CFP: The Legacy of Radiohead's 'The Bends' 20 Years On [Deadlines: 4 Feb / 19 Feb]

Reviews

Monday, January 19 2015

On Chasing an Enemy That’s Too Small to See

Confronting Contagion tries to capture the 3,000-year history behind a modern scientific breakthrough: the discovery that tiny organisms invade our bodies and make us sick.


The Saints: King of the Sun / King of the Midnight Sun

King of the Sun and King of the Midnight Sun are both fine records, but not quite the Saints at their finest.


Various Artists: All Your Friend’s Friends

Putting the lie to the idea that all underground rap is good (or about something).


Spandau Ballet: The Story: The Very Best Of

The Story is a strong collection from a classic British '80s pop band. New subscribers could sign up here, but anyone with a passing acquaintance will find nothing new.


Kayo Dot: Coffins on Io

The avant-metal band's latest album: traveling in one big loop.


Friday, January 16 2015

Roger Ebert and Steve James Define and Transcend the Documentary Form in ‘Life Itself’

The insights of the late, great Roger Ebert shed light on how documentaries fit in the film world, as well as the myopic processes of Oscar voting.


‘Paddington’ Is a Practically Perfect Family Film

With one paw in the cinematic strategies of the past and the other in pure post-modern magic, Paddington is no run-of-the-mill kid's flick.


In ‘Blackhat’, Michael Mann Has Made an Impressionistic Action Movie

In this global thriller about digital terrorism, the visuals do not shape the story but rather are the story.


‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ Is a Bloody Good Gangster Epic

Gangs of Wasseypur is tumultuous, five hour gangster saga, stuffed with humor as bleak as the story is bloody.


Donald Hall’s ‘Essays After Eighty’ Is an Unsparing Look at Extreme Old Age

To presume to review works of this level is farcical; we can only be overjoyed by their continued existence.


The Extended Director’s Cut of ‘Nymph()maniac’ Is the Must See Version

The fully realized five hour version of Lars Von Trier's Nymph()maniac feels as worthy of revisits as your copy of Crime and Punishment or Ulysses.


The Decemberists: What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World

Although this isn’t the Decemberists’ best album, it’s a breathtaking effort that maintains everything that makes them so one-of-a-kind and vital.


Big Star: Live in Memphis

Live in Memphis is ultimately unassuming but effective, an honest account of Big Star's mid-'90s chapter and a reminder of the group's considerable talent and charms.


Eminem and Various Artists: SHADYXV

Shady Records compilation celebrating 15 years of the label; one disc of new material plus one "greatest hits" CD.


Trip Lee: Rise

With prudent messaging, excellent delivery, and slick production, there are plenty of reasons to smile while listening to Rise.


Thursday, January 15 2015

The Unending Saga of Internet Cops, Robbers, and the Rest of Us

Creative chaos may be the mother of Internet invention. But inventiveness is a threat to the Powers-that-be. Is crime-fighting just another handy euphemism for Orwellian consolidation?


‘Pride’ Celebrates Unity Through Diversity

Pride is the rare crowdpleaser that gives audience members more to think about once they’ve wiped away their tears and stopped smiling after it's over.


Jon Hassell and Brian Eno: Fourth World, Vol. 1: Possible Musics

It doesn't matter who played or who produced. It doesn't matter if it's "classical" or "ambient". And it certainly doesn't matter that it was released in 1980. Fourth World, Vol. 1: Possible Musics is still an album unlike any other.


Glen Duncan’s Existential Horror Is So Good, It’s a Curse

These characters navigate a constellation of theological ruins and failed rationalizations, wherein existential nausea must do battle with the hunger of the werewolf Curse.


Fugazi: First Demo

First Demo proves what fans have long known, that Fugazi was brashly confident and fully formed from day one.


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