Reviews
Film

A Family Visit Turns to Guerrilla Warfare in 'The Truth'

Catherine Deneuve plays an imperious but fading actress who can't stop being cruel to the people around her in Hirokazu Koreeda's secrets- and betrayal-packed melodrama, The Truth.


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Books

First Tragedy, Then Farce, Then What?

Riffing off Marx's riff on Hegel on history, art historian and critic Hal Foster contemplates political culture and cultural politics in the age of Donald Trump in What Comes After Farce?

Music

Amnesia Scanner's 'Tearless' Aesthetically Maps the Failing Anthropocene

Amnesia Scanner's Tearless aesthetically maps the failing Anthropocene through its globally connected features and experimental mesh of deconstructed club, reggaeton, and metalcore.

Music

São Paulo's Céu Returns with a Fresh Perspective on 'APKÁ!'

On Céu's APKÁ!, blissful interpretations of late-night dance music styles and high-heat MPB make for a multidimensional album of soulful energy, replete with her effortless sophistication.

Music

Gordi's 'Our Two Skins' Is an Unvarnished Document of Personal Discovery

Gordi's Our Two Skins chronicles difficulties and revelations against a backdrop of electronic-inspired folk.

Music

Mourning [A] BLKstar's 'The Cycle' Is Secular Gospel for Healing a Damaged Nation

Mourning [A] BLKstar's The Cycle is necessary, secular gospel for the healing of a truly damaged nation. Their music somehow sounds like salvation.

Music

Nana Grizol Reckon with US' Racist Past and Present on 'South Somewhere Else'

The Elephant 6-related, new Nana Grizol album, South Somewhere Else, finds the band attempting to reckon with the racist past and present of the US South.

Music

MetalMatters: May 2020 - Adapting to Reality

The masterful progressive work of Caligula's Horse, the reinvigorated spirit of Winter through Goden and Old Man Gloom's return alongside a healthy dose of black metal, hardcore-infused outbreaks, and noise rock highlight the month of May in heavy metal.

Music

On Bob Dylan's 'Rough and Rowdy Ways' Everything Old Is New Again, Again

Bob Dylan's first album of original material since 2012, Rough and Rowdy Ways, is a suitably grim, brilliant collection of ten songs for our dark times.

Books

Rishi Reddi's 'Passage West' Longs for Life In-Between Worlds

In Rishi Reddi's Passage West, set amidst the lives of early South Asian immigrants to California, the state of being 'in-between' is constantly moulded by the longing to belong simultaneously to two worlds.

Music

Pianist Gabriel Ólafs Champions Brevity Over Showmanship on 'Piano Works'

Gabriel Ólafs' Piano Works is a testament to the power of melody and mood. The music is both concise yet brimming with beauty.

Music

Threadbare Elevate Rock and Jazz on the Complex 'Silver Dollar'

Atonal free jazz trio Threadbare use unique instrumentation and a love of multiple musical styles on their fascinating new album, Silver Dollar.

Books

Weng Pixin's 'Sweet Time' Elevates the Art in Comics Art

Weng Pixin is an artist who happens to be working in the comics form.

Music

Wetware Ratchet Up the Intensity to a Nightmarish Degree on 'Flail'

Brooklyn's Wetware have created a wild collection of industrial noise on Flail that sounds more like an intense fever dream than anything else.

Film

Susan Sontag's 'Duet for Cannibals' Delves into the Games People Play

Is Susan Sontag's Duet for Cannibals a study in personal human behavior? Or is it an allegory of the seductions of fascism and power?

Music

Lee Jones' 'Down Into Light' Is a Minutiae-Scanning Beauty of Minimal Techno

Down Into Light feels like the album Lee Jones was always born to make. He's always had a lightness of touch, but here, his touch is more delicate than ever.

Music

Walter Smith III and Matthew Stevens Make New Jazz So Easy to Love on 'In Common 2'

Two of the top players in modern jazz make the second in a sequence of quintet recordings that presents jazz as unusually easy to love even as it maintains modern complexity.

Music

Cavern of Anti-Matter's First Film Score Is a Rare Delight

Stereolab spin-off project, Cavern of Anti-Matter thrive in alchemizing varied and abstruse influences to elicit transfixing moments of frazzled disquiet and dread on In Fabric.

