Music

CONTEST: Akron/Family - 'Sub Verses' Limited Edition White Vinyl LP

Enter to win a 2LP, limited edition, white vinyl edition of Akron/Family's 'Sub Verses'.

The best parts of Akron/Family's Sub Verses exist nicely in this space between comfort and the unknown, between growing and looking back on what you've done. "Whole World is Watching" is a sweaty, bluesed-out shuffle. It's playful, the sound of friends dancing their way through the late hours of a house party, but the metallic echo the vocals are soaked in hint at some distant want, some need to break free they once had but are now, perhaps, setting aside in favor of community. "Until the Morning" is the clearest example of the notion of shelter here, a much more intimate exchange between two people dealing with past hurt, one at the door of the friend, the other inviting that visitor in. There's a familiarity -- "just throw your coat down anywhere" -- but the greatest trick the song pulls off is how its early quiet feels awkward, even reticent, until the song blooms into mutual comfort, recognition of a long-built bond. -- Matthew Fiander

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Director Spotlight: Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock helped to create the modern horror genre, the modern thriller, and the modern black comedy. He changed film, even as he was inventing new ways to approach it. Stay tuned through October as we present our collection of essays on the Master of Suspense.

Film

'Psycho': The Mother of All Horrors

Psycho stands out not only for being one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, it is also one of his most influential. It has been a template and source material for an almost endless succession of later horror films, making it appropriate to identify it as the mother of all horror films.

Francesc Quilis
Film

The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti (By the Book)

With discussions of characters like Leon Ray Livingston (a.k.a. "A-No. 1"), credited with consolidating the entire system of hobo communication in the 1910s, and Kathy Zuckerman, better known as the surf icon "Gidget", Susan A. Phillips' lavishly illustrated The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti, excerpted here from Yale University Press, tells stories of small moments that collectively build into broad statements about power, memory, landscape, and history itself.

Susan A. Phillips
Books

The 10 Best Indie Pop Albums of 2009

Indie pop in 2009 was about all young energy and autumnal melancholy, about the rush you feel when you first hear an exciting new band, and the bittersweet feeling you get when your favorite band calls it quits.

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