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Lost Under Heaven Survive an Artistically Indifferent World on 'Love Hates What You Become'

English duo Lost Under Heaven's second album Love Hates What You Become takes form as a dynamic and divergent set of lyrical and stylistic turns between Ebony Hoorn and Ellery James Roberts. The duo's art-rock ethos and industrial-tinged instrumentation playfully back his screeching vocals as much as her range between yearning and mourning. Performances and delivery by both vocalists coalesce with powerful instrumentation to create an atmospheric and emotional background in Love Hates What Y...
Tags: Music, Review, Los Angeles, Rock, Amsterdam, Manchester, Music Review, Charlottesville, John Congleton, Ellery James Roberts, Ellery, Ebony Hoorn, Hoorn, Lost Under Heaven, Ellery Influences, Nine Inch Nails and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club


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

None The last few years have been hard ones for the socially conscious, to say the least. Where acceptance of the rich diversity of humanity once seemed in reach, now even the concept of tolerance often feels in question more often than not as mainstream political rhetoric moves away from trying to connect and leans into outright divisiveness.Michael Franti is nothing if not socially conscious. As the founder and leader of reggae fusion group Spearhead, his music has long embraced revolutionary...
Tags: Music, Review, R&B, Marley, Reggae, Orlando, Funk, Michael Franti, Franti, Victoria Canal, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Hirie, Spearhead


Alice Merton Encourages Us to Embrace Joy and Fearlessness on 'MINT'

None Throughout 2018, it was impossible to avoid Alice Merton's "No Roots". The single quickly solidified the German-Canadian-English singer as a prominent yet burgeoning presence in popular music. Merton is no neophyte, however. She has already gone platinum in six countries while amassing over 261 million global streams. The success of "No Roots" was only an indicator of Merton's musical alacrity. Her debut album, MINT, is equally rousing and beatific. More than a dance-pop album, Merton uses...
Tags: Europe, Music, Review, Pop, United States, Music Review, Merton, Dance Pop, Alice Merton, Paper Plane Records Int


Fracturing to Survive in Tanya Tagaq's 'Split Tooth'

None In his treatise Why Indigenous Literatures Matter (2018), Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee) argues that literature is part of a larger struggle across our cultural practices, social formations, and our very selves, to "understand and articulate our humanity." Literature tells stories about people, and indigenous literatures matter because they tell stories about what it means to be indigenous—in a world of one's own people, in a world of settler peoples, in a world with other beings who may ...
Tags: Music, Justice, Review, Fiction, Americas, Book Review, Fox, Canada, Arctic, Colonialism, Pacific Northwest, Adolescence, Cherokee, Tanya Tagaq, Jaime Hernandez, Viking Books


David Bazan Rises Like a 'Phoenix' with Pedro the Lion

From the whispery indie rock of 1998 debut It's Hard to Find a Friend, David Bazan has always been the true orchestrator of three-piece rock outfit Pedro the Lion, arranging and playing the majority of guitar, drums, and bass while he narrates his life stories and intimate thoughts on religion, politics, and everything in between. However, around 2006, Bazan became insecure about his unconventional creative process of writing parts and finding bandmates to play it with him, leading to a shed...
Tags: Music, Review, Rock, Music Review, Pedro, Devil, Phoenix, Samuel, Alternative Rock, Springsteen, BazAn, David Bazan, Indie Rock, Polyvinyl Records, Ebenezer Scrooge, Pedro The Lion


Michael Cho's 'Shoplifter' Showcases What He Does Best

Michael Cho intended Shoplifter, his first graphic novel, as the first in a series of linked stories. It's been several years since its publication, and though Cho's career is booming (his blog includes his recent covers for Action Comics and Batwoman), I hope he will eventually return to this non-superhero project because it features such a complex but subtle use of the graphic form to express its protagonist's inner landscapes.Corinna is a frustrated, 20-something employee of a New York ad age...
Tags: Music, New York, Review, Toronto, Book Review, Manga, Corina, Cho, Corinna, Graphic Novel, Shoplifter, Comics Alliance, Corrine, Michael Cho, Pantheon graphic library


