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Wednesday, April 15 2015

Judas Priest: Defenders of the Faith: Special 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

Judas Priest's three-disc re-issue of their classic 1984 chart-topper shows that the years have been kind to both the album and the band.


Tuesday, April 14 2015

Sufjan Stevens Shone With Sorrowful Genius at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music

Stevens goes for a transformative, pensive, and atmospheric live presentation. Ultimately, that’s what makes his artistry so one-of-a-kind and invaluable.


‘Saga #27’ Characters Are Unforgettable

Saga propels readers into new and unchartered, yet always compelling, spaces. From the horribly exotic to the stunningly beautiful, the characters are impossible to forget.


Greed Gets Tiresome in ‘Beyond the Reach’

The idea here is that Madec's limitless financial resources make him every bit as phantasmal and inexorable as Jason Voorhees.


‘The Queen’s Bed’, the Queen’s Body, and the Body of the State

A rigorous, middle ground between lurid populist histories and dry academia, Anna Whitelock provides an excellent biography as a well trained historian.


School’s Out Forever in ‘Class of 1984’

Aiming for an incisive social commentary on the increasing violence of youth gangs, Class of 1984 falls short.


Calexico: Edge of the Sun

Seeds of experimentation and collaboration planted long ago bear some of the best fruit of Calexico's long career.


The Heart Says Whatever in ‘Hausfrau’

Jill Alexander Essbaum’s first novel bleakly evokes the life of a woman adrift. However well built, it is story constructed over a sinkhole.


Delta Rae: After It All

On its second album After It All, the Durham-based sextet successfully raids the storehouse of American musical traditions, incorporating influences ranging from blues to folk, rock to pop, and hip-hop to musical theater.


Folk Family Revival: Water Walker

Americana's band of brothers expand their sonic horizons in Water Walker.


Madeon: Adventure

Madeon has the ear for a strong hook and a natural knack for dance production, but by failing to provide enough distinction to his tracks on an individual basis, his Tumblr-friendly brand of EDM turns him into a bit of a one-trick pony.


Sidewalk Chalk: Shoulder Season

Sidewalk Chalk rise further to the top of the hip-hop scene with their third release, Shoulder Season.


Monday, April 13 2015

A Confluence of Conflicts in ‘Convergence #1’

The arena for a multiversal clash is set, but lacks theatrics.


‘Ravensbrück’: The Nonfiction of Nightmares

Sarah Helm’s Ravensbrück is a searingly comprehensive look at the sole concentration camp built to house women. It is the nonfiction of nightmares.


Big Ears 2015 Was a Festival for Serious Artists and Listeners

From 27-29 March, Knoxville, Tennessee music fans were treated to a world of daring and avant-garde music at the latest installment of the Big Ears festival.


‘What We Do in the Shadows’ Became a Cult Classic Upon Creation

The charming and eccentric humor of this vampire mockumentary makes it feel like it was born to be a beloved cult classic.


Eels: Royal Albert Hall

What becomes of the broken-hearted? They go to an Eels gig, obviously.


The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: Freedom Tower - No Wave Dance Party

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion aren't about to reinvent the wheel, but with music this good they don't need to.


Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Unsung Heroes of Country Blues

Filled with beautiful obscurities and aural surprises, this collection will delight fans, new and old, of the genre it celebrates.


Lowland Hum: Lowland Hum

Lowland Hum's self-titled new album provides further evidence of their ability to wield seamless harmonies and a hushed low cast glow. While a handful of songs take flight, nothing here really breaks the mold or shows any evidence of an uptick in their MO.


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