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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.


Friday, April 18 2014

‘Cloudbuilt’: The Devil Is in the Design

Where Cloudbuilt really shines is at the intersection of art and level design. Art and science operate in a delicate dance, blurring the lines between the two.


Jan Svankmajer’s ‘Alice’ Is the Perfect Marriage of Content and Style

Even when darker in subject matter, Jan Svankmajer's films all retain an element of joyousness and childlike wonder.


Slint: Spiderland: Deluxe Box Set

The expanded story of Slint's Spiderland shows that the album doesn't define place or genre so much as it illuminates a singular approach to making music.


‘America’s Forgotten Constitutions’ Bear Potent Messages for Our Times

What can the ‘failed’ constitutions of American history teach us about building community and galvanizing social movements?


Medeski, Martin & Wood plus Nels Cline: Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 2

The funky organ trio gets together in the studio with a live audience and an adventurous guitarist — to break the mold.


Weekend: The ‘81 Demos

Former Young Marble Giants vocalist Alison Statton steps out on her own with a collection of demos that seek to bridge the gap between what that group was and what Weekend would become, influencing countless indie pop acts in the process.


The Souljazz Orchestra: Inner Fire

Eclectic, showing an appealing musical restlessness, Inner Fire is both enjoyable and exceptional.


Blue Highway: The Game

The game never stops for the long-running bluegrass powerhouse.


Thursday, April 17 2014

‘30 for 30: Bad Boys’ Wants to Crush ‘em—but Only Mentally

The Piston's Isiah Thomas exhorts haters to "erase the labels that you've given us and the names that you called us, all those people who said we were thugs and vicious."


Post-Tsunami Trauma Is Imbued with Painful Lessons in ‘Facing the Wave’

"We think we have time to love, cook dinner, take walks, become enlightened, but one wave can take us, or it can spit us out." -Gretel Ehrlich


‘King of the Hill’ Is a Touching, Sweet Story and Quite Unlike Later Soderbergh Films

This is a fascinating glimpse into an exploratory, identity-forming period before even Soderbergh himself seemed to have a handle on his erratic muse.


It’s Not Easy, ‘Being Ginger’

Kermit the Frog may have said it’s not easy being green, but this entertaining documentary shows that it’s sure not easy being a ginger, either.


Duck Sauce: Quack

They may not ever be able to achieve the dizzying heights of "Barbra Streisand", but Quack is more than worth the wait.


Rodney Crowell: Tarpaper Sky

With a recent Grammy in hand and momentum on his side, a Nashville legend returns to the studio with some old friends.


On Being Up a Creek with Only a Paddle

Love Is a Canoe is about how people in love will latch onto any floating bit of debris to salvage their sinking relationships.


Shakira: Shakira

The Colombian chameleon’s new eponymous album sees her ditching the squelchy Latin beats of her last English-language album, in favor of dipping her toe into country, ska, rock, and EDM.


Twilight: III: Beneath Trident’s Tomb

Twilight have slammed the tomb shut and are hostile to all visitors, leaving a disconnect between the listener and the songs outside of “Oh Wretched Son” and “A Flood of Eyes”.


Talib Kweli: Gravitas

Although there are a few moments that lack the edge of his debut, Gravitas is a welcome return to form -- of sorts -- for Kweli.


The Mast: Pleasure Island

Goodbye, guitars. Hello, electronics.


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