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…

Discover: Nadia Nair / Nadia Reid

Two Nadias! Nadia Nair, Beautiful Poetry FOR FANS OF: Bat For Lashes, Sia, Laura Mvula I literally just heard this album for the first time this morning; I’m listening to the second-to-last track as I type this. But the instant power and punch of this record is undeniable. Nadia Nair has the vocal power of pop…

Essential 2016 Election Coverage

[UPDATED 10/20/2016] The 2016 American presidential election may wind up being the defining election of this generation, or perhaps the last defining generation of the eldest generation. After all, this is the first election in which there are as many (possibly more) eligible millenial voters as there are baby boomers. How fitting, then, that the two…

Discover: Laura Mvula / Mitski

To start, two less-than-hidden gems, albums which have received tremendous coverage on Metacritic and elsewhere but which I first heard as recommendations based on other artists in my rotations. Mitski, Puberty 2 FOR FANS OF: St. Vincent, PJ Harvey, early Metric Mitski (the band fronted by Mitski Miyawaki) dropped this beauty of an indie rock record in June…

Sounds Worth Discovering

A few friends have asked me in the past, “How do you find new music these days?” Discovering new music is paradoxically easier than it’s ever been and also harder, or at least less manageable. The overwhelming deluge of new releases each week, each DAY, can make it seem impossible for a person to be…