Music

My Morning Jacket - "Compound Fracture" (Singles Going Steady)

In case you forgot, this video is here to remind you that My Morning Jacket play in front of large crowds sometimes.

Steve Horowitz: Does anyone even like arena rock anymore, or is it just one of the holdovers from the '60s that we have to put up with. Sure, I don’t think groups as popular as My Morning Jacket could play a series of small clubs without causing havoc, but the lack of intimacy at such shows reveals they are as barren as the mountain and desert landscapes of the video. The song itself seems meant for big shows. It’s anthemic, repetitive, and non-threatening. Let’s all put our hands up in the air and let the drummer take us away. The beat is catchy enough. Who knows what “Compound Fracture” really concerns, but one needs the broken bones as much as one needs another hole in the head. [6/10]

Timothy Gabriele: A touch of grey here, as well as a glimpse of the dreary future in store for Tame Impala. I don’t think I’ve seen these grand egotistical stadium shots ("look how massive my audience is") since the heyday of hair band videos. They’ve dabbed the video with some psych-ish transition effects from the plugin pack, but it’s clear that the drugs don’t work with these boys anymore. If there was any AM radio for beardos, here’d be its anthem... or it's b-side. [3/10]

Dustin Ragucos: If Almost Famous found itself set in the early 2000s, "Compound Fracture" would be the song that the film's fictional band would play after getting out of their rut. The declaration that "There's no evil / There's no good" indicates the growing perceptions of the new characters in the movie. With a falsetto and a slick keyboard riff, the song might as well end with a tour bus heading toward a sundown. [8/10]

Kevin Korber: In case you forgot, this video is here to remind you that My Morning Jacket play in front of large crowds sometimes. Director Danny Clinch is a photographer by trade, as evidenced by how the video appears to be a collection of press shots and live shots jumbled together. Still, the video, song, and band are appropriately pleasant enough [5/10]

John Garratt: My Morning Jacket's dreamy indie sound is good for escapism but this video absolutely isn't. It looks like something that an ADHD-riddled space alien cobbled together just moments after learning what a music video is. "Compound Fracture" can stand on its own just fine. Just open a new window in your browser while listening, you'll see. [7/10]

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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Winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Rockabilly Female stakes her claim with her band on accomplished new set.

Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones

Love You To Life

Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2017-08-11
Amazon
iTunes

Lara Hope and her band of roots rockin' country and rockabilly rabble rousers in the Ark-Tones have been the not so best kept secret of the Hudson Valley, New York music scene for awhile now.

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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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