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Music

The Band's Discontented Third LP, 1970's 'Stage Fright', Represented a World Braving Calamity

Released 50 years ago this month, the Band's Stage Fright remains a marker of cultural unrest not yet remedied.

Music

Alanis Morissette's 'Such Pretty Forks in the Road' Is a Quest for Validation

Alanis Morissette's Such Pretty Forks in the Road is an exposition of dolorous truths, revelatory in its unmasking of imperfection.

Music

​​Beyoncé's 'Black Is King' Builds Identity From Afrofuturism

Beyoncé's Black Is King's reliance on Afrofuturism recuperates the film from Disney's clutches while reclaiming Black excellence.

Books

Halle Butler's 'Jillian' Is a Frank Account of Discontent

Evoking both sarcasm and empathy, Butler paints Jillian and Megan as harbingers of a relatable alienation.

Music

The Chicks Boldly Reclaim Their Relevance on 'Gaslighter'

Gaslighter is bold and incendiary, finding the Chicks reclaiming their relevance. Thankfully, the Chicks reject silencing as Gaslighter reestablishes their penchant for vocalizing raw truths.

Music

Haux Compellingly Explores Pain via 'Violence in a Quiet Mind'

By returning to defined moments of pain and struggle, Haux cultivates breathtaking music built on quiet, albeit intense, anguish.

Music

Country Westerns Bask in an Unparalleled Sound and Energy on Their Debut

Country Westerns are intent on rejecting assumptions about a band from Nashville while basking in an unparalleled sound and energy.

Books

'High Cotton' Is Culturally Astute and Progressive

Kristie Robin Johnson's collection of essays in High Cotton dismantle linear thinking with shrewdness and empathy.

Books

'Hex' Drinks Deeply from the Poisoned Chalice

Whereas Rebecca Dinerstein Knight's novel demonstrates moments of emotional intensity and humor, Hex's proclivity towards toxicity is overburdening.

Books

'Conjure Women' Brings Forth Racism and Reproductive Rights

It is Afia Atakora's reiteration of the current calls for racial justice that positions Conjure Women as an unadulterated masterpiece.

Music

Larkin Poe Shove Cock-Rock Out of the Way with 'Self Made Man'

Larkin Poe pack Self Made Man with unadulterated power. The multi-instrumentalist sisters strut their musicality while firmly rooting their sound in Southern rock 'n roll.

Music

Indie Folk's Mt. Joy Believe That Love Will 'Rearrange Us'

Through vibrant imagery and inventive musicality, Rearrange Us showcases Americana band Mt. Joy's growth as individuals and musicians.

Music

Jess Williamson Reimagines the Occult As Source Power on 'Sorceress'

Folk singer-songwriter, Jess Williamson wants listeners to know magic is not found in tarot cards or mass-produced smudge sticks. Rather, transformative power is deeply personal, thereby locating Sorceress as an indelible conveyor of strength and wisdom.

Books

Flight and Return: Kendra Atleework's Memoir, 'Miracle Country'

Although inconsistent as a memoir, Miracle Country is a breathtaking environmental history. Atleework is a shrewd observer and her writing is a gratifying contribution to the desert-literature genre.

Music

The Ruthie Foster Big Band Swings the Best Live Record of the Year So Far

Featuring several originals paired with timeless covers, Live at the Paramount finds the Ruthie Foster Big Band bringing the house down.

Books

Schisms and Connections in Sahar Mustafah's 'The Beauty of Your Face'

With The Beauty of Your Face, Sahar Mustafah pens an emotional and rich journey, laden with awareness and intrigue.

Reviews

Sylvain Chauveau's 'Life Without Machines' Is an Indictment of How External Forces Falsely Shape Humanity

Whereas so many contemporary albums are created to harness flash and consumption, Life Without Machines allays bedazzlement. Sylvain Chauveau advocates for unplugging and disconnecting, and only then will we truly live.

Business

J.M. Coetzee's 'The Death of Jesus'Uses Cervantes' 'Don Quixote' as Subtext

Whereas J.M. Coetzee's writing regularly utilizes parables, The Death of Jesus purposely destabilizes. It dazzles in its ability to present profound questions while challenging the reader to remain critical and question the meaning derived from any and all parables.

Books

'F*ckface' Sums It Up in 12 Short Stories

F*ckface finds its power in the depiction of Appalachia and its inhabitants. Leah Hampton produces a piercing, debut collection of stories.

Music

John Prine's 'The Missing Years' Showcases His Penchant for Storytelling

The Missing Years reveals John Prine's ability to embolden the amusing and touching despite the underlying strife.

Music

Parsonsfield Add Indie Pop to Their Folk on 'Happy Hour on the Floor'

Happy Hour on the Floor is a considerable departure from Parsonsfield's acclaimed rustic folk sound signaling their indie-pop orientation. Parsonsfield remind their audience to bestow gratitude and practice happiness: a truly welcomed exaltation.

Music

Country's Ruthie Collins Finds 'Cold Comfort'

Ruthie Collins' Cold Comfort is devoid of glittery instrumentation and mellifluous lyrics. Instead, the music is raw, sometimes bitter yet earning for optimism. Collins' grittiness is measured and her anguish certain.

Books

Memoir 'Scratched' Seeks Beauty in the Flawed

Scratched: A Memoir of Perfectionism is a staggering depiction of the impact of psychological trauma written with breathless intensity.

Music

Sea Wolf's 'Through a Dark Wood' Is an Honest Portrayal of Emotional Struggle

Sea Wolf's Through the Dark Wood holds space for psychological transformation. Alex Brown Church's masterful illustrations of vulnerability and adversity affirm grief as a step towards growth.

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