'About the Light' Is Steve Mason at His Most Confident

None On new album About the Light, Steve Mason comes across as an artist unafraid of the obvious. Rather than look for the new, he instead manages to put a fresh spin on old sounds. Buoyed by finding love, becoming a father, and settling in Brighton, Mason channels the positivity in his life on songs that capture the joy of simply making music. Joined by legendary producer Stephen Street, the pair pan for pop gold and between them uncover golden nugget after golden nugget on his most celebrator...
Tags: Music, Review, America, Fox, Music Review, Stephen Street, Indie Pop, Steve Mason, Don, Mason, Indie Rock, Bo Diddley, Brighton Mason, Carlos Alomar David Bowie


Divine Weeks Remind Us of the Communal Power of Music on 'We're All We Have'

None For a brief period in the early 1990s, Divine Weeks were one of the most promising bands in L.A. with a fan base that grew with every explosive live performance and a debut record produced with assistance from the Dream Syndicate's Steve Wynn. Bill See's soaring vocal range and Raj Makwana's guitar pyrotechnics elicited comparisons to Bono and the Edge. Wearing their sincerities proudly on their sleeves, the U2 references were justified and well-earned. Unfortunately, the timing just wasn'...
Tags: Music, Review, Bono, Rock, Music Review, Alternative Rock, Don, Dream Syndicate, Divine weeks, Communal Power of Music, Steve Wynn Bill See, Raj Makwana


Buzzcocks' 'Love Bites' Is an Uneven, But Worthwhile, Listen

None Buzzcocks were undeniably one of the best bands to emerge from the late 1970s British punk scene. Still, unlike the Clash, the Sex Pistols, or Wire, they never produced a front-to-back great, non-compilation album. The stellar Singles Going Steady (1979), a remarkably coherent collection of UK A-sides and B-sides recorded between November 1977 and July 1979, one designed to build a US audience for the band, is one of rock's essential records. Even though they did their best work on singles...
Tags: Music, UK, Review, US, Music Review, Steve Garvey, Buzzcocks, Devo, SHELLEY, Steve Diggle, John Maher, Punk Rock, New Wave, Domino Records, Pop Punk, Pete Shelley


Buke and Gase Continue their Genre-Defying Education on 'Scholars'

It's often said that there are only two types of art—good and bad—and that rings especially true for music that more or less defies categorization. Such is the case with Buke and Gase, a New York duo comprised of Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez who've been labeled as indie rock, "steampunk art-folk", and math rock, among other things. However, their latest LP, Scholars, most curiously and creatively exemplifies how they "make pop music in the most insane way possible". Filled with atypical instr...
Tags: Music, New York, Review, Experimental, Radiohead, Kate Bush, Music Review, Stereolab, Indie Pop, Gase, Dyer, Indie Rock, Gwen Stafani, Buke and Gase, Buke, Eisley


David Byrne Channels the Weird and the Ordinary in 'True Stories'

None As the frontman for , David Byrne certainly earned a reputation as a critic of culture. Songs like "Once in a Lifetime" and "Burning Down the House" ask existential questions that poke at the dull monotony of the everyday. On the surface, Byrne's only feature-length film, True Stories (1986), seems to follow suit. The characters are based on people featured in tabloid news stories that Byrne collected, later deciding to construct a narrative around their idiosyncrasies. The overlapping...
Tags: Music, Comedy, Texas, Review, US, America, David, House, John Goodman, Cambodia, Cia, Bill, Talking Heads, Musical, Criterion Collection, Polaroid


Wednesday Martin's 'Untrue' Questions Bases of Monogamy

Wednesday Martin continues to break the conventions of bland, milquetoast social science with her new book, Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free. The book's peep hole jacket and bright neon cover announce the boldness of Martin's eagerly awaited follow-up to her #1 New York Times bestseller, Primates of Park Avenue (Simon & Schuster, 2015) (now in development as a TV series). She delivers on the anticipation b...
Tags: Music, Review, Los Angeles, Infidelity, Hillary Clinton, New York Times, San Diego, Female Sexuality, Monogamy, Namibia, Martin, Meredith Chivers, Polyamory, Social Science, Skirt Club, Yale Ph D


Toro y Moi Contemplates Late Capitalism on 'Outer Peace'

