Camille Billops moved beyond predictable and well-tread ground to open up space for new narratives in her films—about Black families, Black women, and Black middle-class life—that pulled on her distinctive and unapologetic worldview.
Tsuge's narrator's mustache is no more convincing a disguise than Superman's Clark Kent glasses—which is the paradoxical point in The Man Without Talent.
Smithsonian Folkways chronicles 50 years of folk recordings on Sound Portraits from Bulgaria. It is a truly essential addition to any global folk collection.
Kiwi Jr.'s Football Money is a jangly, sugar-coated, charming debut album destined to be cherished by indie pop/rock fans of all stripes.
Critiquing classism and calling for loving one another, consummate soul artist James Hunter and company share a timely message on "Brother or Other".
On Deleter, Holy Fuck have enthusiastically thrown themselves into the kaleidoscopic world of the early 1990s house scene while adding a few footnotes using their particular musical vocabulary.
Crowhurst + Gavin Bryars Demonstrate the Powers of Collaboration With "Dead Swans of Dreams" (premiere + interview)
Veteran composer Gavin Bryars and "noise guy" Crowhurst present a new LP recorded in a 17th century hotel and brimming with musical imagination. Says Bryars, "To watch what Jay does was, sometimes, beyond my comprehension and I thought, at times, that Jay may be more intelligent than me. But it didn't last long!"
Matt Wilson and His Orchestra Consider Memory, Mortality With "When I Was a Writer" (premiere + interview)
Former Trip Shakespeare member, Matt Wilson returns with album focused on life's final act. "Because I live so much in my mind and because so much of my joy is in thinking and writing, the idea of the window shutting on that part of my life started to terrify me."
The last month of the 2010s was defined by an explosion of black metal grimness, modern and retro sprinkled with death metal brutality, caustic hardcore and some historic re-releases.
In a brave new world dominated by platforms such as Facebook, Uber, and Airbnb, and marked by anxiety in the Age of the Anthropocene, McKenzie Wark's Capital Is Dead eschews digital utopianism for a sense of urgency that recognizes things have gotten serious.
Why, despite all the knowledge we've gained and the technology we've harnessed, do we cling to our mythologies?
Little Scream Combines Easygoing Pop with Serious Lamentations About Politics and Culture on 'Speed Queen'
Montreal's Little Scream offers up reflections on class and poverty disguised as sweet low-key pop songs on her real grower of an album, Speed Queen.
Versatile drummer Terri Lyne Carrington leads a date that sums up the jazz of the decade, from hip-hop influenced political songs to freely improvised instrumental music supplemented by orchestral composition.
Too adventurous for blues, too raw for jazz, Mose Allison danced on the ivories in both worlds, tipping his hat to singer-songwriter pop along the way. A new tribute album reveals the many avenues worth exploring of one of the most singular voices in music.
The Story of Temple Drake grapples with the unbidden, unsettling force of emergent sexuality.
Karl Denson's funky dance parties have been a regular occurrence at the Fillmore over the past two decades and a great new tradition is now growing, with Tiny Universe returning for late December shows for the third time in four years.
Greg Hates Car Culture ultimately stands out for more than being Venetian Snares' first vinyl release; it's the sound of a vital artist throwing ideas on a wall and seeing what stuck.
Marcus King has a raw ache in his throat that makes him sound as if he's coarsely whispering the words. Even when he's singing about a "Young Man's Dream", King's vocals suggest the experience of age.
…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead Relish Artsy Raucousness on 'X: The Godless Void and Other Stories'
And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead's X: The Godless Void and Other Stories, just like many of its predecessors, must be digested in one sitting to grasp its magnificent inventiveness and ideas.