Music

Nathalie Bruno Embraces Isolation on Drift's 'Symbiosis'

Symbiosis shows Nathalie Bruno (Drift.) wiping the mascara, leaving the dance floor, and striking out for solitude, occasionally dragging a few beats with her.

Books

It's Not Just Fashion, It's Visual Activism

Fashion is a verb for the LGBTQ+ community, and Closet Cases shows how people use style and artifacts to build a self-image that is both a statement and a truth.

Music

John Scofield Renews the Jazz Guitar Trio on 'Swallow Tales'

The jazz guitar trio is a classic format, and John Scofield, Steve Swallow, and Bill Stewart are as well-equipped to venerate it and renew it a bit on Swallow Tales.

Music

Avant-Rockers Aksak Maboul Continue to Innovate in the 21st Century

Belgian avant-rockers Aksak Maboul bring their stylized shapeshifting to the 21st century with the new album Figures.

Music

Bob Dylan Says It All on 'Rough and Rowdy Ways'

Bob Dylan returns as prophet, historian, and joker on his latest album, Rough and Rowdy Ways, an unending puzzle with rich content.

Music

Ohmme's Art Rock Is Mesmerizing on 'Fantasize Your Ghost'

Sublime harmonies and constant innovation make Ohmme's Fantasize Your Ghost an impressive work of modern indie rock art.

Music

Braids' 'Shadow Offering' Is a Shining Success But Has Dark Moments

Shadow Offering has glimmers of Braids' former album but with a new direction and an attempt to adopt a new maturity and sensibility.

Books

Is 'The Unsuitable' Comedy? Horror? Or Something Else?

Molly Pohlig's debut novel, The Unsuitable, applies a different twist to a guilty conscience.

Music

Flying Lotus Goes Purely Instrumental on New Version of 'Flamagra'

On the instrumental version of last year's Flamagra, Flying Lotus makes conspicuous variety feel coherent and ordered.

Music

Brilliant Memphis Soulman Don Bryant Says 'You Make Me Feel'

Legendary Memphis soulman and songwriter, Don Bryant returns with a vengeance to spread a much-needed message of love. You Make Me Feel is vital soul music for these times.

Music

Phoebe Bridgers Sublimely Documents the Surreal Present on 'Punisher'

At 25, Phoebe Bridgers is, by all metrics, an artist at the beginning of her career, though Punisher sounds more like the work of a time-tested veteran perfecting a style she's been honing for years.

Music

Taiwan's Mong Tong Concoct a Darkly Psychedelic 'Mystery'

Experimental Taiwanese group Mong Tong draw on mysticism and arcade games for their darkly psychedelic debut album Mystery.

Music

The Bird and the Bee's Inara George and 'The Youth of Angst'

Inara George's The Youth of Angst is a three-song bundle that looks back as a way of moving forward during troubled times.

Music

Malian Legend Oumou Sangaré Glows in Stripped-down Arrangements on 'Acoustic'

On Acoustic, Oumou Sangaré's inner world shines through with particular clarity as the Songbird of Wassoulou performs stripped-down arrangements of some of the most powerful tracks she's recorded over the last 30 years.

Books

Jaki Shelton Green Blends Poetry and Protest on Timely 'The River Speaks of Thirst'

Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green's The River Speaks of Thirst is at once a political statement, cultural commentary, and an aesthetic milestone, a skillful commingling of galvanic activism and evocative poetry.

Music

Chromeo Brings Back Fun with 'Quarantine Casanova'

Chromeo's Quarantine Casanova is the light-hearted silver lining we all need in the dark cloud that we are all facing together.

Music

Jason Mraz Emphasizes Reggae and Positivity on 'Look for the Good'

There's nothing inherently off about his Jason Mraz's new album, but a glance at his past records makes Look for the Good feel a bit lackluster.

Reviews

Judie Tzuke's 'The Chrysalis Recordings' Highlights Her Early ‘80s Transition to Synthpop

One day, perhaps, the collected works of Judie Tzuke, one of the United Kingdom's most prolific, long-serving, and interesting singer-songwriters, may be seriously reappraised. Until then, dive into The Chrysalis Recordings.

Music

Wire's '10:20' Is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

On 10:20, Wire retain the sound they've been cultivating for the last few albums and use it to reinvigorate and reinterpret tracks from their various periods.

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