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Friday, April 11 2014

Nine Inch Nails and Coil: Recoiled

This merger of two industrial pioneers can be impressive, but never quite matches the original versions.


Rufus Wainwright: Vibrate: The Best of Rufus Wainwright

Some questionable choices, but otherwise a good place to start in the man's discography.


Wild Moccasins: 88 92

Wild Moccasins spend half of their debut slavishly recreating early '80s pop, but don't really come to life until they stop doing that later in the album.


Thursday, April 10 2014

Colin Firth Is a Haunted WWII Veteran in ‘The Railway Man’

As the torture scenes in The Railway Man focus on waterboarding, you're reminded that Japanese waterboarders were executed by Allied victors, and may pause to ponder the current debate over American waterboarders.


Kenneth Calhoun’s ‘Black Moon’ Will Keep You Awake

At first glance, Black Moon might appear to be just another variation of the zombie theme, but it isn't: this novel is written for adults.


A General, a Princess and Two Greedy, Dim-Witted Peasants

The Hidden Fortress is more "accessible" and "entertaining" than Rashômon, but Kurosawa's artistry is ever present.


Caetano Veloso: Abraçaço

The final recording of a collaborative trilogy, Abraçaço sees the seemingly ageless septuagenarian inventively fusing the Tropicália style with an indie pop sensibility.


OFF!: Wasted Years

No longer an event, a new record from this hardcore revival act won’t turn the tide for punk rock. While the rest of the band bashes away, veteran Keith Morris prattles on about what we already know.


Loss of Faith But Not Loss of Interest in God: ‘The Theology of Samuel Beckett’

In his publisher John Calder's view, Samuel Beckett retreats in his later texts, as did God from Genesis.


Pure X: Angel

The third album from the Austin-based indie rock band peels back the layers of reverb that colored their first two albums. What's underneath is, sadly, all too conventional.


Inventions: Inventions

Inventions places Eluvium’s lush, electronic ambience alongside Explosions in the Sky’s sense of space and tension.


Stacey Kent: The Changing Lights

The American singer learns Portuguese and does a full disc of bossa nova music.


Wednesday, April 9 2014

Abigail Breslin and Georgie Henley are Murderous Girls in ‘Perfect Sisters’

Perfect Sisters establishes Sandra and Beth as archetypal caring, sharing sisters. They may look different, but they act as one.


‘Vernon Downs’ Is a Darkly Thoughtful Novel

Smart, stylish, and more than a little sad, Vernon Downs gives readers a lot to think about.


‘The Artist and the Model’ and the Need for Passion

Fernando Trueba has experimented with so many genres that it's obvious he's yet to determine his own cinematic identity.


The Faint: Doom Abuse

Doom Abuse may not measure up to the Faint's greatest moments or delve into new terrain, but if they're goal was to have fun and make a good record, then mission accomplished.


The FBI, MI5, the State Department and Paul Robeson

Paul Robeson was a powerful singer and orator whose towering intellect and strong beliefs in the dignity of all mankind may have cost him his reputation and career.


Todd Terje: It’s Album Time

Having remixed great disco tracks and modern day indie floor-fillers for years (hi Hot Chip!), Terje finally breaks out on his own, ready to rock your yacht were it not for some of his more meandering passages.


Katie Herzig: Walk Through Walls

Herzig's two-sided emotional and musical walls create an unceasing friction that is, at once, confrontational and cathartic.


David Nail: I’m a Fire

Happiness lurks in his purposely sad songs, while pain and confusion live within his meaning-to-be-happy songs.


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