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Monday, October 14 2013

Getting Gone: David Cantwell’s Take on the Iconic Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard's restlessness breaks him out of one prison and sends him towards another.


Friday, October 11 2013

Against Cult Cinema: Documentarian Didacticism and ‘The Animals Film’

The pacifism of The Animals Film renders it an anti-cult cult film, not merely a plea to cease animal cruelty, but a critique of the violent objectification cum commercialization of life itself.


Thursday, October 10 2013

Homesickness: Refugees and the Balm That Is Music

By reaffirming refugees' cultural identity while simultaneously offering inroads into their new home, music has helped a number of displaced peoples carve out a place of their own.


Wednesday, October 9 2013

‘The Great British Bake-Off’ and 21st Century Britishness

An unusually cheerful new cooking show is dominating the primetime conversation in the UK, but is patriotism the answer to successful TV?


Tuesday, October 8 2013

A Good Death

All heavy metal bands burn out eventually, but when and how they end matters most. A good death counts for a lot in the genre, because it marks the final point in a band's quest for immortality.


Monday, October 7 2013

‘Beyond Good & Evil’, Beyond Art & Not-Art

Culture, civility, and empathy. When crafted with the elegance and care of Beyond Good & Evil, videogames exceed every arbitrary 'requirement' for Art demanded by those who would deny them worth.


Friday, October 4 2013

‘Til Your Eyes Bleed & Your Ears Explode: 61 Books You Really Should Read & Have Read To You

More books you'll love than you can swing a cat while shaking a stick at.


Thursday, October 3 2013

Back Away Slowly, Walter White, Sgt. Suzanne ‘Pepper’ Anderson’s Got Her Own Big Gun

Unassuming high school chemistry teacher faced with insurmountable medical expenses turns to manufacturing illegal drugs to make ends meet? Sorry Bryan Cranston, Angie Dickinson and William Shatner got there first.


Wednesday, October 2 2013

Travels in Sound: The Globetrotting Music of Don Cherry

The jazz world found its most intrepid explorer in Don Cherry, an adventurous sonic provocateur whose worldly exploits re-drew lines all over the musical map.


Tuesday, October 1 2013

Celluloid Androids: The Big Screen’s Fascination with Robots

Robots and Replicants... Between utilitarian tools and far too human replacements lies the Uncanny Valley. The Next Reel explores Cinema's love/ hate relationship with the automaton.


Monday, September 30 2013

Do You Have What It Takes to Commit to Serials?

Once one has committed to a narrative, it can be hard to let go, even if creative teams have changed, or ideas are running out.


Friday, September 27 2013

How John Lurie Made Me Read Fewer Books

The great Elmore Leonard wrote dozens of novels. Some, like Get Shorty, were adapted for film. So why do I associate him with smooth jazz? Well, John Lurie had a hand in that.


Thursday, September 26 2013

The Connoisseur of Crime, John D. MacDonald, Is Shadowing the E-Book World

Available again in ebook form, the crime classic Stephen King called "one of the greatest American novels of the 20th century", The End of Night, is ready for rediscovery by a new generation of readers.


Wednesday, September 25 2013

In Defense Of ... Saving the VMAs

A month removed from this year's debacle, it's time to understand that the Video Music Awards are worth reviving, worth enjoying like we did decades ago.


Tuesday, September 24 2013

Waiting to Be Heard: On Being Deaf and Gay

Scant research has been done on those individuals who are both LGBT and deaf. This is surprising, considering what my sister, an interpreter for the deaf, has told me: "You'd be surprised how many deaf people are gay."


Monday, September 23 2013

The Holy Trinity: Yes

In addition to being one of the pivotal bands of the early '70s, Yes perfected prog-rock as a kind of performance art in sound.


Friday, September 20 2013

A Very Dirty Lens: How Can We Listen to Offensive Metal?

Some people think that heavy metal's too filthy a lens to gaze at the world through, but most fans don't care who finds metal lewd, crude, or otherwise.


Thursday, September 19 2013

The Video Game Trilogy Deathmatch

Which has the better ending? Assassin’s Creed 3 vs. Gears of War 3 vs. God of War 3 vs. Halo 3 vs. Mass Effect 3 vs. Modern Warfare 3.


Wednesday, September 18 2013

In Defense Of ... The Influence of ‘Difficult Men’

Brett Martin's latest book serves as a reminder of how enlightening dealing with darkness in television can be.


Tuesday, September 17 2013

Is Miley Cyrus a Master of Social Media?

With each tweet, photo upload, and "twerk" video, Miley Cyrus artfully crafts her star image, always maintaining our interest in how she presents herself.


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