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The 10 Best World Music Albums of 2020

The 10 best world music albums of 2020 remind us that we are all part of the same global system, an understanding that we can imbue with endless possible meanings as, like the musicians named here, we find new ways to build connections.

The 10 Best World Music Albums of 2020

The 10 best world music albums of 2020 remind us that we are all part of the same global system, an understanding that we can imbue with endless possible meanings as, like the musicians named here, we find new ways to build connections.

24-Carat Black's 'Ghetto' Is the Most Sampled Album Never Heard

33 1/3 book 24-Carat Black's Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth, is a refreshing outlier in the series in that it's about an influential yet barely known album.

Hard Times, Easy Listening: 10 Albums for Autumn 2020

Music has been a most necessary balm in 2020 and will remain one in the post-summer months. This list offers a brief repository of albums that gleam in ways particularly autumnal.

The Fall's 'The Frenz Experiment' Gets an Expanded Edition

A more complete picture of the band's period output does wonders for the Fall's The Frenz Experiment.

Between the Grooves: Nine Inch Nails - 'Broken'

Nine Inch Nails' 1992 EP is half an hour of visceral, undiluted anger delivered through muscular, caustic guitars and Trent Reznor's anguished screams. It's concise, focused, and arguably the pinnacle of Nine Inch Nails' discography.

15 Essential Original Lineup Black Sabbath Songs

Black Sabbath created the template for heavy metal and thrash. But it's instructive to acknowledge just how unique Black Sabbath were when they first emerged. Those first eight albums are essential.



Eraserhead's Stylistic Tics Leave Traces of Infection

David Lynch's impossibly mundane and unspeakably grotesque Eraserhead turns a looking glass upon an entire constellation of avant-garde signifiers.

Forest Whitaker Film 'Ghost Dog' Is a Sampler's Paradise

Jarmusch's 1999 classic Ghost Dog, now in a Criterion edition, freely mixes and matches Bushido philosophy, Mafia and samurai flicks, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, and lo-fi hip-hop into a sly and dreamy comedy about role-playing.

Robert Altman's Quirky 'Popeye' Boasts a Can Full of Geniuses

Robert Altman's busy, mobile style perfectly captures and mirrors E.C. Segar's rowdy, rambunctious Popeye comic.



Are Marjane Satrapi's Works Comics or Graphic Novels?

Marjane Satrapi is a complicated woman living and working at the intersection of many overlapping identity factors, and her books Persepolis and Embroideries provide us different facets through which to view this complex of relations.

24-Carat Black's 'Ghetto' Is the Most Sampled Album Never Heard

33 1/3 book 24-Carat Black's Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth, is a refreshing outlier in the series in that it's about an influential yet barely known album.

'Step It Up and Go' Gives North Carolina Music Its Dues

David Menconi's Step It Up is an absorbing love letter to the artists, scenes, and sounds of North Carolina's contributions to American popular music.



Recent
Music

The 10 Best World Music Albums of 2020

The 10 best world music albums of 2020 remind us that we are all part of the same global system, an understanding that we can imbue with endless possible meanings as, like the musicians named here, we find new ways to build connections.

Books

Are Marjane Satrapi's Works Comics or Graphic Novels?

Marjane Satrapi is a complicated woman living and working at the intersection of many overlapping identity factors, and her books Persepolis and Embroideries provide us different facets through which to view this complex of relations.

Film

Forest Whitaker Film 'Ghost Dog' Is a Sampler's Paradise

Jarmusch's 1999 classic Ghost Dog, now in a Criterion edition, freely mixes and matches Bushido philosophy, Mafia and samurai flicks, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, and lo-fi hip-hop into a sly and dreamy comedy about role-playing.

Books

24-Carat Black's 'Ghetto' Is the Most Sampled Album Never Heard

33 1/3 book 24-Carat Black's Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth, is a refreshing outlier in the series in that it's about an influential yet barely known album.

Music

The Fall's 'The Frenz Experiment' Gets an Expanded Edition

A more complete picture of the band's period output does wonders for the Fall's The Frenz Experiment.

Music

Chris Stapleton Moves Forward on 'Starting Over'

Starting Over doesn't do so much of what its title suggests as it builds on Chris Stapleton's solid foundation across rootsy music for another decisive step forward.

Music

New Compilation Collects Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' Covers

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings always brought joy and energy to their music. Hearing them cut loose on these covers lets us appreciate the verve with which they approached their art in any setting.

Film

Eraserhead's Stylistic Tics Leave Traces of Infection

David Lynch's impossibly mundane and unspeakably grotesque Eraserhead turns a looking glass upon an entire constellation of avant-garde signifiers.

Music

Hard Times, Easy Listening: 10 Albums for Autumn 2020

Music has been a most necessary balm in 2020 and will remain one in the post-summer months. This list offers a brief repository of albums that gleam in ways particularly autumnal.

Film

Robert Altman's Quirky 'Popeye' Boasts a Can Full of Geniuses

Robert Altman's busy, mobile style perfectly captures and mirrors E.C. Segar's rowdy, rambunctious Popeye comic.

Music

15 Essential Original Lineup Black Sabbath Songs

Black Sabbath created the template for heavy metal and thrash. But it's instructive to acknowledge just how unique Black Sabbath were when they first emerged. Those first eight albums are essential.

Music

Between the Grooves: Nine Inch Nails - 'Broken'

Nine Inch Nails' 1992 EP is half an hour of visceral, undiluted anger delivered through muscular, caustic guitars and Trent Reznor's anguished screams. It's concise, focused, and arguably the pinnacle of Nine Inch Nails' discography.

Books

'Step It Up and Go' Gives North Carolina Music Its Dues

David Menconi's Step It Up is an absorbing love letter to the artists, scenes, and sounds of North Carolina's contributions to American popular music.

Music

Pre-Brexit Optimism in Basia's London Warsaw New York

Sophisti-pop singer Basia's 1990 album, London Warsaw New York, speaks to a friendly pop-globalism and the spirit of internationalism that would lead to the forming of the European Union in 1993.

By the Book

¡Printing the Revolution!: The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now (excerpt)

From satire and portraiture to politicized pop, ¡Printing the Revolution! examines how artists created visually captivating graphics that catalyzed audiences. Enjoy this visually gorgeous excerpt courtesy of The Smithsonian American Art Museum and Princeton University Press.

Stephanie Stebich
Music

Drag Queen Dance-Popster Katya Discusses 'Vampire Fitness'

Growing up listening to sludge-metal and goth-rock, drag queen Katya rose from complete obscurity to become a multi-hyphenate comedy icon. With the release of an album deeply indebted to industrial metal, guided meditations, and Russian dance-pop, she finds solace in giving us the truly unexpected.

Music

Kelsey Waldon Takes Up the Fight on 'They'll Never Keep Us Down'

Kelsey Waldon covers seven famous protest songs to declare war on injustice today.

Music

Coil's 'Musick to Play in the Dark' Gets a 20th Anniversary Re-Issue

This phase of Coil, explained by them as more "feminine", "lunar consciousness musick" in contrast to their previous "solar" phase, featured extensive use of organs, electric viola, and other synthesizers, a greater range of vocal experimentation.


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