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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.

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Music

Counterbalance No. 9: The Clash - 'London Calling'

Counterbalance offers up the right profile of the Clash's London Calling, an epic, sprawling disc that will leave you sprawled out on the floor as your mind tries to wrap itself around the sprawl of genres over the course of an hour plus.

Music

Dirty Heads Update Their Sound, But Not Enough, with the Charming 'Super Moon'

With Nashville producer Dave Cobb in tow, California quintet Dirty Heads beef up their chill party vibe with some unique sounds on Super Moon.

Music

Steel Pulse Pays Tribute to the Memory of Utopian Pinnacle on "Cry Cry Blood" (premiere)

Roots reggae group Steel Pulse brings a sense of Rastafarian past to the present with their heartfelt new single "Cry Cry Blood", which is their first new single in 15 years.

Music

He Shoots! He Scores! Bunny Lee: Dreads Enter the Gates With Praise

This brilliant Soul Jazz Records compilation of Jamaican reggae producer Bunny 'Striker' Lee hits the mark with 23 prime cuts of roots reggae and dub.

Music

'I'm in Love with a Dreadlocks' Reclaims Brown Sugar As Lovers Rock Pioneers

A new compilation shows how three teenaged girls helped pioneer the musical articulation of black consciousness in England in the 1970s.

Music

Michael Franti and Spearhead Continue to Retaliate with Radical Love on 'Stay Human Vol. II'

With Stay Human Vol. II, Michael Franti and Spearhead offer a balm, if not an antidote, for life's large- and small-scale struggles.

Music

When Reggae Became Lover's Rock: An Interview with Don Letts

Don Letts' latest endeavor, as part of his Turtle Bay Reggae 45 series of podcasts, is to tell the story of a notable but probably less well-known genre that helped to shape the identity of many young black Britons during the '70s: lover's rock.

Music

If It Happens Again: Revisiting UB40 in the Age of Brett Kavanaugh

In a typically absurd twist of Trump politics, England's reggae-pop hitmakers are back on the radar. Time to dig back into music's past.

Music

Skindred's Second Coming: Eclectic Welsh Outfit Ready to Reclaim America with 'Big Tings'

Still a top draw at European festivals, Skindred is finding a home on American radio once again with "That's My Jam's" multi-genre sound.

Jedd Beaudoin
Film

True/False Film Fest: 'Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami'

Director Sophie Fiennes mixes concert film with arresting cinéma vérité family portrait.

Music

Do the Marleys Have an Unfair Advantage at the Grammys?

Among Jamaicans it's generally felt that if a Marley is in the running, they're pretty much guaranteed to win, no matter if their album is "savage, average, or garbage".

Music

Tamikrest: Kidal

Desert struggles make for purposeful rock and roll on Tamikrest's latest album of Saharan desert blues.

Music

John Brown's Body: Fireflies

With their 12th record John Brown's Body become the poster children for commitment.

Music

Various Artists: Studio One Dub Fire Special

Studio One Dub Fire Special is as clear an overview of dub’s most basic essence as you could ask for.

Music

Atlanta Inaugurates This Year’s Mad Decent Block Party With a Very Small Bang

The EDM and hip-hop festival is touring the US and Canada through September with a changing lineup of acts. While the festival may not excel musically, it has something for almost anyone within the expanding EDM culture.

Music

Topher Mohr - 'Phlowers' (album stream) (premiere)

A hybrid of funk, soul, reggae, folk, and indie, singer-songwriter Topher Mohr's vibrant second album arrives just in time for summer.

Music

Rocky Dawuni: Branches of the Same Tree

Rocky Dawuni fuses feel-good reggae vibes with innovative instrumentation, leaving an influential mark on the African roots scene.

Music

The Bunny Gang: Thrive

Say what you will about being a copycat, the Bunny Gang does a startling Clash impersonation.

Music

Lee "Scratch" Perry & Iguana - Vibes EP

Soaring reggae vocals over a nicely varied bunch of new-school dub riddims from Lee "Scratch" and new associate Iguana.

Music

Jaro Milko & The Cubalkanics: Cigarros Explosivos!

They need to either knock you dead with skill or else subvert the whole notion of skill.

Reviews

Don Drummond Was One of the Five Best Trombonists to Ever Play the Instrument

One comes away from Don Drummond with a clearer sense of who the man was and why he is considered by many to be the best musician so few people have ever heard of.

Music

Luke Temple: Good Mood Fool

Why would a songwriter who’d built up a respectable career in the indie world torpedo a thoughtful discography with an album that sounds like Paul Simon covering Prince? Well, for one, because it’s awesome.

Music

Slobber Pup: Black Aces / New Zion Trio: Chaliwa

Today, musicians like Saft can bring colleagues together to record, without the agendas or idiocy of corporate middlemen. Celebrate accordingly.

Music

Tradesman and Parly B ft. Adam Prescott: Dubplate Fashion

Referencing the golden age of digital reggae production, Leeds-based producer Tradesman delivers an extremely crisp and deep revision of the classic "Rumours" riddim, bringing its now slightly dated sounds completely up-to-date.

Music

In Defense of Retiring the Band Name Sublime

There will forever be only one Sublime, and Bradley Nowell is the only lead singer that should have ever been part of it.

Music

Snoop Lion: Reincarnated

Reincarnated confirms 'Snoop Lion’ is no replacement for 'Snoop Dogg', but it has its moments.

Music

Counterbalance No. 117: Bob Marley's 'Natty Dread'

You lively up yourself and don't be no drag. You lively up yourself, 'cause this is the other bag -- the 117th Most Acclaimed Album of All Time. Bob Marley makes his first Counterbalance appearance with his 1974 breakthrough.

Music

The Album Remains the Same: Led Zeppelin - "D'Yer Mak'er"

"D'Yer Mak'er" concludes the controversial middle section of Houses of the Holy in an uproarious fashion. With this song Led Zeppelin proves that for every Tolkien reference, there's a corresponding joke—and a pretty damn good one at that.

Music

Rhythm Del Mundo: Africa

Africa features an enjoyable collection of pop, rock and soul favorites remixed with African instrumental and vocal cues.

Music

Wrongtom Meets Deemas J: In East London

Rooted in the past, very much of the here and now Wrongtom and Deemas J produce a great British album.

Music

Ben Harper: By My Side

A retrospective of ballads, chosen by the man himself, serves to highlight the sheer breadth, depth and quality of Ben Harper's songwriting skills.

Music

The Souljazz Orchestra: Solidarity

These ten songs draw from a huge variety of old music, but the Souljazz Orchestra always speaks (and grunts) with immediacy.

Music

Easy Star All-Stars: Easy Star's Thrillah

They wanna be start’n somethin’ for sure -- but is it a dub record or a wedding dance?

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