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Thursday, October 23 2014

Gary Clark Jr.: Live

This disc marks the official arrival of a major talent: clearly steeped in the blues tradition who can shift seamlessly between feedback-frenzied rawness and cool, old school soul and funk.


CAVE: Release

This collection of the Chicago psych rock band's previously released non-album tracks adds up to more than the usual rarities compilation.


Sam Amidon: Lily-O

Singer, guitarist, fiddler, banjo player, Sam Amidon's sixth album is a patchwork of delights.


Walter Salas-Humara: Curve and Shake

Another collection of evocative songs, deceptive in their carefully woven simplicity.


Wednesday, October 22 2014

‘Cosmochoria’: The Good Kind of Grind

The game fails to properly equip the player for the challenges in the game. That sounds like a criticism, but it really works in its favor.


The Power of the Reader in ‘A History of Reading’

Alberto Manguel takes a thematic rather than linear approach to a history of reading, offering an entertaining and impassioned account of reading practices and readers' agency.


‘Ghost in the Shell 25th Anniversary Edition’ Is a Classic Anime Given Paltry Extras Treatment

Ghost in the Shell remains an excellent milestone in anime, but this barebones release is devoid of the extras that would truly make this edition special.


Jessie Ware: Tough Love

Jessie Ware supplies more late-night soul on her sophomore effort, an album that finds her subtly expanding her much-lauded R&B sound.


Stars: No One Is Lost

No One Is Lost is undoubtedly a fun album, but it very much gets lost in its own narrative.


‘The Mathematician’s Shiva’ Is Classically Middlebrow

There are secret plots, geopolitical rumblings, high-math technical language, and a parrot of interest, but as often as not these things wanly colorize an otherwise monochromatic narrative.


Diana Krall: Wallflower

The jazz singer tackles a set of boomer pop "standards", kind of like she was the Perry Como of her generation, and sounds plastic doing it.


Inter Arma: The Cavern EP

“The Cavern”, the one 45-minute song that makes up this EP, is truly worthy of the word “epic” and is a welcome addition to the pantheon of metal music.


Julian Casablancas + The Voidz: Tyranny

Julian Casablancas + The Voidz get weird on Tyranny, but weird doesn't automatically mean quality.


Weedeater: ...And Justice for Y’all

Thirteen years on this seemingly-derivative piece of sludge metal differentiates itself from less interesting acts with one thing: pure sonic filth.


Tuesday, October 21 2014

A Parable of Faith on a Desert Planet

As in Faber's previous fiction, the situation the protagonist meets in The Book of Strange New Things appears to be more complex than what this idealistic but flawed Everyman can fully comprehend.


It All Comes Back to Haunt You: “Cutter #3”

Artist Christian DiBari's black-and-white panels feel more than a little like a woodcut – roughly done with a pocket knife, all slash marks and scars, as if the killer herself is carving out this story with her bloody blade.


‘The World Atlas of Street Photography’ Is a Commanding Overview

Readers familiar with these artists will be happy with this representative selection, while newcomers such as myself will find much to pore over, much to enjoy and much to provoke thought.


‘Queen: Live at the Rainbow ‘74’: Still Killer Queen, After All These Years

Live at the Rainbow '74 doesn't contain all of Queen's biggest commercial hits, but features some of their heaviest rock from their amazing early days.


Mark Lanegan Band: Phantom Radio

Phantom Radio is the quintessential Mark Lanegan album, both a great starting point for those uninitiated to his world and a document that the most devoted members of his cult fanbase will cherish as one of his best.


Thurston Moore: The Best Day

Thurston Moore's most ambitious solo album and possibly the best Sonic Youth-related release since 2004's Sonic Nurse.


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