Sasha Frere-Jones on Muck Rack

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Music Critic — The New Yorker
As seen in:  The New Yorker, Guardian

A Night in Kings County — The linguistic coincidences were many. In Kings County, a Duke and Duchess, the future King and Queen of England, attended a basketball game. Another couple, Beyoncé and Jay Z, the undisputed monarchs of the entertainment world, were watching from the other side of the court.

The Wu-Tang Clan’s “A Better Tomorrow” — The most surprising thing about "A Better Tomorrow," the latest album from New York's Wu-Tang Clan, is not that it is generally strong but that the fractious nine-person group ended up making any kind of recording together at all.

Yo La Tengo’s Thirtieth Anniversary — Yo La Tengo has been around for thirty stubborn years, and, in honor of being a band for so long, the trio is playing a handful of shows, including two in New York. The obvious antecedent of the group, founded in Hoboken, is the Velvet Underground.

Fifth Grade - The New Yorker — For people under thirty, Eminem may be the most significant recording artist in the English-speaking world. His previous album, "The Eminem Show," sold eight million copies in a little under a year. (The Beastie Boys' "Licensed to Ill," an equally politically incorrect though vastly superior record by equally white rappers, took twelve years to sell that many copies.)

Briefly Noted Book Reviews — Wagstaff , by Philip Gefter (Liveright). The art collector and curator Sam Wagstaff championed minimalism in the nineteen-sixties and photography in the seventies, and is often remembered as the lover and patron of Robert Mapplethorpe.

The Swedish Invasion — Do you like Swedish pop music? The answer is probably yes, even if you can't name a single artist born in Sweden. Do you like Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold"? Pink's "Please Don't Leave Me"? Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone"?

Depth on the Dance Floor: The Music of DJ Sprinkles — In 1970, when he was twenty-one, Gil Scott-Heron released his début album, "Small Talk at 125th and Lenox." The opening track, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," was an instant classic, but the album also featured a song that many fans would rather forget, called "The Subject Was Faggots."

This Charming Man — Considering how American the feeling is, there should be a word in English for the despair that attends our moments of racial atomization. Every few years, an event flares through the unsheathed wiring of our collective guilt, enmity, and shame, and it feels like we have fewer words than ever.

The Sound of Decay — For some musicians, the link between persona and material is as short as a wick. With Taylor Swift or Frank Sinatra, songs and singer line up and suggest a single human being, with the music presented as evidence of lived experience. Other musicians, like actors, create things that bear little relation to what they do offstage.

Bob Dylan’s “The Basement Tapes Complete” — On July 29, 1966, Bob Dylan became distracted while riding his motorcycle. Nobody knows what caught his eye-he told Sam Shepard that it was the sun; he told the biographer Robert Shelton that he hit an oil slick-but he ended up at the bottom of a hill in Woodstock, New York, with his Triumph beside him.
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Dec 18, 2014

RT @leyawn: the wikihow illustrator is the greatest artist of our time. Fuck all other art

Dec 17, 2014

good god is tha doggfather no longer part of the curriculum

Dec 17, 2014

Aligns: cohort that believes NSA has resources to read any of the collected data would believe North Korea could mount an attack. #wargames

Dec 17, 2014

RT @kateberlant: I really hate how flirty the children in commercials are !!!

Dec 17, 2014

after 32 consecutive plays of "Black Messiah" the only thing that sounded right was "Ride The Lightning" AMA

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