The Best of 2017 – The Mixtape

2017 has been a nightmare in many ways. America is in constant political crisis. The international community is facing the rise of right-wing extremism, white nationalism, religious and ideological terrorism, an increasingly centralized wealthy elite, and a fundamental threat to democracy in the form of widespread election hacking in nearly every Western nation. Waves of…

Discovery: My Favorite Finds of 2016

I’m a lifelong devotee of albums. I’ve defended their right to exist through years of critics bemoaning their supposed demise. But in 2016, my listening habits shifted. Thanks to Spotify, Vevo, and Cymbal, I’ve found a new love: Songs. I know, it sounds so basic, but truly, until 2016, I valued songs less if they…

Lessons from Television: Prisons

Last Week Tonight. Adam Ruins Everything. Full Frontal. Modern television has become a marvelous source of easily-digested, enlightening, and entertaining bubble-bursters with thoroughly-researched explanations of the ills in American society. These shows are extraordinarily compelling, but unfortunately, they face obstacles that make them harder to put in front of viewers, from cable subscriptions to the sheer…

The Case for Hillary Clinton

In 2007, my friend Matt Bahn invited me to tag along to an event for a new presidential candidate, making his first stop in Minnesota since announcing he was running. I must confess, though I hid it at the time, I did not know anything about him; I’d never even heard his name before Matt…

Discover: Big Thief / Aldous Harding

A couple sweet, folky records to listen to as antidotes to the over-Mumfordization of modern folk rock. Big Thief, Masterpiece FOR FANS OF: Jenny Lewis, Haley Bonar, Phox Brooklyn natives Big Thief are still relatively new to the scene, but listening to sweet-hearted, fully produced tracks like “Masterpiece,” the title track of their debut album on…

Discover: Milo / Lushlife

Let’s look at two divergent ways to enjoy hip-hop today: Milo, So the Flies Don’t Come FOR FANS OF: Earl Sweatshirt, Open Mike Eagle, Cecil Otter Say what you will of Earl Sweatshirt, but the young rapper’s lyrics shine with cleverness. A buoyant poetic language dots his lines, revealing fascinating a-to-c connections in his thoughts even as…