It didn't take long for chillwave to become a punchline after its rapid ascendancy in the late 2000s, and it must have been tough to be Toro y Moi (the alias of producer Chaz Bear, fka Chaz Bundwick), an act known synonymously, and perhaps unfairly so, with the genre. One of the first genres born almost entirely out of the influence of the Internet, chillwave was quickly deemed too easily replicable and far too reliant on provoking cultural nostalgia.But a few proprietors of the sound, like ...
Tags: Music, Review, Music Review, Abra, Toro Y Moi, Toro, Monte Carlo, Carpark Records, New House, Moi, Alan Palomo, Synthpop, Electropop, Chaz Bear, Bundick, Chillwave


'Aquinas and the Market' and the Possibility of a "Truly Humane Economic System"

Rational value dominates our moral as well as our economic decisions today. What began as a theory examining financial data by mathematical applications turns into the contemporary default system by which goods are measured and value ascribed. While theologians along with many humanists have challenged this paradigm, very few have the acumen to analyze markets and to interpret financial data. Economist and theologian Mary L. Hirschfeld pioneers an informed investigation into the relationship bet...
Tags: Business, Music, Review, Religion, Book Review, Economics, Harvard, Capitalism, Pope Francis, Philosophy, Notre Dame, Wells Fargo, Aristotle, Simon, Villanova University, Hirschfeld


Criterion Film Offerings: French Noir, Japanese Lovers, American Gangsters and Frames of Pure Serenity

The Criterion Collection, the busiest and most prestigious of companies devoted to classic films, provides a rare delight in this collection of films now available on Blu-ray. These are movies that have never before been on DVD or Blu-ray (at least not in Region 1), and in some cases weren't even on VHS. These tantalizing titles, long heard of but vexingly unavailable until now, are a particular pleasure to for film lovers to enjoy, at last. Panique (dir. Julien Duvivier, 1946) The aloof and mi...
Tags: Music, Japan, Hollywood, Review, France, Walter Matthau, West, Akira Kurosawa, Eiffel Tower, Brian Eno, Alfred Hitchcock, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Alice, Van Gogh, Picasso, Film Review


Dave Douglas Quintet's 'Brazen Heart: Live at Jazz Standard' Sits Cozily Next to Miles Davis' 'Plugged Nickel' Recordings

None Brazen Heart Live at Jazz Standard - Friday by Dave Douglas Quintet 2015 It is clearly raising expectations too high to compare this eight-CD live documentation of the November 2015 appearance of the Dave Douglas Quartet (his second) at New York's Jazz Standard to the Plugged Nickel recordings by Miles Davis's second quintet from 1965. But barely.Davis' band—the one featuring pianist Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter on bass, drummer Tony Williams, and saxophonist Wayne Shorter—was in the middle...
Tags: Music, New York, Review, Chicago, Davis, Jazz, Miles Davis, Music Review, Mitchell, Douglas, Linda, Garden State, Bill Evans, Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett, Tony Williams


Frances Cone Awakens with Resourceful Confessions on 'Late Riser'

None In an industry focused on quick turnarounds and commercial expectations, Nashville singer-songwriter Christina Cone is an anomaly, as she chooses instead to wait and work patiently until her next artistic vision is fully realized. Hence the title of Late Riser, her soulful indie-pop full-length follow-up to 2013's debut album, Come Back. Recorded under her newfound guise, Frances Cone, and alongside her partner, "drummer-turned-bassist" Andrew Doherty, the relatable collection delivers its...
Tags: Music, Review, Arizona, Nashville, Music Review, Great Northern, Indie Pop, Doherty, CONE, Frances Cone, Andrew Doherty, Patti Griffin, Frances Cone Awakens, Christina Cone, Chopin Rufus Wainwright Justin Vernon


'It Won/t Be Like This All the Time' Is the Album the Twilight Sad Was Destined to Make

None Sometimes there exists such a definite, indestructible connective bond between band and fan, that it can feel as if both depend on the other for their very survival. For fans of Scottish band the Twilight Sad, this has been the case since their brilliant, 2007 debut, Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winter. The Twilight Sad have never been a band simply to like. No, they are a band to love, live in and learn from. These kind of relationships are special and when they're rewarded with the best ...
Tags: Music, Review, Time, Bbc, Graham, Dennis Hopper, Music Review, Arbor, Indie Rock, Macfarlane, Andy MacFarlane, Post-punk, Shoegaze, The Twilight Sad, James Alexander Graham, Lyrically Graham


