Recent Features
Songs of Simulation and Discouragement: Bowie, Bono, and Authenticity

With its Apple-sponsored free public release, U2's Songs of Innocence betrays just how far the band has come from their past, despite its attempts to bring back a Dublinesque vision.

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Neither Here Nor There: ‘The Institute’, the Game, and the Thread to Elsewhere

The trend in alternate reality gaming fits a traditional definition of hyperreality; the condition where fiction and the real become indistinguishably blended together.

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“It’s Just About the Document”: An Interview with Danny Clinch

He's an iconic photographer for rock stars such as the Beastie Boys and Bruce Springsteen. Here, he talks about his first book and the stories behind some of his most memorable images.

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10 Oct 2014 // 1:45 AM

Austin City Limits: A History

An unprecedented access telling of this landmark musical showcase whose history spans dramatic changes in the nature of television, the expansion of digital media, and the ways in which we experience music.

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Katha Pollitt on Reclaiming Abortion Rights, Rejecting Shame and Renewing America’s Potential

Pollitt’s new book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights is both a call to arms and a call for honest reflection.

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7 Oct 2014 // 1:30 AM

Beats, Rhymes and Jihad

Hip-hop appeals to those who feel powerless and disenfranchised, which is why ISIS looks to hip-hop communities as potential recruiting grounds.

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In Defense of, Believe It or Not, TMZ

Regarding the Ray Rice saga, TMZ not only forced the NFL's hand, it put domestic violence back in the spotlight, where it should be.

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Lit Up: The National’s ‘Alligator’ and the Hope of Indie Rock

The National's seminal 2005 album Alligator shows the band, like America, to be lit up by white lights even as it is surrounded by darkness.

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Reinventing Scotland, Reinventing Ourselves: After the Referendum

To be in the minority is the natural condition of artists. The referendum gave Scotland's creative community a brief respite from its sense of isolation.

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How Women Dominated Pop Music in the ‘00s

We owe it to ourselves to recognize the many women in pop music that made an undeniable impact on popular culture and the world at large.

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Singing Across Continents: An Interview with Somi

Somi is a not-exactly jazz singer with roots in Africa and the American midwest, and she has made the year's most amazing record, evoking the spirit of Lagos, Nigeria.

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Three Great Albums Fade in Reflection

Despite their canonical status, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Oracular Spectacular, and White Blood Cells lack the staying power of truly great albums.

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The ‘00s: Hip-Hop Got Weird at the Turn of the Century

Hip-hop's turn for the weird in the '00s ended up being one of the smartest moves it could take. Forget the old guard; 21st century hip-hop succeeded in improving on its forebears.

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Mr. Mencken Went to Dayton and the Culture Wars Began

Long before Christopher Hitchens and Bill Maher, H.L. Mencken was America's most notorious satirist of religion. And thus began the battle for the soul of America.

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An Artist Capable of Making Something Magnetic: Matt Johnson on Jeff Buckley

Drummer Matt Johnson shares his reflections 20 years later on working with Jeff Buckley and recording what turned out to be a masterpiece, 1994's Grace.

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15 Sep 2014 // 1:14 AM

Kind of, Kind of Blue: A Conversation with Mostly Other People Do the Killing

Mostly Other People Do the Killing have taken on an ambitious task: recreate Miles Davis' landmark Kind of Blue note for note. Except, as bassist Moppa Elliott notes, note-for-note might just be impossible.

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The Road to ‘Grace’: How Jeff Buckley’s Debut Album Remains Timeless 20 Years Later

Drawing from 20 years worth of reviews and books, in addition to new interviews with those involved in Jeff Buckley's music, David Chiu looks back on Grace, which two decades later remains just as impactful.

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Great Sex and No Worries: The Myth of Drug Use

Drugs. We LGBT folk certainly seem to like them. We use them at higher rates than heterosexuals, and we really like to mix them with sex. What a shame they're killing us.

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In Kierkegaard’s Reflektion?: Arcade Fire in a “Reflective Age”

Like Kierkegaard did more than a century-and-a-half ago, Arcade Fire has the courage to ask whether our experience of the world is really as spectral, thin, and shallow as it sometimes seems.

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Thought of Sound: An Interview with Matt Sharp of the Rentals

With years between albums, a lot of factors, including a "get here now so we can record" email from the Black Keys' Patrick Carney, was what got Matt Sharp's the Rentals back into gear.

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