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Tuesday, November 11 2014

Darius Jones: The Oversoul Manual

Jazz saxophonist Darius Jones has composed before, but you’ve never heard him make anything like this.


The Bluebells: Exile on Twee Street

This was no doubt created for fans, but it serves as a decent introduction to the band's music anyway.


Monday, November 10 2014

‘The Flash’: The CW’s New Superhero Show is Complex, So Far

Just under the surface, the earnest Barry Allen suppresses his darkness in the hope of freeing his wrongly convicted father.


To Beard or Not to Beard? Thomas Gowing Ponders the Question

Gowing's manifesto is short on philosophy, long on facial hair, and bound to appeal to high-brow and low-brow readers alike.


‘Houdini’ Explains the Tricks Before Showing the Magic

Film and magic have always been intertwined. Some works take advantage of the relationship, but Houdini does not.


Philip Seymour Hoffman Grappled With Broken Systems in His Final Roles

Both A Most Wanted Man and God's Pocket reminder us of how Hoffman always rose to the occasion of the role and drew our attention to the larger structures at play.


Azealia Banks: Broke With Expensive Taste

After endless delays, the New York rapper finally drops her first album, a postmodern pop epic that aims to make an impression rather than please.


Jóhann Jóhannsson: The Theory of Everything

Jóhann Jóhannsson evokes the sound of space and time falling in love together... in the '60s.


‘If Nuns Ruled the World’ Fails to Engage Religion

We learn about some of the aspects of the Catholic Church that these nuns want to change, but what in particular do they want to preserve, besides prayer rituals and a commitment to charity?


Philip Selway: Weatherhouse

Philip Selway's Weatherhouse is a somewhat more confident-sounding album from a songwriter no longer saddled with the weight of first impressions.


T.I.: Paperwork

Paperwork is an album that doesn't have to be long to be expansive, but it's stuffed full of songs anyway. If you sift through them, you'll find some great moments, though, ones that suggest T.I.'s best days may not all be behind him.


Matt Ulery: In the Ivory

This album is an ingenious and utterly natural blend of classical chamber music, jazz, and pop song craft that is a beautiful blend of what’s possible in today’s boundary-less musical world.


Alina Ibragimova and Steven Osborne: Prokofiev: Violin Sonatas / Five Melodies

Prokofiev's only two violin sonatas get the reading of a lifetime.


Mavis Staples: New York - 4 November 2014

Age has slowed her a bit, but at 75, the gospel great delivers


Friday, November 7 2014

‘Actress’ Explores What It Means to Play a Role

Actress allows Brandy Burre (The Wire) the screen space and time to make her own image -- or so it seems.


Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ Does an Amazing Thing With Corn

This film lurches toward an Inception-ish crosscutting climax, but the rush is not so thrilling as the imagery and the meaning of the corn; humankind's sole remaining sustenance.


‘The Girl in the Road’ Blends Genres Into a Rich, Sensuous Broth

In its heartfelt, humorous appraisal of the shocking beauty of life, all scars and suffering included, The Girl in the Road is profoundly generous and humane writing.


‘Leviathan’ Is a Schlocky Horror Take on Hitchcock

Leviathan plays like a cheap, schlocky, caffeine-hyped attempt at sci-fi Hitchcock, with a healthy dose of John Carpenter horror thrown in for good measure.


Dean Blunt: Black Metal

Musical chameleon continues to defy easy classification with his latest, the misleadingly titled Black Metal.


Annie Lennox: Nostalgia

Listening to her latest album and hearing the delightfully brassy version of Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo”, it's hard not to wish she'd done an entire recording of gritty blues covers.


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