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Tuesday, April 8 2014

Future Islands: Singles

The layperson finally arrived to Future Islands, the question was: What would they find here on the beach of the band's new fame?


Rick Ross: Mastermind

Album number six from Rick Ross doesn't stray too far from the sound of his previous work, but a high level of polish just might make this his best album yet.


Stiff Little Fingers: No Going Back

After a lengthy, 11-year lull, Stiff Little Fingers release latest album with a little help from the fans. A punk DIY ethos for an album of predominantly rock sensibilities.


Monday, April 7 2014

Mike Judge Does a New Series About Nerds with ‘Silicon Valley’

Silicon Valley is premised on a series of often funny clashes -- between cultures, generations, and expectations.


Scarlett Johansson Visits Our Planet in ‘Under the Skin’

Skin doesn't make you sensitive or good or even human, it only makes you feel, physically. However, this alien, whose skin is not like yours, doesn't feel like you do.


‘Reign of Error’ Attempts to Undo Some of the Most Toxic Thinking in American Education

Schools aren't failing, but we're failing at understanding them. Diane Ravitch doesn't just illuminate the problem, she provides real solutions that can be achieved.


A Mystery, a Marriage and a Fascinatingly Unreliable Narrator

Is Thomas Christopher Greene tipping his hat to the great Russian writers, particularly Dostoevsky, who combined thrillers, romance and domestic drama, too?


It May Be Titled ‘The Hobbit’, But It’s All About the Dragon

A shapeshifter, gigantic spiders, and a barrel-battle escape create exhilarating suspense in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, but best of all is a deliciously devious incendiary beast.


Sohn: Tremors

Having launched the careers of Banks and Kwabs with brio, Sohn's full-length maiden voyage finds him deep in the witching hour waters of his own mind, a whirlpool as insidious and intoxicating as any siren song. Is he waking or drowning?


Tweens: Tweens

Tweens are making reference to punk rock that references pre-punk styles of pop, creating a double layer of musical nostalgia that is sometimes disorienting.


Various Artists: Bob Dylan in the ‘80s: Volume One

If you're unfamiliar with Bob Dylan's work in the 1980s, this album is no place to start.


Asia: Gravitas

Gravitas is pleasant enough, but with watered-down pomp and too much texture, the men of Asia don't bring enough heat to the moment.


Water Liars: Water Liars

There’s always a storyteller in Water Liars’ music, and the story he tells is the tale of a troubled man. Through their songs, we confront fear and desire, belief and betrayal, triumph and, more often, defeat. In other words, these songs make us feel alive.


Friday, April 4 2014

It Can’t Be Easy to Be the Girl in the Marvel Universe

Captain America: The Winter Soldier's Natasha shows up on time, stays on task, drives an awesome Corvette Stingray, and is ever ready to kick or cover anyone's ass.


‘The Retrieval’: Bounty Hunting During the Civil War

The Retrieval weaves a complicated story of family, fear, and the hope for freedom during the Civil War.


The Perennial Puzzle That Is Donald Rumsfeld

The mirror image Donald Rumsfeld creates, his inverted similarity to the villain he mocks, would be comical if the effects of his and the administration's lies weren't so devastating and ongoing.


‘LUFTRAUSERS’: Perfectly Balanced Chaos

LUFTRAUSERS excels by offering balance in its mechanics and majesty in its presentation.


Une Énigme Politique: ‘A Taste for Intrigue: The Many Lives of François Mitterrand’

Philip Short's book is a masterfully written, sweeping narrative of Mitterrand’s life with decisive, revealing anecdotes and a meticulous chronicling of fact that is remarkable enough to be fiction.


The Lavish ‘Samson and Delilah’ Is Even More So in Blu-ray

Even the fiercest non-believer will see a flash of the truly divine in this Cecil B. DeMille epic.


Kaiser Chiefs: Education, Education, Education & War

A big moment for the Kaisers, this album just about passes the pick of the pops test. It still stays too much in their quasi-new wave/indie comfort zone, but the different and interesting bits lend it some allure.


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