Thoughts On The 2020 Coachella Poster

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Coachella-2020-lineupThere’s this dumb thing I do every year: Coachella unveils its poster, and I write a way-too-long thing about all the little narratives hidden in that lineup, and in the way the poster lays that lineup out. It’s not something you should take too seriously, but I … More »

“Hallelujah” Is Not A Christmas Song

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PentatonixThere are many reasons one might be annoyed at Pentatonix, the ruling a cappella group of our time. The singing quintet is hokey and saccharine in the way only a cappella groups can be. They were birthed by reality TV. They temporarily operated with four members despite being called Pentatonix. If you dislike … More »

The Most Savage Things Critics Are Saying About Cats

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Cats, the movie adaptation of the Broadway musical adaptation of the T.S. Eliot poetry collection, hits theaters tonight. It promises advances in “digital fur technology” and the trailer broke the internet because it was so disturbing. It is currently scoring a 14% at Rotten Tomatoes. More »

Winners, Losers, & Big Surprises In The 2020 Grammy Nominations

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FINNEAS & Billie EilishThe 2020 Grammy nominations are out, and there’s a lot to discuss. Let’s work our way through the big storylines. More »

Synästhesie 2019 Was A Unique, Idiosyncratically Berlin Festival

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Stereolab-Synasthesie-2019Over the last couple years, there’s been a small but growing festival called Synästhesie taking place in Berlin. Its roots are very much specific to its city. The festival is booked and run by the people behind 8MM, a dive bar and a staple of Berlin’s music community (and for musicians passing through town); the … More »

Big Thief Are Already Legends

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Adrianne Lenker“This room is wild,” Adrianne Lenker said Monday night from her perch at stage left. “I feel like I’m in a barn, but, like, on another planet.” The room in question was the Athenaeum Theatre, an old Masonic Temple in downtown Columbus best known as a venue for weddings and other such classy gatherings. Last … More »

Le Guess Who? 2019 Was One Of The Festival’s Most Adventurous Years Yet

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Every year, the charmingly, quirkily named festival Le Guess Who? takes over Utrecht for a weekend in November, with shows spread out across venues around town and throughout the theater complex TivoliVredenburg. And every year, you can rely on the festival to boast some of the most diverse, surprising, and often revelatory lineups out of … More »

Artist Of The Decade: Kendrick Lamar

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Kendrick Lamar“Bitch, where were you when I was walkin’?” It was a fair question from Kendrick Lamar Duckworth considering how many people had glommed on to him by the time To Pimp A Butterfly dropped, almost exactly at the midpoint of this decade. These 10 years made him not just a star but a guiding light, … More »

Empty Streets, Empty Nights: The Blue Nile’s Elusive Masterpiece Hats At 30

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The-Blue-Nile-HatsSome albums are just mysteries. They have their time and place, and yet resist their context. They are slow to unfold and get their due, and yet grow beyond their original confines as a result, spanning generations and building pockets of devotees. Ultimately they become known but still hidden, gems waiting to be unearthed again. More »

(Most Of) Wu-Tang Clan Close Out Desert Daze With Khruangbin, (Some Of) 36 Chambers

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2019 should, for all intents and purposes, be the best year the Wu-Tang Clan has had in a long, long time. They have not one, but two TV shows and are touring the country celebrating the 25th anniversary of their 1993 landmark Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). They’ve survived public feuds, … More »