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Friday, October 25 2013

The Trouble with Fandom and ‘The Elizabethans’

A.N Wilson's The Elizabethans is a very readable history, despite the author's inability to get out of his own way.


Wednesday, October 1 2014

‘Ivory Tower’ Is a Scattered Look at an Important Topic

Andrew Rossi’s documentary Ivory Tower opts to generate heat rather than shed light on key issues in American higher education.


‘The Mysteries of Laura’ Is Too Many Shows in One

Trapped in the hour-long drama structure, the half-hour sitcom that The Mysteries of Laura might long to be never finds its footing.


Lucinda Williams: Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone

Both familiar and challenging, Williams' new record invites her audience to dance slow and close to a set of adult songs for adult listeners.


Bonnie “Prince” Billy: Singer’s Grave a Sea of Tongues

Existential dread is nothing new for Will Oldham's performing persona, but this new record might be his most harrowing yet.


‘Joe’ Rewards Close Reading with Good Jokes and a Hard-Won Honesty

This novel became a Nicolas Cage movie about a year ago. Rent the movie; read the book. Both are worth your time.


Various Artists: Temporary: Selections from Dunedin’s Pop Underground 2011-2014

Much of this New Zealand compilation recalls a promo sampler from 25 or 30 years ago, when "college rock" was a niche and variety encouraged on a more daring or more cocky label's eclectic roster.


So Cow: The Long Con

On So Cow's first full-band record, the trio sounds natural and the songs instinctual, even as they tighten into tense, nervous coils, twisting the edges and tilting the balance of typical garage rock structures.


Tomás Doncker Band: Moanin’ at Midnight: The Howlin’ Wolf Project

The album that crackles with fresh mojo while maintaining the authentic vibe of the originals that inspired the project in the first place.


Tuesday, September 30 2014

Lofty Legacies: “Superman: Futures End #1”

An issue about carrying on a legacy, but for only some of the right reasons.


‘Selfie’ Is Like ‘Pygmalion’ with Cell Phones

One of Selfie’s biggest sins is how tone-deaf it is about social media and those who use it successfully.


Haruki Murakami’s Characters Grapple With Friendship and Aging, But His Stories Never Grow Old

Stapled onto an ephemeral present shaped by Lexus cars, Twitter, and transformational training, Murakami engages with timeless themes in his latest colourful tale.


‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Is a Small Part of a Growing Live-Action Comic Book

Marvel is making their own live-action comic series, and while you don’t necessarily need to collect all the pieces to enjoy the story, there’s a much bigger payoff if you do.


‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ Remains the Ultimate Revisionist Western 40 Years Later

It opens with images of mortality and ends with a monster’s operatic dance with a chain saw under a deathly, brooding Texas sun—it’s about America, man.


Prince: Art Official Age / Prince & 3rdeyegirl: PLECTRUMELECTRUM

These two new albums are welcome additions to Prince's canon, as none of his post-2004 comeback discs are as wall-to-wall fun as these are.


Luke Winslow-King: Everlasting Arms

Luke Winslow-King furthers his explorations of pre-war American music on his latest for Bloodshot.


Share ‘Belzhar’ With the YA in Your Life, But Enjoy It Yourself, Too

Jam Gallahue and her English classmates are given journals to keep. But when they begin writing, something strange happens.


S: Cool Choices

Former Carissa's Weird member Jenn Ghetto expands her solo project, S, into a full band for the best parts of Cool Choices. Oddly enough, it's when she's alone on the record that her emotions are the hardest to make out.


Zoot Woman: Star Climbing

Zoot Woman’s eagerly anticipated return to the electronic music scene rarely reaches the glittering heights of its shimmering title.


Deru: 1979

By making an album for himself, Benjamin Wynn just might end up pleasing everyone.


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