Music Review: Age Against the Machine...

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     As a Connecticut boy born and raised, Atlanta music came to me in three helpings. In non-chronological order: First came the dubstep, during a three-night tour through my old friend’s current life as a club promoting hustler savant, from the nightclub where we watched the crowd’s supplication to the DJ from our perch on the stage, to the bar where I watched blissed-out kids bob and weave in pharma-enforced unselfconsciousness to fat-assed bass. Second came the car-sheared-in-half-black metal that a second friend semi-professionally records, music so harsh and dirty your only recorded choice is a cassette tape. And finally were the two lodestars of southern hip-hop, Outkast’s Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik and Goodie Mob’s Soul Food. Did I hear these diamond-hard classics at an epic sweaty house party? Did I discover them in a stack...

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Music Review: Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience...

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     The dead roamed the plains and taigas and deserts and they hunted and they died. When we dug up the ground to build our towns and cities we found their trapped bones, and we crushed what we found and mixed it into our roads and our furnaces and our engines. When we grew and our ranks stretched out to touch the compass points, we journeyed overland to find more of the trapped dead, and when we found them we made terrific weapons to shatter them free from rock that knew no possible threat. The dead were limite, and we knew this, but still we burned and melted and refined into a million iterations that lingered in the air and the water. One day a man burned a handful of the dead into soot...

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Television Review: The Bridge...

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     The Bridge was just picked up for a second season. I’m far too used to betting on TV underdogs, the heart-shredding feeling I get from the tweets or headlines that regret to inform me how an exciting and original piece of programming just got murdered in the cradle. Plus, one of the actresses on the show favorited my tweet, so this is all officially exciting.      An American-set remake of a Danish/Swedish series, The Bridge duplicates the original’s premise for much of the first season; a gruesome scene is discovered on the bridge connecting two nations, namely the remains of an American judge and a young Mexican woman placed exactly on the halfway juncture of the Bridge of the Americas connecting Juarez and El Paso. While this second season pickup excites me purely...

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TV Review: Nashville

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     I went on a terrible date last week. If you could harness our total lack of connection into a turbine, you could have powered the whole bar. One of the worst disappointments was when she told me, in quick succession, that she had lived in Nashville and that she didn’t watch television. I was all ready to start gushing about Nashville on ABC, but my words died on the vine, and I suffered through a rocky series of abortive conversation and awkward silence until we both scurried from the bar, relieved it was over. Then, I went home and made cookies and you damn well better believe I watched Nashville.      One obvious bridge to Nashville is Friday Night Lights; while Nashville doesn’t rise to that show’s level (nor is it meant to), they both...

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Music Review: Annie Up

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      Well that was bad timing; Pistol Annies cancelled all their tour dates in June and now nobody knows if they’re still together. Dammit. Huh. A shame, regardless of the reasons behind it, though judging from the lyrics of Annie Up, the trio’s 2nd album, it could definitely have something to do with booze. Just saying.      Annie Up’s a lean, wise and witty album that hugely satisfies, turning away deftly from cliché and easy resolution at every opportunity. Now, no surprise; Miranda Lambert’s obviously no slouch, and Ashley Monroe’s recent solo record Like A Rose matches Annie Up’s sass and bite track-for-track, and together with Angaleena Presley (no relation) the Annies are an embarrassment of talent.      Annie Up dissects country music’s tendency toward rose-tinted songwriting in favor of the raw, twist-in-the-wind mood...

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