Ariadna

Album by Kedr Livanskiy

 

“Synthesizers help me maximally feel the present moment,” says Moscow musician Kedr Livanskiy, who just released her anticipated debut album, Ariadna, via Hype Machine. Livanskiy found inspiration for Ariadna from the Soviet-era music of Izhevsk, a city known as “the capital of Russian electronic music,” with 80s groups like Stuk Bambuka V XI Chaos (Bamboo Crash at 11 a.m.) and Samtsy Dronta. It was the mood of the post-Soviet era, however, and its ongoing reconstruction and sense of displacement, that drove Livanskiy to discover her music by escaping into romanticism, fairytale themes and imagery—themes prominent in Ariadna. (2MR)

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Lipstick Under My Burkha

Film by Alankrita Shrivastava

 

From director Alankrita Shrivastava, Lipstick Under My Burkha is an Indian black comedy about the secret lives of four women chasing after their personal freedom and dreams. A burkha-wearing college girl struggles with her cultural identity and dreams of becoming a pop star. A young beautician wishes to escape the confines of her small town. A housewife and mother of three leads a double life as an enterprising saleswoman. And a 55-year-old widow reawakens desire via a phone romance. The film stars award-winning actors Konkona Sen Sharma and Ratna Pathak alongside Aaahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur. Lipstick Under My Burkha made waves when it was in effect banned by India’s censor authorities for being “lady-oriented,” or as Shrivastava interprets it, “having a female point of view.” The decision was ultimately appealed and reversed, and the film went on to popularity at home and abroad, winning awards internationally at film festivals. (Prakash Jha Productions)

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Dog

Album by Charlie Parr

 

Dog is the fourteenth album from country blues musician Charlie Parr. Based in Duluth Minnesota, Parr began playing guitar at age eight, influenced by his father’s extensive blues, folk and country record collection. In his most recent album, Parr raises existential questions and considers his own clinical depression, a reality he has described as a “hazy fog of rancid jello all around me.” Parr, who until this point has always recorded solo, counterbalanced Dog’s introspective mood by putting together a band to create the record. The result is as optimistic as it is personal. (Red House Records)

›› ISSUE Feature: Live performance and interview with Charlie Parr

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Polina

Film by Angelin Preljocaj & Valérie Müller

 

An adaption of Bastien Vives’ graphic novel, Polina tells the story of a young girl in Moscow training to join the Bolshoi ballet company. Her life takes an unorthodox turn when she falls in love with a young dancer and moves to France where she discovers contemporary choreography. The film is the directorial debut of world-renowned choreographer Angelin Preljocaj along with co-director and screenwriter Valérie Müller. Newcomer and professional dancer Anastasia Shevtsova stars as Polina, alongside award-winning actors Juliette Binoche, Niels Schneider and Aleksei Guskov. Polina premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year before making its way to America. (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

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›› ISSUE Feature: Anastasia Shevtsova

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Swim Inside The Moon

Album by Angelo De Augustine

 

Thousand Oaks, CA’s Angelo De Augustine releases his new album Swim Inside The Moon. The video for album track ‘Crazy, Stoned, and Gone’ is a mixed media animated visual by Sufjan Stevens that incorporates several original drawings by De Augustine. Swim Inside the Moon is the second full-length from the 24-year-old, and captures a sound he’s been looking for since he started playing music a decade ago. “A sound behind the voice,” says Angelo, who recorded all of this record in his home’s bathtub using a reel-to-reel machine and a single Shure SM57 microphone. “I noticed that when you sing off a reflective surface you hear two voices. I was compelled to isolate that voice and bring it more to the front of the songs because in many ways I feel more connected to and comforted by that voice following me.” Sufjan Stevens said of this album: “Angelo’s music feels timeless and whole, unhindered and pure. In our age of exhibitionism and over-sharing, his music is quiet, sheltered, simple, and restrained.” (Asthmatic Kitty)

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Patti Cake$

Film by Geremy Jasper

 

From up-and-coming director and former frontman of The Fever, Geremy Jasper, Patti Cake$ tells the story of an aspiring rapper from New Jersey who overcomes the haters, bills and broken dreams that lie between herself and stardom. Up-and-coming actor Danielle Macdonald stars as Patricia Dombrowski, a.k.a. Patti Cake$, alongside supporting actors Bridget Everett and Cathy Moriarty and newer faces Mamoudou Athie, McCAul Lombardi and Siddharth Dhananjay. One of this year’s highly-anticipated films, Patti Cake$ has garnered multiple awards and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize following it’s premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. (Fox Searchlight)

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›› ISSUE Feature: Danielle Macdonald

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Gook

Film by Justin Chon

 

Justin Chon’s directorial debut, which won an audience award at the Sundance Film Festival, is a riveting black and white drama that follows an unlikely friendship between two Korean American brothers and a young African American girl as they are forced to defend their struggling shoe store during the 1992 Rodney King riots. There is an electric energy to this biting debut, which tackles the prickly tension of race relations while paying obvious homage to the 90’s and Spike Lee’s seminal classic, Do The Right Thing. Starring writer-director Justin Chon, as well as David So, Curtiss Cook Jr. and Simone Baker, Gook artfully balances lighthearted moments against a backdrop of building racial unrest, ultimately evolving into a heartfelt exploration of the true meaning of family. (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

›› ISSUE Feature: Justin Chon x David So in conversation

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Reservoir

Album by Gordi

 

Singer-songwriter Sophie Payten, or “Gordi” as her family and fans know her, began writing music from a young age on her farm outside the small town of Canowindra, Australia. Her anticipated debut album Reservoir follows last year’s EP Clever Disguise, a favorite of critics like NPR. Gordi recorded Reservoir amidst studying for her medical degree and playing shows, including supporting label mate Bon Iver during performances of his recent album. The album is built on brooding layers of electronica and folk and captures feelings of loss, especially in friendship. (Jagjaguwar)

›› ISSUE Feature: Live performance and interview with Gordi

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