City Music

Album by Kevin Morby

 

Kevin Morby’s fourth album, City Music, works as a counterpart to his acclaimed 2016 release Singing Saw, an autobiographical set that reflected the solitude and landscape in which it was recorded. Saw was imagined as “an old bookshelf with a young Bob and Joni staring back at me, blank and timeless. As Morby puts it: “[City Music] is a mix-tape, a fever dream, a love letter dedicated to those cities that I cannot get rid of, to those cities that are all inside of me.” (Dead Oceans)

›› ISSUE Feature: Live performance and interview with Kevin Morby

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Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography

Book by Susan Bright

 

When writer and curator Susan Bright set out to write the first ever book on the history of food photography, she did so with an appreciation food’s essentiality as well as its greater meanings. In her own words, “Ultimately, food is not only about literal taste, but also Taste with a capital T—both the lifestyles we aspire to and the building blocks of culture itself.” Certainly this idea is present in every page of Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography, which spans the colorful progression of this photo genre from the late 19th century to present day Instagram. Featuring artists from each era—Roger Fenton to Irving Penn to Laura Letinsky—Feast for the Eyes highlights food in fine art photography as well as commercial and scientific photography and photojournalism. Bright’s introduction and commentary accompany the photographs, bringing insight and appreciation to the history, aesthetic and rituals behind them. (Aperture)

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Not Myself

Song by Sharon Van Etten (Hercules & Love Affair Remix)

 

Last summer, Sharon Van Etten released “Not Myself” in memory of the victims of Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and to support the work of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. One year since the Pulse nightclub tragedy, Van Etten releases the Hercules & Love Affair Remix of the song. She remarks, “During the journey of making this song and finding the best way to share it with the world, a fellow musician recommended I reach out to someone to remix the song to share with the club community. In this way, a version can exist where even more people can connect to this song in a more positive and healing light.” (Jagjaguwar)

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund seeks to improve our understanding of the causes of gun violence and the means to reduce it – by conducting groundbreaking original research, developing evidence-based policies, and communicating this knowledge to the American public. Learn more at Everytown Research.

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Beatriz at Dinner

Film by Miguel Arteta

 

Salma Hayek plays opposite John Lithgow in Beatriz at Dinner, the newest film from the award-winning minds of director Miguel Arteta and screenwriter Mike White. Hayek portrays Beatriz, an immigrant from a poor town in Mexico who has built a life as a health practitioner and whose path crosses with the self-made billionaire Doug (Lithgow) at a swanky dinner party in the hills of Los Angeles. Exploring the widening gulf between the world’s haves and have-nots, Beatriz at Dinner offers shrewd insight into contemporary controversies, from economic polarities to the necessities of human kindness. The film garnered praise following its premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Utah and went on to launch the following Sundance festival in London.
(Film Nation Entertainment) (Roadside Attractions)

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Capacity

Album by Big Thief

 

The trails that Brooklyn’s Big Thief — Adrianne Lenker (guitar, vocals), Buck Meek (guitar), Max Oleartchik (bass), and James Krivchenia (drums) — take us down on Capacity, the band’s highly anticipated second record, are overgrown with the wilderness of pumping souls. After last year’s stunning Masterpiece, Capacity was recorded in a snowy winter nest in upstate New York at Outlier Studio with producer Andrew Sarlo.

The album jumps right into lives marked up and nipped in surprisingly swift fashion. Lenker’s songs introduce us to a gallery of multifaceted women and deal with the complicated matters of identity — at once dangerous and curious, though never unbelievable. Lenker shows us the gentle side of being ripped open. Tricked into love, done in and then witnessing the second act of pulling oneself back together to prepare for it to all happen again, but this time to a sturdier soul, one who is going to take the punches better than ever before and deal some jabs and roundhouses of their own. (Saddle Creek)

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Best of Crime Rock

Album by Chain and The Gang

 

American musician, singer, author and talk show host Ian Svenonius came to attention in 1990 with his highly influential punk band, Nation of Ulysses. Svenonius went on to lead the likewise significant group The Make-Up, then Weird War, as well as other lesser-known side projects. This summer’s Best of Crime Rock is a collection of newly recorded hits from Chain and the Gang—Sveononius’ latest and current band with bassist Anan Nasty, guitarist Francy Graham and drummer Mark Cisneros. The album includes two brand new songs and is easily the band’s best record since their 2006 birth, unleashing an arrow-sharp passion and accuracy that hits at the heart of who Chain and the Gang is. In their own words, “Chain & the Gang don’t care about grades, likes, traffic or hits… They want total destruction of the insipid rock ’n’ roll status quo and the foul system it purports to offer relief from—but in fact keeps afloat.” (In The Red Records)

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I’m Not Your Man

Album by Marika Hackman

 

English singer-songwriter and instrumentalist Marika Hackman has been making waves since she and Cara Delevingne briefly but enthusiastically formed a band as teenagers. Backed by her former schoolmate, folk artist Johnny Flynn, Hackman signed to Transgressive in 2012 and has opened for the likes of Laura Marling. I’m Not Your Man, Hackman’s second and latest album, delves into issues of sexual identity, millennial ennui, social media and being young in the creative industry and is meeting with rave reviews. The album is Hackman’s third project with award-winning producer Charlie Andrew, in addition to her EP and debut album. “The record’s all about female relationships, romance and breakdowns,” says Hackman, “but there’s also a dim worldview going on. I’m Not Your Man can either mean ‘I’m not your man, I’m your woman,’ or it can mean ‘I’m not a part of this.’ ” (Sub Pop)

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Witness

Album by Benjamin Booker

 

Benjamin Booker’s new album Witness has showcased his most ambitious work yet by digging deep into his passion for eccentric soul, R&B, and blues – drawing on everything from William Onyeabor’s 70s African psych-rock to Freddie Gibbs and Pusha T, while never straying too far from the garage-punk intensity that made his self-titled 2014 debut such a creative breakthrough. The title track, Booker’s most profound and incisive song to date, features a guest vocal by Mavis Staples. NPR notes that “The New Orleans-based songwriter — who’s favored a sound like the blues, soul and rock ‘n’ roll mixed with gasoline and a lit cigarette — leans into more explicitly gospel territory here, letting his strepitous guitar take a backseat to an upright-piano melody and choral harmonies.” The album’s ten new, original tracks were all written by Booker, produced by Sam Cohen (Kevin Morby), and mixed by Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes). (ATO Records)

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