'Room to Dream', in which David Lynch Has a Conversation with His Own Biography

Always keen to do things his own way, filmmaker David Lynch presents Room to Dream as "a person having a conversation with his own biography." Chapters of conventional biography, written by journalist Kristine McKenna, alternate with chapters of reflections by Lynch himself. This structure promises a deconstruction of a conventional biography, but this unconventional choice does little to advance the narrative. For one reason, any inconsistencies Lynch notes with McKenna's work are small. For ex...
Tags: Music, Hollywood, Review, Book Review, Filmmaking, Philadelphia, David Lynch, Autobiography, Midwest, Lynch, BOISE Idaho, McKenna, Chris Rodley, Kristine McKenna, Room To Dream, Lynch Faber Faber


'Protest Kitchen' Is Often, Like Our Politics, Unsettling

None "We live in an unsettled time in politics." "It's easy to feel overwhelmed." It's hard to argue either statement and perhaps that is why Carol J. Adams and Virginia Messina open their book Protest Kitchen: Fight Injustice, Save the Planet, and Fuel Your Resistance One Meal at a Time with these lines. And while Adams and Messina would definitely agree that donating to Planned Parenthood, voting, or volunteering at a local animal shelter are excellent ways of bringing about positive chang...
Tags: Music, Politics, Review, Book Review, Animal Welfare, Veganism, Resistance, Adams, Messina, Protest kitchen, Carol J Adams, Virginia messina, Conari press, L Orange Drain the Swamp Kitchen Cabinet Compote, Wall Taco Salad Bowl


The 1975 Try Everything on 'A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships'

None The 1975's third album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, hit back in December 2018, just as we here at PopMatters were immersed in our wide variety of end of the year music lists. So we're circling back to what, almost by default, is one of the biggest rock acts in popular music right now. And a Brief Inquiry is big as well. In an era when most albums arrive in a streaming-friendly running time of 45 minutes or less, this record contains 15 tracks and lasts a full hour. And i...
Tags: Music, Review, America, Siri, Radiohead, Music Review, Richard Marx, Indie Pop, The 1975, Don, Indie Rock, Michael Bolton, Matt Healy, Healy, Mel Torme, Synthpop


Oneohtrix Point Never's 'Love in the Time of Lexapro' Is a Brief, Pleasant Aside

Daniel Lopatin's Oneohtrix Point Never has consistently delivered conceptually focused projects. Each full-length raptly developed a particular sonic aesthetic and theoretical imagination. For instance, his 2011 opus Replica stretches and staggers 1980s and '90s television advertisements, echoing capitalist jingles until they collapse into self-criticisms. Or, his 2015 medium bending campaign Garden of Delete collides innocent pop croons with the visceral strokes of grunge and metal, reliving ...
Tags: Music, Review, Music Review, Electronic, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Babylon, Lopatin, Oneohtrix Point Never, Sakamoto, Alex G, Daniel Lopatin, Oneotrix point never, Experiemental, Time of Lexapro


Playing at Grown-ups: Don Siegel and Michael Caine Tilt at 'The Black Windmill'

None Fans of director Don Siegel and actor Michael Caine will make haste to sink their teeth into The Black Windmill (1974), which has been pretty much missing in action since a full-screen VHS back in the 1980s. Now Kino Lorber unveils a widescreen Blu-ray of this long-sought thriller from Siegel's great late era, when he signed his output with the onscreen phrase "A Siegel Film", the first words we see on this print; it's also the title of his autobiography (Faber & Faber, 1996). The opening...
Tags: Music, England, Crime, Review, Action, Thriller, James Bond, Michael Caine, John Le Carre, Alfred Hitchcock, Sean Connery, Film Review, Don, Caine, Don Siegel, Ceil


Deerhunter Ask 'Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?'

None The title of Deerhunter's eighth album could be a kind of metaphysical question, but the record has an up-close material tone crackling with friction. Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? wrestles with escapist and confrontational impulses, and continues the band's exploration of shifting sonic identity.Ten years ago, Deerhunter frontman and songwriter Bradford Cox was in the midst of what has so far proven to be his most prolific period. In 2008 alone, Cox put out Let the Blind Lead...
Tags: Music, Texas, Jimmy Fallon, Review, Music Review, Marfa, Deerhunter, Bowie, Cox, Allen, Indie Rock, Bradford Cox, Jo Cox, Tim Presley, Art Rock, 4AD Records


