Monthly Archives: August 2017

‘The Untamed’ a sci fi story brimming with sexual ambivalence

A movie about a space alien, a story about gay panic, and a vignette about the Mexican middle class, The Untamed manages to be three things at once yet is strongest, unexpectedly, as the second and third. Amat Escalante, who … Continue reading

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Twenty-five years ago…

Twenty-five years ago this week, I lowered the volume on the Joy Division squall to hear the other squall outside. My calm scowling dad ordered me to join the rest of the family in the kitchen, the only room with … Continue reading

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Songs about eclipses and darkness

My short playlist. Fortunately I was indoors for the first day of a journalism course, protecting my students’ irises from this cosmic danger. 1. X – Under the Big Black Sun 2. Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine 3. Elton … Continue reading

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Liveblogging Donald Trump’s address to the nation

With an approval rating average as enthusiastic as middle America’s embrace of foie gras, Donald Trump has decided the Afghan theater needs more men to pacify a country that the Soviets and British couldn’t. Less than eight years ago, Barack … Continue reading

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God and country are an unbeatable team: the best of Luis Buñuel

One of my two or three favorite directors didn’t make a single film unmarred by a bad idea or ineffective execution, and that’s why I love Luis Buñuel. Orson Welles did too: He’s a rich feeding ground for that sort … Continue reading

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‘Wind River’ a chilly look at mourning

Until a development in the third act requires a defense of vigilantism over post-movie cocktails, Wind River is an often gut-wrenching look at mourning. Taylor Sheridan, who wrote 2016’s Hell or High Water, makes a sturdy directorial debut, demonstrating an … Continue reading

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The ten worst New Order Songs

New Order may have recorded indifferent songs, but I could only think of eight terrors before scouring their solo careers. 1. State of the Nation 2. Rock the Shack 3. Chemical 4. I Told You So 5. Sub-culture (Remix) 6. … Continue reading

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Just wait till tomorrow: Talking New Order

After a summer and fall spent blasting Electronic’s debut, I guessed it was time to buy Substance — in 1991. One of the many points Andrew Unterberger and I make in our Billboard podcast for the Coming Around Again series … Continue reading

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Singles 8/18

If I were Skepta, I might work with Mick Jagger too. If I were Mick Jagger, I would not record solo albums, or, indeed, any albums. But I am not Mick Jagger. Expect to hear more about The War on … Continue reading

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The best of Jeff Lynne, producer

Those of us who lived during the Poppy Bush Interzone got accustomed to the layers of overdubbed acoustic guitars, counterpoint harmonies, and incongruously layered synths of the average Jeff Lynne production, always for an artist over forty. Dave Edmunds was … Continue reading

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Steve Bannon — RIP

I don’t give a shit. A racist still sits in the Oval Office. One doesn’t applaud a mass murderer for burning an axe.

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One of these days you’re gonna get it right: the best of Electric Light Orchestra

I knew I’d joined a special place when the first act Stylus Magazine inducted its Hall of Fame wasn’t Joy Division, Talking Heads, or Brian Eno but…ELO. Tireless enthusiasts of British pop but with progressive-rock roots, Electric Light Orchestra at … Continue reading

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