Tag Archives: artists

These 15 Albums Might Actually Make 2016 Tolerable

Mother Jones

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Each year, Mother Jones‘ favorite music critic browses through hundreds of new albums and pulls out maybe a couple hundred for his weekly reviews. But only a few can make the final-final cut. Below, in alphabetical order, are Jon Young’s super-quick takes on his 15 top albums for 2016. (Feel free to heartily disagree and share your own faves in the comments.)

1. William Bell, This Is Where I Live (Stax): The tender, moving return of an underrated soul great.

2. David Bowie, Blackstar (Columbia/ISO): The Thin White Duke’s eerie, haunting farewell.

3. Gaz Coombes, Matador (Hot Fruit Recordings/Kobalt Label Services): Grand, witty megapop from the former Supergrass leader. (Full review here.)

4. Bob Dylan, The 1966 Live Recordings (Columbia/Legacy): A massive compilation of every note from his notorious tour. (Full review here.)

5. Margaret Glaspy, Emotions and Math (ATO): No-nonsense relationship tales that rock out with insistent verve.

6. Hinds, Leave Me Alone (Mom + Pop/Lucky Number): Frayed, rowdy femme-punk straight outta Madrid.

7. Jennifer O’Connor, Surface Noise (Kiam): Tuneful, deadpan folk-pop with a cutting edge. (Full review here.)

8. Brigid Mae Power, Brigid Mae Power (Tompkins Square): Hair-raising solo acoustic performances by an Irish chanteuse. (Full review here.)

9. Dex Romweber, Carrboro, (Bloodshot): A colorful Americana kaleidoscope from a master balladeer and rockabilly shouter. (Full review here.)

10. Sad13, Slugger (Carpark): Sadie Dupuis’ solo debut, poppier than her band Speedy Ortiz, and exuberantly feminist.

11 & 12. The Scientists, A Place Called Bad (Numero Group); and Blonde Redhead, Masculin Feminin (Numero Group): The great Chicago reissue label scores again with retrospectives devoted to The Scientists, Australian trash-rockers from the ’70s and ’80s, and Blonde Redhead’s ’90s shoegaze-noise recordings amid the chaotic New York scene. (Full review here.)

13. Allen Toussaint, American Tunes (Nonesuch): The gorgeous final works of the New Orleans R&B genius. (And here’s our recent chat with Toussaint collaborator Aaron Neville.)

14. A Tribe Called Quest, We Got It from Here…Thank You 4 Your Service (Epic): The long-overdue return, and devastating goodbye, of a hip-hop institution.

15. Various Artists, The Microcosm: Visionary Music of Continental Europe, 1970-1986 (Light in the Attic): An eye-opening survey of vintage new age music in all its oddball, unexpected glory.

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These 15 Albums Might Actually Make 2016 Tolerable

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Meet the Guy Behind Your Favorite Rock ‘n’ Roll Songs

Mother Jones

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Various Artists
Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll
Yep Roc

“Invented” might be a slight exaggeration, but Memphis, Tennessee’s Sam Phillips discovered and/or produced some of the greatest voices in blues and early rock ‘n’ roll, releasing many of them on his own Sun Records label. This wonderful 55-track compilation illustrates the staggering range of electrifying music he midwifed, from Elvis Presley (“Mystery Train”) and Jerry Lee Lewis (“Whole Lot of Shakin’ Goin’ On”), to Howlin’ Wolf (“How Many More Years?”) and B.B. King (“She’s Dynamite”), to Carl Perkins (“Blue Suede Shoes”) and Johnny Cash (“Big River”). Not to mention Roy Orbison, Ike Turner, Junior Parker, Charlie Rich, and many other lesser-known but vital performers. For newcomers, this is the perfect introduction to an essential body of work; for everyone else, it’s merely a thoroughly satisfying collection.

Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll was compiled by journalist Peter Guralnick as a companion piece to his absorbing new book of the same name (to be published November 10 by Little, Brown, and Company). The author of the best biography of Elvis Presley to date, as well as a host of other excellent studies of American roots music, Guralnick is a captivating enthusiast and exhaustive researcher, who never lets a mastery of the facts obscure the visceral thrill of the art he celebrates. At 600 pages, his thoughtful account of Phillips’ complex life is not for the casual reader, but it’s hard to put down once you get started.

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Meet the Guy Behind Your Favorite Rock ‘n’ Roll Songs

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Film Review: Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll

Mother Jones

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Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll

ARGOT PICTURES

On the surface, Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten is a film about the flourishing rock movement that emerged following Cambodia’s independence from France in 1953. Director John Pirozzi saturates the first half with vintage footage of Cambodia’s ’50s and ’60s music scene, interspersing it with interviews with musicians who survived the ensuing horrors and relatives of those who didn’t. The infectious music blends Chuck Berry-like riffs with haunting traditional melodies. And even though you know it’s coming, the progression of coups, bombings, and genocide is shattering. “If you want to eliminate values from past societies,” notes a member of the Cambodian royal family ousted in a US-sponsored coup, “you have to eliminate the artists.”

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Film Review: Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll

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Let the 2016 Presidential Poster Wars Commence!

Mother Jones

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Michael Mechanic

Is this the first salvo in the 2016 presidential campaign poster wars? This past week, somebody plastered this poster—guerilla style—at well-trod locations around San Francisco.

