Columns

Friday, March 4 2016

Defending Chicago’s ‘Defender’

It's possible to trace much of 20th Century America’s history through the pages of the Defender, a local paper with a national impact.


Wednesday, March 2 2016

The Bad and the Beautiful: B-Horrors Go Blu

Surrounded by faceless men, stone men, and brainless men, the mesmerizing "Queen of Blood" belongs in her own class.


Tuesday, March 1 2016

The Triumphant Emptiness of Snarky Puppy

If an iTunes library on shuffle needed a house band, Snarky Puppy would be it.


Monday, February 29 2016

The Most Unintentionally Terrifying “Love Songs” Ever Written

From Van Halen to Dean Martin, some of the world's most beloved "love" songs are actually hideously sinister when you dig just below the surface.


Thursday, February 25 2016

How Do Video Games Force Us to Gain Perspective?

Sometimes “hard” in a video game isn't just a difficulty setting.


A Curiously Hollow Horror Show: ‘Cleansed’ at the National Theatre

Over-stylised and strangely unaffecting, Katie Mitchell’s staging of Sarah Kane’s controversial play yields mixed results.


Wednesday, February 24 2016

Jimmy Fallon and SNL With French Subtitles? Oui, Please!

Live from New York it’s Saturday Night Live (albeit broadcast one week later, with French subtitles on an obscure cable channel)!


Tuesday, February 23 2016

What Does Randy Newman Say When He Talks With God?

One of the less celebrated satirists of religion, a study of some of Randy Newman's key songs reveals a subtle subversive at work.


Monday, February 22 2016

Ametora: When Cultural Appropriation Becomes Fashionable

The insightful new study, Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style, demonstrates how Japan beat American fashion at its own game


Thursday, February 18 2016

E.T. Was Gay

Steven Spielberg's most child-friendly blockbuster primed a generation to be more accepting of homosexuality.


Wednesday, February 17 2016

As Good As Gold: Lio’s Subversive Euro-Pop

In true Euro-pop fashion, Lio's marriage of risqué innuendo and brightly-coloured pop during the '80s resounded fashionably with the French.


Tuesday, February 16 2016

On Writing the Hidden History of American Women’s Lives

Sonja Livingston uses poetic essays to breathe life into some of America’s most remarkable, and little known, women.


Monday, February 15 2016

Alinea Emphasizes Ideology: You Have No Choice But to Think While You Eat

Alinea is my kind of noun, shot through with an intentionality so thorough in its precision and detail that it teeters wonderfully on the edge between magic and psychosis.


Thursday, February 11 2016

Destined for Greatness: A Conversation With Rikard Sjöblom of Beardfish

Beardfish frontman Sjöblom discusses the makings of his latest solo effort, The Unbendable Sleep, as well as the future of Beardfish, Big Big Train, and more.


Wednesday, February 10 2016

When Is Art Beautiful? When Is It Just Boring?

To paraphrase art critic Peter Schjeldahl, beauty is a kind of action and reaction between the work and the viewer, or the listener, or the reader. Beauty happens.


Tuesday, February 9 2016

Why Does Paul Bowles’ 70-Year-Old Existential Masterpiece Continue to Test Our Limits?

The Sheltering Sky is itself a test of limits: its form is an exploration of how far one can go in novel writing.


Monday, February 8 2016

A No-Nonsense Agenda for the Left

The authors of Inventing the Future ask: why think local, when there’s a world to win?


Friday, February 5 2016

Chaos Does Not Mean Despair in Bowie’s Soundscapes

What Bowie's music describes, again and again, is that we were endlessly, relentlessly killing ourselves.


Thursday, February 4 2016

Bruce Springsteen, ‘The Ties That Bind’, the Working Class, and Authenticity

As we use the term today, authenticity allows no truth from art, only from artists. It visits art the way one visits a subway station or an airport: to get to somewhere else.


Wednesday, February 3 2016

Stacking the Rolling Stones’ Best Shows

The From the Vault series adds infinite layers of the Rolling Stones' performances for diehard and casual fans alike.


//Mixed media
//Blogs

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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