his soaring songs.


As before, Ásgeir played a cover of Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box” but even more exciting were the Icelandic versions of his songs, like the original “In the Silence”, the stunning “Dýrð í dauðaþögn”. He also included a few non-album songs that kept the audience transfixed especially as the artist remains on the quiet side. The highlight was still his most propulsive, “Torrent”, which he saved for the finale.


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Thursday, Oct 9, 2014
Peter Strickland confirms his reputation as one of contemporary British cinema’s most distinctive talents with a thrilling, immersive love story.

With his “rape-revenge” thriller debut Katalin Varga (2009) and its Giallo-horror tribute follow-up Berberian Sound Studio (2012), Peter Strickland immediately announced himself as one of the more distinctive, and certainly one of the most self-consciously “European”, of contemporary British filmmakers. He’s a cine-literate auteur conversant in arcane as well as popular modes and genres, and one who’s able to twist those modes to his own particular ends.


If neither Katalin Varga nor Berberian Sound Studio came out totally satisfying in the end, both pictures nonetheless demonstrated Strickland to be a daring filmmaker capable of giving the at present fairly conservative British industry a much-needed shake up.


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Tuesday, Oct 7, 2014
After spending summer playing festivals, Danny Brown has beens holed up working on a new record. But that didn't stop him from doing three NYC shows including one at the tiny Sonos Studio.

Last week, Sonos Studio and Pandora presents arranged for pop-up event space at the NeueHouse in New York to feature over a dozen free events and performances (including free booze) for small audiences. Spoon introduced a collaborative art project, Best Coast, Mikky Ekko and The Skins all performed as well as Dev Hynes but he also participated in a Q&A session. On Thursday evening, the “headliner” was Fool’s Gold rapper Danny Brown, who was performing two other shows in New York the same week at Webster Hall and House of Vans, both larger venues. He had spent his summer touring and performing at festivals (including a massive gig at Wembley opening for fellow Detroit resident Eminem).


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Monday, Oct 6, 2014
Our coverage of the 2014 London Film Festival begins with reviews of two mother/daughter-focused dramas: veteran André Téchiné’s French Riviera and Afia Nathaniel’s debut film Dukhtar.

Elements of crime drama, unrequited love story and mother/daughter melodrama add up to an oddity in French Riviera (L’Homme Que L’On Aimait Trop), the latest work from André Téchiné, which reunites the veteran director with one of his actrices fétiches, Catherine Deneuve. Silver-haired here and as subtly compelling as ever, Deneuve plays Renée Le Roux, a casino-owner in ‘70s Nice who’s fending off business propositions from seemingly unscrupulous rivals.


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Monday, Oct 6, 2014
The New Mastersounds are sort of like a hybrid strain of cannabis. The music has an uplifting effect, yet one that’s blended with a relaxed vibe.

It was a Wednesday night in the central part of town and there was a relatively new venue vying for the San Diego music scene’s attention. Situated just outside the trending North Park area in the less trendy yet growing City Heights neighborhood, the Hideout is well positioned to be a player in the local scene. It’s a classy joint that offers a much improved vibe from the similar sized hole in the wall atmosphere of the Soda Bar down the street. But could the small venue handle an international touring band like the New Mastersounds?


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