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Matthew Perpetua: Madonna — MDNA (Pitchfork)
Matthew Perpetua: Madonna — MDNA (Pitchfork)
It's almost impossible to approach MDNA without some degree of cynicism, but it's equally difficult to imagine anyone being more cynical about this music than Madonna herself. Unlike previous late-period records in which she had the luxury to indulge in creative tangents and not get too hung up on scoring several hits, MDNA is a record that comes with major commercial expectations. The "this has to work" factor is high, and it's hard to shake the impression that she has some measure of contempt for the contemporary pop audience.
·pitchfork.com·
Matthew Perpetua: Madonna — MDNA (Pitchfork)
Brent DiCrescenzo: Madonna — MDNA (Time Out Chicago)
Brent DiCrescenzo: Madonna — MDNA (Time Out Chicago)
It didn’t have to be this bad. She didn’t even need to dig that deep on the iTunes “Electronic” page to find a producer to craft intriguing electro. Instead of Solveig, she could have emailed SBTRKT. Or Anthonly Gonzalez. Or Scuba. Anyone else. She’s clearly learning about dance music from television ads, not nights out.
·timeoutchicago.com·
Brent DiCrescenzo: Madonna — MDNA (Time Out Chicago)
Christopher Glazek: Raise the Crime Rate (n+1)
Christopher Glazek: Raise the Crime Rate (n+1)
The prison-industrial complex is huge and filled with criminal injustice. It is a blight on America and needs to be destroyed. Abolishing prisons and releasing all the prisoners would amount to a deregulation of criminal punishment. It would mean letting the private sector determine how best to prevent ourselves from getting robbed. In high finance, the laissez-faire approach has proved to be a disaster; for petty crime, it would be a boon.
·nplusonemag.com·
Christopher Glazek: Raise the Crime Rate (n+1)
Blair L.M. Kelley: A NEW STRANGE FRUIT: Martin's Murder Takes Us Back (EBONY)
Blair L.M. Kelley: A NEW STRANGE FRUIT: Martin's Murder Takes Us Back (EBONY)
When I teach about the history of the segregated South, sometimes my students remark that things are just as bad now as they were then, that conditions for Black Americans are still as bleak for too many. Often my response is that if someone were to hang me or them by that tree in front of the building, someone would come. The law would investigate. Our citizenship would matter in at least that crucial way.

 This month is challenging that assumption. When Trayvon Martin was murdered for looking "suspicious", killed without any pretense of a trial, the police failed to come.
·ebony.com·
Blair L.M. Kelley: A NEW STRANGE FRUIT: Martin's Murder Takes Us Back (EBONY)
Alyssa Rosenberg: In the Wake of Trayvon Martin's Death, Fox Pulls Its Marketing for Alien Invasion Comedy 'Neighborhood Watch' (ThinkProgress)
Alyssa Rosenberg: In the Wake of Trayvon Martin's Death, Fox Pulls Its Marketing for Alien Invasion Comedy 'Neighborhood Watch' (ThinkProgress)
it’s worth interrogating why we find images of over-the-top approaches to law enforcement funny or compelling A combination of anger as pathos (vicarious justice rendered), hero worship, and making light of authority?
·thinkprogress.org·
Alyssa Rosenberg: In the Wake of Trayvon Martin's Death, Fox Pulls Its Marketing for Alien Invasion Comedy 'Neighborhood Watch' (ThinkProgress)
Jenn Pelly: Mirrorring: Foreign Body (Pitchfork)
Jenn Pelly: Mirrorring: Foreign Body (Pitchfork)
There is a tendency among music critics to create sub-stories with records and impose narratives. We might identify with a hardcore punk group this year because we are a restless generation, or with a work of hyperactive pop because the internet has made us incapable of concentrating, and so on. But sometimes we take a record for what it is: a resistant piece of art, existing as a singular entity. In a world that is newly full of "content" at every turn, it can be refreshing to find an uncompromising record that exists so honestly on its own.
·pitchfork.com·
Jenn Pelly: Mirrorring: Foreign Body (Pitchfork)
Nitsuh Abebe: Why We Fight: Your Chemical Romance (Pitchfork)
Nitsuh Abebe: Why We Fight: Your Chemical Romance (Pitchfork)
People born during a dip in the birth rate grow up consuming a lot of culture that's aimed at someone older than them. People born during a boom do not do cultural apprenticeship, because everything is quickly aimed at them; they watch the things that appeal to their age group bloom and succeed, whether anyone else is interested in it or not. This is why some Americans have spent decades clutching their heads as the Baby Boom generation makes big chunks of our world revolve around itself: Large cohorts have a large gravitational pull.
·pitchfork.com·
Nitsuh Abebe: Why We Fight: Your Chemical Romance (Pitchfork)
Tom Breihan: In Defense of Skrillex (Stereogum)
Tom Breihan: In Defense of Skrillex (Stereogum)
I’ve spent the morning listening to Skrillex’s three EPs, and they’re fun, but they’re not really any indication of what this guy does. Maybe he’ll make a great record some day, and his tracks certainly bring the hooks, and sometimes they sound the way people wish that last Justice album sounded. But at this point, listening to Skrillex at home is almost like listening to Gwar at home. The live experience is the thing.
