Music

Janiva Magness - "Love Wins Again" (audio) (premiere)

Janiva Magness has built a career on the intersections of genres, seamlessly blending blues, Americana, country, pop, and most importantly soul into her own unique sound.

Janiva Magness has built a career on the intersections of genres, seamlessly blending blues, Americana, country, pop, and most importantly soul into her own unique sound. After years on highly respected Chicago blues label, Alligator Records, Magness stepped out on her own with 2014's Original releasing via her own label Fathead Records. For her latest, Love Wins Again releasing in April, Magness partners with Blue Élan Records, a pairing that is allowing her to increase her presence on the exploding Americana scene. "Love Wins Again" is her latest single and it's a deeply soulful number that makes one want to dance the groove.

Janiva Magness’ new album, Love Wins Again releases April 8th via Fathead Records and Blue Élan Records.

Janiva Magness tells PopMatters that, "it turns out that love does win, over and over which is the main reason for my contentment.

"Love manifests everywhere. It comes thru the tar pavement and cement sidewalk like a weed you cannot seem to kill, then it cracks the heart wide open in the blink of an eye.

"When my heart is open, I can see it every day. The darkest days are the ones I fail to recognize love in myself, in those around me and in the world. Other days it just leaks out of my eyes and runs down my face.

"Love infiltrates. It is the most formidable force of nature with the sharpest blade. Love is more powerful than all the ugly our human race can muster. It is clear to me that love in all the manifestations I am able to recognize, is a greater force than fear. Period.

"At times. I have found love to be uncomfortable in certain ways because it asks everything of us. Openness. Truth. Heart. Strength. Trust. Mindfulness. Try-again-ness and the posture of never giving up. Self love, the love of a partner, love of family thru birth or the ones we find along the way that at times, can make more sense than kin.

"There is no doubt that all of us can get lost in our broken bits and forget how powerful we actually are. Still, love rises in rebellion and wins against the odds. Because of this, we truly have the ability to resonate in the lives of other human beings. So I keep trying…reaching for love."

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

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TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

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The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

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To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

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Gallagher's work often suffers unfairly beside famous husband's Raymond Carver. The Man from Kinvara should permanently remedy this.

Many years ago—it had to be 1989—my sister and I attended a poetry reading given by Tess Gallagher at California State University, Northridge's Little Playhouse. We were students, new to California and poetry. My sister had a paperback copy of Raymond Carver's Cathedral, which we'd both read with youthful admiration. We knew vaguely that he'd died, but didn't really understand the full force of his fame or talent until we unwittingly went to see his widow read.

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