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Monday, October 20 2014

Guilty Simpson: The Simpson Tape

Simpson's grumbling's gotten boring, but Oh-No's beats are as fresh as they've ever been (straight off the farm, we're talking).


Queen: Live at the Rainbow ‘74

This lost live record captures one of rock’s most unassailable giants, right when it was discovering how to really belt out its “fee-fi-fo-fums”.


Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen: Cold Spell

Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen are poised to become a lasting force in bluegrass and also demonstrate the potential for broader success.


Friday, October 17 2014

‘The Book of Life’ Is a Boy-Band Approach to Moviemaking

The commercial approach of The Book of Life is to draw on a wide range of celebrities to craft an entertainment that just about anyone could like.


Michael Keaton and Edward Norton Square Off in ‘Birdman’

A onetime Hollywood superhero takes a stab at respectability by adapting Raymond Carver’s writings to Broadway in Iñárritu's hallucinogenic satire of the entertainment industry.


Ry Cooder: Soundtracks

Rhino’s seven CD retrospective box set Soundtracks covers off the bulk of Ry Cooder’s ‘80s film work. Interesting and varied, this is a worthy re-issue.


The Aislers Set: How I Learned to Write Backwards

Even though How I Learned to Write Backwards is arguably the band's darkest hour, it's still affirming and affecting, the final piece in a wonderful trilogy of albums.


‘Into the War’ Is Introspective, Poignant,  and Moralistic in All the Right Ways

Italo Calvino offers a rarely personal, and deeply insightful, glimpse of the adolescent experience of war.


Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey: Worker

The constantly morphing new jazz trio moves into deeply atmospheric, electronic territory and dares you to follow.


Pig Destroyer: Mass and Volume EP

This EP bears the mark of idle hands merely wanting to keep busy.


Hiss Golden Messenger: Lateness of Dancers

The latest from M.C. Taylor and Scott Hirsch's country-leaning band serves as an re-introduction and a rebirth for their signature sound.


Noel Torres: La Balanza

When playing corridos, one must be absolutely modern. If you play them as hard as possible, that helps.


Thursday, October 16 2014

‘Lilting’ Is About the Ways We Assimilate

Lilting challenges what it means to assimilate into a culture, suggesting that blending in isn't necessary for shared experience.


Soap, Candles, and Even the Humble Ice Cube Make Appearances in ‘How We Got to Now’

From the first selfie to the importance of jazz musicians, Steven Johnson puts a few surprises into How We Got To Now.


More Boy Than Witch: “Klarion #1”

Just keep moving, folks. There is nothing to see here, especially nothing scary. This Klarion, this Witch Boy, is a lot more boy than witch.


‘The Essential Jacques Demy’ Captures the Director’s Breezy, Bluesy World

The Essential Jacques Demy provides an insightful look inside an auteur who may finally be getting the recognition he deserves.


‘Surgeon General’s Warning’ Provides a Fascinating History on a Controversial Position

Written in vivid detail and expertly researched, Mike Stobbe's chronicle of the office of the Surgeon General parts the curtains on some surprising heroes and brings us to a surprising conclusion.


Mount Eerie: New York - 24 September 2014

Phil Elverum brought minimalist arrangements of songs from upcoming Mount Eerie release Sauna to NYC's Le Poisson Rouge, along with plenty of mystery and endearing stage banter.


‘Revenge: The Complete Third Season’ Is Too Convoluted for Its Own Good

In its third season, Revenge jumps the shark and drowns slowly afterwards.


Kele: Trick

From the club to the bedroom, the Bloc Party frontman explores the empty sensuality of sleeping with complete strangers.


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