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Music

Inspectah Deck: Wu-Tang’s Unsung Hero

Repeated listens to Enter the Wu-Tang reminds us that not one of the eight heads of this Voltron raps with more consistency, versatility, and power than Inspectah Deck.

Wilson McBee
Reviews

Bob Dylan + Willie Nelson + John Mellencamp: 28 July 2009 - Durham, NC

Who would deny the appeal of the Willie Nelson/John Mellencamp/Bob Dylan ballpark tour, even after we agree that Mellencamp doesn't belong with such a distinguished duo?

Reviews

Clues: 15 June 2009 - Washington, DC

It's rare to see a band on its first nationwide tour playing its material with such a combination of muscle and comfort.

Reviews

Bruce Springsteen: 8 May 2009 - Washington, DC

If this is indeed America's funeral, she is going out with a bang, and Bruce Springsteen is the grand marshal for death's parade.

Reviews

Wu-Tang Clan

As the fanboy goosebumps receded, and the Wu-Tang Clan settled into their jobs, the excitement in the room began to dissipate slowly and steadily

Wilson McBee
Books

The Letters of Allen Ginsberg

Ginsberg was hyperaware of the frequent charge that Beat poetry was little more than improvised mumbo jumbo baked from jazz records and marijuana smoke.

Reviews

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

It’s become a well-known fact that at a Clap Your Hands Say Yeah show, the energy of the audience had better be in inverse proportion to that of the band, or else people will be falling asleep.

Wilson McBee
Reviews

Black Kids

While Black Kids' performance was filled with giddy euphoria, it felt more like witnessing the peak of a passing fad than it did the start of something great.

Wilson McBee
Reviews

Silver Jews

Through the common combination of love, spirituality, and patience, David Berman has stumbled upon what might be mistaken as a happy ending but instead should be properly described as a new beginning.

Wilson McBee
Events

Horses for Courses: Virgin Mobile Festival 2008, Part Two

Sandwiched between Lil Wayne’s lyrical wizardry and Kanye West’s globetrotting techno-populism, Bob Dylan gave one of the festival’s rare encores on a day when nearly every band deserved one.

Wilson McBee
Events

Horses for Courses: Virgin Mobile Festival 2008, Part One

With a line-up that read like a quick scroll through an FM radio dial, the Virgin Mobile Festival attempted to please every faction of the musical market and had more successes (Rodrigo y Gabriela, Sharon Jones, Wilco) than shortcomings (The Offspring).

Wilson McBee
Books

The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon

With its unflinching portraits of American hypocrisy and the harsh truths of warfare, this is the sort of novel that is difficult to forget.

Wilson McBee
Reviews

Islands

Former Unicorn and Islands bandleader Nick “Diamonds” Thorburn has unearthed a Byzantine treasure chest from a subterranean pop goldmine, full of weird death-dreams and bloody sagas...

Wilson McBee
Reviews

DeVotchka

The stage is aglow with red lighting, and DeVotchka’s four-member core, dressed as if for the funeral of a 19th-century vaudevillian, enters accompanied by loudspeakers playing a classical waltz and a scantily clad circus-type dancer who tosses rose petals into the crowd.

Wilson McBee
Books

A Nation of Wimps by Hara Estroff Marano

Longtime journalist and Editor-at-large at Psychology Today, Marano chronicles the psychological pitfalls of the current child-rearing environment.

Wilson McBee
Books

But Didn't We Have Fun? by Peter Morris

Early baseballers were sticklers for ritual and rules, handing out fines for profanity and frowning upon competitiveness that grew too heated. Can you imagine?

Wilson McBee
Reviews

Vandaveer

Vandaveer admitted he hadn’t picked up a guitar in a week, which was not evident from his sure-handed acoustic riffing. But he did seem unpracticed at alcohol consumption.

Wilson McBee
Reviews

Sons and Daughters + Holy Fuck + A Place to Bury Strangers

After experiencing two opening acts defined by imagination and verve, what a downer it was to hear the rote rockisms of Sons and Daughters.

Wilson McBee
Reviews

Born Ruffians + Cadence Weapon

Nationality aside, these acts share very little. Born Ruffians create tight, yelping guitar pop, while Cadence Weapon is a music-critic-turned-rapper whose beats boast a lot of vintage synth and video game bleeps.

Wilson McBee

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