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Thursday, November 20 2014

Christopher Owens: A New Testament

In light of Christopher Owens' never-a-dull-moment backstory and back catalog, the last thing you'd expect is that A New Testament would be as monotonous as it is.


Jessie J: Sweet Talker

Jessie J fails to reach the glory of high-flying single "Bang Bang" on third album Sweet Talker.


Wednesday, November 19 2014

DOC NYC 2014: ‘Citizenfour’

Citizenfour is exquisitely filmed and carefully reported, but its greatest effects have to do with what you don't see, such as the plans and ambitions that underlie surveillance.


‘Costume Quest 2’ Is a Light-Hearted, Breezy Take on Halloween

Why the plot of Costume Quest 2 doesn’t really matter is simple enough. We know the bad guy can never succeed; Halloween can never be truly destroyed. Any kid could have told you that.


From ‘Great White Father’ to Loisel’s Waif: The Troubled Tropes of Peter Pan

Loisel’s retelling is a gorgeous one. But it’s a contribution to a troubled tale. Is Neverland about rejecting adults – or just women?


‘Walesa: Man of Hope’ Is a Beacon of Hope for Future Conflicts

Wałęsa: Man of Hope is a reminder that out of the Soviet shadow emerged a heroic and powerful story of the individual capable of being a force of change to reshape the future.


TV on the Radio: Seeds

The painful loss of their friend and collaborator haunts TV on the Radio's newest album. However, the tortured and torturous love of Seeds are all products of a grieving band refusing to recede into themselves, brazenly choosing to affirm life.


Setting You Up for Loss: ‘Why Football Matters’

Football. According to author Mark Edmundson, it's a pharmakon.


The New Basement Tapes: Lost on the River

Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens, Taylor Goldsmith, Jim James and Marcus Mumford add music to Bob Dylan’s lyrics for The New Basement Tapes: Lost on the River.


Hookworms: The Hum

Though the individual tracks stand strong, The Hum's corner-cutting arrangement obscures and frustrates its most important asset: momentum.


Sam Hunt: Montevallo

Sam Hunt records his first full-length LP, makes an argument about genre, and is still problematic about women.


Jens Lekman: WWJD Mixtape

In lieu of issuing an album proper, Jens Lekman lovingly wraps three new compositions in a mixtape that plays like a gift to the listener, showing off his personal sources of inspiration.


NSYNC: The Essential

NSYNC's songs never really defined their era so much as were merely a product of them.


Tuesday, November 18 2014

DOC NYC 2014: ‘The Hand That Feeds’ + ‘Little White Lie’

Workers at a Manhattan deli fight for their most basic rights, and a woman who believed herself to be Jewish discovers a shocking truth about her paternity.


Aura of Superiority: “Superior Iron Man #1”

Iron Man finds a way to be arrogant, shallow, and superior in all the right (and a few wrong) ways.


Ariel Pink: pom pom

pom pom is up there with Ariel Pink's very best work, even if there’s nothing as insanely hooky as “Round and Round".


‘Brian Jones: The Making of the Rolling Stones’ Serves as a Crucial Corrective

Brian Jones, founder of the Rolling Stones, had the vision and musical intuition which helped make the band a vital force in the '60s.


Human Interaction Is Nailed Down in ‘Wolf In White Van’

John Darnielle's debut novel is an exploration of self-reliance, pain, and acceptance. Isn't that enough?


Hozier + James Bay: New York - 6 November 2014 (Photos)

Hozier's back to back, sold-out nights at Irving Plaza, proved to the audience that the Irish singer-songwriter's recent buzz, post-SNL, is well deserved.


Although Almost 100 Years Old, ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’ Is Surprisingly Modern

Deliberate artificiality and horror based in human psychology make this horror classic, first released in 1920, feel remarkably fresh today.


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