Music

Hudson Mohawke - "System" (Singles Going Steady)

The spark found as late as last year's "Chimes" seems to have dimmed.

John Garratt: Now here's a Frankenstein. The first 60 seconds, like a skyscraper, points directly up. Then comes that drum "introduction" that sounds like it was formulated by a ten-year-old. The aerial views continue despite being grounded in the digital muck and mire. Fortunately the opening theme is restated at the halfway mark. The cryptic/dehumanizing aspects of the video are also a nice touch. [6/10]

Brian Duricy: There was a time when Hudson Mohawke was making music that, especially in the critical sphere, sounded like little else. Now, after the release of the middling Lantern, the spark found as late as last year's "Chimes" seems to have dimmed. [5/10]

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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