·stereogum.com·
Tom Breihan: In Defense of Skrillex (Stereogum)
Steven Hyden: The Shins: Port of Morrow (The A.V. Club)
Steven Hyden: The Shins: Port of Morrow (The A.V. Club)
That’s the realm that Mercer is working in now, and when he has the confidence on Morrow to follow through on his glossy pop ambitions, his music manages to be as likeable as it always has been. It’s when Mercer tries to update the old Shins playbook with big-budget production that Morrow sounds awkward and dangerously sleepy.
·avclub.com·
Steven Hyden: The Shins: Port of Morrow (The A.V. Club)
Mark Richardson: Resonant Frequency: You Masculine You (Pitchfork)
Mark Richardson: Resonant Frequency: You Masculine You (Pitchfork)
On Bill Callahan and Grimes. Letting the hero die might mean opening yourself to new experiences. Finding more to identify with. Noticing the commonalities that point to the one, along with the differences point to the many, and identifying with songs from the inside and outside at the same time.
·pitchfork.com·
Mark Richardson: Resonant Frequency: You Masculine You (Pitchfork)
Alex Pappademas: Ninja: A Short History of a Less Troublesome Word (Grantland)
Alex Pappademas: Ninja: A Short History of a Less Troublesome Word (Grantland)
On Katy Perry covering ‘N***** in Paris’. The dumb, tee-hee transgression of saying the edited-for-television version sort of obscures what’s interesting and daring about this performance, which is that under the guise of tribute/ironic cover tune (it feels about half-and-half) it’s a girl refusing to let this song’s imaginary world of swinging-dick privilege be off-limits to her. But that’s all that’s happening here; she puts the word on like a piece of borrowed jewelry and parades in front of the mirror.
·grantland.com·
Alex Pappademas: Ninja: A Short History of a Less Troublesome Word (Grantland)
Allistair Pinsof: SXSW Review: The Comedy (FLIXIST)
Allistair Pinsof: SXSW Review: The Comedy (FLIXIST)
The Comedy may be a challenging film, but it's one of the few character studies that has a clear focus and entertaining hook that will keep you invested. Heidecker was the perfect actor for this project. When he looks past his surroundings, you believe him. Sometimes making a joke is all you can do in a bad situation. For Swanson, life in its entirety is a bad situation.
·flixist.com·
Allistair Pinsof: SXSW Review: The Comedy (FLIXIST)
Jack McDonald: Joseph Kony and Crowdsourced Intervention (Kings of War)
Jack McDonald: Joseph Kony and Crowdsourced Intervention (Kings of War)
Joseph Kony deserves to be put in cuffs and dragged before the ICC. Raising the profile of the heinous nature of the guy’s crimes is awesome. The idea that popular opinion can be leveraged with viral marketing to induce foreign military intervention is really, really dangerous. It is immoral to try and sell a sanitised vision of foreign intervention that neglects the fact that people will die as a result.
·kingsofwar.org.uk·
Jack McDonald: Joseph Kony and Crowdsourced Intervention (Kings of War)
Jonathan Coulton: Megaupload
Jonathan Coulton: Megaupload
Make good stuff, then make it easy for people to buy it. There’s your anti-piracy plan. So I have a lot of trouble with the idea that the federal government is directing resources toward an ultimately ineffective game of piracy whack-a-mole (with some unknown amount of collateral damage to law-abiding citizens), when we are not even sure that piracy is a problem.
·jonathancoulton.com·
Jonathan Coulton: Megaupload
“Aaliyah would have been on Twitter. It is fucked up that she is dead.”: An Interview with Patricia Lockwood, Poet Laureate of Twitter (HTMLGIANT)
“Aaliyah would have been on Twitter. It is fucked up that she is dead.”: An Interview with Patricia Lockwood, Poet Laureate of Twitter (HTMLGIANT)
The art we like the best is generally the art that has the greatest access to us. So. This tweet has tremendous access to my feelings about Aaliyah. Aaliyah’s voice had tremendous access to me.
·htmlgiant.com·
“Aaliyah would have been on Twitter. It is fucked up that she is dead.”: An Interview with Patricia Lockwood, Poet Laureate of Twitter (HTMLGIANT)
GRAEYALIEN: @TriciaLockwood nailed it tricia! if i could just add a couple of quick rejoinders?
GRAEYALIEN: @TriciaLockwood nailed it tricia! if i could just add a couple of quick rejoinders?
Regarding Patricia Lockwood’s appreciation of @graeyalien’s tweet about Aaliyah. ‘when aaliyah "makes the decision" to engage in the bestial behavior of reaching compulsively for the first thing to appear in front of the field of her sensory organs, the bread of the material world, she ultimately dooms the flight.’
·twitlonger.com·
GRAEYALIEN: @TriciaLockwood nailed it tricia! if i could just add a couple of quick rejoinders?
Sasha Frere-Jones: Lana Del Rey (The New Yorker)
Sasha Frere-Jones: Lana Del Rey (The New Yorker)
‘Del Rey doesn’t have the emotional and psychological depth to support all the satin and spotlights. Her invocations of Sinatra and Lolita are entirely appropriate to the sumptuous backing tracks, but, when it comes to lyrics, she and her collaborators get lost in a tangle of keywords.’
·newyorker.com·
Sasha Frere-Jones: Lana Del Rey (The New Yorker)
Mari0
Mari0
‘A complete from scratch recreation of Super Mario Bros. with a focus on perfectly imitating the feel the 1985 classic gave us. Then give Mario a portal gun, add puzzle game mechanics from Portal and there you go. And if that wasn't crazy enough, play 4-player coop, with everyone having their own Portal gun!’
·stabyourself.net·
Mari0