What was the artist thinking? Was this a subtle jab at Cruz’s hubris or a bona fide attempt to promote the guy—or just a cool design? I could see it psyching up the GOP base in Kevin’s Orange County stomping grounds. But in San Francisco? Only 13 percent of this city voted for Romney. A Ted Cruz fan hoping to boost the Texas senator’s presidential hopes would be wasting his time posting these around here—even if they are pretty cool looking.

Maybe the message was meant to reach rich tech libertarians who have moved north from Silicon Valley and might be game to donate. You know, the crew who admire Ron and Rand Paul and seem to have forgotten that the tech industry was built on massive government funding. Then again, given Cruz’s head-scratching position against net neutrality—he’s called it “the biggest regulatory threat to the internet”—he’s not likely to get much love from the tech world. Even the Obama-haters on Cruz’s Facebook page had to ridicule his position.

My favorite Cruz poster to date went up last March around Beverly Hills, where Cruz was slated to appear at the annual dinner of the conservative Claremont Institute. (The artists, being artists, got the hotel wrong.) But Cruz was indeed, as the poster joked, “loving it.” Here’s what he tweeted:

I just hope Bernie Sanders, the left’s favorite bomb thrower, decides to run. I’m dying to see what street artists will make of him.

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Let the 2016 Presidential Poster Wars Commence!

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Welcome to the Manosphere: A Brief Guide to the Controversial Men’s Rights Movement

Mother Jones

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Mad Men: Inside the Men’s Rights Movement—and the Army of Misogynists and Trolls It Spawned

Men’s Rights Movement (mrm): A loose-knit network of groups and activists (MRAs) who believe men are an oppressed class. Most adherents consider Warren Farrell to be the intellectual father of men’s rights.

Fathers Manifesto: An early MRM website that combined calls for paternal custody rights with claims that blacks should be exiled and Catholic priests were sexually abusing children as part of a plot to spread AIDS.

A Voice for Men: Founded in 2009 by truck driver Paul Elam to “expose misandry on all levels,” the site, now a hub of the movement, is aimed at those turned off by the fringe politics of other men’s rights forums.

Register-Her.com: An offshoot of A Voice for Men, an “offender registry” purporting to track female murderers and rapists as well as women who make false rape accusations.

National Coalition for Men: A nonprofit group that “raises awareness about the ways sex discrimination affects men and boys.” Its leaders have filed lawsuits challenging registration for the draft and seeking to defund shelters for battered women.

Fathers 4 Justice: A British paternal rights group that gained notoriety in the mid-2000s after activists, some dressed as superheroes, scaled public monuments, allegedly threatened to kidnap the prime minister’s son, and defaced a portrait of the queen.

Red pill: In the classic sci-fi film The Matrix, the hero must choose between swallowing a blue pill, which will allow him to remain in a pleasant illusory world, or a red pill, which will open his eyes to the reality in which he is enslaved. In men’s rights parlance, “red pillers” realize that men, not women, are oppressed.

Pickup Artists (pua): Self-proclaimed or aspiring “alpha males” who attempt to seduce women through a system of psychological gambits called “the game.” Notable PUA figures include Roosh V (Daryush Valizadeh) of the Return of Kings website, who has published a collection of sex travel guides such as “Bang Brazil,” in which he writes, “Poor favela chicks are very easy, but quality is a serious problem.”

Anti-Slut Defense (asd): Tactics that Pickup Artists believe women use to dodge responsibility for sex, such as offering “token resistance” or claiming afterward that they were too drunk to say no.

Incel: A man who is “involuntarily celibate” and feels that women owe him sex. Mass murderer Elliot Rodger described himself as one.

puahate: A site for those who feel disillusioned by the PUA movement. Rodger, who blamed women for his sexual frustration, was a frequenter; Roosh V concluded about him: “Until you give men like Rodger a way to have sex, either by encouraging them to learn game, seek out a Thai wife, or engage in legalized prostitution… it’s inevitable for another massacre to occur.” (PUAhate shut down shortly after Rodger’s rampage.)

Gamergate: An ongoing conflict that pits “traditional” video game enthusiasts (mostly white males) against feminists and others who call for game culture to become more inclusive. Misogyny and violent threats are a hallmark of the online controversy.

4chan: An anonymous and often graphic online forum; used by Gamergaters to strategize about revenge tactics and by hackers who posted stolen nude photos of celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence.

8chan: An anonymous forum that Gamergaters started using after 4chan banned their threads.

Subreddit: A forum on the social sharing site Reddit, a.k.a. “the front page of the internet.” Gamergaters, PUA followers, and others congregate in dedicated subreddits.

Honey Badger Brigade: A group of mostly female supporters of the men’s rights movement; its weekly online radio show features such topics as “the top 13 creepiest feminist behaviors,” including “humorless vagina art.”

Mangina: What some men’s rights activists call a man who supports feminism.

Social Justice Warrior (sjw): What MRAs and Gamergaters call someone who advocates equal rights for women and minorities.

Men Going Their Own Way: A faction that vows to avoid contact and relationships with women because they think women will inevitably treat them as “disposable utilities.”

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Welcome to the Manosphere: A Brief Guide to the Controversial Men’s Rights Movement

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