Ursula K. Le Guin: Old Soul, New Worlds

None "Hard times are coming," author Ursula K. Le Guin said in her fiery 2014 speech accepting the National Book Foundation award. Her tone was somehow somber, yet also chipper, as though she had already acknowledged the worst and now was girding for battle. She was fixing her bayonet in bright spirits and about to go over the top. She went on about what will be needed in the years to come: … we'll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our...
Tags: Music, Review, Documentary, California, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Manhattan, Harry Potter, Portland Oregon, Ursula k. le guin, Curry, Le Guin, Gaiman, Arwen Curry, Alfred Kroeber, Kropotkin


'Vita Nostra' Is a Tantalizing Fantasy That Forces Us to Question Our Own Humanity

Julia Meitov Hersey, translator of Vita Nostra, describes her effort as a work of love, undertaken so that other English language readers will be able to enjoy the delights the Russian-language book first brought her. The book has been described as an "anti-Harry Potter novel", and insofar as it offers a darker, more mysterious and philosophical version of the 'magical recruit' trope, this is true. But it's far and away a very different beast from J. K. Rowling's celebrated series.The story foll...
Tags: Music, Review, Fiction, Fantasy, Book Review, Harry Potter, Fairy Tale, Soviet Union, Rowling, Sasha, Sergey, Science-Fiction, Harper Voyager, Vita Nostra, Marina dyachenko, Sergey dyachenko


'The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle' Is a Stellar Mystery Yarn

None The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is Stuart Turton's debut novel, but one wouldn't know it's a debut, as it's incredibly polished and self-assured, and an utterly delightful yarn. When you learn that Turton is primarily a travel journalist, the ease and flow of the narrative make that much more sense. We open with an unnamed protagonist who has been shorn of his memories, stumbling in the woods around the mouldering English estate Blackheath sometime in the early 20th century, danger ...
Tags: Music, Review, Book Review, Aiden, Paris, Mystery, Agatha Christie, Turton, Hercule Poirot, Blackheath, Sourcebooks, Hardcastle, Stuart Turton, EVELYN HARDCASTLE, The 7 12 deaths of evelyn hardcastle


Whitehorse Returns with a New Addition to 'The Northern South'

None It's been more than two years since the Canadian folk rock duo Whitehorse released the EP The Northern South Vol. 1. The disc contained covers of past classics by legends like Robert Johnson, Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Reed, and Chuck Berry. Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet transformed these cuts into dirty, nasty, smoldering tracks that bled fire, flesh, and brimstone. The multi-instrumentalists played and sang as if possessed by the devil, the one that lives inside of us and per...
Tags: Music, Review, John, Music Review, Whitehorse, Rolling Stones, Etta James, Willie Dixon, Jimmy Reed, McClelland, St James Infirmary, Doucet, Blues Rock, Folk Rock, Six shooter records, Whitehorse Returns


'Springsteen on Broadway' Is Springsteen Fully Owning the Myth of the Working Class Hero

None The greatest rock and roll prognosticators of January 1973 probably would never have guessed how Bruce Springsteen was going to spend October 2017 through mid-December 2018. Of course, music scribes of that era were rarely prone to consider the potential scope of their fields of interest because that land was just being planted with bouquets of Berry, blankets of Beatles, rivers of Rolling Stones, avalanches of Animals, and dozens of Dylans crawling up from the depths just waiting for ...
Tags: Music, Usa, Bruce Springsteen, Review, Woody Guthrie, Barack Obama, Rock, Bob Dylan, New Jersey, Broadway, Marlon Brando, John Kerry, Music Review, Jay, Elvis, James Dean


Pawel Pawlikowski's 'Cold War' Is a Lustrous, Slyly Subversive Melodrama

None There's a true love guiding Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski's first film since 2015's Oscar-winning Ida. The truth isn't in the depth of the emotion, though, but in its blemished sincerity; it's a story about two lovers who stay involved, but not necessarily together, for 15 years, and who never truly convince each other (or us, as viewers) that love itself is enough. The film, set in 1950s Europe, is extravagant but unsentimental, and never strays far from the stark realities of wartime. Tha...
Tags: Europe, Music, Hollywood, Romance, Review, Drama, Film, Cold War, Paris, Alfonso Cuarón, Oscar, Poland, Casablanca, Pawel Pawlikowski, IRENA, Colette



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