Recent Features
Forget McCloud (or Maybe Not, Baudrillard)

Scott McCloud's text does not make any concessions to doubters. It gives people permission to start from the presumption that comics are 'real' art, as well as 'real' literature.

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9 Dec 2009 // 10:00 PM

The Best World Music of 2009

In 2009, well-known artists reliably produced solid albums, lesser-known artists did things that were often surprising and successful, archives were trawled by enthusiasts, old songs were excavated, polished, and compiled, and labels both large and small kept moving stubbornly on.

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9 Dec 2009 // 10:00 PM

The Best Bluegrass of 2009

For bluegrass fans, 2009 was a great year for music, a bad year for frugality. Though we're only listing the Top Ten, there were many excellent artists and albums worthy of a mention.

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Santa Claus: Super Hero Icon and Religious Figure

Kris Kringle has flesh-and-blood status and is a religious secular figure. He is Superman, Peter Parker, Bruce Wayne, Gandalf the White, James Bond, Dr. Who and James T. Kirk all rolled into one.

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All Is Said and Done: An Interview with Vertical Horizon

After accidentally reuniting Rush and befriending Neil Peart, Vertical Horizon's Matt Scannell returns with his band's first album of new material in nearly six years.

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The Music That Matters: Ralph Rinzler and Bill Monroe, Part  Two

During the height of his career, Bill Monroe fielded a baseball team that would organize pickup games in each town in order to drum up publicity for that evening's concert.

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The Best Indie Pop of 2009

My indie-pop year 2009 was about young energy and autumnal melancholy, about the rush you feel when you first hear an exciting new band and the bittersweet feeling you get when your favorite band calls it quits.

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The Best Singer-Songwriter Albums of 2009

We got it all in 2009. The stuff right here -- this is singing, this is songwriting. It lives, it breathes, and it bites. Hard.

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8 Dec 2009 // 9:59 PM

In the J-Zone Zone

Like college, or Play-Doh, a social media tool is what we make of it, and J-Zone's got the skills to make things interesting.

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The Sociology of Superheroes: Andi Ewington and 45

Andi Ewington's 45 appeals to an audience that transcends 1970s Batman, and even the phenomenal Watchmen.

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Farmville: Fetch Me My Manure Boots

The surging popularity of the virtual farming game 'FarmVille' seems to imply dissatisfaction with almost every aspect of modern life -- except maybe virtual reality.

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The Best Debut Albums of 2009

The best debuts are exciting not only for what they promise, but for what they deliver, too. Think of these ten albums not as what could be, but also what already is: the best debut records of 2009.

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World Tour/Media Whore(s): The Year in Reunions

While 2009 spawned plenty of rumors that brought the Libertines, the Smiths, and the Stone Roses back together, these were the bands that actually dusted off their guitars and plugged in their amps one more time.

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Paranormal Passions: An Interview with the Ghost Hunters

The Ghost Hunters Academy investigators talk about the amount of misinformation there is about paranormal investigation and what an awesome season finale would look like.

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Seeing Stars (Suffer Brain Injuries)

Imagine old Daffy Duck cartoons, with pastel songbirds circling as a cuckoo clock sounds in the background. The reality is a bit more serious.

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Philip K. Dick’s Defense of Video Games

Philip K. Dick’s fiction is a defense of the validity of video games because despite the fact that they are not real, his stories argue that there is still something valid in the artificial.

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6 Dec 2009 // 9:59 PM

A Welcome Return Home: The Orenda Fink Interview

Orenda Fink, one half of the acclaimed band Azure Ray, discusses her newest solo release, Ask the Night, a stripped-down piece that finds her reconnecting with her childhood in Alabama.

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On the Sixth Day God Created Man…chester, Part Four.

Doves and Elbow register in the 9-to-5 tradition of working class Manchester, where respect is earned through hard work, and character is assessed by true-to-self authenticity and true-to-others selflessness.

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Reconsidering the Revival of Cassette Tape Culture

At best, the cassette revival is merely a vacuous fad of no genuine value; but at worst, it's a confused, regressive cultural misstep more dangerous than most would care to admit.

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3 Dec 2009 // 9:59 PM

MCA’s Heavy News

This is more about the surprise I felt when an hour after my heart ached for my own mother it ached again in a similar way for someone whom I have never actually met. So I’ve spent probably months listening to the Beastie Boys. So what? This gives me the right? The short answer is “Yes. Yes, it does."

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Unexpected Deaths and Hideous Trousers in 'Kamikaze 89'

// Short Ends and Leader

"Rainer Werner Fassbinder is the whole show.

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