Music

by Sam C. Mac Music Retrospective

Cui Jian | Show You Colour

If there’s any one quality that defines Cui Jian, it’s that he has never been content to be any one thing. Rock ‘n’ roll didn’t start with Cui — so he had to be a Chinese rock ‘n’ roller, fusing his own national identity…

September 2, 2019
by Sam C. Mac Music Retrospective

Cui Jian | Balls Under the Red Flag

By the mid-1990s, the political ambitions of what is known as the liumang generation — literally, “hooligans” — had devolved from a battle cry into feelings of wounded dejection, crushed under the weight of an intensified Chinese censorship, and the restricted freedoms enforced by…

September 2, 2019
by Sam C. Mac Music Retrospective

Cui Jian | Solution

Cui Jian’s status as a cultural icon was largely staked on the reputation of his first breakout song, “Nothing to My Name”: its progression from televised debut at a 1986 stadium show to anthem of the 1989 student protesters in Tiananmen Square. The song’s…

September 2, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Josh Hurst Music

Waylon Jennings | Honky Tonk Heroes

Waylon Jennings may not have invented outlaw country, but with Honky Tonk Heroes he gave the movement its clearest distillation of purpose; its manifesto, its aesthetic framework, even its narrative vocabulary. Naturally, for a movement so rooted in myth-making, there’s an important backstory. Jennings, along with his pal…

August 21, 2019
#ObscureObject by Tanner Stechnij Music

Lingua Ignota | Caligula

Noise can be cathartic. For Kristin Hayter, noise can even be a form of salvation. Caligula, Hayter’s latest album — released under the name Lingua Ignota — serves as a punishing retribution. To listen to this cacophonous symphony is to be indoctrinated into a…

August 21, 2019
#ObscureObject by Greg Cwik Music

Bon Iver | i,i

A man (bearded, crestfallen) traipses into the woods, where he holes up in a small cabin and writes music about his heartbreak — agonizingly vulnerable, earnest, intimate music, with whispery confessions and guitars so fine and fleeting they could be feelings themselves. Then, the…

August 19, 2019
#PopRocks by Luke Gorham Music

Chance the Rapper | The Big Day

Across three mixtapes preceding Chancelor Bennett AKA Chance the Rapper’s studio debut, an organic maturation, both personal and artistic, occurred. 10 Day proved a largely forgettable lo-fi coming out, but nonetheless anticipated Bennett’s marriage of linguistic eloquence and the drippy vigor of youth. Follow-up…

August 19, 2019
#ObscureObject by M.G. Mailloux Music

100 Gecs | 1000 Gecs

100 Gecs makes music that dares the listener to hide behind snobbery. Every song is designed to make your parents scoff, as if Gecs masterminds Dylan Brady and Laura Les exhumed the corpses of every embarrassing pop music trend of the collective millennial youth…

August 12, 2019
In Review | Online film and music criticism