Music

Matt Jaffe and the Distractions - "Plastic Tears" (audio) (premiere)

The young prodigy rocks like it's 1978 on his new track.

Earlier this summer we premiered a track from young San Francisco phenom Matt Jaffe in which I compared the youngster to Nick Lowe, and you hear that old Stiff Records sound even more vividly on the taut new rocker "Plastic Tears". Full of tense energy and a contagious hook, Jaffe and his band tear through the track with superbly controlled intensity.

Not only that, though, Jaffe possesses some refreshing dark humour on the track. "Plastic Tears is a song about hearing too many sob story ballads at open mics," he explains. "I don't doubt that people have genuine emotion, but too many dirges in a row starts to wear. I love a bunch of mellow singer/songwriters, but this song is a stance against over indulgence in sentimentality."

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Short Stories: Women in Translation

To celebrate Women in Translation month, we bring short stories (and a novel that's like a collection of short stories) by women in translation: Olga Tokarczuk; Sayaka Murata; Mahasweta Devi; Malika Moustadraf; Dorthe Nors.

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